Terrain: Spruce Woodland
Instructor: Richard Prideaux, Original Outdoors
Purpose: to explore outdoor-living possibilities
Skills: Shelter-building, Fire-making, Cordage ( readymade and processing)
(to sleep 2)
Materials - fallen spruce branches - assorted sizes; spruce roots (for tying); leafed branches for covering, leaf mulch (for waterproofing)
Time - 3-4 hours
Nights slept - 1
- to begin, make a 'tripod', using spruce roots to secure the upper join
- fill each side with assorted length branches from tall (at the opening/head end) to small (at the foot end)
- fill in the roof with assorted branches.
- cover the entire structure with leafed branches
- cover the entire structure with leaf mulch from the forest floor.
- The roots of spruce trees, when stripped, make a perfect natural cordage - when used as a tie for the initial tripod, the fibres of the roots 'grab' to the bark of the tree branches, and when knotted and tied form a perfect weather-resistant fixing.
- At the early stage of construction, make sure the 'tripod' branches are tall enough and long enough to provide enough space for intended occupants.
- For effective waterproofing, make sure when covering the structure that there are no areas left uncovered. If you can see light coming in to the structure, it means there's a gap for rain to find its way in.
- The leaf mulch on the forest floor makes for perfect waterproofing material. If you dig down only a couple of centimetres, it is likely you will find the undergrowth quite dry - the moisture in a (this) forest is maintained in the upper layer of leaf mulch. Using this material for waterproofing your structure, effectively mimics nature. We covered our structure to a depth of 3 cms, though it is advisable to double or treble this volume if planning to use your shelter for any length of time.