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Grey Owl

Tenderfoot
Nov 26, 2006
93
1
46
Canada
voyagetothebay.cauc.ca
A few years ago there was a thread featuring photos and descriptions of a winter trip in either Sweden or Norway. The course participants appeared to be military and there were several shots of the emergency shelters that were constructed by the participants. After having tried multiple searches and various combinations of words I will now appeal to the collective memories of everyone present.

Could anyone direct me to that thread?

I've been thinking about the design and construction of the combination debris/tree and snow shelters and would like to post some questions.

Thanks for reading.
 

Grey Owl

Tenderfoot
Nov 26, 2006
93
1
46
Canada
voyagetothebay.cauc.ca
Thank you to both of you for finding the thread and Southey for being willing to answer additional questions. Where we live in Alberta, we get plenty of snow and cold weather and I'm excited to learn some shelter/construction techniques that are not commonly used out here. If not making use of a canvas tent with woodstove, the most common shelters we use would be quinzhees and igloos, although for igloos it can be very difficult to find ideal snow conditions.

Are the following two images of the same/similar shelters?

I'm attempting to understand the construction method. The idea of felling a tree at chest height is understandable. But are you creating an additional frame to support the structure? In the second picture there appears to be something. Is the very tip of the tree supported by this crossbar? Is the entire bough structure and its frame built prior to adding any snow, or did you build a short pony wall out of snow that then supports the bough layer?



This third image I understand to be a larger version of the first two, is that correct?


You mention a tear drop shape for the above structure, which as you can tell I'm still attempting to understand the construction of. But the following picture appears to have a much more rectangular shape, almost as though it is a pole frame leanto, thatched with branches and finally covered with snow. Could you expand on this structure as well? Are you able to create a cold air well, or do you rely on the wall backed fire to create the warm pocket of air inside? Is the second picture a partially thatched version of a similar shelter?





The instructors build that is nestled very tightly underneath the surrounding spruce trees. Does this also start it's creation by felling a tree at chest height? The entryway frame appears to be quite solidly built, does this incorporate the 'stump' of the fallen tree?

Any hints, or additional photos showing the various stages of construction would be very welcome and very valuable to learn from.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to learning a few more details and techniques.
 

Retired Member southey

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jun 4, 2006
11,098
1
your house!
Okay the tree felled at shoulder height shelter,

I removed all branches below shoulder height and kept them to the side, the felled the tree, it doesnt matter which direction it falls as long as its not on you, then using the the removed branches build a simple layered wall with an door way, use what left on the floor, then cut a tunnel down the length of the felled top, use these bows to line the floor as you go, you will also nee to dig the snow as you go to give you extra hieght (not to much though else youll have to warm a lot of air space) tunnel in two thirds of the top leaving the sides thick, then go outside, trim off the top most bows, use half to cover the roof along the tunnel to stop any powder dropping through, take the rest inside for the floor this need to be built up so as you have to kneel down to move around in side, then back outside an pile the snow half way up the side walls all the way round, at the door way dig down to the ground this is where your fire will be, site your entrance out of the wind(if the wind changes direction you can make a wind break out of snow to guard the door), this is a great team shelter we slept 5 in ours and it was very warm, limit movement in and out though if there are a few of you as the draft will drag out the warmth, don't make a fire inside as the lot will burn readily, here is a ropey pic i have drawn:eek:



the second pic is of a similar type but made for two people, the first bit is the same except that you cut the bows off at waist height, and the top is felled just above this, the top is removed and used to prop up one end off the ridge pole while the other rest on the stump, the rest of the construction is the same, plenty of floor boughs, pile the snow half way up, this one we put a small plinth in to use a stove on,
the third pic is this shelter after a week,

the third shelter is a low leant too, this type is built under the edge of the tree, it is a more tactical type of shelter and for normal use I would suggest making a steep angled shelter to shed the snow better, its a tree use heavy shelter as to need a lot of them to make the roof,dodgy pic inbound, the boughs from the trees used are used to thatch the sides and roof, the roof needs to be thick, about and arms depth of boughs on the rough and half on the side again a thick floor,





I am guessing that the partially built on is a simple thatched a frame but this was from Gregs pics,

hope that helps a little, I will see if i have any build pics, but we were very busy at those stages so maybe not

Southey,
 

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Grey Owl

Tenderfoot
Nov 26, 2006
93
1
46
Canada
voyagetothebay.cauc.ca
Brilliant thank you, that gives me a much better idea on how these structures are constructed. The first shelter, image and description were easy to understand, the next one still has me scratching my head.

The image in the lower left I believe is the tactical style, low angle lean-to. The construction of this is fairly easy to visualize. But I do have a few questions about the upper two images. So, if you're ready for a few more questions, I'll try be clear about my confusion.

The upper left image: is this a two part picture? Showing the tree standing (the triangle) and fallen with the end propped up and a door constructed? Actually the more I look at these two images, the more confused I become. Perhaps I beg for a little more assistance in understanding these shelters?

 

Retired Member southey

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jun 4, 2006
11,098
1
your house!
Sorry G O I should have annotated the schemes Stu is right they are the shelter as it stands when finished before you lay on the boughs to make the walls, the low leantoo is built under is standing tree, you can even cut away more branches under the standing tree, and thatch to create a store room,