Native Americans and aboriginal people everywhere survived, and often thrived, because of their wealth of common sense and backbone. Being a Neolithic man in North America or elsewhere could be a hard-scrabble proposition, with no room for the weak and scant tolerance for doing things that did not work. Generation after generation was taught how to do things the old way, because the old way was proven to work with the resources they had. Shelters built with the tried-and-true techniques and materials of Native Americans-and even those who came before them on this continent-still work. In Bare-Handed Survival Shelters, author Fred Demara, author of Eating on the Run and Survival Guide to Edible Insects, teaches what has been proven to work for improvised shelters, because learning by trial and error is too costly in a survival scenario. Building emergency shelters starts with knowing what can be done and then learning the expedient way to do it. Odds are in your favor that these largely forgotten techniques will get you through, even if you start bare-handed, regardless of whether you need to survive a few hours, overnight, or for an extended period.
Demara shows you how to make tools from whatever is available, select the proper site for your shelter, and match the type of shelter you need to the terrain, climate, and native materials. The simplicity of these ancient construction methods illustrates the most essential survival lesson of all: the importance of knowing you can do it, deciding that you will do it, and then getting on with it. "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt