Shelter Archives


In this survival debate I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having to carry a tent or a tarp in your Bug Out Bag or as part of your survival gear. The choice is left up to personal preference. Before making a decision it is important to ask yourself if you prefer the comfort of a tent and are willing to live with managing it’s size and carrying it’s weight, or are you more concerned with saving room in your bag and suppose a small lightweight tarp is appropriate for survival mode.




  • Great Weather Protection
  • Guards Against Insects
  • Simple to Set Up
  • Stands On It’s Own
  • Waterproof
  • Recommended Survival Tents


  • Heavy
  • Cumbersome
  • Not a Versatile
  • More Expensive




  • Much Lighter than a Tent
  • Totally Versatile
  • Inexpensive
  • Recommended Survival Tarps


  • External Supports are Required
  • Not Great Weather Protection
  • Does Not Guard Against Insects

Another view from the middle

The thought here is that one should consider taking both a tent and a tarp. At least having one shelter is certainly a necessity. Having two kinds of shelter provides you with a lot of options and many would benefit form this choice. Given the low cost of a tarp it makes perfect sense to have one of each shelter tied to your bug out bag.

Problem: How do you accommodate a large group or family?

This is question worth pondering. A reliable product I discovered is a dome shelter system that accommodates up to 40 adults depending on the size of the shelter.  Check them out by clicking here.

tarp over tent

What are your thoughts?

My choice is at least for now is to carry a tent. Having protection from weather conditions and insects is very important to me. Protection against the elements overshadows the issue of a tents size and weight for me. Considering a tarp when camping for long periods of time might prove to be unbearable and potentially dangerous.

If you chose to take a tent let me know about it, and discuss how and why you chose your tent. If you chose to only take a tarp let me know about it, and discuss how and why or was it because you haven’t purchased a tent.


Choosing the type of base camp you need is depends on your gear and your present situation. The following four types of survival base shelter ranging from permanent defensible shelters to overnight emergency camps.

Nomad Shelter

The Nomad style base camp works well for groups who choose remote locations, set up shelters or tents, and enclose a small population. Some Nomad base camps go as far as erecting a large tent for group meetings with smaller tents set up around it for individual families.

In very little time from start to finish the Nomad camp can be assembled. It only takes about two to three hours to set up as well as break down.  There are numerous family survival shelters to choose from which are perfect for large groups and are available to purchase.

  • The advantages of the Nomad style base camp: They set up quickly and they can house an entire community.
  • The disadvantages of the Nomad style base camp: They can be difficult to defend and they are not permanent.

Bunker Shelter

With a permanent shelter that is hidden from everyone but you and your group, the bunker base camp is considerably harder to create because it requires a particular type of land. It requires land far off the beaten path and it is difficult to keep the construction of such a bunker base quiet without everyone knowing it exists.

To create a proper bunker basecamp requires capital, labor and upkeep. Many choose this type of shelter, as it is good for keeping people and their stuff hidden. It also is the most defensible design for shelter with advantageous positioning and limited entrances.

  • The advantages of the Bunker style base camp: They are fortified, are completely defensible, and can be disguised or hidden.
  • The disadvantages of the Bunker style base camp: They are difficult to construct, can be expensive to create, and normally require your own land.

Permanent Shelter

If you own land off the beaten path and just want to get out before the S@#$ hits the fan, the Permanent style base camp is perfect for you. The permanent base camp often resembles a home complete with walls and a roof. They are often confused with outdoorsman hunting cabins. They should be easily accessible however not out in the open exposed for all to see. They are simpler to build but more difficult than the bunker to hide.

  • The advantages of the permanent style base camp: They provide great protection from the elements and they are fairly defensible.
  • The disadvantages of the permanent style base camp: They are expensive, are not easily disguised or hidden and they require your own land.

Emergency Shelter

water-shelterAnd Emergency shelter base camp is frequently found near a survival reserve. This is a location where all the essentials are taken care of like shelter, weapons, water collecting equipment and three days worth of food. This kind of camp is temporary and made in order to transition to a more permanent suitable long-term location. Emergency shelters are good for those of us who want to Bug Out quickly and without a second thought.

  • The advantages of the emergency style base camp: They are fast to set up, easily hidden, and inexpensive to build.
  • The disadvantages of the emergency style base camp: They are temporary sites, are not easily defended, and have limited supplies

What More?

There are many other types of shelter which I am missing I am sure but these are the first few that come to mind when thinking about The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI).  If you have any other types of urban survival camps let me know.

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