HomePublicationsThe Tracker MagazineVol 2, No. 1, Winter 1983

The Tracker Magazine - Vol 2 No. 1, Winter 1983

Magnum Shelter
Eric Heline

During the Advanced Standard of the past fall, everyone, of course, constructed their own one, two, and three-person debris hut, and utilized it for the first part of the course.  Along towards the end of the week, the word came: "Tear them down!  And construct a shelter big enough for all!"

The result was, in everyone's opinion, a masterpiece of dead branch and debris engineering.

It consisted of a horseshoe-shaped half dome (the roof was for the most part open in the center), and an upright bark wall across the open end of the "horseshoe"; the fire pit in the middle made for a cheery, snug enclosure (almost) big enough for everyone.

Some details of construction: sturdy "Y" sticks were planted upright into the ground in the horseshoe shape, with approximately a 7-foot radius from the center.  Where the fire pit was to be poles were laid across from one "Y" to the next, and longer poles were then placed with one end on the crossbars, angling back another 10 feet or so out from the circle of "Y" sticks.  Brush, bark, debris and more brush were laid over the resulting fan of support poles, providing the roof over the sleeping areas.

The open end was then fenced with a row of upright pickets, and woven with long strips of bark, making a wind-proof wall across the front of the shelter.

A door flap of woven grasses, and woven grass mattresses added the final touches to a magnificent abode.

For those of you who helped construct the "Taj" (as it has come to be known as during visits through late fall and now the winter), here's a "weathering report":

Aside from some settling of the woven bark front wall, and as well the outer layer of debris, it's still sturdy and warm and dry inside.  A few holes in the back walls have developed, due more to squirrels than anything else.  The mice and pine voles have decided it's a marvelous home, and their scurryings keep us entertained at night.  All in all, it's a grand shelter, and a much appreciated, luxurious accommodation during the present rainy season.  Nighty-night!

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The Tracker magazine:   Vol 1 No. 1  •  Vol 1 No. 2  •  Vol 1 No. 3  •  Vol 1 No. 4  •  Vol 2 No. 1
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