Archive for the ‘Shelters’ Category

The concrete house is an interesting, and in my mind, likable design for any survival homestead. The safety and security features provided by its non-flammable and destruction resistance construction far outweighs the aesthetics of a conventional wood frame structure. In most cases these buildings can be much easier to build, and less costly provided you can live without the advantages a standard stick built provides for. Interior layouts are not dependent upon structural beams for support of the inside walls, and can therefore be laid out in ways that better suits the preparedness mindset. However, as they are not conventional, they do take some getting used to. I have picked out a few free Google e-books on the subject that you may wish to read over, and perhaps you will come to see these structures in the same light as I do. Simply click the title links to go to the book mentioned.

The first is The concrete house: an explanatory treatise
by G. W. Hilton, an English architect from 1919. This man built a concrete home to his liking during the wartime years.

The second is Concrete houses, how they were built…
by a Harvey Whipple. This one is a collection of essays relating to concrete home construction.

The third is Concrete houses & cottages… by the Atlas Portland Cement Company. This one is a plan book published by a concrete supplier and gives photographic images as well as line drawing of many different designs and layouts of different concrete homes, both solid and block construction. It starts out with a few grand and lofty mansion designs, but there are a good many more homes as well that will more than suffice for the average homeowners needs.

the next book is Concrete for house, farm, & estate…

By Fred Ballard. It is a short book describing many of the features of various buildings and other concrete structures of value on a farm or rural property where agricultural pursuits may be followed.

And finally, we have Small farm buildings of concrete
by the Universal Portland Cement Company. This one is a veritable textbook on concrete construction for the farm, and well worth your time to read it if you are interested in concrete construction.

So, why do I like concrete so much? Because the benefits outweigh all other factors. For one, concrete is fireproof, so your insurance costs can be substantially lower. It is a much more secure building against wind and storm damage. Repair and upkeep to the structure is minimal. It retains heat in the winter and repels heat in the summer, thus lowering your heating and cooling bills. There are more benefits, but you get the idea.

Perhaps the greatest argument against concrete homes regards the appearance they have. In an unfinished, or simply a sealed and painted surface, the home looks more like a commercial structure. This can be overcome by adding vinyl or aluminum siding to give it an appearance of having regular clapboards applied to it. Another solution is to layer stucco over a secure mesh lathing to the walls. Or you can even apply a fieldstone to the outside walls to give it a look of having been built by actual fieldstone.

No matter how you finish the project, a concrete home can be just the solution for most prepper and survivalist needs in housing and keeping your family safe. And you can incorporate a fallout or survival shelter into the building with ease.

If you haven’t purchased or built a home yet, I would suggest you at least investigate the possibilities provided by concrete construction. You may be pleasantly surprised by your thorough analysis of this type of construction. I will be having more discussion on concrete homes in an upcoming episode of Survival Homesteading, which you may find at my Blogtalk page here.


Beaver Mat Shelters by DAN BEARD

The Outing magazine, 1904

Ever since our aboreal ancestors with prehensile toes scampered among the branches of the pre-glacial forests men have built brush shelters for camps or temporary refuge, and I make no claim to inventing this time-honored style of forest home. The truth is that no contrivance of any description is ever invented at once in its entirety, but everything is evolved from something else, everything grows. Not only is this true of plants, animals and men, but it also holds good with men’s clothes, tools and houses, all are products of evolution.

Our birds never invented their wonderful nests, they have but modified and improved the cruder nests of their more undeveloped ancestors.

So the brush huts here given are evolved from the shacks and camps familiar to everyone who visits our north woods, but the application of the beaver-mat and the mat itself is new.

These camps are shingled with birch bark, spruce bark or covered with brush. Even a novice can cut birch bark, but might fail to get the same results from the spruce tree. Let the beginner hunt through the wood for a comparatively smooth spruce tree, and when a suitable one is found, cut a ring around the bottom and another about five feet above the first; then cut a perpendicular slit connecting the two rings; it is now a simple matter to peel off the section of bark by the careful use of the hatchet and the help of a comrade to hold on to the edge of the bark.

In this way enough pieces can soon be secured to roof the shack, but it is to be supposed that you know all this and also how to lay the bark, beginning at the bottom and working up, so that each layer overlaps the lower one and breaks joints with the ones below it; also, it is to be supposed that you know how to weight down the bark with poles laid from the ground at intervals so that their top ends protrude over the open front of the camp. Loose brush is used in the old-time camp to set up against and inclose the two ends of the shack, leaving the broad front open. This is the well-known Adirondack camp of former days, now generally superseded by structures of similar form built of logs, but unless logs are used a much neater, more durable and a better protection from the rain and weather can be obtained by building

A camp of beaver mats similar in form to the one shown by Figrs. 1, 2 and 3. The roof, by the way, should be much steeper than Fig. 1 and more like that shown in the profile view of Fig. 3. After you have erected the framework or skeleton of the camp, shown in the above diagrams, make four triangles to correspond with ABC (Fig. 3); do this by fastening the ends of three poles together, Fig. 5.

Next nail some branches from side to side of the triangle, as shown by Fig. 6, then, with the triangle flat on the ground, cover the frame with selected brush, being careful that it is placed in an orderly manner, with the tips pointing down and, overhanging the stick, AC, as is shown at D, Fig. 7. Over this lay another layer of brush in the same manner (E, Fig. 7), and, over the second layer put a third (F, Fig. 7), as one would shingle a house. Continue in this manner until you have a triangular mat a foot or more thick.

Next make a duplicate frame (Fig. 6), but with the cross sticks placed up and down in place of horizontal, as in Fig. 6. Fit the second triangle over the first, Fig. 8, and lash the corners together, using sufficient pressure to make the mattings between the two frames hard and compact. One side of your camp is now ready to set in place, but another beaver mat must be made for the opposite side, and then both can be set up against the ends of the camp, where they were intended to fit. The roof may be made of a beaver mat of rectangular form constructed with diagonal braces, like those shown by G H F E L M K J, or D C B A of Fig. 10.

After the mats are in place the whole thing should be thatched by inserting the end of a layer of small flat brush near the bottom of the mat, then one above overlapping the first and so on until the top is reached. A carefully built beaver mat lean-to, with thatch of palm leaves, if in the South, or pine, spruce, hemlock, or sweet-smelling balsam thatch, if in the North, can shield you from a hard shower of rain, and in cold weather offer a wind shield which will be appreciated by the tired hunter.

It does not take long to make beaver mats, but it does require care to make good ones; however, one who loves woodcraft will love to work with the twigs of evergreen, and one who loves his task may be trusted to do good work. If the reader is indolent he had better keep out of the woods altogether, or travel with a valet and a bunch of guides, being careful to sleep only in the well-built houses paradoxically called camps. But this sort of man will probably not read this sort of an article, and I can assume that the reader loves the woods for their own sake, loves the hardships and exertion of travel and making camp, loves the glow of the campfire and the nights under a birch-bark roof, or even with no shelter but the trees overhead, where he can watch through the interlacing branches the twinkling of the distant campfires of heaven.

But even the true-hearted woodsman and seasoned camper may wish to make a more artistic abode than that offered by a brush lean-to. He may expect to receive ladies at camp, his mother and sisters, for instance,
possibly accompanied by some other fellow’s sister, in which case he can exercise his artistic ability by constructing a beaver mat cottage for the ladies, which will be certain to find favor and win the feminine approval of the woods for a vacation. Fig. 4 shows a very plain and simple beaver mat hut, but one which can be embellished with quaint little hooded windows, a comfortable veranda, and as many other improvements as the time and inclination of the builder will allow.

The Wicks Frame shown by Fig. 9 is suitable for a detached open dining-room, a general camp assembly-room, or it may be made of smaller dimensions and used as a camp cottage.

The rafters (F) may be cut off just below the eaves (G), and the frame covered with beaver mats, or the sides may be used for the front and rear ends of a hut, in which case the two uprights on one side may be made tall, for the front, and the two rear ones cut short for the rear, which will give the colonial type of roof (Fig. 4), such as the old Dutchmen of New York used on their quaint dwellings, and such as may still be found on ancient houses both in New England and on Long Island.

To make the beaver mats very large is not a very practicable idea. Rather make them smaller and build your house as a child does a house of blocks. Fig. 10 shows a wall of four mats with a window opening. Fig. 11 shows a bow stick, pointed at both ends, to be used for a window hood. Fig. 12 shows the frame work of the hood, and Fig. 13 the hooded window when finished.

The window hood sticks are held in place simply by forcing their ends into the compact mass of the beaver mats, the hood is then thatched by forcing the ends of branches in above the window, so that the twigs rest on the hoops as the plain sticks do in Fig. 12. Over these first row of branches a shorter lot is laid with their ends thrust into the beaver mats like the first, and over these a still shorter lot until the hood is covered with a thick, green thatch.

Many is the night I have been in a public campground and laid awake listening to the commotions of my neighbors in their desire to sleep well, but unable to do so. The reasons for this may be many, but a common one is the fact that most people just don’t know how to make a good old fashioned camp bed anymore. Heck, most people don’t even know how to really go camping today, in fact. RVs and camper trailers are the norm in these days, not the good old fashioned tents that we older folks remember from the days of yore.

When people do sleep in a tent, and on the ground they tend to forget that it isn’t like a cushy pillow top mattress at home, and as they get cold, they’ll try to layer things on top of them, just like adding more blankets at home. Big mistake as most of the chill we get in these situations comes not from the air, but from the ground. My favorite cure for the cold in the wilderness is a bough bed, and when built just right, it’s better than sleeping at home.

I found this piece on camp beds from the early 20th century interesting and thought I’d share it with you. Just remember, it may be over 100 years old, but the facts are just as valid as if they were newborn today.

How to Make Camp Beds

By Arthur W. Stevens
Some of the Ways That Wilderness Dwellers Have of Sleeping Comfortably

BEDS,” says Little Benny, are to sleep in and to sit on the edge of when you take off your shoes.” The famous Mr. Webster, in discoursing on the same subject says, “Bed: an article of domestic furniture upon or within which one rests or sleeps.”

There are some beds with which neither Little Benny nor Mr. Webster was conversant. Those of us who have answered the call of the wild know that they are not all articles of domestic furniture; and we have frequently found beds that were conducive to neither rest nor sleep. The night, only too often, is a period of unrest and discomfort. This is sometimes unavoidable in cases where it is necessary to travel light, but usually it is due to lack of experience.

We read in the popular novel of the hero blithely rolling himself in his blanket beside the camp fire, and thus spending the night. It sounds simple. It is supposed that the blanket stayed wrapped, and that the fire burned all night without further attention and kept him warm on both sides.

However, if the truth were known, about one o’clock in the morning, when the fire had died to a few embers, the hero probably awoke feeling chilly and forlorn, with a pain where a protuberance of Mother Earth was poking him in the short ribs, an ache in his hip, another in his shoulder and a kink in his neck, and the blanket hopelessly tangled with his arms and legs. This, at least, has been the experience of most of us who have tried it.

In sleeping on the ground most of us fall down in not putting enough bedding beneath us. The ground is a cold proposition to snuggle up against. It can be warmed, “of course, by that old stunt of building a fire and then raking the fire to one side to allow the bed to be made on the warm earth. At home the mattress, in addition to being soft, serves as bedding to keep us warm from beneath.

In making a bed on the ground, the inexperienced person will, from force of habit, almost invariably put most of his bedding over him, and lie and shiver through the night from the chill of the cold earth. If, instead, he had put most of his bedding beneath him, and then thrown a blanket or two over and tucked them in well to keep out the cold air, he could have slept quite comfortably for part of the night, at least.

Therefore, as one of the first principles of “sleeping out” remember that the ground is cold, and that fully as much bedding is required beneath as above. This does not mean that blankets or quilts must be used. A thin, stuffed mattress may be carried. Hay or straw serves just as well. The large bracken ferns, if abundant enough, will make a fairly good mattress for one night.

On the Pacific Coast the moss sometimes forms a mat three or four inches thick that serves nicely as a mattress. And then, there is the old stand-by, the bough bed, which may be made very comfortable, but which, if correctly made, is a source of comfort and warmth. Using any one of these a person may spend a very comfortable night.

Another point to remember in sleeping, as in traveling, is that the hands and feet, being farthest from the central heating plant, as it were, become chilled most easily, and from them the chill is easily transmitted to the other parts of the body. It helps, materially, in keeping warm if a coat, or any clothing that is taken off, is laid over the feet. This is true even though the feet may not feel colder than other parts of the body.

The hands are kept warm through contact with the body. In sleeping out without bedding a little more warmth may be obtained by removing the coat and throwing it around the shoulders like a cape, so that the arms may get the warmth from the body.

Cots: In sleeping on a canvas cot the same rule holds good: use fully as much bedding beneath as above, for the air circulates on both sides, and the canvas gives little protection on the underside. Most people who are used to camping prefer the ground to a cot, but cots have their use during a season of heavy rains or in a country where rattlesnakes are abundant. However, they are angular and bulky for packing, and would best be discarded if pack horses are used.

Air Mattresses: For people, such as surveyors or Forest Service men, who spend a great deal of time in the open, the air mattress makes, probably, the ideal bed. A man can go out for a few days and put up with a little discomfort in sleeping; but if he lives out of doors for several months at a time it behooves him to make himself as comfortable as possible.

It is frequently necessary for him to travel until after dark before making camp, and then he may not have the time or the material for making a comfortable bed. It is then that the air mattress, which can be inflated in a minute or two, proves a godsend to tired muscles.

We hear occasional complaints that air mattresses are cold. Here again is the same old story—not enough bedding beneath. The air-filled rubber bag protects the body to a certain extent from the chill of the ground and the outside air, but not to the same degree as a stuffed mattress; and it is necessary to use a couple of thicknesses of blanket or comfort beneath the sleeper to insure a comfortable night’s rest.

Air mattresses may be obtained either as a mattress alone, or made up in a sleeping pocket or bag. They are commonly full length, but there is one on the market that becomes thinner toward the foot and ends just below the knees. This gives softness where it is needed most, under the shoulders and hips, and has the advantage of being light in weight.

Bough Beds: The art of making the bough bed, like the method of throwing the diamond hitch, or flipping the flapjack, is shrouded in romance and mystery to the novice; but in reality it is a very simple matter. The crimes that have been committed against Morpheus in the name of the bough bed would make a large and interesting book.

In making the bed there are just two things to remember: use long boughs—a foot and a half long; and stand them on end with the stub ends on the ground and the “feather” ends up. That is the whole thing in a nutshell, but a few more directions may help. Start with a log at the head, or, better still, a rectangle of logs that will enclose the bed. Stand a row of boughs against the head log; then another row against the first, and so on to the foot.

The boughs will have a slight inclination toward the head which makes them springy; and all the hard and stiff parts will be covered up. Of course, such a bed requires lots of boughs and quite a bit of time to make it, but it is worth it.

If time is short, or there is not enough material at hand to make such an elaborate bed, a very comfortable one may be made by cutting the boughs shorter—ten inches to a foot—and laying them flat in rows, shingling one row on the other so that the feather ends cover up the stubs. If one layer is not enough, put another on top of it. Such a bed lacks springiness, but it will afford protection from the chill and irregularities of the ground.

The Freighter’s Bed: The freighters of the West carry what seems an enormous quantity of bedding, usually all quilts. There are. of course, various methods of making up the beds, but of them all the following is probably the most practical and serviceable.

One quilt is spread out to its full size on the ground. A second is laid beside the first and overlapping it nearly half. The third is laid on top of the first, and overlapping the second; and so on, the idea being to provide a double thickness of quilts to act as mattress, and an extra width so that they may be folded over the sleeper from both sides.

Bed Covers: Any kind of a pocket or bag that encloses the sleeper makes for warmth, for it keeps the cold air from working in between the blankets.

There is a type of canvas cover for single beds that is made, with slight variations, by several manufacturers, or may be made at home. It serves equally well as a sleeping pocket, or a cover for use in shipping or packing the bed.

The diagram probably explains it better than a description. It consists essentially of a central piece of canvas having the length and half the width of a blanket. To it are sewed canvas flaps on each side and end so that when these flaps are folded over and fastened the bedding will be completely covered.

The end flaps fasten with tie strings, and the side ones with about five harness snaps sewed along the edge of one which snap into the rings on the other. The rings should be so placed as to allow plenty of room inside when it is used as a sleeping pocket. The end flaps will need to be a little wider than the central piece in order to protect the corners of the bed when it is packed.

The freighter’s bed, just described, makes very good filler for the cover, or the blankets may be simply laid together and then folded lengthwise. When used in this latter form the amount of cover may be regulated by going down as many layers as the coolness of the night demands, leaving the rest of the bedding beneath.

Sleeping Bags: Discussion as to the relative merits of the various sleeping bags had best be left to the manufacturers. However, one or two general hints may be useful. In buying a bag, get one that can be opened and spread out to the air and sunshine during the day. Not only is this more sanitary, but a wool blanket, if taken in before sunset, will retain the heat of the sun until bed time and make a much more comfortable bed to crawl into than one that has lain all day in the dark.

Bedding: The wool blanket will give more warmth and comfort, pound for pound, and shed water longer than any other form of bedding. Cotton blankets and cotton-filled quilts afford very little warmth in proportion to the weight.

In traveling through the history of this nation I have come upon a wondrous array of home styles, each to its own and perfect for the environment they were built in. This piece, by Daniel Beard of scouting fame in Shelters, Shacks and Shanties (©1914) describes a rather ornate shelter for survival purposes, but if you have a mind to create your survival homestead for permanent living out of logs, it will be quite the conversation piece.

One of the things we need to bear in mind when developing our preparedness plans is the aspect of shelter. When we build a permanent structure we have to look at how economy of materials as well as quality of structure relate to our needs and capabilities. Building a log home can be the answer to many shelter problems, provided you proceed with care. A temporary cabin can be built quickly with the bark on the logs, but decay and rot will set in. For permanence you need to peel the logs and dry them, as well as taking other steps to make sure you build a quality and safe survival homestead.

To conserve space I haven’t included allof the illustrations here that Beard refers to, but you can easily find the book for reference at many of the free  e-book sites such as Google Books. I suggest you download this book and save it for your survival homesteading library, even if you don’t have plans to build your home as a log cabin. And by the way, I especiallylike the idea Beard gives to build a little scale model out of sticks of your cabin. It will help you to decide how and what to build before expending a great deal of effort in building a real shelter, and then finding out it wasn’t exactly what you wanted.



American Totem Log House

But if you really want something unique, build a log house on the general plan shown by Figs. 251 and 252; then carve the ends of all the extending logs to represent the heads of reptiles, beasts, or birds; also carve the posts which support the end logs on the front gallery, porch, or veranda in the form of totem-poles. You may add further to the quaint effect by placing small totem-posts where your steps begin on the walk (Fig. 253) and adding a tall totem-pole for your family totem or the totem of your clan. Fig. 252 shows how to arrange and cut your logs for the pens. The dining-room is supposed to be behind the half partition next to the kitchen; the other half of this room being open, with the front room, it makes a large living-room. The stairs lead up to the sleeping rooms overhead; the latter are made by dividing the space with partitions to suit your convenience.

Before Building

Take your jack-knife and a number of little sticks to represent the logs of your cabin; call an inch a foot or a half inch a foot as will suit your convenience and measure all the sticks on this scale, using inches or parts of inches for feet. Then sit down on the ground or on the floor and experiment in building a toy house or miniature model until you make one which is satisfactory. Next glue the little logs of the pen together; but make the roof so that it may be taken off and put on like the lid to a box; keep your model to use in place of an architect’s drawing; the backwoods workmen will understand it better than they will a set of plans and sections on paper. Fig. 251 is a very simple plan and only put here as a suggestion. You can put the kitchen at the back of the house instead of on one side of it or make any changes which suit your fancy; the pen of the house may be ten by twelve or twenty by thirty feet, a camp or a dwelling; the main point is to finish your house up with totems as shown by Fig. 253, and then tell the other fellows where you got the idea.

Peeled Logs

For any structure which is intended to be permanent never use the logs with bark on them; use peeled logs. When your house is finished it may look very fresh and new without bark, but one season of exposure to the weather will tone it down so that it will be sufficiently rustic to please your fancy, but if you leave the bark on the logs, a few seasons will rot your house down, making it too rustic to suit any one’s fancy.

Lay up the pen of this house as already described and illustrated by Figs. 229, 233, etc., and when the sides and front walls have reached the desired height, frame your roof after the manner shown by Fig. 49 or any of the other methods described which may suit your fancy or convenience, but in this case we use the Susitna form for the end plates, which are made by first severing the root of a tree and leaving an elbow or bend at the end of the trunk (Fig. 264). This is flattened by scoring and hewing as is described and illustrated under the heading of the Susitna house. The elbows at the terminals of the end plate are carved to represent grotesque heads (Fig. 253). The house when built is something like the Wyoming olebo (Fig. 236), but with the difference which will appear after careful inspection of the diagram. The Wyoming olebo is a one-story house; this is a two-story house. The Wyoming olebo has a roof built upon a modified plan of a Kanuck; this roof is built on the American log-cabin plan, with the logs continued up to the top of the gable, as are those in the Olympic (Fig. 240). But the present house is supposed to be very carefully built; to be sure, it is made of rude material but handled in a very neat and workmanlike manner. Great care must be used in notching and joining the logs, and only the straightest logs which can be had should be used for the walls of the house. The piazza may need some additional supports if there is a wide front to the house, but with a narrow front half, log puncheons will be sufficiently stiff to support themselves.

One of the drawbacks a preparedness plan can encounter is the necessity for bugging out against your wishes. You may have to leave your survival homestead and head for the hills with little more than your bug out bag to support you. You’ll need shelter beyond a lightweight nylon tent if you plan on staying anyplace for more than a couple of weeks, but what kind of shelter do you build? The obvious answer in a woodland situation is a log or bark shanty. The log shanty can be enclosed on four sides if needed and used year round as a permanent camp. And these shanty type huts really aren’t hard to build for a couple of people, or even just one if need be.

I pulled this piece from W.H. Gibson’s Camp Life in the Woods, first printed in 1881. It’s too bad that so many people have lost the simple ways and tend to make big projects out of simple ones, wasting time and energy that could be better spent in more productive pursuits. Camps like this were commonly erected throughout the vast stretches of woods that once graced our countryside. A couple of days work would build a luxurious woodland home, and shanties like this could be built in just a day by those who knew how to hone their skills and tools. Keep these instructions in your preparedness binder, you just may find them useful someday.


The life of the professional trapper is a life of hardship and severe exposure, and a man not only requires considerable courage, but also great bodily vigor, in order to combat successfully the dangers of such a wild, adventuresome existence.

The cold and the storm not only imperil his life, but he is often exposed to the attacks of wild beasts. A shelter, therefore, in one form or another, becomes a necessity while it is always a decided comfort, in comparison to a campaign without it.

The reader will find below descriptions of the various shelters alluded to in other parts of this work, and used by trappers throughout the land.

The most substantial of these is the log shanty, commonly known among trappers as the “home shanty,” on account of its being constructed as the only permanent shelter on the trapping line.

It is used as a “home,” a place of rendezvous, and a storehouse for provisions, furs, and other necessities and valuables. Other temporary shelters, known as bark shanties, are also constructed along the trapping lines at intervals of five or ten miles, as resting places. These we describe under the proper title.

Although, to the amateur trapper, the log shanty is not likely to become a necessity, we will nevertheless describe its mode of construction, in order to satisfy our more earnest and adventurous readers, who aspire to a full taste of wild life.

Our illustration gives a very clear idea of such a shanty.

It may be constructed of any size, but one of about twelve by ten feet will be found large enough for ordinary purposes. Select straight logs, about eight inches in diameter. The whole number required will be thirty-six. Of these one-half should be twelve feet in length and the other ten. These should now be built up in the square form, on a level piece of ground, laying the ends of the logs over each other, and securing them by notches at the corners, so deep as to allow the edges of the logs to meet.

Lay two short logs first, and continue building until all the thirty-six logs are used, and we will now have four symmetrical sides about six feet in height. The place for the door should now be selected. The uppermost log should form its upper outline, and the two sides should be cleanly and straightly cut with a crosscut saw. The window openings, one or more, may next be cut, commencing beneath the second log from the top, and taking in three beneath it. Replace the logs above, and on the ends of those thus cut, both in windows and doors, proceed to spike a heavy plank, driving two nails into each log, about five inches apart, one above the other. This will hold them firmly in place, and offer a close-fitting jam for the door, and neat receptacle for the window sashes, which latter may now be put in after the ordinary manner.

The gable ends should next be built upon the smaller sides of the hut. Commence by laying a long log (notched as before) across the top of the frame work, and about two feet inside the edge. This should of course be done on both sides of the hut, after which they should be overlapped at the corners with logs eight feet in length. Next lay two more long logs, parallel with the first two, and about a foot inside them, notching as before. The ends of these should be spanned with beams eight feet in length.

Two more long logs are next in order—let them be one foot inside the last two. Overlap these with beams five feet and a half in length, and in the exact centre of these last pieces chop notches for a heavy log for a ridge pole. The gable outline, direct from the ridge pole to the eaves, should now be cut off by the aid of a sharp axe. This may be done either while the pieces are in position, or the line may be marked with a piece of chalk, and the logs taken down in order to accomplish it.

The roof is now required. This should consist either of strips of bark or the rounded sides of logs split off and hollowed into troughs. The latter method is preferable, on account of its greater strength and durability, but the bark will answer the purpose very well, and is much more easily obtained. The manner of adjusting the roof pieces is clearly shown in our illustration. The first row is laid on with the hollow side up securing them at top and bottom by nails driven through each into the ridge pole and eaves-log, care being taken that one of these pieces projects well over the gable, on both ends of the hut.

These pieces are now overlapped by the second row, and with the addition of the large piece which covers them all at the ridge pole, the roof is complete, and will stand a heavy rain with little or no leaking. The crevices should now be stopped with moss, dried grass or clay, after which the log cabin is complete. When the bark roof is made, additional poles may be inserted beneath as props. They should be three or four inches in diameter, and run parallel with the ridge pole, at intervals on the slope, notches being cut to secure them.

Our engraving represents a chimney, which may be constructed if desired, but the necessity of this may be done away with by using a small camp stove, and making a small opening in the gable end of the hut for the passage of the pipe. If a stove should not be at hand, and our amateur should decide to “rough it” to the full extent, he may build his fire-place and chimney as follows: It will be necessary to cut away an opening in the logs at the gable end, as was done for the door and windows. This should be about three feet square, and the fire place should be built of stone and clay, or cement, to fill the opening, and project inside the hut.

The chimney may then be built up outside in the same manner, sufficiently high to overtop the gables.

Inside the hut overhead will be found abundant room for the hanging of the skins, and any number of cross-poles may be rested across the beams. There are facilities for the swinging of a hammock, if desired, and, in fact, a hut constructed like the foregoing is a perfect one in its way. There are other methods of building a log cabin, but we will content ourselves with what we consider the best way of all, and pass on to the-


This is made by first driving into the ground two forked poles seven or eight feet in height and stout enough to sustain a ridge pole of moderate size. Against this ridge pole other poles should be rested at intervals of two feet, and sloping to the angle of forty-five degrees. The frame-work thus formed should now be covered with bark, commencing at the ground and allowing the edge of each piece to overlap the one beneath after the manner of shingles, in order to shed the rain in case of storm. Spruce or birch bark are excellent for this purpose and the pieces may be secured with nails, and kept flat by the weight of another series of poles rested against them. The sides of the shelter should be treated similarly, the front being usually left open to face the fire, which the trapper generally builds a few feet distant. In constructing a bark shanty, it is well to select some spot protected from the wind, close to the foot of a mountain or in the midst of trees, always letting the open side face the direction most sheltered.

If desired, the front can be enclosed after the manner of the sides and top, but this is not required where the fire is used.

This style of shelter is represented here, and certainly looks very comfortable.