Shelter is a more complex need. Shelter in the summer is very different from shelter in the winter. While you can survive a few nights out in the open during the warm summer months, it isn’t an option once the temperature begins to drop. Shelter generally means staying out of the elements, but it also includes the ability to stay warm and dry.
This is the ideal for many people. You stay in your home throughout the survival situation. You generally have pre-stocked food, clothing, bedding, and comfort items like books already in place. Most modern homes are not terribly well insulated, but they do beat a tent in the woods.
On the Run
When SHTF requires bugging-out, you can’t take all the comforts of home with you. Having a tent or even a couple of tarps may be your only options. Keeping dry is the goal. If you can pack a wool blanket along as well, it will go a long way in keeping you dry, warm, and protected from the rain, snow or wind. If a heavy blanket is not available, having a sleeping bag packed will provide a good second choice.
In the Wilderness
If you need to shelter short-term outdoors and can potentially stay safely in one place, building a simple structure with any available items is a good way to go. A simple lean-to against a strong branch or a dugout in a hillside can save your life. For more long-term wilderness survival, building a stronger and more permanent structure may be called for.
Now that you have the basic knowledge for shelters, check out the next prepping basic: Food.