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Conservation of energy is important in a survival situation. It is easy to become afraid and lose sight of what to do and end up wandering around in a panic. Often people who are lost immediately begin to think of finding food, however, shelter is the most important element in a survival situation. A person can live for a month without food but can die of exposure in as little as 3 hours.

The first shelter we teach at COTEF is the debris hut. This is like a giant sleeping bag, working with dead air space to provide insulation. No, it’s not a mansion. Yes, it is wonderful sleeping in one of these. Pushing the debris out in the morning, crawling out into the sunrise and the morning air is magical. Knowing that the Earth has taken care of you leaves you with an indescribable feeling. Its freedom!


After we’ve finished with the shelter we always practice caretaking. This means putting the land back to at least how we found it, if not making it even better. We honor the land in this way, leaving it healthier for the next generation.

The Children of the Earth Foundation    609-971-1799   529 Route 9, #10, Waretown, NJ 08758