"Survival" Fishing Shelter




This summer I decided to challange myself with building a shelter using only materials you can find in the woods, paracord and a knife, hence the "Survival" in the title. I built the shelter at my usual fishing spot so I wouldn't get wet when it rained while I was fishing.

If you want to do something similar keep in mind that you might have to ask the landowner for permisson to build on his land and taking materials. Here in Sweden (and Norway I believe) we have a law called "Allemansrätten" which allows you to walk in the woods even if the land is owned by someone. You can pick berries, mushrooms, sticks, branches (depends on the size of the branch) and other types of plants. I also talked to the landowner to make sure it would be fine, becouse I used leftover branches from a nearby clearing.
So make sure you have permisson by the landowner before attempting to do something like this.

Also, I'm in no way an expert in the subject of survival shelters. Take everything you read in this Instructable with a pinch of salt. Everything I learned comes from my "mentors" (more like other outdoors enthusiasts) and books.

With that out of the way let's get into the Instructable!

(Also keep in mind that english is not my native language so grammatical and spelling errors will occur)


Step 1: Find a Spot

This part was easy for me. I already knew where I wanted to build the shelter. Choose the spot with great care becouse you won't be able to move the shelter later.

My spot is a little bit uneven, but the view is great!

Step 2: The Framework

For the frame I used four spruce wood poles that was about 2.5 meters long (8.2 feet), but I later found out they were too long. But becouse I only had a knife I didn't bother to make them any shorter.

I dug two holes in the water that was about 30 cm (1 feet) deep where the poles would go. When the poles where in place I "reinforced" the holes with rocks. I made sure to fill every gap with pebbles and put heavier rocks on top so they wouldn't move. I would have liked to use gravel instead of pebbles, but I couldn't find any gravel.

When I chose my location for my shelter I made sure to have tree nearby that could be a part of the frame. So I tied the other poles between the tree and the vertical poles. Becouse I'm terrible at knots (both at the names and actually tying them) I will show pictures instead. I wrapped the paracord around the tree and used the same knot as the one in picture nine. I then wrapped the paracord around the pole back in an under over pattern so it went back to the direction it came from. Brought the paracord 360° around the tree and did the same thing on the other side. I used the same method when I tied the horizontal poles to the vertical ones (picture ten).

Step 3: A Place to Sit

I'm no stranger to fish standing but it's more comfortable to sit, especially when you angle. I used softer woods for the floor, mainly birch and beech. The softer woods are much easier to cut than, for example, spruce. When cuting the branches to your desired length you cut the branch like in picture two and then do the same thing from the other direction. When the branch is thin enough you should be able to just bend it until it breakes. I also removed the twigs from the branches, making them more comfortable to sit on.

I then took the thickest branch and tied it to the end of the horizontal poles. I couldn't do it earlier becouse I did everything alone. If you have someone that helps you can tie the branch to the poles while tying the poles to each other (if that made senes). Next I just filled the gap between the tree and the branch with the other branches. When everything was in place I started to tie the branches to the poles. I'm not going to try explaining how I did it, hopefully they will be clear enough (in picture 12 I took the paracord under the pole and up over the the branch making the X pattern). The last picture just shows the knot I used at the start and end of the pattern.

Step 4: Don't Want to Get Wet

A roof was probably not entirely necessary considering the shelter is placed under a pine, I just don't want to get wet when it rains (which it does a lot during the swedish summer). I didn't use spruce for the frame, mostly becouse I couldn't find any but it would also have been a pain to tie them to the tree becouse of their weight. So I used two thick beech branches. Same procedure as with the poles, but luckily I didn't need as much paracord. When I had the roof branches in place I laid the rest of the branches like you see in the pictures. To make the roof waterproof I used ferns as roof tiles. Ferns grow like weed where I live so they weren't hard to come by. I would have prefered reeds or a special type of grass that are better at keeping water away, but I took what was easy to find. As you can see the roof is well sealed, except for some tiny spots.

Step 5: End Result

I know it's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it works. I would have liked to add walls but my paracord ran out and there weren't many branches left at the clearing.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this Instructable feel free to comment down below, feedback is always appreciated.

OutdoorEnthusiast out.



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    There is a risk in any shelter under a tree if lightning is taking place and with rain there is usually lightning. Modern carbon fiber fishing rods are also prone to drawing lightening to the user. In my part of the US shelters are far safer if they are well off of the ground. Poisonous snakes tend to seek out dry spots when it rains and warm spots when it is cold. More than a few people have woken up with a coiled rattlesnake of their chest or in their groin or armpit. And we also have wild hogs that will tend to attack people on the ground as well. To me the best single shelter is a jungle hammock. It keeps you out of rain, mosquitoes, snakes and wild pigs and can easily and quickly be strung up and ready to use.

    6 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    We only have one venomous snake here in Sweden, and at worst you'll get a fewer.

    Lightning is also not a huge problem, I use a wooden fishing rod for when I angle, also I would never fish during a lighting storm. :)

    Thanks for your comment. Have a nice day!

    Well, at least it looks cool, and rather functional. Yet, we to have hogs, and 7 different venomous snakes, in cajun country.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Nice instructible, where are you located in Sweden the nature felt very familiar, not that it's rare in our beautiful country? Myself live in the south, between Halland and Småland, well exactly on the border, heard of freden i knäred? You're absolutely right that the Hugg orm (stab snake?) is harmless'ish to most, but as with wasps and bees, if you're sensitive to their venom they can be fatal (as you probably know). Same thing with fishing in lightning storms, its just something that you should be very careful with were ever you live, wooden (maybe wet) rods or not. Allemans rätten is awesome, if you don't own land that is "infested" (without singling out any of our country neighbors) under the summer months..=P Really liked the construction and how it blends into the surroundings but heightens the fishing experience with natures help. thanks for sharing. MVH


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for your comment.

    I live in southern Dalarna and spots like this aren't hard to come by.

    Have a nice day!

    Btw, you might have guessed it's not called stab snake. Common European adder or Common European viper would be the english names ;)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Gloryb, maybe you should check into a hotel. LOL Too many terrible things going on at your location to make fishing fun!! I live in Florida and this wouldn't work here either, water moccasins, rattle snakes, alligators. flooding. But I grew up in northern Indiana and I could see it working there quite nicely!! Looks like a nice place to spend a quiet afternoon communing with the fish!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Sounds to me, glorybe, that you want to take up something safer than fishing, like maybe base jumping or bull fighting? Where I live the most dangerous thing about fishing is falling asleep and waking up in the canal.


    2 years ago

    well done. I would love to have a spot like that to drop a line.


    2 years ago

    What an awesome fishing shack. It really turned out great and what a view! Thanks for sharing