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in: Manly Skills, Outdoors, Survival, Visual Guides

March 31, 2017 Last updated: October 15, 2018

How to Make a Survival Lean-To

how to make a lean to in the woods illustration diagram

Shelter is one of the key requirements for successful survival, and securing it will greatly improve your situation in the wild. A simple lean-to not only provides protection from wind and rain, but can also act as a shield to help trap heat and keep you warm. Keep in mind, lean-tos are also beneficial in hot climates, when you need to be protected from dehydrating direct sunlight or windy conditions. Basic lean-to structures consist of two support poles, a ridge pole, and several roof poles. Insulating material is then packed onto the roof to help deflect the elements. To help speed up your build, consider using the low branches of existing trees as support poles and tarps or emergency blankets as coverage for your roof. With a hot fire placed just outside the open end of your lean-to, the roof should help contain the heat so you stay warm and dry on emergency overnights.

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Illustration by Ted Slampyak