Tokai Forest Tepee Remains

I was hiking in Tokai Forest, Cape Town-area, South Africa, when I came across a cluster of several unfinished tepee-style shelters that were using tree trunks as their central support:

tepee 2

I found this one to be a pretty nice job at a makeshift shelter, or at least at the beginnings of one. There’s a lot of logging going on in the area, and I wondered if workers might have been trying to make a camp for the night so that they wouldn’t have to travel each day to and from work. It looks like this structure has a planned door where the large poles extend and open outwards. It would be nice to create a tunnel-like entrance here and cover it with foliage.

tepee entrance

When I noticed that the grass bed here was still green, I wondered how long this one had been abandoned…or if it were simply a work in progress. Here’s a (bit of a blurry) close-up of the ground insulation, which is a good idea for warmth and comfort:

tepee bed

An emergency blanket, a tent fly, or any other outer insulating material would help finish off these tepee-style shelters and make them a workable short-term shelter. But a troop of baboons also live in Tokai Forest, so leaving food inside wouldn’t be a good idea…

Want to know more about how to make your own survival shelter like this one?
Read my article on the About.com Survival Skills website:

“How to Build a Tepee-Style Survival Shelter”

Photos © Traci J. Macnamara.

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