Rocky overhangs, ledges, depressions in the rock face and caves can be excellent survival shelters. They can also be enhanced in a variety of ways to make a better and more effective shelter using additional brush, sticks and tree limbs, etc. that may be available in the area. Even if there are no additional materials available they can be a much better alternative than being openly exposed to the elements.
Natural shelters can quite often satisfy the basic shelter needs in a survival situation. The primary purpose of any survival shelter is to help you preserve body heat by protecting you from the elements of nature. Being protected from the wind, rain, sun or cold will be necessary in order to preserve your body heat and help you avoid the effects of hypothermia which is a major killer in survival situations.
Simple Survival Tips for Using Natural Shelters
1.) Avoid spots where you might get wet. Check for signs of water stains, running water etc. that may become a problem.
2.) Check to make sure there are no present occupants residing in the area. Most wildlife will react unkindly towards you if you invade their home or try to evict them.
3.) Always insulate yourself from the ground to avoid the loss of body heat.
4,) Use only the minimum amount of space needed. You’ll have a smaller area to heat in order to preserve body heat if no fire is available.
5.) If you do have the ability to make a fire, make sure you have adequate ventilation.
Any type of survival shelter in a wilderness setting has to be able to preserve your body heat and protect you from the elements of nature.
Staying above the water line!