5 Ways to Build Shelter with a Survival Knife

While a survival knife is not a magical tool that enables its owner to possess superhuman abilities, never underestimate what a survival knife can help you accomplish in a survival situation.

The combination of practical survival skills and a quality survival knife could be the foundation to staying alive. Whether in the suburbs or backcountry, your survival knife should always be part of your survival gear.

5 Ways to Use Your Survival Knife When Building A Shelter

 The ability to build an emergency shelter is just one element of outdoor survival. When there is no place to escape the weather, building your own shelter is a must. Here are a few tips how your survival knife can assist you in building a shelter. 

1) Chopping

Before building some sort of emergency shelter you may need to clear small undergrowth from the area where you plan on building. This can be done with your survival knife by chopping off the small debris close to the ground. While you must be careful to keep the blade out of the dirt and conserve valuable energy, it may surprise you how much area you can clear by chopping. 

2) Batoning

When building any type of shelter, the need to cut small trees, branches or boughs will be necessary. By using a sturdy stick as a baton and ‘batoning with your survival knife, you can cut the poles and branches that will make up your shelter. Assuming your survival knife is of full tang construction, methodically batoning the wood in two can provide you with a means to build most any type of shelter. 

3) Sharpening 

If building a lean-to style shelter, you’ll need to sharpen small sticks to serve as stakes. By using your survival knife, you can sharpen any amount of poles or stakes. Sharpen the stakes where they can be driven into the ground easily, this will help to conserve energy when building along with providing ultimate stability for your shelter. 

4) Cutting 

Obviously cutting is a ‘survival knife 101’ skill. If you’re fortunate enough to have some sort of cordage when assembling your shelter, use your knife to cut the cordage. You can also use your knife to cut your drum liner and expand its size if needing a larger waterproof shelter. 

5) Notching 

When using cordage or tension to support your shelter, you may need to notch intersecting limbs or branches to provide stability. The notches will prevent cordage from slipping and limbs from moving. By taking the time to notch these areas with your survival knife, your shelter will be much more resilient in wind and weather. 


When building an emergency shelter, never underestimate your survival knife. While a survival knife can’t build the shelter on its own, your knife should be viewed as your trusted assistant.

A quality survival knife is one of the most important tools one can own. This vital piece of survival gear can make it easy to create a shelter in most any environment. 

Choose a quality survival knife from our vast selection and possess a confidence your life can depend on.  

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