Making Shingle and Thatch Weatherproofing

Bough Thatching

Weatherproof materials should be stacked onto the framework, then bound with cordage or held in position by more poles. Wall angle depends upon the thatching; the more porous the materials, the steeper the walls.


Bough Thatching

Overlay the framework with a mat of evergreen boughs oriented tips down, with the undersides of the needles facing out. For the best protection, compress the thatching with poles and pack over with snow. Pine and spruce boughs offer meager water resistance and are better reserved for the steeper walls of lean-tos and wickiups.

Bough Thatching

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Grass Thatching

Suitable for dome-shaped shelters, water-resistant grass mats can be formed by sewing to-gether bunches of similar size.
(Longer -grasses can be cross-hatched and woven; overlap the ends irregularly to make a continuous warp and weft.)
Lash thatching to support poles with rope or natural cordage.

Grass Thatching

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Bark Shingles

Birch bark is one of the best natural materials for shingle making. Use it if it’s available.
When you’re building a bark wall, make sure the bottom of each shingle layer overlaps the top of the row below it.
Keep rows in place with poles and insulate over the top with moss or snow.
The walls can be pitched at less than a 45-degree angle.

Niedbalski Bark Shingles

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