Used by Pacific tribes from Alaska to present-day California, pit shelters are impractical unless you have a digging implement, but they offer better protection from extreme heat and cold than aboveground shelters.
Step One Dig a pit the circumference of the intended shelter to a depth of 3 feet.
Step Two Build a supporting tripod of poles, strengthening the framework with horizontally laced limbs.
Step Three Thatch the shelter, leaving a hole at the center to serve as both a laddered entrance and a smoke vent. Use earth removed from the pit to sod and insulate the shelter walls.