Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home - The Lean-To Shelter

One of the most important aspects of survival out in the wilderness will be building a proper shelter from the elements. Some of the most simple shelters are called lean-tos and there are many varieties. Today, however, we will be focusing on one in particular which is the double-sided lean-to.

Before you start to build, the main factor you want to consider is the wind. The wind should be at the back side point, or at very best one side of your lean-to. You do not want the wind blowing into the front of your new home because that defeats the whole purpose of the project...

Here are the steps:

1. Find a sapling that you can use for the backbone of your lean-to that is about 10 to 12 feet in length and at least 3 inches in diameter.

2. Scower the area for branches that are at least 1-2 inches in diameter and range from 6 feet down to 1 foot in length. You want 2 of each. (2) 6 foot saplings, (2) 5 foot saplings and on down, for a total of 12 saplings which will become your lashing posts. This will create the frame for your lean-to.

3. Hunt for material to use as the siding (thatching) of your lean-to. This is totally dependent upon your area, but examples could range from grass stalks, to ferns, to large leaves. This could even be tarps or ponchos if you have extras in your supplies.

4. Find a tree with a forked branch about 5 to 6 feet up off of the ground. You want to make sure the tree you are using does not have any holes at it's root structure where vermin or snakes could be hiding.

5. Place your backbone sapling in the fork of the tree and position the foot into the wind. Lash the end of the sapling to the branches to the sides of the fork.

6. Place your lashing saplings in descending order starting about 2 feet down from the fork and work your way down the backbone, securing each of the ends to the backbone support. You want to leave a few feet from the fork to make room for you and your equipment to fit inside your lean-to.

7. Start attaching your thatching (the leaves, or ponchos, or whatever else you managed to find) to the framework of your lean-to. If you have string, it helps here because you can run it in between your lashing posts, if not, that's alright too. The important thing to remember is to start at the ground and work your way up so that the thatching overlaps itself. This makes the rain roll down the sides of the lean-to rather than leaking through on top of you.

8. Go check out other areas of this blog to see what to do about dinner and finding water. Just chilling in your new grotto won't cut it, unfortunately.


  1. Nice Lean-to and great article, I put you in the #Survival & #PrepperTalk Daily on twitter we follow each other there. I am @isurvivalskills Let me know if you want to exchange blog links.

  2. isurvivalskills,

    Thanks for the positive feedback and we would love to exchange blog links!

    We will email you about it.

  3. P.S. I’ve just checked the fish bit and even though it’s only a memory, as I suggested it wasn’t, and I think the memory is meant to eclipse itself as something that no longer is, my point still stands, as an explicit note of futurity, or maybe even something not so much that ripens against devastation but exists beyond Time, so we’ve moved beyond the parameters of the book and into the ineluctable.
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