This shelter (thatched hut) was build entirely with primitive tools and materials.
The hut took more than 200 hours to build and was built over a span of 5 months. 50% of the time was spent gathering materials and the other half was spent building.
The hut is shaped like a dome and measures 4 meters wide by 2.5 meters tall.
The materials used were about 30 bundles of thatching, 15 hazel branches and roughly 200 meters of cordage.
I built the hut on a flat spot on top of a hill which descends down a meadow where I collected the reeds.
The framework of the hut was made of hazel since it's very flexible. Also regenerating shoots allow for harvests every few years. The flexibility allows the use of bigger branches which makes a stronger framework.
I cut the saplings with a stone axe and set them, half a metre, into the ground in a circle of holes excavated with a digging stick. The stone tools used was made in a previous video:
The saplings were placed with the same lenght between and the same length to center. The saplings were then bent over and interlaced with incircling bands of naturel cordage made of wych elm bark.
Wych elm saplings can be found in an abundance here and the bark is flexible and strong. The ideal tree is 5-10 cm in diameter, as this size of tree has the most flexible bark. I now prefer to start debarking from the bottom of the tree because it allows to pull the strips off, above my reach. The knots used are primarily a clove hitch and a constrictor knot. The constrictor knot is a modified version of the clove hitch that binds tightly upon itself and does not work loose.
The dome shape of the hut is one of the toughest shapes for weather resistance, making the hut able to withstand high windspeeds. Also the framework of the saplings is effective, with least amount of saplings required to build, while still remaning a solid structure.
The dome structure and the framework can be found in similar versions in different areas of the world f.e. a wickiup, wigwam or wetu. This structure was common in stone age houses. Details of construction vary with the culture and local availability of materials. Some of the common roofing materials used include grass, brush, bark, rushes, mats, reeds, hides or cloth.
Thatching is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. I used reed as thatching material since it's a local availability. Reed is also one the of best thatching materials because the straws are hollow and therefore provide excellent isolation, better than most natural thaching material. The upper layer of thatching covers the layer beneath which makes a reed roof shed rain very well. I left gaps in the thatching to be able to climb and access the roof of the structure/dome.
I harvested the reeds after some subzero weather when they are dry from sap. If they are harvested before, they might contain a high amount of sugar content which might cause fungal growth after a few years.
Reeds can often be found in sheer amounts since reeds release growth-inhibiting chemicals, a process called allelopathy, which makes reed good at outgrowing other plants.
This is a hut/long term bushcraft shelter, and should not be built in a survival situation since it takes too much effort to build. A survival shelter should be built with minimal effort, providing essential housing, providing shelter from the enviroment.