Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Studying Nature for Survival - The Woodpecker and Natural Shelter

Sometimes learning how to survive can be as simple as studying nature. Many of the creatures that co-exist with us can show you the way. Many times it is so obvious that we fail to observe the little things that they do and in this we are failing to learn some of the simple but often harsh lessons, if ignored, that nature can teach us.

One example of such an activity is the nesting habits of woodpeckers. Pictured above is a tree cavity where a nesting pair of red-headed woodpeckers live in my yard. I tried to get a picture of the actual woodpecker but I don’t think he was “home” at the time, although he does stick his head out on occasion.

They take advantage of natural cavities in trees to make their homes. They do have to do a little work to make it useable but know it will be worth the effort. They know it affords protection from the heat, the cold, the wind and the rain. If you don’t have a tent or a tarp handy, you’d better be prepared to find natural forms of shelter that are often readily available in nature or be able to utilize natural materials that are available to make one.

Take a little time to observe nature’s creatures and they can show you simple ways to survive.

Got bushcraft?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

I was thinking an impromptu 'hut' could be constructed from some of those 15' x 5' cattle panels if arched in middle, ends about a 12" off the ground. Placed end to end, 3 panels would be about 14' long (allowing 6" overlap) by about 6' wide. 30" w. x 7' cot., plywood panel table.

3 course (24" h) grout filled 8" wythe block wall along both edges, cattle panels cut into top course and embeded in top edge (looks like an upside taco). A 6' person would have about 8" head room. Floor - well, build to suit. Pea gravel would be an easy to care for surface, though crunchy to walk on (i.e. noisy). Put visqueen first to prevent water seepage.

Cover walls to suit. I've heard of burlap skin, skim coated with concrete to make watertight skin has worked. Insulate exterior - thatched limbs with piled on leaves or encourage grass to grow along edges (could invite rodents / snakes).

Ends are harder to finish - maybe cut cattle panel to shape, form a hatch way?

Basically building a quonset hut 'man cave', but I bet a single person could build this on the cheap for less than $200, no one the wiser.

Just thinking weird thoughts - anyone else with some wild ideas?

Anonymous said...

The book MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN detailed living in a hollowed out tree - he too was thinking of living in natural shelters as well.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:46

The sky for a blanket and the ground for a bed...much simpler.

Sounds like an excellent shelter, even if it does seem to require a lot of effort. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:52

After the original novel, My Side of the Mountain, was published in 1959, Jean C. George wrote four sequels: On the Far Side of the Mountain (1991), Frightful's Mountain (1999), Frightful’s Daughter (2002) and Frightful's Daughter Meets the Baron Weasel (2007).

All of these make for some excellent reading. Although the original stories were based in upstate New York, the movie of the same name was filmed in Quebec.


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