in: Featured, Outdoor/Survival, Skills, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 1, 2021

How to Make a Marine Corps Fighting Hole

Basic steps illustrated for making a marine corps fighting hole.

To the uninitiated, a Marine Corps fighting hole appears to be nothing more than a basic burrow in the ground. But it is in fact one of the most effective defensive positions you can make. It requires only a shovel (even just the military-issue, folding kind) to create, and it helps protect you from a variety of environmental and enemy threats. This fighting hole or foxhole features several elements that help keep you dry, warm, and out of the wind. It also keeps you out of sight and protected from shrapnel and gunfire. As Corporals Corner points out in his instructional video on the subject, an additional bonus of a fighting hole is that it acts as an excellent base for a variety of other shelters.

As digging a foxhole is labor intensive, he also advises that you never attempt to make one unless you have adequate calories and water. It’s not a project to undertake when you’re low on energy.

While creating a Marine Corps fighting hole is fairly simple, there are several key components necessary to include if you want to reap all its benefits. Above, you’ll find the scoop, or I guess, the shovel, on how to make one that’ll fit two people.

1: Choose a flat, level area that’s semi-elevated.

2: Mark out a rectangular area approximately 2.5’ by 6’.

3: Dig until the hole is about chest deep, placing the excess dirt in an even berm around the lip of the hole.

4: Add a trench in the center of your hole, perpendicular to the long side, about 6″ wide by 1’ deep.

5: Clear an area about 1’ wide between the lip of your hole and the beginning of the berm.

6: Add Foliage around the berm to camouflage your location.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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