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Mountain Survival Shelter

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An essential survival item is shelter. Protecting you from the elements by keeping you dry, warm, or even cool in hot environments, shelter is literally life-saving.

Mountain environments add extra dynamics to survival like increased altitude, more extreme temperatures and further distance from civilization.

Being able to build a mountain survival shelter can help keep you safe from the elements and give you an added chance to survive.

What Are The Essentials Of A Mountain Survival Shelter?

Essentials Of A Mountain Survival Shelter

Depending on your mountain surroundings, you may have slightly different items at your disposal, but these are the general basics that will be able to form a stable survival shelter.

Tree branches are a crucial part to most types of survival structures. The thickest and sturdiest branches will form the frame of your structure.

Smaller branches and twigs are good for adding layering to your shelter and protecting you against the outside world.

Grasses, leaves and mosses are ideal for insulation and sealing up your shelter from the weather. With these basic items, you can build a range of mountain survival structures that can keep you safe.

How to Build A Basic A Frame Mountain Survival Structure

A Frame Mountain Survival Structure

It is important to find a clear area to set up your mountain survival structure in order to give it the most stability.

Ensure the area you choose is free from any immediate environmental risks, like trees that are about to fall. Once you have the ideal spot, follow these basic steps for your A-frame survival shelter.

  1. Search for a branch that will form the foundation of your structure. It should be the largest branch and a few feet longer than your height.
  2. Prop up your main branch against a tree stump or log. Alternatively, you can use 2 smaller branches to form the A shape of your shelter.
  3. Lean shorter branches and twigs against the other branches to form the “walls” of your structure to protect you from the surroundings.
  4. Cover the balance of the shelter with things like grasses, leaves and moss to really insulate it. Do not forget to insulate the floor as well to ensure you can retain heat.

This is a temporary structure that is easy to build and will keep you protected in an emergency situation.

Maximizing The Use Of A Tarp For A Mountain Survival Shelter

The Use Of A Tarp

If you are a prepper, you will not be without a mountain survival kit, even if you are going for a hike and have no intention of staying on the mountain.

If you have a tarp in your kit, then you have plenty of opportunity to create a range of mountain survival structures.

You can just use your tarp along with some surrounding trees and you will be able to shelter comfortably underneath from the elements.

If you are in the snow on the mountain, you can use the snow to form a wall and use surrounding trees and branches to drape your tarp over, along with some pine needles and a brush to insulate your shelter.

There really are endless options with a simple tarp to keep you protected on the mountain.

Basic Mountain Survival Kit Items To Have At All Times

_Mountain Survival Kit

You should always have certain basic items in your mountain survival kit to ensure you will be able to survive. Find some non negotiable items, including examples below:

  • Shelter items: tarp, paracord, survival blanket, etc.
  • First aid kit: elastic wrap bandages, tourniquet, super glue, etc. 
  • Water purification items: purification tablets, personal water filter straws, etc.
  • Food options: preserved, nutritious food items
  • Signaling items: SOS-capable flashlight, survival whistle, etc.
  • Fire starting kit: Full fire starting kit, waterproof matches, etc.

If you are stuck on a mountain, these essentials will keep you going until help arrives or until it is safe to make it back down the mountain.

Top Mountain Survival Tips To Keep You Safe

Mountain Survival Tips

Some of these mountain survival tips may seem self-explanatory but it is amazing how some of the most obvious things are sometimes overlooked.

If you follow these tips, you will give yourself the best chance at survival up the mountain.

  • Ensure that you have told people where you will be climbing and how long you plan to be away. This way, should something go wrong, even if you cannot contact anyone for assistance, someone will realize you are not back and may need help and they can point the search party in the right direction.
  • Always try to hike or climb a mountain with a partner. When you are on your own, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, you have no one to assist or call for help.
  • Keep an essential mountain survival kit with you at all times, and know how to use all the items in your kit. It will not help if you don’t know how to use your kit to help you survive.
  • Have a plan for your mountain trip. Know where you plan to go and how you want to ascend. If you encounter blocks on your planned route, do not be afraid to turn around and go back.
  • Hydration is key. You need to stay hydrated when navigating the mountain, ensure you have sufficient hydration or water purification items to replenish your water supply, and drink enough to keep you healthy and strong.
  • If you are climbing mountains, it is important to know the symptoms of altitude sickness and how to prevent it. It is also good to know the signals for the environment and how to use them.

Final Thoughts

Climbing mountains comes with added risks, and having adequate knowledge and respect for the environment will help you navigate and survive.

Knowing how to build a mountain survival shelter will protect you from the elements and keep you safe. Our ideas on building mountain survival structures will keep you warm and dry.

See what the must have items are for your mountain survival kit to ensure you have the best chance of survival should you land up in an emergency situation.

These top tips on mountain survival will put you in the best position to conquer the mountain and make your way safely back down.