Call to Action: December 15′ – Shelter

act-nowThis is the second installment of a new monthly series called “Call to Action”. Call to Action (CTA) is a monthly reminder to review one part of your prep’s and strengthen it.

This month is looking at what I consider an often overlooked prep…..shelter.

Full disclosure here….this is one of the preparations that I lack most. Like many others – I have a roof over my head and forget just how delicate a house can be. Whether it be fire, a hurricane or tornado, or a sudden need to evacuate – I may lose that roof and the protection it provides.


Alternative shelters range in simplicity, effectiveness, and cost. The important thing to do this month is review your Plan B and Plan C shelter methods and make sure they are intact (maybe a Plan D as well).

My first primitive shelter 75% compete....
My first primitive shelter 75% complete….

Primitive Shelter – I have no intention of surviving the rest of my days living in a “lean-to” or a “mud hut” – but they serve a purpose. Primitive shelters are just that – primitive, and in my opinion are a last resort and for short-term stays only. Limited protection against the cold, the heat, wind, rain, and predators….both four legged and two – do not make these a very good option.


Tents – No doubt tents are one of the most popular and plentiful alternative shelter methods out there. A large, family sized tent can be had for around $100 and will assist in providing shelter from the elements. Tents can be used for several days or several weeks. Many of the cheaper tents lack the durability for long-term use however they are cheap enough that a couple can be bought and put back.

Family-sized tent…..


Tarps – Tarps are extraordinarily useful and very inexpensive. Available in many sizes – tarps can be used to make expedient shelters as well as help patch leaking roofs. Tarps can also be used in conjunction with tents to increase the ability for the tent to fend off rain and wind. Tarps can be purchased at Wally-World, Northern Tools and most any home improvement store.


 Not exactly a tarp but very similar are drop cloth’s used by painters. These are thin plastic sheets that can often do many of the same things a regular tarp can do in a much more portable package. Being thinner they are certainly less durable and can be bought different sizes and thicknesses.

Campers – Whether it be a full-sized RV that you can drive around or a small pop up camper – these things can be home away from home in an emergency. Obviously not a cheap option – many people have these for recreational purposes and can benefit from them if the need to evacuate occurs or the main home is uninhabitable.

My buddy John Taylor gives us a tour of his pop up below…..


Tour of my 2010 Rockwood Freedom 2280BH Pop-up Folding Camper & WSHTF Options

Campground – Campgrounds are a location which a tent can be thrown up or a trailer parked pretty inexpensively. They are a possible choice to relocate to. One problem is many people may think the same thing and the camps could get over crowded. Regardless – if you are burned out of your home or evacuation is necessary for some other reason – a campground is a possible back up plan.


Hotels – Very similar to campgrounds – hotels are a popular option for those traveling and forced to relocate. Hotels are typically very expensive and also do not take kindly to pets that may also be traveling.


Family – Likely one of the most obvious possible alternative shelter plans are staying with friends and family. Depending upon the situation some challenges could be presented especially if you are armed and the home owners are not gun-friendly.


Empty/Abandoned Homes – I consider this a last resort and only for a serious life-threatening situation. Imagine the predicament one would find themselves should the “empty” home end up being occupied by armed inhabitants. Not good. This option really needs pre-planning for the best possible outcome.


So – for this month consider what your plans are if for some reason you are forced out of your home or apartment. Where can you go? Where will you stay? For how long? What will you bring with you? What supplies will already be there? What security considerations will need to be taken?

If you already have plans – care to share?

Take care all –



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4 thoughts on “Call to Action: December 15′ – Shelter”

  1. My plans include our 5th Wheel that I use while working construction out of town. When not in use it is stocked with all that is needed to “Bug Out”. It’s our “Ultimate” 72 hour Kit. I also bought a case of 10 single person tents off of Amazon for a great discount and have those attached to each BOB. These will be complimented with tarps to keep the UV out and prolong their life as a semi-permanent structure is built in the woods. Just my 3 cents worth.

  2. Well like Myke…I had a 5th wheel that was self contain…generator etc. I also was able to transport my modified golf card and quad. When set up the barge was turned ino anothe sleeping rad and radio room for amateur radio. When I retired I traded the 5th wheel for a travel trailer. Yeah a duh aspect in some ways but had to down size. Still capable to being self contained but less room.

    While I wouldn’t want to live out my days in a travel trailer, it does provide the need comforts and keeps me out oft he weather

    BTW…I do carry a tent with the trailer for additional room

  3. I’ve spent some quality time in metal Demsey dumpsters on surveillance. They are windproof and almost waterproof and have a lot of nice things to snuggle into for heat preservation. Of course, such is not my shelter choice.



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