SHELTERS YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF
(for PART 1: An Introduction to Tents click here)
A true outdoorsineer might prefer to create his own inside outside. Below are shelters you can make yourself. All can be constructed of available materials and little know how.
The Stick with a Tarp Over It
This is a ﬁne tent, one you would be happy to trundle into after a long day on the trail. To make this tent, start by ﬁnding a sturdy, straight stick, preferably from a young tree that still has some spring in it. If you are without an ax or hatchet, this is a great opportunity to rob a beaver of his sticks. The satisfaction of beaver robbing should not be underestimated. Once you have your stick, position it horizontally four to ﬁve feet above the ground. Use saplings or y shaped sticks to hold it in place. Next lay a tarp over it. Congratulations, you have made a tent!
The idea is very similar to the stick with a bear pelt tent discussed earlier. However, there is one fundamental difference, by using a tarp, you can avoid the bear pelt. This eliminates the risk of running into a bear and being disappointed.
Wigwams are a slightly more permanent shelter of traditional Native American design. You begin with a circle drawn in the ground of 10 to 12 ft diameter. Next, bend young saplings and drive them into the ground along the circle’s circumference, making a series of arches highest in the middle. Weave additional saplings along the base of the arches, providing support. Then, to ensure a tight ﬁt take a large quantity of peyote – or mescaline, if peyote is unavailable – and bury yourself neck deep in the sand.
Await your spirit animal. If your animal is a moose, cougar, owl, ﬁeld mouse, scorpion, or pygmy elephant your shelter will be strong. If it is any other animal you must begin again in the next life.
If your spirit journey was a success begin looking for large sections of bark to weave at the top of your arches. This will be the foundation of your roof. I have found that this is an excellent time to take more peyote and in the following dreamscape murder my father, bed my mother, and watch others grow envious of my penis. Depending on the amount of peyote available you should be done in a matter of hours or months and have a sturdy wigwam, or a miserable pile of sticks, or nothing. If you have nothing, go steal a stick from a beaver and make a Stick With A Tarp On It (see previous section).
The rock is a rock you ﬁnd and sleep on. Make sure to sleep on top of the rock and not under it. The rest you should be able to handle on your own. Watch out for phlogiston.
The Abandoned Car
This is a ﬁne shelter: it is warm, sturdy, and only sometimes full of raccoon babies and their aggressive mother. Also called the Tennessee Summer home, this shelter is particularly prevalent in the wilds of Southern United States or anywhere that used to be the Soviet Union. Already equipped with soft seats, doors, windows, and rusted metal (which has obvious potential for weaponry and entertainment) these are truly backcountry treasures.
The Murder Shed
Do not let the name throw you, the murder shed is actually a very genial shelter for the savvy outdoorsineer. The truth is that in the course of your adventurous wandering you will frequent many of the same places so loved by murderers. Dark forests, lonely mountains, caves, abandoned subway systems – these are all locations rife with both adventures and murders. So, why not take advantage?
When a murderer builds a murder shed he is looking for a number of speciﬁc features. He wants it to be off the beaten track, away from the prying eyes of both police and renegade police with nothing to lose, able to withstand frenzied escape attempts from multiple victims over many years, sound proof, and cozy. Well, the outdoorsineer too wants to be off the beaten track. And if a shelter is built to withstand the frenzied escape attempts of multiple victims over many years, it will certainly stand up to a little weather. Add the sound prooﬁng to boot and you have yourself a mighty ﬁne shelter.
Before bedding down in a murder shed take your time to do some research. First, ﬁnd out if the murderer is in the shed. If they are, you may want to try back later. Second, ﬁnd out if the murderer is near the shed or might be returning soon. For instance, if a victim is recently chained to a wall inside the shed, you might want to construct a wigwam or stick with a tarp over it nearby and wait until the murderer is ﬁnished.
Prior to the rise of conservation movement in the 1970’s, it was common practice for the outdoorsineer to intervene in a scenario like this. It was a different time then. Travelers would carve their names into red wood trees, litter freely, break off pieces of stalactites as souvenirs, and graffiti their favorite Big Band leaders onto the sides of mountains. We have since learned that for the wild to remain wild we must be careful to treat all of nature with respect. Murderers are no different from endangered mushrooms or virgin riparian zones. If every victim in every murder shed in every forest were rescued by passers by, soon there would be no murderers in the woods. The ecosystem would break down and this essential piece of nature, murderers, would go the way of the condor.
Murderers, like all creatures encountered in the woods, are best left undisturbed. Remember, you are a just a visitor in the wilderness, leave only footsteps and take only pictures1.
After carefully observing the murderer in his habitat you should be able to discern his behaviors. Once it looks like the murderer is vacating the shed for a while, feel free to make yourself at home. Carefully move whatever human remains are left to one side of the shelter and spread out your sleeping bag. Sometimes murderers do a bad job and leave their victims mortally wounded but not yet dead. I have found that good cotton balls stuffed deep into the ears drown out their pleas admirably. Remember, leave the woods as you found them for the next outdoorsman to enjoy.
CONCLUSION- A WORD OF CAUTION
Now that you have a tent, there is something you must know. You may have very well sown the seeds of your own destruction, because the vast majority of outdoor accidents happen within 5 miles of a tent. There are some who say this is because if you are not sleeping in your tent you are carrying it on your back, or at least near it in camp. The author is not sold on this convenient logic and encourages the greatest caution around these dangerous devices.
An outdoorsineer should never sleep in a tent. In fact, most weathered outdoorsmen refuse to even enter a tent unless they are already trapped within a larger tent and choose to erect a small tent for protection from the larger tent.
So why have we learned about tents at all? First of all, knowledge is always good to have. Second, for reasons of style, tents are an essential part of outdoorsineering gear. Just like an untrustworthy cannibal guide who is asked which fork in the river does not lead to a cannibal camp of hungry cannibals, they must be part of the expedition regardless of their obvious danger.
Thankfully, due to extreme prudence, no outdoorsman has yet fallen to a tent related outdoorsineering accidents. In fact, no one even knows what these accidents would be as they have never occurred. That is a safety record all outdoorsmen can take pride in. It is true that in order to avoid tents many have died of exposure while sleeping on a rock or drowned attempting to shelter under a pond, but these are quite normal outdoorsineering deaths2.
So go out there and ﬁnd the tent that’s right for you and then, once in the outdoors, heave your tent into a crevasse. You are on your way!
- Under no circumstances should you allow the murderer to see you take pictures of the crime scene. [↩]
- There is one famous case of a certain outdoorsman Remmington Westchester Glock the 6th who escaped a tent related accident quite historically. R.W.G the 6th was reposing in his sleeping log when a hawk settled nearby and dropped what may have been a tent or possibly a dead rabbit. On the off chance it was a tent, R.W.G. the 6th knew he needed to act quickly before the tent accident had a chance to take effect. Using surprising calm he evaluated his position and promptly shot himself. His sage actions surely saved him from death by tent. [↩]