Find Natural Protections in the Wild: 12 Natural Shelters That Can Save Your Life

Exploring the great outdoors comes with its share of risks and uncertainties. When it comes to survival in the wild, finding adequate shelter is paramount to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions and potential dangers. While carrying proper camping gear is always recommended, there may be instances where you must rely on the resources nature provides. In this blog, we will delve into 12 natural shelters and how to find natural protections in the wild. 

12 Natural Shelters to Save Your Life in the Great Outdoors

You might want to know why you need to find natural protections in the wild. This can potentially save your life in the wild. These remarkable structures offer protection and can significantly increase your chances of survival when you find yourself far from civilization. Also, do not forget the essentials when you are preparing to go on hiking


Caves are nature’s ready-made shelters, often found in mountains, cliffs, or underground. They offer a natural enclosure that can shield you from extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, strong winds, or blistering heat. Caves may also provide protection from predators, allowing you to rest and regroup.

Rock Overhangs

Similar to caves, rock overhangs provide a viable shelter option. Look for large rocks or cliff faces with protruding ledges that create a protective barrier. These overhangs offer refuge from rain, snow, or intense sunlight, keeping you dry and reducing your exposure to the elements.

Fallen Trees

Trying to find natural protections in the wild? When stumbling upon a fallen tree, take advantage of its natural structure. Hollowed-out trunks or the space beneath branches can serve as temporary shelters. They provide overhead coverage and insulation, offering protection from rain, snow, and wind. Make sure to assess the stability of the tree before taking shelter underneath.

Tree Crotches

Tree crotches, formed by the V-shaped junction between two branches, can offer unexpected security in the wild. Find a sturdy crotch and utilize it as a platform to construct a makeshift roof using branches, leaves, and bark. This improvised shelter can shield you from rain and wind, providing temporary relief.

Thick Bushes

Dense thickets or bushes can create a natural barrier against the elements. Unable to find natural protections in the wild? Look for areas with thick vegetation and crawl into the center. The dense foliage acts as a shield, protecting you from wind and rain and providing some privacy.

Large Rocks

Massive boulders or rock formations can act as natural windbreakers. Position yourself behind these rocks to minimize wind exposure. By finding a sheltered spot, you can reduce the risk of hypothermia and ensure your safety in adverse weather conditions.


Cliffs or bluffs with overhangs provide excellent natural shelters. They offer protection from wind, rain, and even potential predators. Seek out a bluff with an overhang and position yourself underneath, taking advantage of the natural shielding it provides.

Hollow Stumps

Encountering a large hollow stump can be a fortunate discovery in the wild. These stumps often provide a dry and sheltered space to rest and recover. Take care to ensure the stability of the stump before using it as a shelter.

Thickets and Brambles

Overgrown thickets and brambles can act as natural barriers, providing both shelter and camouflage. Find a safe passage into the thicket and create a cozy space within the tangled branches. This can protect you from wind and rain and provide some level of concealment.

Crevices and Gullies

Narrow crevices or gullies found in rocky terrains can offer natural refuge. Seek out these features and position yourself within them. The narrow space provides protection against the elements, including wind and rain, and can give you a sense of safety in the wild.

Cliffside Caves

Can you find natural protections in the wild? In hilly or mountainous regions, cliffs often conceal small caves that can be utilized as shelters. These caves can offer protection from harsh weather conditions, acting as natural windbreakers and providing insulation. They can be particularly useful for resting or waiting for rescue.

Thick Forests

Vast forests with dense tree canopies can shield you from rain and intense sunlight. Look for areas with thick foliage and arrange branches or leaves as a ground cover for added insulation. This natural roof can protect you from precipitation and provide a comfortable resting place.


What is the best natural shelter if lost in the wild?

When lost in the wild and in need of immediate shelter, the best option would depend on the specific terrain and resources available. However, if we consider a general scenario, one of the most reliable natural shelters when lost outdoors is to find natural protections in the wild. Also, you must be prepared to fight against any wilderness disaster.

Caves offer several advantages that make them an ideal choice for shelter:

  • Protection from the elements: Caves provide a natural enclosure that shields you from rain, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures. The cave’s walls offer insulation, helping to maintain a more comfortable environment.
  • Safety from predators: Many animals seek shelter in caves, so it’s less likely that dangerous wildlife will enter. Finding a secure cave minimizes the risk of encounters with potentially threatening animals.
  • Ready-made structure: Caves require minimal effort to set up as shelters since they already provide a substantial portion of the structure. With a cave, you have a roof over your head, eliminating the need to construct a temporary shelter from scratch.
  • Dry environment: Caves often have relatively dry floors, reducing the risk of hypothermia or getting soaked in wet conditions. This can be crucial in situations where finding dry ground is challenging.

It’s important to note that not all caves are suitable for shelter. Before entering a cave, make sure to assess its safety and stability. Look for signs of instability, such as loose rocks or cracks in the ceiling. Be cautious of any potential hazards and consider the size and accessibility of the cave to ensure it meets your needs.


Knowing where to find natural shelters can significantly impact your survival in the wild. Remember that these shelters are typically temporary solutions until help arrives or until you can establish a more permanent camp. Prioritizing your safety and ensuring you possess adequate survival skills and knowledge before venturing into the wilderness is essential. 

By being aware of your surroundings and utilizing the available resources, you can greatly enhance your chances of survival in challenging situations. Stay prepared, respect nature, and embark on a memorable and safe outdoor adventure!