Late Fall A-Frame Shelter With Fire

Late Fall A-Frame Shelter With Fire


I shot this video in early November of 2009 in a large Crown Land area in Southern Ontario. To get there, I paddled 8km from the road, and then portaged about 500 meters into a small lake where I stayed for two days. I planned to hunt duck for food, but did not manage to harvest anything, I also fished a bit but was unsuccessful there too. The only thing I ate was Wintergreen Berries, and I drank Wintergreen Tea, and chewed on the leaves. This was in part because it took quite a while to travel, build my shelter, and then cut enough fire wood to last all night. Fire and shelter are more important that food when it comes to survival, though I got unlucky and missed a good chance at a duck when my gun jammed. I did not see any Red Squirrels, or Grouse around on this occasion either. I chose to build an A-frame style shelter which I insulated with evergreen bows, and shingled with birchbark. The shelter trapped the fire’s heat well, and I was warm throughout the night, even though I did not have a sleeping bag, and was wet from working in the rain all day. The bark and bows did a decent job of blocking the rain too. It snowed heavily on my last day there, and I added some White Pine bark shingling over my fire. After leaving, the miserable weather I’d been having finally cleared into a beautiful Fall day as I paddled back across a big lake to my truck. Over all, it was a pretty fun experience, but I was definitely cold, wet and hungry. I think doing things like this teach you that being cold wet, and hungry is not a dangerous situation in the short term, as long as you can get a warm fire going, make shelter and find the way home. Realizing this, helps the discomforts subside.



so I find three or four pieces like this
I'm going to be able to shingle my

entire shelter with it with some birch
bark with some drivers and look we got

another great team coat over here too

now this one's a little rotted out but
that's okay you don't always need a big

perfect piece I'm going to build an
a-frame so this is going to be the ridge

Pole the a-frame shelter right here and
I'm just gonna you know collected some

rock and I'm going to build a fire right
up against this nice rock wall it

overhangs a bit and it'll help keep some
of the rain off and but also it's going

to help reflect the heat which is really
good so that rocks going to stay nice

and hot and it's going to just radiate
that heat back on me all night really

want to make sure that all those pine
needles are away go around the outside

especially without a whole bunch of
spruce boughs that I'm going to chop

spruce logs at is I'm going to chop up
and bow too and then I'm going to you

know I'm going to basically use the bow
that as a as roofing but also sleep off

got to be careful that your apps isn't
slip when the hand will go what like it

is right now

okay yeah well that's it so it looks
like I'm going to need a substantial bit

more wood if this isn't enough wood I
think I'm just going to spread out while
I hop

if it could make 202 this one I'm just
going to put a layer these evergreen

valves over this I managed to gather a
lot a good birch bark and with this

rainy weather I mean nothing makes
better shingles in this stuff so I'm

just going to go ahead and start putting
some of this on right now

of course I'm putting the best pieces up
to where my head is and my torso are

going to be not as bad if your legs get
wet all right well here we are got some

fire some wood laid in I got it shingled
and looks like it's going to work out oh

yeah yeah this is actually this shelter
is really holding the heat in better

than I even thought I'm gonna have to
figure out a better way to get in though

without all burning my face off got that
nice rock reflecting the heat back and

then it reflects back into here and it
really seems to hold the heat in here

quite well actually
and the Burt Rock is gonna keep me nice

and dry definitely ready to get some
sleep this is great

it's actually a really beautiful morning
here I woke up to a substantial amount

of snow falling and it did it you know
it might be a little disturbing to some

people in my situation but because I was
warm is actually really beautiful

so you know I just wanted to make sure
you know because I'm going to be off

doing things and gathering some food
that I have a nice fire going when I get

back so I'm just going to do this is a
little little precautionary method

wintergreen makes a great tea and the
berries are delicious let's see if this


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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.