Wilderness Shelters from around the world

Here is a collection of some of my favorite wilderness shelters from around the world.

Navajo Hogan Shelter – A Hogan is a traditional Navajo home. They are traditionally constructed with thick wooden branches, tree bark and mud. They are still widely used in Navajo ceremonies.

A Navajo Hogan Shelter

Remote Fishing Hut Shelter

Fishing Hut Shelter

A fisherman’s hut at sea in Pangandaran

 A fisherman's hut in Pangandaran

A Shelter near the Famous Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail Shelter
Photo by jps246 @ Flickr

A Really nice Lean-To Shelter

Lean To
Photo by wheany @ Flickr

A natural Shelter out in the woods

Natural Shelter
Photo by brainsluice @ Flickr


  1. hermitjim
    February 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I’m thinking that I could get by in one of those…one o the perks o being single and lexible!

    • Joshua D...
      January 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Thought id share this interesting fact… If you build a lean to or another shelter where youll have the opportunity for an open wall near fire… If you can get ahold of a large sheet of plastic cover the open wall in plastic and build your fire a safe distance from the plastic itll actually allow the heat from the fire to enter your shelter and wont let it back out… this is simple physics but it works well… I heard if u cant use plastic thin cloth and other thin materials that can get warm to the touch near a fire will insulate vs the outside weather but will allow for heat transfer… Also i hear u can take metal conducting material and run in from inside your fireplace to the inside of your shelter and it will naturally beat a conduit for heat into your shelter… I have tested the plastic idea and its awesome havent tested the conductor… =P enjoy and practice!

      • Christolicblue
        September 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        I’ve tried the plastic idea and it worked amazingly… It was a warm evening, but that night turned out to drop down to around 15F. I had a 6×9 plastic painters drop sheet bundled in my pack and I strung it up to cover the open face of my lean-to and I am guessing it had to have been close to 70F degrees or more in there…. I was stripped to my undies in an hour and slept like a baby.

  2. OFFGRID Logo
    February 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    One of these shelters definitely seems like a stress free peaceful way to live

  3. shinerbock
    February 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I like that Navajo shelter, very cool. That seems pretty livable.

  4. Nature Kay
    July 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    these shelters look pretty cool – I could see myself living quite happily in one of them.

  5. mike paslay
    October 6, 2009 at 2:33 am

    does anyone no how to build this shelter it look like it wood be graet in the desart. can someone explain how thank mike.

  6. Voodoo
    April 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I like the Navajo one. It looks like it could be easily camo’d. It would definatly suck if there was a heavy downpour, it don’t look like it take that too well.

  7. Randy
    August 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Mike, it’s a basic wooden frame with clay and some basic branches to withstand the weight of the clay. I lived in one for a month in Moab Utah.

  8. Randy
    August 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Keep in mind, it’s a cerimonial shelter, showing respect for in the most general terms, Earth. It’s not truely a Hogan unless build to traditional specification.

  9. hayguiz
    October 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

    im doin the lean to 4 a skool project

  10. georgie richards
    October 26, 2010 at 2:06 am

    nice shelters
    mite even put some on my webbie some great shelters around the world

  11. Judy
    February 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    We have a lot of the “natural Shelter out in the woods”. However, they are usually very wet and come with occupying critters!

    • KenInCt
      April 16, 2015 at 9:05 am

      It looks like a bear den to me!

  12. ray
    February 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    The natural shelter could be a problem with dangerous critters that may already occupy it, if I could choose the Navajo shelter would be the best due to it being sealed.

  13. TheNorthernSurvivalist
    March 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I’m going to build that log cabin lean to.

  14. TheNorthernSurvivalist
    March 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    If the forest service green police find my cabin will they take me to the federal forced labor death camps? I need to cache a lot of food and gear. Only so much fits in even the larger (5000 – 6000 cubic inch) backpacks.

    • rev. dave
      September 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Don’t put it all in your cabin. If you’re near a scout camp, church camp, or even forest service buildings, you can bury stuff under those – assuming a crawl space. Under your own floor would work well too, as long as you can not leave a ‘door’ for anyone to find as a clue.

      Eric Rudolph had dynamite buried under a boy scout cabin. Those places are only occupied part of the year. If nothing else, build some cubbies into the ground as sturdy cache points, and bury those when they’re full. (yes, it means carrying in construction materials like cement, but its dependable long-term caching if done right)

      I’m not sure about this, but a milsurp steel container with gaskets might work well for long-term too. Pick a spot you can camo with rocks and shrubs, or under some wild rose bush, load the container, coat it generously with cosmoline or something similar, and just leave it there under a camo tarp in the hidden location. A year of two of leaves and it’ll be the next thing to invisible.

      Don’t hide anything too close to your cabin – but close enough to carry or drag it back when you need to get into it. Also close enough to protect with a rifle.

  15. Fish
    October 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Ok, This may sound weird but, I’m in HS and im alreading getting prepared. I notice the younger socites are very violent. So I love this website for buging out things. Heres a sugestion on if you in an area that has Either Birch Bark Trees or Clay. Take the idea from the Navajo and the lean to and combine them. Take the lean to and put clay or birch bark on on it so you could possible have a house thats well insilated from animals and somtimes insects. That was just a suggestion. =)

    • Joe
      July 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      You are not the only teen who is ready (and happily anticipating [not the people dying, just the fact that I can ‘live off the land’]) for the world to end.

  16. PD
    February 29, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I think we could all learn some necessary survival skills, shelter, food gathering and preparation from other cultures and societies. The shelters you have posted above are really cool.

  17. Brian
    August 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Back in the day when I took my vacations on a motorcycle, these were what I used instead of having to carry a tent. I travelled the Rocky Mountains, mostly, so material was plentiful. Lean-to’s or A-frames were the easiest, logs and branches. I stayed very warm and very dry. Usually left them standing for the next guy to use.

  18. Brian
    October 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    All those ideas sound very good. As a career firefighter be careful on the material you use and size when making the conduction heater from your fire pit or heater to inside your dwelling. The materials your dwelling is made of or the STUFF you bring along inside with you needs to be far enough away form the material that will help heat your dwelling

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