Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A quest for shelter

Today I want to talk about my plan to head out in the wild for a longterm trip again.
Everyone who knows a thing or 2 about bushcraft and wilderness survival knows that building a shelter is top priority.  As I said before I will get on my bicycle, head east and stay once I find an ideal location. This means biking through Holland and Germany. I say this because I think that Poland might have great forests where I could take a long break but if not then I'll head further. Along this route I will have to build simple shelters to stay overnight. Each time the sun goes down I will get my bike of the road, into the bushes, build a shelter to sleep in and continue my journey the next day

Bare in mind that this is Illegal in Holland and Germany since this is considered wild camping (which is forbidden over here). However the more I head east the more this is tolerated. Also I will be packing alot of food that is ready to eat so i'll probably won't be starting any campfires in these countrys and on top of that I will try to stay invisible most of the trip.

Shortterm Shelter

All the shelters that I will build along my route will probably be A-frame debris shelters.
They are easy to build, quick to build and great for an overnight stay for 1 person.
Simply find a few branches, build the frame and cover it with leaves to make it waterproof or lay a poncho on top of it.  Or even better.. build the frame, poncho over the frame, debris over poncho for invisibility (wild camping not aloud remember). I'm planning building this type of shelter all the way untill I reach the polish border.

Longterm Shelter

Once I have reached my ideal-longterm-stay-location (more about what I consider an ideal location later) it will be time to build myself a longterm shelter and now it becomes a whole different ballgame. This is not just a shelter I will sleep in for a night but for years. It also becomes a place for cooking, a place to stay warm during winter and a place to just relax. What my longterm shelter will look like i do not yet know but it will have to be bigger and more solid then the debris shelter. So i'm thinking about experimenting with clay. Clay is easy to find, easy to work with and I have some experience making things out of it so making clay bricks might be a good idea.

I once heard that people made bricks by mixing clay with straw so I can give it a try. The above picture shows a house under construction with the walls made of adobe bricks.
These bricks are made with mixing Sand, Clay, Water and Straw. It's a populair building material especialy in the Arabic world and I will keep this idea in the back of my head once I get there.

There are many websites about bushcraft and survival that teach you how to build a shelter and there are many, many types of shelters they'll teach you to build but all these shelters are for people who try to survive in the wild for a week, a month in some cases. So building this might be the hardest part of my entire trip.

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