How to Build a Lean To

A lean-to can assume different forms, but it has many uses. One of its biggest benefits is as shelter in the wilderness. The following instructions show how to build a lean-to.

Required Tools and Materials

Pocketknives
Tree branches, different sizes
Leaves or other debris

Step 1

Choose a spot for the lean-to. This is up to you. Some prefer a dense thicket, but others like the middle of a field. You can also pick a spot between it.

Just make sure to choose an area that is not too close to water. The distance from water should be 50 yards minimum. Evaporated water can add chills.

Step 2

Find a big rock or a fallen tree. This is where you should set the lean-to on. Get a branch and fasten it horizontally between a couple of trees. It must be set a few feet off the surface. When studying how to build a lean-to., make sure the structure it is set on is robust.

Step 3

Set heavy sticks by the lean-to’s horizontal brace. Go underneath it. Be certain there is sufficient room to sleep in. You don’t want it to be too big, but just enough you can sleep comfortably.

Step 4

Gather some twigs and small branches. Place these over the bigger branches. Make sure that only a bit is exposed.

Step 5

Gather whatever debris are available –pine needles, leaves, etc- and put it on top of your lean-to. The more debris you add on the lean-to, the more insulated it is going to be.

Step 6

Get some wood that will be used for lighting a fire. Be careful when handling fire. You will need to be extra cautious as bush tends to catch fire easily.

Tips and Warnings

Make the structure recognizable so people will know what it is. You should also make it easy to remember in case you wander a bit from the site. Ideally, the lean-to should not exceed the height of your hips. The idea is to facilitate air flow without making it too big.

Make sure the part you will sleep in is elevated a bit off the surface. This will make you more comfortable. It is also a good idea to employ dried grass. Rainwater will run on it.

This guide on how to build a lean-to is basic, but it covers all the essentials. Your own design may differ a bit from this one. However, you need to follow the basic guidelines outlined here so you will feel comfortable.

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