UKSN Bushcraft Basics: Shelter Building
When venturing into the wilderness, having a sturdy and reliable shelter is crucial for your comfort, safety, and protection from the elements.
Here are some essential tips for building a shelter in a bushcraft setting:
Choose a Suitable Location:
for a flat area away from potential hazards like dead trees, flood zones, or rocky terrain. Consider factors such as sun exposure, wind direction, and proximity to water sources. Assess the natural resources available for shelter construction, such as fallen branches, leaves, and rocks.
Nature often provides ready-made shelters, such as caves, rock overhangs, or fallen trees. Utilise these natural features and make any necessary modifications to create a safe and comfortable space. Remember to check for potential hazards or wildlife before settling in.
One of the most common and effective bushcraft shelters is the debris hut. Start by leaning a sturdy branch against a tree or a secure anchor point. Then, layer smaller branches, leaves, and foliage against the main structure to create a thick insulating layer. Finish by adding a thick layer of leaves or debris on top for additional insulation.
A lean-to shelter is a simple structure that uses a slanted roof made of large branches or logs leaning against a sturdy support. The open side should face away from prevailing winds. Cover the frame with smaller branches, leaves, moss, or even a tarp if available.
If you have a tarp or a lightweight camping tent with you, utilise it to create a quick and reliable shelter. Erect the tarp between two trees or secure it to sturdy branches. Adjust the height and angle to suit your needs, and stake down the corners to ensure stability.
Remember to always consider the materials you use and their impact on the environment. Respect the principles of Leave No Trace by minimising your impact and leaving the area as you found it.
What's your favourite type of bushcraft shelter? Share your experiences and photos with the community!