Build a Hidden Bushcraft Shelter and Stay Invisible

by | Sep 25, 2020 | Shelter

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So, you want to build a hidden bushcraft shelter? 

Hey, were’ not here to judge you. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to get off the grid, and it’s nobody else’s business but your own. Which is why we’ve decided to fully break down how you can remain almost completely invisible when you’re out in the wilderness.

Why Make Your Shelter Invisible?

Building an invisible shelter doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a criminal on the run. Maybe you prefer to lay low for a while, and don’t want people to find you. Maybe you’re tired of being around people, and just want to stay hidden. 

Who really knows. 

We will preface with this. Building a hidden bushcraft shelter isn’t ideal for people that are looking to be found. For example, if you’re stranded on a deserted island, or in the middle of nowhere, it’s probably a good idea to let people know where you are.

But that’s not who we’re talking to. 

Obviously Simple Hidden Bushcraft Shelters

When most people think of hidden shelters, they envision the over the top secret lairs from their favorite spy movies. Sure, building your hideout into the side of a cliff with an underwater escape pod is ideal, but who has the time for that?

Instead, why don’t you try one of these painfully obvious shelters that do a better job of keeping you hidden than anything else you can build.

The Cave Shelter

A cave shelter is perhaps one of the best natural shelters you can find. The good part is also they can be hidden as well. If you find yourself in a cave, you can decrease its visibility by covering with unusual rocks and shapes to make it blend in more with the environment. 

The point here is, your shelter should not look like a shelter at all. This will deter others from trying to search for you there. Going for a cave shelter comes with some precautions you need to take as well.

The first one is pretty obvious. You must make sure your cave is structurally solid. The last thing you want is the cave crashing down on you while you are sleeping. Check for cracks and any structural damage before settling in.

Another important thing you would want to check out for is a dry cave. Dry caves will keep you from getting cold, and in the worst case scenario, getting hypothermic. 

Trench Shelters

Hidden trench shelters are another effective type of shelter. They keep you hidden from sight, and also keep you safe from predators and the elements.

For hidden trench shelters, make sure to dig a trench that will fit you properly. A too small of a trench will make it uncomfortable to be in. While an extra-large trench is a waste of precious time and energy. 

Once you dig a trench, you should use leaves or soft boughs to make bedding. Natural bedding makes for a surprisingly soft place to sleep on. 

You will also need something to cover the top. That is what makes it invisible, after all. Here is where you can get a bit resourceful and savvy. You can make use of spruce boughs to make a top cover. 

You can easily pull these over you once you get inside the trench. Trench shelters are perhaps the best-hidden bushcraft shelter designs you can go with. They certainly keep you away from plain sight. 

If the place is particularly cold, a trench shelter should even protect that as well. 

The Fallen Tree Shelter

if you come across a large fallen tree, consider yourself lucky. You can make a pretty good hidden shelter from it. The tree will give you some natural structural strength.

From this point, you can use boughs and other grass and natural material around to make the shelter properly hidden. Do keep in mind the tree won’t fall on you though. That is not something you want to happen. 

Tips on Making Your Shelter Invisible 

Nature does a great job of providing us with natural resources for shelters. But, what happens if you don’t come across any viable options?

This is when you have to get a little more creative. It’s going to take some more work and effort on your end, but it’s definitely doable. Here are some things you can do to your shelter to make it invisible to the naked eye.

Use Natural Materials

Using natural materials is one of the best ways of hiding yourself and making yourself invisible. By using materials around you, the shelter blends in much more. Compared to something unnatural like a tarp or a tent. 

You can cover the shelter with boughs to cover the entrance or the outline of the shelter. However, most people would be able to tell if a shelter is man-made or not if they are close enough. 

There’s less of a chance of people spotting you right away, or from a distance if you do use natural materials. The reason is that natural materials blend into the natural landscape. So, try using things like dry grass, dead leaves or branches or even broad leaves that are perfect for hiding.

What you use will, of course, depend on your surrounding itself. The rule of thumb here is to make yourself blend as much to the environment. 

Camouflage Tarps

Speaking of camouflage and blending into your surroundings, you can always use camouflage tarps.  These will help you avoid sticking out like a sore thumb in the wilderness.

A benefit of using camouflage tarps for a hidden bushcraft shelter is they can be purchased and taken with, and you can avoid gathering materials for shelter. The same rule of thumb also applies here. 

Camouflage tarps come in different patterns, shapes and sizes. You should always look for the one that will blend with your surroundings the most. Click here for more tarp tips.


There you have it, and you now know what you can do if you want a hidden bushcraft shelter. The key takeaways are simple. While natural hidden structures are great, make sure they are safe. You can use camouflage to your advantage and always remember to blend yourself into the environment. That is quite literally the delineation of camouflage.

Brian Segal

As an outdoor enthusiast, I was drawn to bushcraft at a young age. I constantly find myself trying to learn and improve on my survival skills, and enjoy writing about everything I discover to help pass along to others.

About Bushcraft Wild

At Bushcraft Wild, our goal is to help people learn the necessary skills to reconnect with nature. From basic survival skills to recreational camping, we’re confident you’ll find a way to spend more time in the great outdoors.

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