How To Create A Wilderness Dugout Survival Shelter | Survival Life

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A dugout shelter protects you from the cold and the creatures of the night. Considering shelter is one of the most critical aspects of surival, we figured it cou;d be important to teach you how to make one in case you’re stuck in the wild.

RELATED: 3 Survival Shelters You Can Quickly Craft From Tree Branches

In this article:

  1. Emergency Dugout Shelter
    1. Scan for the Perfect Spot
    2. Look for Materials
    3. Digging
    4. Bedding
    5. Roofing

Dugout Survival Shelter | A Survival Life Guide

Emergency Dugout Shelter

Dugout houses make you invisible to trouble such as wild animals, and they also naturally stabilize heat, serving as your protection. Various stories will tell us about how people survived by living in pit-houses.

Even soldiers who were away on war lived in a dugout for some time. This survival shelter is flexible for any kind of situation.

With the proper design and structure, it will help you survive. In order for you to create a dugout area in case SHTF, we share a helpful survival life guide.

Scan for the Perfect Spot

A dugout on the green hills in the forest | How To Create A Dug Out Survival Shelter
You’re going to be digging a lot so make sure the soil is not too sandy because it could break apart easily. Look for a ground where the soil holds together firmly.

Avoid building around bodies of water. You might accidentally create a hole allowing the water to flow in your dugout house.

Look for Materials

Aside from your survival kit, you need something strong and sharp to break the ground and a shovel — or you can make use of your hands for digging.

Make sure you have a sharp material for cutting branches or scout for available ones scattered in the area. Collect leaves or debris as your roofing material.


You’re going to dig a lot so expect to get all worked up. Dig a furrow about 8 to 10 feet deep or until space is big enough for you and your company to fit in.

Make sure to leave a slope or space as your entrance and exit pathway.

RELATED: How To Build DIY Survival Shelters To Survive Through The Night


Add debris and leaves inside your shelter so you won’t sleep on the cold hard floor (err, dirt). Create a nest-like crib (a dugout mattress!) that suits your comfort level.

This will also add up to the heat requirement your body demands.


Put in logs or branches over the furrow you made. Also, add enough leaves and debris to cover it all up.

This will serve as a camouflage for your dugout shelter, keeping you safe from the elements. Your entrance and exit pathway must remain uncovered for a quick escape in times of risk or even serve as a space for your bonfire.

Watch this video to learn how to make a proper dugout survival shelter:

During a pressing situation, a dugout shelter can be your best bet for survival. This temporary housing is quite easy to build while you’re out in the wilderness.

Sure, you’ll get worked up as you dig for your temporary home but a dugout shelter can be a great option to protect you from all the elements outdoors.

Have you tried building a dugout shelter before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!


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How To Create A Dug Out Survival Shelter |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 10, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This article was originally published on Survival Life

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