Self-reliance, survival, and outdoorsmanship are quickly becoming lost arts, so it’s fantastic to see Youtube creators like Corporal Shawn Kelly, USMC (ret.), of the Pathfinder school, teaching us how to survive, live and thrive in the great outdoors. In this particular video, Cpl Kelly teaches us all how to construct a simple shelter in the snow to survive overnight and prepare a wonderful meal of steak and eggs in the morning using some great gear.

Cpl. Kelly describes his channel’s purpose as one that “combines Bushcraft, Survival and the Love of the Outdoors all into one. I deliver No B.S. no Fluff videos and create a family friendly environment where we can learn together. These videos will take you through the basic survival Priorities (Shelter, Fire, Water, food and Tools) step by step at a basic level and then build from there.” 

Cpl. Kelly’s How-To Emergency Snow Shelter Can Save Lives

Kelly provides a methodical step by step process with simple guidance, from clearing the area of snow the length and width of the structure, wide enough for you to lay comfortably, piling snow in a horseshoe configuration to form walls, to using emergency blankets in a stick-built ‘A-frame’ configuration to trap body heat. Finally, the structure is completed by partially burying the sides where the reflective emergency blankets are staked in, leaving a small vent and burying half of the front entrance to the horseshoe, using your pack or bag as a makeshift door.

In the end, the Corporal’s makeshift campsite is impressive and truly provides well-insulated protection to keep you and those you’re with alive if you’re caught out in a lethal snowstorm. It’s so critical that we harness the self-reliance and know-how to cope with natural disasters (especially as they seem to be cropping up more often), but there’s also no reason we can’t apply these lessons to having a little fun in the woods too! Make sure to check out Cpl. Kelly’s video below and bookmark this page for when you need it later!

On his website, Corporal Kelly tells us his story that’s as impressive as his shelter building skills and lets us know for sure that the knowledge he’s laying down is very, very real.

“I spent 4 years as an 0311 Infantry Team Leader and Trainer in the United States Marine Corps (95′-99′) and was called back after September 11, 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Once my involuntary tour was over, I began a career as a Structural Welder and eventually became a Certified Welding Inspector.

However, I missed being out in the field and after a few years I began to investigate the Survival School Options in my area. After attending a few “fly-by-night” schools and being disappointed, I found the Pathfinder School. I was immediately impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the instructors and for the first time in 15 years I felt like I belonged to a legit organization/family. I completed all of the classes and made it my personal goal to teach there one day. I took the lead position at the Pathfinder School in January 2019 and for the first time since I left the Marine Corps, I feel like I am doing something that isn’t beneath me.”




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