Building a Dome Hut: Bark Roof Bushcraft Shelter

Building a Dome Hut: Bark Roof Bushcraft Shelter

We build a dome hut using primitive technology and simple hand tools. The frame of the bushcraft shelter was built using hazel saplings woven and lashed together with inner bark of cedar tree. Using a bushcraft knife, we carved up a bark peeler and used these to peel the bark off of the tree. The tree bark was placed in lake water overnight to keep the moisture in it. We then placed the bark over the frame of the hut and lashed it to the frame with more inner bark cordage. After a few days the bark dries and moulds to the frame, creating a waterproof roof. For bedding we used cedar boughs. The door was built with a few more hazel sticks lashed to a large boar hide which we can open and close to get into the bushcraft shelter. For the bedding inside the shelter we used cedar boughs and when we did the first overnight in the bushcraft camp we slept on deer hides and sheepskins.
This dome hut is also known as a Wigwam. It was traditionally built by Native American tribes in North America. Typically, the roof would have been built using silver birch bark. But they were resourceful people and would have used whatever resources they had around them. This type of Wigwam would typically sleep a small family. However, larger long house structures were built by American Native Indians of the Northeast Woodlands. However, they built their structures using birch bark, juniper bark and willow saplings. We enjoyed doing this piece of living history. Please find more of our historic build series below:

VIKING HOUSE:
SAXON HOUSE:

Wigwam Part 1:
Wigwam Part 2:
Wigwam Part 3 (first overnight):

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