Shelters are one of my favorite primitive skills. There are so many variations and they really are ingenious. I built a thatched shelter that I lived in for a year and a half. It was the best home I’ve ever lived in.

Here’s the original thatched shelter.

After the first winter I had time to add a stacked debris wall to add two feet of insulation.

Even the first winter, it did okay. The only problem was wind- it would blow the cold through the thatch.

See how nice it sits on the landscape.

You can see the small fire ring on which I did all my cooking and heating. There is a smoke hole just off center so when it snowed I’d get a little pile in the shelter.



James’ beautiful Earth lodge. Steps lead down to a 10 foot circular room. Really amazing home.

Brett building a wickiup frame.

The finished wickiup.

Cathie bending poles of her wigwam frame.

One of my debris huts with a grass mat door.

Lean-to for wood storage outside my shelter.

Tri-pod with reed mat cover- it’s my outhouse.

Cool snow shelter from Tribal Wisdom.

Eric’s debris hut.

Eric lived in his debris hut year round.


Adding stacked wood walls helped retain heat in Eric’s debris hut compound.