first round house



Inside, the fire is going.


I am outside, the smoke is inside … actually it was ok.


The field it was built in. This is a pasture that horses graze in (when
there’s grass).


A last shot while leaving.

During the winter of 2002 (2002-01-20), my Dad and I built a small (10’x12′, 6′ high) dome shelter from bent saplings, covered with painter’s canvas drop cloth. It had a 2′ square hole in the roof at one end, to let the smoke out. We got as far as building a fire inside, to check that the smoke sat high enough not to drive us out choking. (The smoke doesn’t necessarily all run out the vent, it tends to fill up the inside down to a certain level – the “smoke ceiling”. Hopefully this ceiling is above your head for most of your activities). It ended up at about 4′, and we could sit under it comfortably.

When we built it, the ground was frozen and we had to pound a short, stout, pointed sapling into the ground with a rock to make a hole for each frame sapling. We gave up on this after awhile as I got too tired to lift the rock to pound with. To make the story short, a month later the wind had peeled back the tarp, and the frame was sagging towards one end like jello sliding off a plate. I took it all down and cleaned up. Hope to try again some time.

The plans were to build bedframes around the sides, shelves, sitting contraptions (tripod-like chair backs, for leaning against when sitting on the ground), etc. To gather and dry herbs, dry and smoke meat, perhaps make a clay oven for baking. In general to try out all the skills involved with a primitive camp.

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