Shelters - Bough
If a bough of a tree happens to fall down towards the
ground then it may well form a ready made shelter (espically useful if
the tree is conifer type, as the broad leaves mean little extra work
needs to be done to waterproof your shelter). Obviously you will have to
take care that a broken branch is not about to come crashing down on
your head in the middle of the night. If in doubt, or if you are
constructing this shelter using a separate branch, lash the branch at
the tree with a sturdy (square) lashing.
To finish off your shelter you may want to weave extra leaves and
branches into the 'roof' to make it more resistant to the wind and rain.
Shelters - Hollow
A natural hollow can save you a lot of time and effort
in constructing a shelter. Even a relatively small hollow can provide
some measure of comfort and protection and will save you some effort. A
roof should be the first modification you make, taking care to slope it
so that any runoff will not enter your shelter.
You only need a few short branches with a light log laid across the top.
This will serve to 'hold' the roof down but you can then stack smaller
branches against the log to give your roof a decent slope. If you finish
off the roof with turf or leaves and twigs you will have a simple
shelter against the wind and rain.
Shelters - Fallen Trunks
As with the natural hollow shelter a fallen trunk or large log can
make a useful windbreak. If you need a larger shelter simply excavate
the ground on the leeward side (taking care to leave the trunk in a safe
position!). Again a sloping roof laid against the log made from branches
overlaid with turf or leaves will provide a good roof to keep the warmth
in and the water out.
Shelters - Stone Wall
If there is little natural shelter available on an open ground area,
you may want to consider some type of stone shelter. It is also useful
to construct a stone surrounding to any shelter that uses a 'hollow' in
order to increase the overall height of the shelter itself (so you do
not have to crawl all the time in your shelter).
The premise is simple, build a layer of stones around your shelter. To
make the walls waterproof, fill the gaps with turf and foliage mixed
with mud. This will dry to form a 'mortar'. Be sure to do this on the
lower level to prevent water entering. Similarly you will want to
construct a roof as with the other shelters.