A lean to shelter is a fantastic type of wilderness shelter that can be built both in coniferous and deciduous woodlands. It is an open fronted shelter that when paired with a a raised bed and a long log fire will keep you warm and toasty.
A bed should always be made when making shelters as you can lose heat when lying directly on the ground 20 times faster than when insulated from the ground. As the saying goes, 1 under you is worth 5 over you.
To start, find 2 supporting trees, about 8ft apart and put up a ridge pole between the trees, taking into account the direction of the prevailing winds. Build a bed on the ground by first laying down 2 poles approx 7 ft in length and lay across them smaller logs the width of the bed. Make a mattress by putting on top of the bed frame, boughs and smaller branches, layered with bracken or ferns, followed by dried leaves. The deeper the mattress the more comfortable the bed should be, but a minimum should be 1 foot thick.
Once the bed is made, the shelter can be constructed. If the ridge pole acts like a spine, then we need to created ribs by using small logs or thick branches that lay on the ground beside the bed frame and extending to 12 inches past the ridge pole to allow for drips. Fill in the gaps with more branches and build up the thickness of the walls with ferns, brackens and dried leaves, the walls should be about 2ft thick to keep the water out.
A long log fire pairs particularly well with this type of shelter, but any sort of fire will be beneficial.
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