The Devil’s in the details. We’ve all heard this saying at one point in our lives. But not many people will ever learn what it actually means… or even care to find out. However when it comes to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, you had better pay attention to the little things like finding water, food and shelter.

According to the rule of three, humans can survive without certain necessities for defined periods of time. For example; our bodies can generally survive three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food and three hours without shelter in a harsh environment. I want to examine how to avoid these pitfalls, and demonstrate what to do if you ever find yourself in one of these situations.

Of course, an individual can survive without shelter for longer in good weather. But when the weather turns inclement, the need for proper shelter becomes immediate. And if you have to deal with rain, a simple lean-to can be constructed.


The Lean-To: A very simple structure that uses three wooden poles and a layer of leaves and branches to make the roof. This shelter is very easy to assemble and provides great camouflage if you need to remain hidden. It’s also possible to build much lower to the ground, providing excellent cover from passer-bys or the occasional zombie. However, this shelter does not provide much respite from the wind and snow that you may encounter. So if you are in need of shelter from a particularly snowy environment, your best bet would be to find a way to block the wind; such as a wall of sticks, spruce or pine branches… even a snowy wall itself. For a more long-term solution a snow cave can be built.

Snow Cave
The Snow Cave: While this type of shelter can take hours to build, it is certainly one of the best for long stays in frozen areas. The graphic above shows a detailed image depicting what a snow cave should look like. Building this sort of shelter takes practice, but you could do it if you absolutely had to. Remember to never give up and improvise! Another simple snow shelter involves finding a tree and digging down and around it. Of course this takes much less skill and time, but it also offers much less in the way of functionality and protection. However, you must do what you have to in order to survive!

Snow+Pit Cave

Other Shelters: These are just some of the shelters that you can utilize if you are in a situation that calls for either immediate shelter, or if you have some time, much more complex shelter. Of course there are many more makeshift shelters that you can build, so these are just a few suggestions. But if you plan on surviving in the wilderness, I highly recommend that you do a little research to find a shelter that you can easily build at home for practice before eventually branching out into more advanced shelters.

I understand that there are MANY types of shelter available if you ever find the need for one. However, three hours can seem like an eternity without an adequate shelter! And in my opinion, the shelters listed above are some of the best to offer adequate protection while stranded for a long period of time in harsh weather.

I hope that this article helps you to choose a shelter when you need it most. And if you have any other questions or suggestions that you would like me to review, please leave a comment below and I will get right on it! There will be many videos coming on these survival topics and more, so stay tuned. And as always; what you don’t know can eat you!

Cameron Carlson is a ZRS Board Member.  Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comments below!


  1. I’m wondering if zombies would even be able to sustain in the extreme cold and snow?

    • Max Brooks in World War Z believes that they would bog down and stop. We believe he is correct. He is also correct that they would just start up again in the spring (because they would not die over the cold spell).

      • Thanks for reply. I came to same conclusion. 🙂

      • Joshua Wiebelhaus

        I have a theory that they might hibernate like bears and squirrels making piles of leaves and going into a stasis even a virus can be affected by by repeated freezing and thawing so it would want to preserve itself, then if it heard anyone on the snow it could come out of its hibernation and attack them from under the snow covered piles of leaves.

  2. Ty… These are really helpful.

    • Cameron A. Carlson, LT


      I am glad you like these. I truly hope that they help and anything shelter wise you would like to know, please let me know! Thank you for reading my articles!



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