How to Build a Log Cabin Fort

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Building a traditional log cabin style fort is difficult because vertical walls are not naturally stable. If you can lean your logs against something, however, you will have a much easier time. Fallen trees make great natural roof beams for improvised forts. Find one and gather some branches together to start off your log cabin fort project.

Things You'll Need

  • Felled tree
  • Branches
  • Mud
  • Vines
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Shovel
  • Find a fallen tree. Look for a big, old tree which has fallen in such a way that the roots hold one end of it off the ground. You want something high enough that you can sit under it, but not too high. The higher it is, the longer the branches you use will have to be, so use your judgment.

  • Gather a lot of branches. Get thick, heavy branches as well as thinner sticks and twigs. You are going to have to do some improvising, so it will be easier if you gather supplies together first.

  • Lean branches against the tree from either side, starting by the roots. Lean the branches at about a 30-degree angle and make them into two uniform walls. Pack them in as densely as possible. You will not need to attach them, since gravity will hold them against the fallen tree.

  • Stack branches horizontally along the walls you have made. Use small sticks to gradually build up your log cabin fort. Stack them all the way up to the top.

  • Reinforce the sticks with mud, vines, string and whatever else you have lying around. The vertical members will stay in place, but the horizontal ones can slide down on their own. Tie them onto the vertical sticks. Then, pack a thin layer of mud on top of them. This will hold them steady and provide some extra insulation.

  • Make a door. Hang a tarp in front of the open end of the log cabin fort with string. Push it aside to enter and exit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't make it too big if you don't have enough supplies. A small, well-built fort is better than a large one with big holes in the walls.
  • If you have green, flexible branches, you can weave the vertical and horizontal sticks together to make a stronger structure.
  • Don't use big, thick horizontal logs. They can crush the vertical sticks and injure whoever is inside, or unexpectedly roll away.
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