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daytonamisticrip's avatar

How would I make a fort in the woods?

Asked by daytonamisticrip (4843points) October 4th, 2010

I am planning on making a fort in the woods but I don’t know how to make it. I want one that could last and stand a while. Something that will take a while to build. How can I build a fort with no tools except my hands and maybe a pocket knife?

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18 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Get a seven-year-old boy to help, and just feed him. That is, feed him stories to keep his interest up in the endeavor: protection from wild animals, marauding tribes of natives, zombies and werewolves, and snacks at least hourly.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

In this neighborhood if I bring a seven year old into the woods It looks really bad. They will think I was trying to kidnap him. :)

CMaz's avatar

That is sad, but true.

Building forts and tree houses. Ah, the good old days.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

In that case, get two boys. And a dollar an hour from their mothers for babysitting. Problems are only opportunities in disguise.

Trillian's avatar

If you limit yourself to a pocket knife, but want something that is going to last I suggest river stone and clay.
We used stuff like bits of boards, branches, cords and string, blankets or sheets from some poor unsuspecting neighbor’s clothes line. And rocks. Lots of rocks to weigh things down. But we knew that permanence was not in it for us. We also weren’t concerned with watertight integrity, and aesthetics was a concept that we understood but were not often able to achieve.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

@Trillian clay! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. There is a huge sinkhole with still ponds and rivers near my house. It is a little far from where I plan to build the fort but PERFECT! :) Thank you!
Now to move on to ways to get out of my house! Jk I already got my ways.

Trillian's avatar

@daytonamisticrip Do not go near sinkholes without at least letting someone know where you are going first. Karst land is dangerous and one never knows when the next bit of erosion will drop the earth right from under one’s feet. Be sure to take a cell phone with you and check in periodically with someone.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

@Trillian I’ll be careful, thanks for the warning.

Austinlad's avatar

Eat lots of beans.

Kayak8's avatar

@Trillian Thanks for including the warning. My dogs and I stay busy with people doing just that kind of thing without letting anyone know their intentions and time expected back! I may get another evening in front of the TV safe in my warm house if others followed your advice!

As for fort building, you haven’t indicated your purpose. For example, if defense of the fort is necessary, you need to incorporate that into your plan (e.g., “window” type opening to allow snowballs, rocks, etc. to fly out from the fort).

Also, go to your site for one 24 hour period and watch how the light falls at different times of day and make notes about the prevailing wind direction. This will give you some good ideas for the direction your doorway (egress) should face.

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but where I have built forts, it allowed for cooking on an open fire away from the fort, so I didn’t have to account for chimneys etc. Any good Boy Scout/military manual with a chapter on lashing will give you a pretty good idea of what is involved.

I like building a fort into the south side of a hill (my doorway faces south) and, as our prevailing winds come from the southwest, a small stand of trees or other windbreak just west of the doorway is beneficial. I also like being far enough up the hill that I will not be surprised by flash flooding.

I choose to use all natural materials, so I don’t bring a tarp for the roof, etc., but you could incorporate such man-made materials to your advantage.

You also need to decide where your latrine is going to be and you need to dig a hole deep enough to account for waste. I recommend a supply of biodegradable TP as well. I have lashed a perfectly satisfactory “seat” to several trees and added windbreak walls on the side of the prevailing wind for “privacy.” I keep a small shovel nearby to cover waste. You want the latrine to be upwind and downhill from the fort.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Kayak8 all good points, except that the latrine should also be downwind, not upwind.

YellowsubmarineOnfluther's avatar

Use the pocket knife and take hostage of an architect untill the jobs done, then find a good hypnotist to change his ideas and values about you, until he is your friend. Then just lauph and believe he did it as favor, should take like a month or two.

Kayak8's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Oh crap, yes, that is what I meant to say. How critical is that?

Fred931's avatar

If you build a fort in the woods, and nobody sees it…

daytonamisticrip's avatar

@YellowsubmarineOnfluther….Okay then….ah….I have nothing to say except.. that’s pretty original.

YellowsubmarineOnfluther's avatar

it’s full proof, dont tread on me bro and I like your pic, im part dog, got bitten in the face when i was five, part of my xbox live name is k9kid, i love dogs

daytonamisticrip's avatar

It’s not a dog, It’s a wolf. :)
I like your profile picture to.

incendiary_dan's avatar

If you have appropriate saplings in your area, you could make a wigwam shelter. It helps if you also have something to use as coverings.

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