There are a number of primitive shelters that are quick and simple to build, and many of them will do a more than adequate job of protecting you against cold weather.
But what if you have the opposite problem? You want to stay out of the sun and prevent illness through heat stroke, but you only have the kind of rudimentary supplies you can carry in your Vanquest Messenger Bag. Do you dig down? Or build up?
Dug Out vs Lean to
The simplest structures you can build to protect you from the elements are the dug out and the lean to. The dug out has the advantage of getting you below ground level and into the cool of the earth. However, digging down could prove far too strenuous in hot weather.
The lean to, on the other hand, is probably the simplest structure known to man and can easily be adapted to local materials. Quick to erect, the lean to shelter will get you out of the heat as quickly as possible, providing much needed shade and shelter.
The Easy Way to Create a Lean to Shelter
If you’ve packed a tarp, twine or rope and a knife in your Vanquest Messenger Bag then this shelter could take just minutes to build. Simply secure cords to each corner and sling the tarp or space blanket between two trees, then secure using twigs as tent pegs.
If you want something a little more robust, first you’ll need to create the backbone of the lean to shelter, which could be as simple as a pole slung between two tree trunks. For more stability, try building tripods from sturdy sticks and lashing the pole between them. Now lean bundles of sturdy sticks and branches against the cross pole at an angle to create the body of the shelter. Lash them into place for something longer lasting. Finally, use leaves to cover your shelter to provide extra insulation and stability.
Whenever you’re out hiking or cycling it pays to be prepared. A sturdy messenger bag is lightweight and robust. Pack it with a smartphone, a good knife and a lighter and you’ll be surprised at what you can deal with.