How to Build a Survival Shelter

Survivalist Magazine, issue #3
Survivalist Magazine, issue #3

Be sure to check out my article “How to Build a Survival Shelter” at that just came out in issue #3. Here’s an extract from the article.

When I designed this survival shelter, I had four key concepts in mind: practicality, simplicity, safety and cost. Each concept is discussed in more detail below.

Round structures enclose more space for a given amount of materials. There are no dead corners or wasted space. Round earthbag structures are the easiest shape to build. Poly tubes (the easiest and fastest method) or poly bags (lower cost if recycled and suitable for someone working alone) are easily shaped into curved or round shapes.

Another main advantage is simplicity of construction. What could be simpler than filling and stacking bags of earth? Almost everything you need to know is freely available on the Internet. The main skills can be learned in a few minutes simply by being shown or watching a video. My Naturalhouse YouTube channel shows all steps of construction. And most people already have the basic tools around the house – shovels, buckets, garden hose, ladder. The other few tools required can be easily made or purchased inexpensively.

Round structures are inherently stronger than rectilinear structures. This means the enormous forces of soil against walls below grade (many tons of pressure) will be transferred around the structure. This concept is often stated “round is sound.”

For the complete article How to Build a Survival Shelter, order issue #3 at

Earthbag Survival Shelter (described in the article at Survivalist Magazine)
Triple Dome Survival Shelter
Two-story Roundhouse above Survival Shelter
On the drawing board: Tornado/Hurricane Shelter (inspired by my Mother Earth News earthbag dome)
You can view all 120 home and shelter designs at Earthbag House Plans.

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