Camping & Survival

5 Ways to Stay Active in a Survival Shelter

Survival Shelter Active

A survival shelter is far smaller than the accommodations you’re likely used to. There isn’t much space to move around while you’re waiting out an SHTF scenario, so it’s easy to get lazy, lethargic and sedentary.

But what happens when other people discover your hideaway? Or you have to escape for a different reason? You’ll have wished you spent more time lifting weights and jogging in place.

That said, you have simple (even fun) ways of staying fit inside a survival shelter. You can ensure your ongoing athleticism by committing yourself to a few compact routines. You don’t need much equipment.

With that in mind, here are five ways to preserve your health when all hell breaks loose.

1. Yoga and Stretching

Even if flexibility isn’t your forte, daily yoga and stretching can work wonders in keeping your body strong and limber. And the best part is all you need is a good five-by-two-foot area of floor space.

Practice some basic poses like downward dog or warrior one. Reach down and touch your toes. Stretch as high as you can and lean side to side.

These exercises can be as light or as intense as you wish, increasing range of motion and reducing aches and pains.

Survival Shelter Active - Yoga
Practice yoga, stretching or even meditation to keep your body and mind in shape.

2. Bodyweight Exercises

Once again, all you need for this activity is your body and a similar amount of space. Create your own routine based on which part of the body you’d prefer to work the most.

Practice planks, push-ups, arm circles and handstands if you’re able to strengthen your arms. And do crunches, leg raises or mountain climbers to fire up your core.

Lunges, high knees, squat jumps and calf raises are good for your legs and work in a bit of cardio as well.

push ups survival shelter
Push-ups can build your core strength, whether you do it inside or outside the survival shelter.

3. Cardio

Jumping jacks, running in place and burpees are all effective ways to add cardio to your routine. As certified personal trainer Andy Nieradko once said:

“Exercise is really anything that gets your heart rate elevated… It’s doing a little work to open up those channels.”

With that in mind, spread out cardio throughout the day. It’s cumulative. If you want to do 10 minutes of exercise in the morning and five minutes here or there, it’ll add up throughout the day and have you feeling better.

You don’t have to set aside a significant amount of time to see results.

Exercises like burpees can get the blood pumping when you have only a little space to work with.

4. Lifting Anything Heavy

If you’d like to add more resistance to your exercise, feel free to add in weights. What? You didn’t bring dumbbells with you? No problem. There are many different items you likely did bring along that are just as effective.

Lift heavy parcels, cans of food or even large rocks from outside to work your arms. Or, use survival gear like a paracord or sling as a jump rope. You can even utilize chairs, benches or logs to practice tricep dips, oblique twists or seated press-ups.

canned goods
Canned goods are a great weight replacement.

5. Wall Workouts

If your shelter happens to have a stable wall, you can use it to stay active by incorporating it into your exercise routine. Wall sits, push-ups and pikes are all excellent exercises to practice against a wall.

You can also use a tree in place of a wall. It just might not be as comfortable. Whatever you choose, use the wall to stretch your calves or arms or relieve back pain with your legs vertically up the wall.

wall workouts
Any wall can be a workout opportunity.

Conclusion: Do What You Can

Exercising daily will help you stay active, get better sleep, improve your mood and boost your energy, all of which are extremely beneficial in an outdoor environment.

Even if you are cooped up in a survival shelter with limited resources and space, you can reap the benefits of exercise if you make staying active a priority.

At the risk of sounding cliché, where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want to build strength, flexibility and stamina in a confined area, you’ll find a way to do it.

That being said, the next time you trek into the wilderness and pitch your shelter, look for ways to maximize your space and make room for exercise.

You may discover nature to be the ultimate playground as you use your imagination to create new methods and utilize new tools to stay active and healthy.

survival shelter
Some survival shelters are pretty small, but you can still stay active.

Do you have any survival shelter tips? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

Dylan Bartlett

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about the outdoors, survivalism and similar topics on his blog. He's an avid hiker and enjoys roughing it in unfamiliar territory. Check out Just a Regular Guide to read more of his work, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for updates.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. Can’t believe you forgot pull-ups! Any solid tree limb or roof beam is good for throwing a rope over and pulling yourself up on. Trees can also be climbed, of course, which is probably a good ability to have when whatever you’re hiding from catches up to you. An eye bolt high up on a wall can also serve as a mount for the rope.

  2. If you need instructions to workout in a small area, just leave & go for a long run 😁😁😁
    Simple: your body weight & gravity.

  3. I’ve not been in a survival shelter but a bunker on a remote outpost. We used ammo cans for behind the head triceps, elevated pushups and upper body twist. We also did buddy workouts using their body weight. It’s a good time to amp up the cardio then sudden stop and focus on dry fires too. Your weapon is also a good workout tool as well.

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