How To Build A Waterproof Shelter In The Woods

When a lot of people think back to their childhood, they have fond memories of playing in the woods and making forts at home. So why not combine the two activities together?

How to Build a Waterproof Shelter in the Woods

Of course, we all know how rain can put a massive dampener on things when you want to spend time outdoors. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to ruin your day. Follow our guide on how to build a waterproof shelter in the woods!

Where’s The Best Place To Build A Waterproof Shelter In The Woods?

Although it sounds obvious when looking to build a waterproof shelter in the woods, it’s always best to choose an area that has lots of trees around you You’d be surprised how many people will try to build under a massive opening, which is the type of area that will receive the most rainfall. 

Finding large trees is always a good start because of the massive amounts of cover that they offer. Finding branches and choosing a location under lots of leaves and obstacles for rain puts you at a huge advantage when building your shelter.

This way you get an extra layer of protection from rain and wind, so your shelter feels a lot more secure.

One of the most crucial ways to start is to find an area of woodland that’s on a relatively flat surface. When there’s a lot of rain, the last thing you want is for your base to be positioned halfway down a hill, or in a dip of land.

This basically invites the water to come and be a part of your shelter, which is the last thing that anyone wants.

If you can find the top of a hill that’s still well-protected, then this can be a great place for your waterproof shelter in the woods.

As long as there are lots of obstructions above your shelter to catch rain and places for the water to wash away downhill, then you’re onto a winning combination. However, not everyone is this fortunate to find a place like this, so a flat surface will do just as well. 

What Do I Need to Build A Waterproof Shelter In The Woods?

First of all, you must have some sort of waterproof material like tarp or canvas to cover your shelter. Of course, it’s best to get enough of this material to cover the whole of your shelter so that rain doesn’t find its way through your first line of defense.

Because tarps are frequently affected by elements like wind, it’s important to have rope and string to be able to tie it down to your structure.

Bringing a tool like a small axe and a form of hammer, or mallet, can go a long way when creating these types of shelters. The axe can be great in breaking off small branches and parts of trees that can be used to thicken the roof of your shelter and make the structure a lot sturdier.

The hammer can be a great tool to hammer features into the ground, which can also make the structure a lot more stable. This brings us to the next tool you may want to use. 

We recommend that only people who are properly trained should use these tools, to avoid potential injuries. Always have a responsible adult present!

When camping, a lot of people will use pegs to put in the ground. These are used to keep the rope and string that you use in place, by connecting them to the floor. This makes any structure a lot stronger by combining it with the land we stand on.

This ties in with our next tool, which is rope and string. These are vital for bringing any structure together when using a lot of different features and will make your waterproof shelter in the woods much more durable against the elements.

How To Build A Waterproof Shelter In The Woods

The easiest waterproof shelter to build in the woods is where you have lots of branches and sticks to use within the shelter’s structure. However, before you go around chopping bits off of trees, make sure that you’re not on private land, or make sure you have permission.

At the end of the day, trees are living things too and play a massive part in life existing on Earth.

First, you’ll want to start by placing these branches around the tree, leaning up against the trunk. Make sure that there’s enough room for you to fit under these features, leaving a space for you to enter your den.

Depending on how long you wish to stay in your shelter in the woods, leaving room for sleeping bags can be useful.

It’s then important to tie the main branches and sticks that you’ve used together. Tying them together in smaller groups and then attaching the groups to each other is a great way of ensuring that your structure doesn’t fall down with the first gust of wind.

Once you’ve gathered and used enough of these to cover the space you wish to use, it’s time to bring out the tarp.

Attach the canvas to the top of your structure using strings and rope to keep it held down. A lot of tarp comes with holes in the corners that are designed for this purpose. However, if the material you’re using doesn’t, then you can always make small holes using your axe, something relatively sharp. 

Using this rope, you can now tie them to pegs in the ground and cement your structure into the floor. This will keep your shelter from falling apart and will keep your base sturdy.

For extra strength, you can place heavy items like rocks and wood outside the bottom of your base to keep the branches and sticks from slipping.

Using a rope to tie around the top of your structure and the tree always helps to keep the top of your waterproof shelter in the woods strong and long lasting.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! You now know how to build a waterproof shelter in the woods! When it comes to creating shelters, there are lots of different variations of structures you can build, however, some are a lot easier than others to build. 

So make sure you start off easy and work your way up. Nobody can become a seasoned adventurer overnight, so it’s best to focus on the fun! Using the right tools and picking the right location is the best start.

Then all you need to do is apply some imagination and creativity to make your vision come to life and create the best waterproof shelter in the woods!

Joyce Bailey
Latest posts by Joyce Bailey (see all)