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How To Create A Wilderness Dugout Survival Shelter | Survival Life



Feature | A pit-house on the edge of the forest | How To Create A Dug Out Survival Shelter

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.


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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


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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.


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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.

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  2. Mike

    October 26, 2017 at 10:16 PM

    That was one of the worst articles and how-to’s I’ve ever read. Honestly.

    • Anonymous

      July 11, 2018 at 7:22 AM

      Absolutely in agreement.

    • Anonymous

      July 14, 2018 at 9:50 AM


    • Anonymous

      May 21, 2019 at 12:19 PM

      Yes. Waste of time.

  3. Anonymous

    January 18, 2018 at 9:11 PM

    ds stands for DOGSHIT

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  7. Robert

    July 11, 2018 at 7:18 AM

    This was absolutely the stupidest thing I’ve seen on your site Besides the crappy content a dugout is usually in the side of a hill, mountain, or even a hummock. What a load of horse doo-doo. I’m scared to even read the next article

    • Anonymous

      July 11, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      Total b.s. on dug out instruction. Stop this nonsense otherwise you lose readers. Where i **DUG OUT**??

  8. Kahn

    July 11, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    moronic… from the pics….. that is certainly not “dugout”. I knew I was reading a millenial version when one pic proudly showed one of those oh so stupid and mindless toy “spinners” sitting on top of gear….. on top of that…. use your hands to dig a dugout or trench in clay????? really????? obviously….. this city boy has never dug anything with his hands…… that is 3 minutes that I will NEVER get back….

  9. Anonymous

    July 11, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    People if you want educated rest of us, do it properly and with knowledge.
    This time on DUG OUT theme you made BOO-BOO like having constipation!
    DUG OUT is dig out not lean-too……Use writer with practical experiences in craft not wannabes
    Try not insult our intelligence by publishing idiotic b.s. by intellectually challenged, who have no clue what they write. Some DUG OUTS are fantastic homes in ground learn how to.
    One more b.s. story like this one I will no longer open your mail. Amateurs.

  10. c

    July 11, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    That article had no value

  11. Anonymous

    July 11, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    When reading this article I kept thinking “is this a joke?”. Please use creditable writers and sources, not junk like this article.

  12. buck

    July 11, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    now please go and find a good article on how to build an in ground shelter ! and for god’s sake an article that use’s pick and shovel and not our hands !

  13. SLP

    July 11, 2018 at 9:22 PM

    this really sucked! No merit to nothing!

  14. Tallis

    July 11, 2018 at 11:23 PM

    Agree with the comments above. Nonsense.

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  16. Methane Creator

    July 13, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    Okay, the article was not well written, nor contain factual uses in building one. Instead of offering criticism, how about writing about how you would do it. I need info on survival, not critiques.

  17. Richard Warren Schultze

    August 3, 2018 at 9:05 PM

    what is your purpose? Need Cover (protection from bullets)or concealment(to not be seen) that’s just camouflage. Find a depression, and lay in it, instant slight protection. As time allows look for a location which provides you some observation of the area, and dig in a good foxhole dig a trench next to it to sleep in, One sleeps, one observes. as time allows build overhead cover if you are not interested in cover and concealment in a cold climate dig in, in a tropical climate sleep off the ground.

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  20. maddddoggg

    June 24, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Dig an 8-10 ft deep hole and don’t mention shoring it.
    That’s just called a deep grave.

  21. Jim Gregg

    September 12, 2019 at 8:28 AM

    A Foxhole. That’s basically a dugout shelter. Place limbs above it to provide a roof and allow you look out for enemies or for inclement weather. The best type utilizes a central canal with ledges to each side so that water is at the lowest point and it allows you to sleep in a dry area.

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