Shelters and Tents. Lean-To

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,

thick trees.

The lean-to frame can be covered with your poncho in case of necessity,

but boughs are much better.

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