A-FRAME SHELTER CLASS
Build your haven in the forest with materials from the land with simple tools: an ax, a bowsaw, and a drawknife
A tarp and a rope are all you need to create a gracious shelter from rain and weather.
Learn how to prepare spruce poles, create secure lashing, and select a sturdy tarp canopy.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“I loved how much we were able to accomplish in one day and the many different skills I learned along the way.”
A-FRAME COURSE PARTICIPANT
“I really enjoyed how hands on this class was. We got to apply the knowledge, which builds great confidence. It was all so fun.”
SURVIVAL SKILLS COURSE PARTICIPANT
“It was really awesome being part of a team putting together such a big thing with such simple tools.”
A-FRAME COURSE PARTICIPANT
- After this comprehensive one-day class, you will have the hands-on skills to build your own A-Frame shelter for $200 or less in materials.
- This is a queer-centric class. Queer people and their allies are welcome.
- No experience necessary.
- The class is designed for adults, but teens with good focus may attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian
- Murphy will teach you how to select a site, fell and prepare spruce poles, lash together a frame, and lace on a waterproof tarp canopy. We will use only simple tools: An ax, a bowsaw, and a drawknife.
Where is it?
Our workshop is in Worcester, VT.
You will need enough physical mobility to walk through the forest and swing an ax.
When is it?
The class will be held from from 9am to 6pm on June 10, 2023.
How much is it?
The workshop has a sliding scale of $95/$110/$125, use the coupon codes on the checkout page to pick your price. If you need further financial accommodation to attend, please get in touch. The cost of the workshop includes a hot lunch.
What to bring:
- Snacks, drinking water
- Work gloves and sturdy boots
- Dress for the weather
- Optional tools (we will have some to share): ax, bowsaw, draw knife, measuring tape, scissors or a knife, lighter
Our Covid Policy
- Stay home if you are sick or have been directly exposed
- Masks are not required, but you are welcome to wear one if you choose. The program is 100% outdoors.
- We do not require vaccination, but we strongly encourage it.
“I really benefitted from having a small group to learn in, to have a lot of one-on-one time with the instructor and have all my questions answered as they came up. It felt important to me to be in a class with other people like me to learn skills that are so male dominated and have felt daunting in that way in the past. I also really appreciated the space created for everyone to go at their own pace and be pressured to pick up anything they didn’t yet feel ready for.”
—Tessa, Former Student
Materials & tool list for building your own A-Frame:
Materials: about $200
- 1/2 inch poly Rope, $45 for three 100 ft hanks (and getting an extra hank wouldn’t hurt)
- Lacing rope for the sides: paracord or similar, $12 for 400 ft
- 20x20 Tarp: $120 plus shipping
- These tarps are super rad, very durable and they are clear to let in the light. Worth the money.
- Cheaper tarps range $40-75 but aren’t as good.
- Ax – your could technically do the whole project with this tool if you have decent ax skills, but these other tools make it easier.
- Bow Saw (optional)
- Draw Knife (optional)
- Measuring tape (optional)
- Scissors & Lighter for cutting & burning rope ends (optional)
Spruce Poles needed for a 20x20 tarp shelter:
- Three 26-foot poles for horizontals
- Four 18-foot poles for the scissor frame
Murphy Robinson is the founder of Mountainsong Expeditions and has been working in outdoor leadership since 2005.
Murphy is a wilderness guide who loves creating shelter out of forest materails. They like to build large A-Frame shelters as gathering spaces for groups, small tarp shelters for sleeping outdoors, and debris huts for survival shelter.
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