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Constructing a Shelter From Natural Materials: A Guide for JLBC Cadet Corps

Title: Constructing a Shelter From Natural Materials: A Guide for JLBC Cadet Corps

The Junior Leader Battalion Cadet (JLBC) Corps is a respected organization that prepares young people to become leaders and responsible citizens by nurturing discipline, teamwork, and survival skills. One crucial skill that all cadets learn is constructing a shelter from natural materials. This is not just a test of their survival skills but also an opportunity to understand and appreciate the resources provided by nature. This article offers a comprehensive guide for JLBC Cadets on constructing a shelter from natural materials.

Understanding the Importance

Before delving into the procedure, it is crucial to understand why constructing a shelter from natural materials is an essential survival skill. A cover can protect you from harsh weather conditions and wild animals and even provide psychological comfort in challenging circumstances. Finding or building a shelter should be a priority when lost or stranded in a remote location, preferably before nightfall.

Location Selection

The first step in building a shelter is to find a suitable location. Ideally, look for a place that is flat, dry, and has enough materials to build a shelter. Avoid low-lying areas prone to flooding, areas with falling rocks, or locations near insect nests or animal territories.

Types of Natural Shelters

Different types of natural shelters can be constructed depending on the environment and available resources.

  1. Lean-to Shelter: A lean-to is a simple yet effective shelter that can be built using branches, leaves, and vines. First, find a long, sturdy unit to act as the ridgepole and prop one end on a tree or rock. Then, lean smaller branches against the ridgepole and cover them with leaves, moss, or grass for insulation.

  2. Debris Hut: This is a more enclosed version of the lean-to, ideal for colder climates. Construct it like a lean-to but add more branches, leaves, and debris on the sides and top to increase insulation. The entrance should be small to conserve heat.

  3. Snow Cave: A snow cave can provide excellent insulation if you're in a snowy environment. Start digging into a snowbank, ensuring the entrance tunnel ascends to the main chamber to trap warm air.

Building Your Shelter

Having chosen the type of shelter you want to construct, here are the general steps you should follow:

  1. Collect materials: Gather all the necessary materials - branches, leaves, vines, snow, etc.

  2. Construct the framework: This will depend on the type of shelter you're building. For a lean-to, set up the ridgepole and spindly branches against it. Set up a triangular framework for a debris hut using two long components and a ridgepole. For a snow cave, dig into a snowbank.

  3. Insulate: Once the framework is ready, start insulating your shelter. Use leaves, moss, grass, or snow, depending on your location. Remember, the more protected your protection, the warmer it will be.

  4. Check for stability: After building your shelter, it's essential to check for peace. Ensure it's sturdy enough to withstand wind and won't collapse.

  5. Create a bed: Use leaves or branches to keep off the cold ground.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a warm, dry, and safe shelter.


Building a shelter from natural materials is a valuable skill for JLBC Cadets. It teaches resourcefulness, problem-solving, and a greater appreciation for nature. Not only are these shelters potential lifesavers in survival situations, but the process of constructing them also instills practical knowledge and skills that last a lifetime.

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