I am posting this as an effort to ensure that I don't just start this project and then blow it off to do something else
Here's the deal. For awhile now I've wanted to build a shelter in the woods on family land. I had a couple when I was younger but they've since either gotten knocked down, burned down, blown down, or rotted.
I found the ideal location for my tipi. This clearing is smooth, dry, and slightly sheltered from the wind and not entirely visible from the road due to a screen of hawthorn, witch-hazel, tulip poplar and greenbriar near the edge of the trees. It is close enough to a water source to save time and energy, but not so close as to be soggy or clammy. It is close enough to home that we can all walk there and carry gear in on foot or ATV, but far enough that it is unlikely that it will be defaced by drunken hooligans (not knocking drinking, just the type of people who destroy carefully made shelters) . You can see the slight windbreak of poplar trees where my coat is lying:
IMG_20130108_163049.jpg by Stagdag1, on Flickr
The clearing where I am siting my tipi is created by this enormous pine tree. Another, larger one recently fell in a windstorm nearby, providing me with plenty of boughs for thatching my shelter. I could, of course, build a lean - to using the fallen tree, but it was awfully close to the property line and I wanted a shelter that can be heated with a stove or small fire...big enough for four people, and simple enough for me to construct on my own in a few days' time. The tipi - shaped debris shelter shines in that regard. Other similar shelters include the wikiup (wigwam) and the simple leaf cave. However...the lean - to has a poor thermal retention, unless you build (and feed) a longfire throughout the night, the wikiup is really a better group project, and the leaf cave debris shelter is not only impractical at this time of year (no dry leaves), but would also be too cramped for my purposes:
IMG_20130108_163033.jpg by Stagdag1, on Flickr
Tipi debris shelter: Day One:
I have one longer central forked pole and two shorter "fill" poles cut so far. On Saturday I will continue cutting poles and erecting the frame. On Sunday I will thatch and insulate it:
IMG_20130108_163011.jpg by Stagdag1, on Flickr
Keep me accountable, peeps!