Build your own Rock Shelter (Perm or Temp)

Build your own Rock Shelter (Perm or Temp)

Postby wesurvive » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:39 am

One thing nice about Mother Earth is she provides us with everything we need to survive, its a wallyworld of her own and everything is FREE. I like the Free part too.

Here is a simply plan to build your own Rock shelter (Home is where you make it) and you can build these just about anywhere. (Exception of snow, ice, desert where there are no rocks handy).

Size is important since you have to take into affect you want enough sleeping space and for how many, room for your rock stove, room for dried food storage, and a little room to have that elbow space to work around in.

Location is near a water source and near a nice area where are plenty of rocks. You may want to check the consistency of the shores of the stream, lake or pond to see if there is plenty of clay or mud handy. This is for filling in those areas between the rocks to make it weather proof. Plus you will use mud for your roof as well..but I will get to that.

A flat area is preferred unless you really can't find one and then you have to build your floor out of rock as well. Some rock and mud will simply act like putting bricks together with mortar. The idea is to get a level floor however you can do it. Even with some help of some large fallen trees or small logs to get an area to add the rocks and mud to where you have a level floor. Just saves some time in finding a level area, but in some areas you are stuck with uneven ground and when weather is on the way, you don't have time to complain. Again, this is only one choice for a shelter. It is not needed, but can make life feel a lot more comfortable.

Adding strength to the mud or clay is done by adding dry weeds or nap weed, even any other strong weed to the mud mix. When it dries, it is like cement.

Starting with the layout. Find where you want your door and mark it with some rocks or sticks. Then start to make your walls by putting one layer of rocks all around in the shape you want your rock house to be. Planning our for windows for which views you want will also be incorporated later on.

Next, find your mud/clay area and start getting a nice area of mud or clay gathered up. The stickier the mud, the better it is. (You can always wash later since the water is close.) To carry the mud, you can use your shirt or improvise with what ever you have on hand.

Then start to lay your layers of rock, which should be about 2 foot thick walls and you can use large rocks and small rocks in the process. Each layer of rock you put down for the walls going all around will have one layer of mud as well on top, like mortar on a brick house. This seals the cracks and prevents bugs, animals and weather from getting in the walls. Try to keep the walls even at all times, but it can be sometimes hard with the different sizes of rock, so then when you get higher you can start to use smaller rocks in some areas and bigger rocks in the lower areas to try and get it even. You don't add windows until you are about a foot from the top of the wall. This way, you can place a large flat rock over the small window (keep it small since the larger they are the bigger the flat rocks you need to create a top beam for the window. Windows are going to be the areas about 1 foot from the top of the walls that you will leave blank during your process of making the walls, anyway you get the drift and can figure that out with some common sense. However, you do want to find a flat rock, perhaps even a few branches (thick) and make a shutter for your window, I prefer to not have more than one window facing the south for sunlight during the daytime, but that is your choice. You don't even need windows, but you may want a peek hole or put your little window in the door so you can see in your home during the daytime, unless you want to leave the door open or have a fire going all the time.

Now, you will want to build a fireplace. A simple fireplace can be made the same way, with rock and mud. The mud (Thick clay is best) will seal the stove and chimney so you don't get smoked out of the house. Since you will want to incorporate the chimney into the wall and out the wall you will want to use some nice round log pieces that will be in place in the wall surrounded by rock and mud and when you are done building your wall after the mud starts to get dry, you can burn the log out of your wall leaving a nice round hole for your chimney going out the wall. Then build the chimney up the side of the house with more rock and mud leaving the center empty so the smoke can go out and up and over the house. Just remember to leave a trap at the bottom of the chimney so it can catch any debris, wet soot and junk in the bottom, which you will not have a trap door, but it will burn out when it fills up and there is no fire danger when it does.

While making your rock and mud fireplace, you will want to make sure the top is covered with only a flat rock as much as possible, for this is your cooking area in which you can cook food on, even on top of the rock itself if you have no frying pans available. You cook on the rock. Or do the hot dog on a stick inside the fireplace trick.

If you want something pretty and romantic, (if you are a woman) you can make an open hearth type rock stove and make your chimney going out at the top of the wall and near the ceiling at an angle so you don't get rain and snow coming in the house.

Now you have fireplace, you have the walls, and you just need a roof. The other furniture can be made from rock and mud as well later on, but the roof now must go up. Finding thick branches (straight helps if you can) that are about 4 inches thick and lay them tightly next to each other across the top of the walls to start making your roof. You will then add a layer of mud evenly on this and then add another layer of 4 inch branches (not the pine needles or leaves, just the solid branch). After you have your layers of sticks, mud, sticks, mud and sticks, mud again then you start to make the center of the last layer of mud higher than the rest. Like even a dome shape if you want. This helps with the run off of water. Now add flat rocks starting form the bottom and work your way up, tile them on top of each other about a quarter of each size so they will let the water, snow and debris run off the roof like you see on any other house with shingles. Now you have a roof that is solid, will not leak and will keep the heat inside the rock house.

A door is simply using sticks tied together to make your door, I use at least 3 to 4 inch sticks so it is a strong door. Two poles will be along the outside of the doorway, pounded or dug into the ground and use rocks to keep it in place with your home made cement. Hinge it with strong rope, vines, or whatever you can find that will work (stringy bark, leather, etc.) which will need replacing over time. A latch can be of the same, tied around another stick pounded in the ground inside the doorway.

Now that is a shelter you can depend on and enjoy at the same time. Home away from home. If you have questions, post them and I will answer them when I check back. Who says survival must be without comfort?

Photos soon to come.
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