Using an Ax to Build a Winter Survival Shelter

Using an Ax to Build a Winter Survival Shelter

“Ax,” or “Axe?” You decide, just bring one for this lesson in outdoor winter survivalism. I like the added “e” on the end myself. I’m also aware that winter 2021-22 is only one official week away! Now, more timely winter prepping!

From Canada – where A LOT of winter prepper videos are made – comes a dandy idea from Nature Bound. A man. An Ax(e). A Shelter.

For this exercise, you’ll need winter (or another season) conditions, the outdoors, and an ax(e). Just lie on the ground. Place the ax(e) on your chest. And, think warm thoughts. It’s easy. Have a great day—

No, seriously, this is a heckuva build! You’ll also need a little muscle power, so eat your spinach and then report to the woods.

The Woods

(All pics from the video).

Here’s a helpful hint: the woods, aka “the forest,” is where one finds the trees. Trees are known for wood. And today’s shelter concept is constructed on wood.

Now, mankind has universally used axes, for thousands of years, to chop up wood (among other uses). I hope you can already see where this episode is going.

Pick A Suitable Site

That’s an axe handle protruding into the above picture next to the bent knee.

Ahem. Pick a site that’s somewhat shelter, clear of obstacles, and that’s easy to work on. You’ll be there as long as you are, so make yourself at home. Rather, just make yourself a home. Like this:


Using the axe, but some logs to suit. Then, assemble one as a central beam. It rests on other, standing trees, larger rocks, or – as seen here – a hewn tripod of other logs. The other end of this exact model is held aloft by a fallen tree’s root ball.

This is the main structure to hold the temporary roof over your head.

Build A Wall!

Once again making smart use of the axe, hack up some rea-wall studs or rafters. Place them leaning against your main beam, as seen here.

A note: one could easily substitute a handsaw or a hatchet for an axe. I suppose you could use a trained beaver, but, you know, weird.

In the absence of a beaver or similar building code inspector, have your dog sign off on the job.

Note that the side sticks wrap around the end of the shelter structure. 

Go Green

Lop off some Balsam or other evergreen branches – again with the axe. Use them to solidify the rear wall/roof of the shelter. They will block wind from behind and give blown snow somewhere to stick. Enough snow, and you are sealed in from behind by a solid wall without cracks.

Pack the branches as tightly as possible and layer them as you would shingles. 

Over and Around

Continue knitting the branches together against the frame until you create a green, woody cocoon of sorts. Notice that the greens over the top of the beam, fashioning an overhang. They also skirt the otherwise open side end. 

The home in the woods is now essentially built.

Now, it’s your task to add more evergreen branches underneath so as to make a bed. You can build a fire in front of the shelter and you’re ready to camp out in relative comfort.

Or, you can round it out into a tent or cabin.

All Sides

This finishing touch will shield you on all sides from the elements. 

If it’s really cold, then leave a sizable opening so you can access some heat from your campfire. Keep the fire a respectable distance from the shelter as it is made out of wood. Woods burns.

And, you’ll also use the handy axe to collect, split, and prime the firewood.

So armed against the windy wilds of nature, kindly,

Watch the Video:

Nature Bound / YouTube.

“Like” it!

The Nature Bound Channel. Find more videos on everything and a link to the all-important Merch! It’s a newer prepper channel, so help them get that subscriber count up. I’m looking for 100K+, so you know, do your part.

And, as always, come on back to FP as we roll deeper into the quest for full winter preparedness. See you soon.

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