Build a Wind Shelter with Rocks

Build a Wind Shelter with Rocks
You're at the beach when an onshore wind kicks up. You've climbed to a saddle and need a breather. You've stopped for the night, but the winds haven't. It's getting chilly. If only you could get out of the wind. You can--if you're in a rocky area. Make a shelter as people always have: use rocks and local topography.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rocks
  • Rocks
Step 1
Find a likely place. Look for a natural rock shelter, the base of a bluff, a large rock or a dune.
Step 2
Determine the best angle. Get behind the chosen protuberance or huddle at various places in the shallow cave. Find out which direction gusts are coming from.
Step 3
Assemble rocks in a number of sizes, starting with the largest you can carry.
Step 4
Build a wall or ell (corner) by stacking rocks, largest at the bottom and graduating upward to smaller rocks and stones. Test the best "lay" by rotating and turning each rock as you add it to the structure. Use stones to stabilize, too, chocking them between bigger rocks.
Step 5
The structure is tall enough when you can sit or lie in the shelter it provides.
Step 6
If you've reached an overnight stopping point, you may wish to fill larger holes between rocks with sticks, stones or (assuming water is nearby) mud. This is called "chinking" (stones or sticks) or "daubing" (mud).

Tips & Warnings

 
Lay out your sleeping bag behind a wind shelter for a pleasant night's sleep. If you also need to protect yourself from rain or snow, add a tarp to make an isosceles triangle. A small rock shelter is quick to assemble and saves cooking fuel: light your camp stove behind the shelter.
 
Lay out your sleeping bag behind a wind shelter for a pleasant night's sleep.
 
If you also need to protect yourself from rain or snow, add a tarp to make an isosceles triangle.
 
A small rock shelter is quick to assemble and saves cooking fuel: light your camp stove behind the shelter.
 
Snakes tend to inhabit rock nooks; many are nocturnal. Be alert. Scorpions (mostly in the southwestern region of the United States) sleep out their days under rocks and hunt at night. Keep an eye out for them. If you decide to add a warming or cooking fire to your shelter, pay heed to proper ventilation and combustibility. For example, set the stove just outside your tarp roof, rather than inside.
 
Snakes tend to inhabit rock nooks; many are nocturnal. Be alert.
 
Scorpions (mostly in the southwestern region of the United States) sleep out their days under rocks and hunt at night. Keep an eye out for them.
 
If you decide to add a warming or cooking fire to your shelter, pay heed to proper ventilation and combustibility. For example, set the stove just outside your tarp roof, rather than inside.

Article Written By Lani Johnson

Lani Johnson is a hiking, writing musician. Recent published work includes journalism, poetry and research. See her online writing at Trails.com or at Azacda.presspublisher.us.

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