This shelter started off as a "house" that my three children (aged
6, 4, and 3) created in the course of their explorations. They
showed it to me and I thought, "perfect teaching opportunity"!!!
We built it bigger than necessary for a survival shelter -- it's
their summer home!
The frame is of drought-killed trembling aspen, aka poplar -
very brittle when sun dried for 3 years! Over this framework we
piled on hay from the nearby hayfield. The height of the grasses
before they were cut was approx. 16 - 18 inches. We picked up what
the baling machinery left behind.
The first night was a little cold for the boys (-1C) (but its a
dry cold out west!!), so the next day we scrounged more hay to give
a thicker layer. I added the heavier branches on the outside to
help pack it tighter to cut the drafts.
All in all, a cozy little shelter with room to sit or even kneel
in. Future plans are to build a debris wall enclosing a campfire
pit - a full blown primitive camp!! (no campfires when dad's not
[This is a great example of how to engage
children in the techniques of wilderness survival!]