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Monday, May 11, 2009

3 Components of a Dubree Hut

Dubree huts are basically where you pile dubree (branches, sticks, rocks, etc...) into a pile to make a shelter. You use what's available in your immediate environment and make a shelter out of what nature provides.

The benefit is that you don't have to have any gear to do it and so if you learn this method, no matter where you find yourself or what you have, you can always build a shelter. That said, there are a few things to learn that will make this method a whole lot easier.

3 Components of a Dubree Hut:

1. Frame (strong, natural & easy): In the winter we used the arch, but in the other climates we use the triangle, besides the arch, the triangle is one of the strongest shapes and can be easily made.

You also want a strong frame made of solid sticks.

Natural means using things that already exist, so you can save time and energy. Taking a few minutes to walk around and find a better spot can save a lot of time and energy (calories) in the long run.

And when it comes to easy, you want to find an area that already has all the material you need. Dragging logs and dubree around is not a wise use of calories in a survival situation.

2. Door (small, header & plug): For the door you want the opening as small as you can get it and still climb in, so as not to let out all the heat.

Header is so that the door doesn't collapse everytime you go through it.

And the plug can be a branch, backpack (as seen in the photo) or anything that will plug up the door and trap in heat. you're not looking for air tight, just something to stop the heat loss and wind.

3. Bedding (level, insulating & dry): One of the biggest mistakes I see is when shelters are built on uneven ground, then the person rolls downhill and blows out the whole side of their shelter in the middle of the night.

Studies show it's more important what you have under you, then on top of you for staying warm through the night. If you build a great shelter and then lay on the cold ground and lose all your body heat through conduction, it's a waste. Remember your body will conduct heat to a cold surface in order to warm it up to your body temperature 98.6 degrees (a losing battle with the ground even in warm weather).

Below is a picture of a student using pine bows. One trick is to lay them down before you build, which makes it alot easier. You can also use grass (like above), pine needles, a backpack, the foam seat off your ATV, etc...

Finally staying dry from above and below is important, if you're wet you're cold.
To recap the 3 Components of a Dubree Hut are:
  1. Frame (natural, easy & strong)
  2. Door (small, header & plug)
  3. Bed (level, insulating & dry)

These 3 Components are the components of a good dubree hut, if you learn and follow them you will be dry and warm. In my next post I'll talk about diffrent coverings or roofing material for your dubree huts.

See you on the trail,

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