Building A Shelter In The Woods Using Only Dirt, Trees And Rocks (Video)



I built this hut in the bush using naturally occurring materials and primitive tools. The hut is 2m wide and 2m long, the side walls are 1m high and the ridge line (highest point) is 2m high giving a roof angle of 45 degrees. A bed was built inside and it takes up a little less than half the hut. The tools used were a stone hand axe to chop wood, fire sticks to make fire, a digging stick for digging and clay pots to carry water. The materials used in the hut were wood for the frame, vine and lawyer cane for lashings and mud for daubing. Broad leaves were initially used as thatch which worked well for about four months before starting to rot. The roof was then covered with sheets of paper bark which proved to be a better roofing material. An external fireplace and chimney were also built to reduce smoke inside. The hut is a small yet comfortable shelter and provides room to store tools and materials out of the weather. The whole hut took 9 months from start to finish. But it only took 30 days of actual work (I abandoned it for a few months before adding bark roof, chimney and extra daub ).

5 thoughts on “Building A Shelter In The Woods Using Only Dirt, Trees And Rocks (Video)”

    • To Marilyn,

      I guess most people don’t know how to build one anymore.

      Just posted this so readers could add this to their “survival/preparedness folder” in their brains.

      Nothing new here.

  1. Thanks, friend……You are surely correct.
    I spent too much of my life reading history……..sod huts are how most man survived on the land while few grabbed it all…………very much like now, except they had no social media to show them the difference.

    But, at the rate we are going, something has to slow us down. In my lifetime, I have seen the rise of technology and the destruction of our entire economic infrastructure………So many occupations that kept our standard of living so high no longer exist…….Terrifying.

    Pity it will have to be so drastic.

  2. If you have this much time for this it would be great, but hunting and foraging might need a large amount of your time. As a team you would stand a better chance.

    It was interesting how he figured out how to make the roof better.

    Having some hand tools would have made for a much easier time.

  3. One comment I would add to the sod hut data. I learned in Guatemala that the roofs are indeed made with leaves, but that they are removable to hang to dry in good weather to avoid rotting.

    Another thing I noticed about the folks there was how happy they seemed……Living close to the earth, and to nature has a wealth to offer the spirit that much of our world has forgotten.

    I was fortunate to be able to live in a coastal rain forest in Northern CA for many years. I sure miss it, and would give a lot to live there again. The city strangles the spirit…….The conveniences are very nice to have, until they pull the plug, and electric power sources no longer work.


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