First, of, I am NOT an expert on this subject of any kind, but what I am tho is an expert in doing things just the way I want them. To me, the most critical thing in wilderness survival shelter designs is how it fits your needs.
People write to me and ask me how, where and why, in general, all these questions are redundant. I almost always answer with “just go out (preferably where its legal or your allowed to build) and start building a wall… a fireplace, or a basic structure of some kind of roof, and I am sure that it will all go on from there” there’s no right or wrong in constructing your wilderness survival shelter designs or camp.
Tools for Wilderness Survival Shelter Designs
For me, it started as an idea in my head three years ago; I am determined that I was going to build a wilderness survival shelter designs in the woods where I could go any time of the year and enjoy. I didn’t own any tools or had that much knowledge about the ever so broad term “bushcrafting,”
So, first of all, I bought myself a knife and an ax! Then I told my brother about this idea I had about building a shelter, as I remember at first he didn’t seem so interested, but I am determined that I want to give it a try.
I had one friend that I thought would be interested, and he was, so we got In my car one beautiful summer day, and drove to a place that we had scoped out via satellite maps that looked like a big forest area (there are not that many big forests areas where I live).
How I Built My Survival Shelter
We got there, followed a path a bit, then deviated from it and walked into the bush, we both stopped at the top of a hill with an opening and some beautiful scenery. Moreover, as I mentioned before, we just started building, and it became a basic wilderness survival shelter designs structure, you know the one roof at a 45-degree angle.
Then we added some beams and began to cover the roof with pine branches and leaves and moss to make it rainproof. Then we proceeded with a fireplace, a heat reflecting wall and started on some additional walls and what was planned to be another roof.
After a few visits, we discovered that the path we deviated from had turned around and was now passing just 20 meters behind our campsite, bummer. Also, many people were using this path, and it didn’t feel that great with people walking by now and then.
During these visits, I had managed to convince my brother to come along, and he seemed to enjoy it. However, I was never happy with the driving distance or the actual place right beside this well-used path, even the look of the camp wasn’t as I had pictured in my head.
So I talked with my brother, who formerly was the guy I wanted to do this with, and asked if we should find a better location and start over. So that’s what we did, not behind my friends back, of course, he ended up taking over that camp for himself, and everyone lived happily ever after.
After half a day driving around, parking alongside Forest roads, walking and looking for what seemed to be a right place we found a small gravel road that had good parking ability. So we parked there at the side of that road, and once again we walked into the forest to find that place that felt just right!
Moreover, that is precisely what happened this time; we saw an area with some tall pines right beside a dense spruce plantation, we walked back and forth a few times feeling the area and ended up right in what felt like the center of the surroundings.
First order of business was to set up a fireplace and a fire, then we just started collecting deadwood that was laying around, you could tell that the area had been cleared from trees by machines and that they had left the very top of the spruce, and there were hundreds of them in piles all around.
As our first structure we decided to make a triangular roof between three pines that we thought were perfect, and I remembered that I had seen a technique somewhere where you rest the beams on a thicker log tied around the tree, which is excellent on the tree itself but it also gives a good bearing stability for the roof.
We both agreed that we wanted it to look as natural as possible, but also to be 100% rainproof. So, we laid logs across so that it completely looked like a solid roof, then we put a tarp on top of it and covered the whole roof with big pieces of moss we cut out from the ground or peeled off from stones. That way you can’t tell if there is a tarp.
Then we wanted to be able to start or have a fire going if would rain, so a similar but smaller structure with a moss roof was put over the fireplace, and it worked fantastically. As season passed and autumn came with cold winds and more rain, we had to put up some walls, and I also wanted to be able to store dry wood, so we built a small shed on the back of the first wall and gave it a nice moss roof as well. I could go on and on with how we got ideas for this and that. Either if it’s something that you want to build for fun or if there’s a need for it, it will come, of this I am sure.
So with this I just want to say that I believe that ANYONE can go out and be a “bushcrafter” if it’s just a small tarp or a big wilderness survival shelter designs you should be proud, just for the fact that you are out in the nature, sitting there and carving on a stick, barbecuing over a small fire or just enjoying a beverage.
I think that the term Bushcraft can “scare” some beginners at first, but it is such a broad term; you don’t have to know EVERYTHING at once, you will learn from doing and making mistakes, you can’t always succeed right away.
Just want to point out since we all work a lot with knives and axes to make sure that you take all the precautions and safety procedures seriously, and always bring a first aid kit. Even the most experienced have accidents so be careful whenever using sharp tools, especially if the scenario is that you’re in the woods some distance from civilization or nearest hospital.
I hoped that you have enjoyed reading my little story on how I started out and that you felt encouraged and inspired to go out and start building a place of your own. Don’t be intimidated or think that you don’t know how to. Just execute the wilderness survival shelter designs that you have in mind!
And for more about how to build a bushcraft shelter check him out here on Instagram: