Shelters and Tents. Lean-To
Category: Iii Camping
For a fixed camp of longer or shorter duration your home will be under
the shelter of boughs, logs, or canvas. The home of green boughs is
considered by many the ideal of camp shelters. This you can make for
yourself. It is a simple little two-sided, slanting roof and back and
open-front shed, made of the material of the woods and generally known
as a lean-to, sometimes as Baker tent when of canvas.
There are three ways of erecting the front framework.
The first is to find two trees standing about seven feet apart with
convenient branches down low enough to support the horizontal top cross
pole when laid in the crotches. Lacking the proper trees, the second
method is to get two strong, straight, forked poles of green wood and
drive them down into the ground deep enough to make them stand firm and
upright by themselves the required distance apart. The third way is to
reinforce the uprights by shorter forked stakes driven firmly into the
ground and braced against the uprights, but this is not often necessary.
Having your uprights in place, extending above ground five feet or more,
lay a top pole across, fitting its ends into the forked tops of the
uprights. Against this top pole rest five or six slender poles at
regular distances apart, one end of each against the top pole and the
other end on the ground slanting outward and backward sufficiently to
give a good slope and allow sleeping space beneath. At right angles to
the slanting poles, lay across them other poles, using the natural pegs
or stumps left on the slanting poles by lopped-off branches, as braces
to hold the cross poles in place (Fig. 18).
When building the frame be sure to place the slanting poles so that
the little stumps left on them will turn _up_ and not down, that they
may hold the cross poles. Try to have spaces between cross poles as
regular as possible. A log may be rolled up against the ground ends of
the slanting poles to prevent their slipping, though this is rarely
necessary, for they stand firm as a rule.
You can cover the frame with bark and then thatch it, which will render
the shelter better able to withstand a storm, or you may omit the bark,
using only the thatch as a covering. Put on very thick, this should make
the lean-to rain-proof.
With small tips of branches from trees, preferably balsam, hemlock, or
other evergreens, begin thatching your shelter. Commence at the bottom
of the lean-to, and hook on the thatch branches close together all the
way across the lowest cross pole, using the stumps of these thatch
branches as hooks to hold the thatch in place on the cross pole (Fig.
19). Overlap the lower thatches as you work along the next higher cross
pole, like shingles on a house, and continue in this way, overlapping
each succeeding cross pole with an upper row of thatch until the top is
reached. Fill in the sides thick with branches, boughs, or even small,
The lean-to frame can be covered with your poncho in case of necessity,
but boughs are much better.
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