"Hey Rod..... This spring I want to head out to the forest and build myself a shelter. What should I be looking for?"
"The things I look for are accessibility, water and building material. How far off the beaten trail do you want to travel? Is it accessed by foot or by water, using a canoe or boat? Is it by a lake, river or stream, where you'll have access to some safe drinking water? If it's along a lake or river, is the shelter going to be seen from someone passing by in a boat or canoe? How secluded do you want it to be? Are there large trees around or just shrubs and willows? Are you going to use just natural material to build the shelter or are you going to make it more secure and weather proof with ropes and tarps? Are you on high ground so that you're protected and going to stay dry if a thunder storm hits while you're in your shelter? Have you thought about a fire pit and how you're going it make it safe so you don't start a forest fire? What's the ground like? Is it mossy with a lot of decaying material underneath? Hot coals burning under-ground can smoulder for days before igniting and creating a disaster. These are the kind of things I think about before building a shelter."