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How to Build the Framework for an Outdoor Shelter

Learn how to build the framework for an outdoor shelter from NYC Outward Bound's Marko Yurachek in this wilderness survival skills Howcast video.


One of the things I'm doing now is collecting wood to take over to my shelter site. This is going to provide the framework for the shelter itself. The rock wall is going to be part of the shelter. It's going to be kind of the ridge line. This stuff can kind of be the back of the shelter. So, our shelter can get built up on top of this.

This is sort of a lean-to style. I wouldn't normally build a lean-to style if I didn't have a place for a fire. If I were going to build a shelter without a fire I'd build it really close to the ground only with enough room for my body to get in. Since I'm going to try to build a fire along this rock wall it's okay for me to have a bigger, more spacious shelter. If you have more than one person you could also put more than one person in this kind of shelter.

Right now I'm just picking up anything that's basically long enough so that I'm reaching from the ground up to the top of this rock. Then I'm going to lay stuff across this way, and that's going to give me a nice roof line. So, what I'm trying to do is get about a 45 degree angle. Then I'm going to insulate the top. And we'll see, probably use leaves and some smaller sticks are going to go across the top. Then put a fire right out here, so my roof is only going to go about this far. These poles are going to be open so that the fire can just go up through there.

I'm trying to get a crossmember here so that I can start interweaving a little bit. And if I have some cordage I could also tie some of this together. Okay. So we've got a pretty nice frame started. In the ideal world they would be touching each other.

So I want to get this done before dark. So I'm not going to go and put them all together right now because we have darkness coming. I'm going to be a little bit quicker but still do a good job.

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