How to Build a Debris Hut Shelter in the Wilderness

Debris huts have been used as shelters since ancient times. Although these sorts of huts are not very durable and might not last for too long but if you are stuck in wilderness, there can be nothing better than making such a hut out of debris found around you. The idea of making the debris huts is just the same as birds make their nests. It will keep you warm and safe in harsh weather conditions without lighting a fire or having thick winter clothes.


  • 1

    The location for building a debris hut is extremely vital in the entire process. Select a flat piece of ground which is not too open where wind can blow your entire hard work to pieces. Your location shouldn’t also be too dense, as many animals also prefer such areas for living and you might get into trouble.

  • 2

    Ensure that your selected location is about 50 yards from water, as air in such areas is damp and increase the chill. You also need to be close to the debris.

  • 3

    Plan the shape and size of your debris shelter. You will need a large piece of rock, tree stumps or any similar sort of object to make the frame of the shelter.

  • 4

    Find a straight and strong branch to serve as the top horizontal pole of your shelter. Make sure this ridgepole is a bit taller than your own height.

  • 5

    You have to brace the ridgepole firmly against the rock or tree stump and this can be done by using other branches to hold it in its position firmly. Remember that this is the ridgepole of your debris hut and it has to be affixed firmly or the entire hut will crash easily.

  • 6

    Ensure the branch end of the ridgepole is not any higher than your crotch, while the other end reaches the ground and affixed by some heavy rocks.

  • 7

    Now lean the stout sticks against the ridgepole as ribs but make sure to keep the opening door at the high end. You can check the size of the doorway by going inside and then make any needed adjustments.

  • 8

    Pile up all the twigs and fine brush on the ribs of the hut. Look for any debris you can find, like leaves, pine needles, dried ferns, grass, mosses etc., and pile it on your hut to cover it up completely.

  • 9

    You can add further stout sticks to keep the debris held into its position.

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