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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Adapt and Improvise; packing crate cabin

Shelter is often your priority in a survival or bushcraft situation, when I am on expedition I always pitch my tent first even if the weather is god so I have somewhere to keep and organise my kit, somewhere dry in case it does start to rain and somewhere to unpack my bag into so I don't loose kit amongst the leaf litter or undergrowth. 

At least half the fun of bushcraft is seeing what you can make out of nothing, In Riddy Wood we have a little cabin built out of heavy duty packing crates salvaged from the delivery of heavy machining equipment. The heavy duty ply wood isn't the most traditional or rustic material but it makes a great wind break and reflector for the stove inside. 

The cabin in Riddy Wood with the tarp roof looking a little the worse for wear after high winds. 
The walls are held up by sturdy ash and elm poles harvested from the woods with a single ridge pole in the centre held up by three taller forked poles. Over that ridge pole a heavy duty tarp forms the roof and one of the walls. A gap between the top of the walls and the roof let in the light but not the rain and give a little bit of air flow.

The ridge pole in the cabin is strong enough to hang equipment and keep blankets and carry mats up off the ground away from the rodents. 
The cabin was our home for Christmas in 2016 and was really warm and comfortable, the children loved spending Christmas in the woods. 

Another improvised cabin of hazel wattle and larch planks made with an Alaskan chainsaw mill. 
Another cabin building project in Riddy Wood was my sons log cabin made from coppiced elm poles. He loved spending a day in the woods building it. It's not a masterpiece and certainly isn't as impressive as the cabin of one of my 'bushcraft heroes' Dick Proennecke, who you will hear more about on this blog in the future, but it was great fun to work on.  It has two bunks in it and a tarp roof and the children love sleeping in it when we spend time in the woods.

Adapting and improvising is always going to be a big part of surviving out of doors and also a big part of life for self taught bushcrafters not to mention that it's great fun and often an exciting challenge.

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