When it comes to survival, there’s much we can learn from so-called primitive cultures. In fact, many of their time-tested skills remain incredibly valuable to this day, so we should never discount them as relics of the past. By studying primitive survival techniques, we can improve our chances of staying alive in situations where modern tools and resources are limited.

Pueblo Indian dwellings at Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Pueblo Indian adobe and cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

If you live in North America, studying the shelters built by Native American cultures in your region is a great way to prepare for long-term survival. We emphasize local because this ensures the structures will be adapted to your climate, weather conditions, and natural resources. If you try to build an adobe structure in Alaska or an igloo in Arizona, you’re going to fail spectacularly — these structures became traditional in their respective regions because they worked well there.

These wigwams were built in the style of the Algonquin tribe.

These wigwams were built in the style of the Algonquin tribe.

The following infographic from Alan’s Factory Outlet shows 11 types of traditional Native American shelters, including the wigwam, wickiup, hogan, longhouse, and tipi. It also gives information on where each was used, and whether it was temporary, permanent, or portable. Click here to download a full-size version of this infographic.

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