Prepper Book Festival 10: Complete Survival Shelters Handbook

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Prepper Book Festival 10: Complete Survival Shelters Handbook

Water, food, fire, and shelter are considered the four basic human necessities.  Bloggers tend to focus on the first three because they are easy to research, test, and write about.  But what about shelter?  As much as we all hope we can hunker down in place following a disaster or disruptive event, the truth of the matter is that there may be a time when you have to flee and find shelter elsewhere.

In a worse case scenario (including but not limited to Camp FEMA), would you know how to build a shelter that will keep you warm and safe until danger passes?  After all, lack of shelter can kill you in days, and sometimes hours.

Complete Survival Shelters Handbook | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I would like to present the next book in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare.  Written by wilderness expert, journalist, and author Anthonio Akkermans, The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook is a gem.  It takes you through building various types of shelters starting with the most primitive hand built shelters to tents and other modern store-bought shelters.

Complete Survival Shelters Handbook | Backdoor Survival

This is all great stuff but the highlight is the hundreds of photographs that allow you to follow along and really learn as you go.  There is something for everyone, regardless of climate or geographical locale.

Today I share an interview with Anthonio Akkermans, the author The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook.  In addition, I have three copies of his book up for grabs in the latest Prepper Book Festival giveaway..

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Anthonio Akkermans Author of The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

It’s a book about shelter, starting with clothes and sleeping gear, journeying through so-called “primitive” hand-built all-natural shelters and home-build projects such as the Mongolian Gher/Yurt.  It finishes with modern shelter equipment such as hiking tents, hammock “tents” and family sized bell-tents.

It also deals with improving comfort, such as the correct use of emergency blankets, improving your campfire and building your own mattresses.

Shelter comes first in order of priority on anyone’s list of survival priorities, whether they be out for a long camping trip or surviving natural or man-made disasters.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

Actually, very little as a direct consequence of writing this book. I write the way I teach. I only teach subjects I am intimately familiar with and have mastered through experience. Without this mastery, a book might lack depth or miss important points that a more experienced person would have learned through trial and error.

On the other hand, I have spent most of my life learning skills and knowledge from others who went before me, whether it’s through their books, courses or personal interaction. As such, the process which led to this book started with learning what others had to teach, internalizing the knowledge, mastering the skills, adding knowledge gained through experience of every-day use of the skills, learning some more from others, and so on.

I have no doubt that if I were to write a future edition of the same book, it would be even richer and deeper.

How long did it take to write?

It didn’t take too long to write. I find it hard to give an exact figure, because I didn’t sit down behind my computer and get up three weeks later with a finished manuscript. instead, it was an hour here or there over the space of a few months.

While the writing was easy and fast, the photographs were not. The book contains hundreds of step-by-step photographs that had to show the step accurately in a way that would show the reader clearly what was intended.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

The message I keep coming back to is that these skills have to be learned through practice. Sure, a lot of knowledge can be gained by reading books such as these, but that knowledge will not be enough when it really matters.

People will have to go out and practice the skills they read about. They need to internalize them, master them and make them their own. This applies even more so when the skills are needed during times of immense pressure and stress.

It’s all great building that shelter on a sunny day, but how about that car crash during a blizzard with night fast approaching?

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I started on this path when, as a young teenager, I met a man who taught me through his school and encouraged me to teach the skills on through a youth group. Years later, as a young adult, I moved to Northern Ireland, where I started my own school.

In the years since that first youth group, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel around the world, teaching primitive skills and learning more skills myself in the process. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to experience searing deserts, damp rainforest and the freezing sub-arctic regions and see the skills work there.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

It sounds a bit cliché, but a person tries to prepare for everything and nothing at the same time.

I am fortunate to live in a country that has very little exposure to adverse natural disaster. And though there are still lingering consequences of the so-called “Troubles”, Northern Ireland is a very safe place to live.

What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could go wrong in the outdoors?

“Into the Wild” is a fair account of the type of incident that is most likely to befall the unprepared traveler or survivalist. It’s the small things that we would be most at risk of.

I mean, the chances of being in a plane crash in a big wilderness are remote, whereas small mistakes made during a normal outing are much more likely.

In the story, the mistake is eating non-edible berries (a lack of knowledge). It could be something else such as spraining an ankle, losing a piece of equipment, breaking down in a vehicle, misjudging the incoming tide or similar that presages disaster.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yup.  I’m working hard on a book about fire with the same concept of starting simple and primitive and journeying to modern equipment, taking in the making of wood-burning stoves, pit-fires and similar.  I am also working on a book about hunting tools, beginning with traps and knapped tools through to bow & arrow as well as rifles etc.

Again, a journey from old to modern and everything in between.

The Giveaway

Anthonio and his publisher, Ulysses Press, have reserved three copies of The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook for this Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  This giveaway is only open residents of the United States.

The Final Word

My hope is that the most complicated homemade shelter you will ever need is one to protect you from a sudden rain squall.  The space blanket in your kit will serve you well in that regard.

On the other hand, the time may come when you need a more substantial shelter.  This book will teach you about all types of outdoor shelters, regardless of climate or wilderness situation. This is a fantastic book to include in your survival library!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Life-saving Structures for Every Climate and Wilderness Situation

You can survive a couple of weeks without food and a few days without water, but in some cases, you would be lucky to survive one night without shelter.

With structures ideally suited for any weather condition, this book presents emergency shelter designs built from a variety of elements, including 100 percent gathered items, a combination of natural and store-bought supplies, and even durable construction materials.

The author offers helpful tips and techniques for mastering your shelter-building skills, as well as tutorials on how to make basic tools, bedding, mattresses and other items to increase shelter comfort.

Packed with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photos, this all-encompassing primer teaches you how to construct a variety of lifesaving shelters, including:

Rock Shelter
Debris Hut
Bent Sapling Shelter
Snow Cave
Subterranean Shelter
Scandinavian Lavvu
Basha/Tarp Shelter

For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival.

Into the Wild:  In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.  Also on DVD.

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Emergency Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

66 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 10: Complete Survival Shelters Handbook”

  1. Clicked on the link to register for the raffle but there was no way to register. It just said “this raffle has not started yet”

    • There was a delay in getting the Rafflecopter started this morning but it is now working. Sorry for the inconvenience; I hope you will try again.

  2. Oh my gosh! I am so happy to see this topic in a book. All in one place and portable. Books are so awesome because they can’t be damaged or rendered useless if and when the grid goes down. Shelter is my favorite survival subject and I fervently hope to win! Thank you Gaye for introducing another great author and highly relevant book!

  3. I have hunted and traveled the woods for years and often considered the possibilty I may need to stay a while — looking forward to the book

  4. I would like an additional copy of the SAS guide for my son to have, as well as a pair of comprehensive medical guides for my son and myself.

  5. I would like a seed saving book that is strictly how-to. Idiot-proof step-by-step instructions for harvesting, drying and storing each category of heirloom food plants. I have a seed book and it’s a classic but I simply could not find the nuts an bolts how-to steps. And now I can’t even find my book.

  6. I would like another foraging book. One that demonstrates how to prepare the food, such as acorns or roots, with NO kitchen, no supplemental kitchen foods or kitchen tools. Just you, a knife, a pot and fire, and maybe a tree stump for a cutting board. And how to rack up enough calories to stay alive. That’s why I mentioned acorns and roots.

    • It pays to research in my own Library. The classic book The Foragers Harvest by Samual Thayer has a chapter on cattails and how to harvest all their different parts at the right time. The pollen can actually be sifted, dried and saved. You need cheesecloth for the sifting and a plastic bottle for collection. Two items easy to carry in a bugout bag.

      Cattails are really important in the foraging world because you just can’t get enough calories from greens.

  7. A detailed book with color photos and habitats and seasons for foraging insects. Bugs are the only way for vegetarians to get B12 in the wild without hunting or fishing.

  8. Looking forward to reading the info. on FEMA camp “shelters”. Boy, I hope it does not come down to this. Appreciated the encouragement to practice! And appreciate the pictures it looks like the book is full of and I appreciate that the author actually has working knowledge of the subject… I hate fluff!

  9. A book devoted to water catchment and collection in the wild, on the east coast, and not just for weekend backpackers. All the water in my area is brackish. It is not a resource unless I buy and cache a distiller like the one on which Gaye featured a podcast some months ago. Yes, I know all these comments are just one entry. But it was such an amazing question. I could go on all day, but I won’t.

    It looks like I need to return to printing info off the internet and putting it in a binder. Mu topics are too narrow but this is a good start on a new research list!

    • Lisa,
      There are three Fox Fire books. They are invaluable to living in the wild. Try locating them at library book sales or ask for them for your birthday.

  10. A way to create a shelter is a biggie–I would also be interested in a book on edible wild plants and their preparation, if unusual, perhaps separated into regions… : )

  11. A book with good step by step directions and pictures for foraging. Also the same for skinning and preparing caught animals for eating.

  12. I would love a book on edible plants. One that tells what time of the year the plants grow. Where to look for them and definitely how to identify it. What plant could be mistaken for it and is there poisonous plants that look like it.

  13. This book on shelters sounds like a good book to add to my survival libary and a very important topic that I only know a little bit about.

  14. I don’t have a specific title, but could really use some good info on fishing and cleaning catch. Maybe someone here has a suggestion for a book for me.

  15. The biggest thing I’m lacking is survival medicine. It is something I tend not to think about (until I need it of course!)

  16. I am always looking for DIY books, especially survival and books on how they did things back in the old days. 1800’s and early 1900’s.

  17. I don’t have much information on dealing with possible home invasion protection or on escaping from a shooter/riot situation. It would be nice to have a book from an expert on these scenarios.

  18. I cannot think of a survival subject that I don’t have one or more books on right now. I can’t say my collection is all encompassing but I do have quite a few.

    I know for certain the survival shelter is covered in most of my survival style books but maybe not as comprehensively as this book.

  19. I have finally started feeling good about dinner of my preps, but shelter isn’t one of them. This looks like a great place to start!

  20. I am such a Petz when it comes to manly men building manly things. I wonder if this book could even help someone like me?!

  21. A book on edible wild plants specific to the southeast with good color photos would be nice to have and some on emergency medical procedures for a non-medical person.

  22. I need another book on foraging and waiting for the Idiot’s Guides: Foraging by Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen that releases in April. I also need more books on survival medicine.

  23. I live in the city so not sure I could build much of a shelter here. I have started acquiring the freebie kindle books on shelter so I can familiarize myself with it more. My issues would be more on how to keep myself safe in the emergency situations.

  24. I was going to say foraging/wild edibles, but now I’m too embarrassed to copy so many other posters. 🙂 How about forest management, pruning, tree selection, etc. instead?

  25. I like many others could really use1 or more books on foraging, especially with color pictures, and perhaps a good cookbook in the same vein.

  26. OH MY! So much to be read and so little time available. My stack grows larger. Dr Bones and Nurse Amy Med book for sure.

  27. I would love to have Dr. Bones medical book and a book on ‘What to do if a nuclear bomb is exploded in the US’. I’ve tried reading what I can find on nuclear events but need practical ideas that might give us some protection from area radiation.

  28. I really don’t have a large collection of survival type books, so this one would be a great addition to my meager collection!

  29. I’m just starting so I don’t have books yet, but I’d like a book on wild foods in my area that are safe to eat.

  30. I would love to see a practical guide to solar and root cellering . I know there are books out there on making my own solar collection systems but they start talking about volts , amps watts I get confused. I’m sorry to be such a “dummy” but due to an old head injury some things just don’t make sense to me no matter how hard I try.

  31. I would like to see more on information on Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets and INGENIOUS TIPS, TRICKS AND TECHNIQUES FOR TURNING ORDINARY OBJECTS INTO SURVIVAL GEAR.

  32. I don’t have any books on foraging for wild edibles. I think I haven’t been confident that I would truly be able to correctly identify plants from the illustrations/instructions. I would actually like to know the name of a very good/detailed one for the Texas Gulf Coast/East Texas area that is very EASY to follow/understand.

  33. A book that has pictures & complete information on what is edible if you are in the wild with no food.

    Thank you very much for the giveaways!

  34. Maybe not a “survival” book as such, but the FIREFOX series of books contain a wealth of information, much that can be considered as survival info.

  35. I’d like to find a book that lists good places to relocate after taking into account all emergency situations, such as nuclear power plant meltdowns, war, EMPs, water availability, solar power possibilities, areas prone to natural disasters, etc. But I’m even more eager to read this survival shelter book, which sounds very fascinating! If I don’t win it, I’ll buy it.

Leave a Reply