Giel Boles, Giel S. Boles

When building a fire it is important to have a backdrop (reflector) to help retain heat. Our emergency blanket is nice for reflecting heat and making a temporary shelter for the night.

Shelter - Lean-To

  We used a sinker as a clip when securing our emergency blanket to our waxed cord between two trees to create a backdrop to reflect heat back from our fire. A neat little survival trick.



Lean to shelters should have a 60 degree angle for the roof which helps shed water off the shelter.  Unfortunately, the depth of the lean to is not as deep as some may like.

1.  Connecting the main frame

a. Find two trees approximately 8-10 feet apart.

b. Find two tree branches (pole) that will extend between both trees and have approx 6 inches on each side left.  One pole is called the connecting pole- tied to the trees.  The second pole is the base pole which goes on the ground approx your head height away from the trees.

c. Tie the end of a tree branch (pole) at your head height to one of the trees, leave six inches overhang.

d. Tie the other end of the pole to the other tree, leave six inches overhang.

e.  This is called the connecting pole.

f.  Find three poles approx a foot taller than your head height.  These will tie in to the connecting pole.

g.  Lean and tie a pole on the outside of the tree where you have a six inch overhang, ensure the pole extends to the ground a distance of what your height is.  This gives you your 60 degree angle.

h.  Lean and tie a pole on the other outside of the tree where you have a six inch overhang, ensure the pole extends to the ground a distance of what your height is.  This gives you your 60 degree angle.

i.  Lean and tie the third pole to the center of the lean to connecting pole, ensure the pole extends to the ground a distance of what your height is.  This gives you your 60 degree angle.

j.  At the base (ground) tie the three poles to the base pole.

2.  Building the ribs

a.  Gather 10 - 12 tree branches the size of your thumb (ribs).

b.  Place the ribs across the center connecting pole and bend them slightly so the ends rest on the underside of the side poles.

3.  Boughs Placement

a.  Weave tree boughs at the bottom of the lean to through the ribs.

b.  Weave one row at a time, work your way up overlaying the previously laid tree boughs like shingles on a roof.

c.  The tree boughs need to be approximately 3 feet thick for effective water runoff and insulation.

4.  Trenching

a.  If you don't have a shovel, try the heel of your shoe or boot to dig out a trench around your shelter approx 4-6 inches deep and trench it where it drains downhill naturally.  When it rains the trench allows water to run off away from your shelter to help keep you dry.

Using fishing sinker, waxed cord & emergency blanket from the 

Wilderness Kit