An emergency shelter using only one tree

Hey Folks, Norseman here with I am gonna show you real fast, how to make a quick one tree shelter that can save you from a fast approaching storm. Stick around! Well talking about shelters, and not really trying to confuse that with some sort of a sustained living shelter. If you are out or lost in the woods and you need a shelter in a hurry to get out of a storm or an on coming weather pattern or you just need to hunker down and get some hot wets for the night. This is a perfect tree for what we are looking for because its leaning in a good direction. Then I have to check and make sure that its not going to get hung up when I fell it and I don’t want to fall it like I am falling a tree for wood product.

I want it to lean and stay attached at the cut point so that supports the base and what we are making is a really impromptu lean-to with one tree and using just whats available there so we don’t have to traipse all over the place tracking up the snow showing our presence and gathering all of the other materials to do it. We can do it in one spot without making a big footprint signature for someone to track and find us if that happens to be our goal. I am putting them off to the side so I can use them later because there is no reason to waste it, it will still make good lattice work. I want to leave the layers on, but I am starting to warm up, if I keep going I am gonna start sweating and I’m going to defeat all of my other layers. What I did over here is, I chopped clean through the majority of the heart wood so that some of the sap wood will be remained. When the tree starts to lean so that there is something to grip onto and hold it.

And I am also taking advantage of the wind right now and the natural leaning of the tree to get it go where I want it to go. GOING…good So now that I dropped the tree exactly how I wanted it, and it’s still supported, this is my main beam for my shelter. Now all I have to do is clear out underneath it and harvest all the boughs from the front and layer them on to make my roof and to insulate the shelter itself. OK so now that we have finished the shelter we’ve got it nice and stable.

You can see that it’s like a little cocoon in here. It’s not 100% water proof at this point but that’s not a concern here in the snow. If we get snow that just adds an extra insulating layer to the outside. If we are in the summer time this same shelter is useful except we don’t have to worry about tracking up the snow and showing our presence so we can go ahead and pick up forest debris and start piling it up on top of this shelter in order to make it more and more waterproof and more insulated. So as an added bonus some of the byproduct of doing this is we have all these bits and pieces of pine boughs laying around.

We have to use that and anything else we can, to insulate our bodies from the cold, cold, ground so it doesn’t pull our heat out through the middle of the night. You can see this main beam we have cut all the notches a little bit higher than the joint so they don’t damage our axes on the really hard part where it comes out of the tree. But underneath we are going to have to go through and really clean it out so we can watch our eyes and really keep it safe when we are bumbling around in the middle of the night. We can put a fire down low here and build a reflector wall that can reflect that heat back in the door we can also as you see, lean up some braces along this outside and block against the rain, the wind, and protect the fire. And we can also store our firewood up underneath this lean-to side so its not in the shelter with us but its next to the fire drying out so we just grab it and toss it back into the fire.

If you maintain a small fire here it will heat this entire shelter. If you can’t maintain a fire because of whatever environment that you’re in just build another pile of pine boughs and pull em up to block the door like a little cubby cover and then hunker down for a cold, cold, night. This is an Eastern Hemlock, it’s a very dense heavy wood. If you do this with spruces or some other trees this connection won’t break like this one did it will stay connected. This one I am not worried about the stability it would take a lot to move it. But in other climates where you have higher winds and softer trees this will actually stay connected and you don’t have to worry about it. If they wont stay connected like in this cold environment where they just snapped off and you’re concerned about the stability of this, there is no reason to build an elaborate contraption. You just knock it to the ground, canoe this out with your axe, just cut a big vee in it and then set it back in the vee and it will be stable and ready to go.

If it still worries you once you set it into the vee you can drive a wedge through it and into the tree but that’s a lot of work if its not necessary. Now this is an Eastern Hemlock tree that Norseman cut down for that shelter. But the most interesting part for me is the fact that it has bark on it that’s very, very, useful this bark was used for hide tanning for generations here in Canada and Eastern United States but further back it was used for something else. If you look at this mokotagen or crooked knife this mokotagen actually has a dark handle made of cherry wood but cherry is not normally this color. This color actually comes from that Eastern Hemlock bark being boiled down into a dark, syrupy, creamy, liquid. And the bark stains and hardens the wood making it resilient and beautiful. Well Robert and I we drew the short straws so we get to sleep in the deluxe hotel over here.

We are gonna spend the night in it just to see what it’s like. That’s the whole point of this training we are going out of our comfort zone, essentially stress inoculation. We are learning to deal with stressful situations in a safe environment. So we do have sleeping bags and we do have a hot tent if we need it. But this gives us the opportunity to experiment with less and see what we can handle. Hey folks thanks for sticking around to the very end. I hope you enjoyed that im glad that you did. I hope you got something out of it. before I go I want to thank the other “Brothers of Bushcraft” that showed up with me Mikhail Merkerov from “Merkwares and Emberlit stoves”, Robert Munilla “Practical Survivor”, and Caleb Musgrave with “Canadian Bushcraft” Who hosted us. As always if you enjoyed that video, like, comment, share, and spread the word. Remember, Survival is a discipline of Attitude, Knowledge, Skills and Actions, Survival is not Mandatory! .

This shelter can be made by cutting down one tree and using the resources that it More importantly It is quick and Only one tree was harmed in the making of this entire tree was later used as resources for students at Canadian Bushcraft and was already marked to be If you like this video, Subscribe, Like and share this channel on social

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