The Body Hollow

(As featured in the May 2007 issue of Practically Seeking)

This style of shelter is an easy step up from the most basic idea of burrowing down into a big pile of leaves for warmth or protection from the elements.



Other Uses:

Wonder how well this simple shelter would really hold up? Check out our post-Nor'easter pics!

Step-by-step instructions for building this quick, easy-to-construct shelter.

  1. Dig a hole that is at least two hand widths wider and longer than you are, and the depth of your body are when lying down. Your chest should be even with the ground level.
  2. Excavated Hole

  3. Using the excavated dirt, build up a berm around two sides and one end of your hole. (The end with no berm will be your entry point.) The total depth of your hole should now be approximately knee deep.
  4. Knee Deep Hole

  5. Line the inside with a layer of leaves or other dry debris six to eight inches deep.
  6. Debris in bottom

  7. Overlay the top with a layer of branches (about wrist thick) spaced about a hand-width apart.
  8. Wrist-thick Sticks

  9. Continuing to build on your "roof", add a layer of smaller branches to create lattice about six inches thick.
  10. Lattice

  11. Cover your lattice with a layer of debris at least 2.5 feet thick. Start by heaping your debris around the bottom and work your way up, making sure that the highest point is in the center of your debris pile. (This will help keep your shelter dry.)
    Place a few more of the thinner branches on top of your debris to keep it from blowing away.
  12. Completed Body Hollow

  13. Have an extra pile of debris near your door that you can pull in after you to close your entryway after you crawl in.
  14. Crawling In Closed Shelter

The Body Hollow shelter blends well into the surrounding landscape

Blends into landscape