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Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters (Dover Books on Architecture) Paperback – September 10, 2004


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Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters (Dover Books on Architecture) + Wildwood Wisdom + Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Architecture
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486437477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486437477
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A very informative book.
Judie Porter
I'll tell you what, I got my money's worth out of this book and I expect to profit from the wisdoms between its covers as well.
Doug Thompson
Book is written for young boys and teens, but is interesting for all ages.
Rick Dalton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Samantha on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 13-year-old boy scout asked for this book. After reading bits and pieces for a week or so, he enlisted his brother and some neighborhood boys to go build some "shelters" in the woods down the street. They kept talking about the shelter and I figured it was typical exaggeration. A few of us adults walked down one day to see the shelter -- WOW! It was impressive -- and it stood up to the recent ice storms that left people without power for weeks. All built with branches and saplings in the woods.

The book inspired them. It's old school and not politically correct, which makes me like it that much more. Some of the words in there have led to interesting discussions at our house about how words have evolved and how views and attitudes have evolved over the past century.
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By H. Zhang on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is hard to believe that a book published almost 100 years ago is still very relevant and practically useful today. It is very very dense yet still very readable. Throughout the book, multiple figures are arranged to tightly fit into one page.I do not know if this book represents the writing style of 100 years ago. I think a modern author would quadruple the size of the book.

I am an avid outdoor person and I wanted to obtain some knowledge about different outdoor shelters that I see all the time and I received this book as a gift. It offers much more information than I originally anticipated. I am amazed by what shelters can be built with some simple tools. The author, one of the founders of Boy Scouts of America, actually lived in a log house built by himself. I suspect most of the content is from the author's own experience in building various kinds of architecture from simple shelters to fairly sophisticated houses. Modern lightweight tents may be the primary temporary outdoor shelters nowadays, but wood shelters are still loved by hikers, campers. This book is invaluable for educating kids to gain some basic carpentry and outdoor knowledge, nurture their sense of independence and responsibility and offer them the tremendous joy of staying in what built by themselves.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Adams on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book! Dan Beard, one of the principal founders of the BSA, herein illustatrates several easy to build wilderness structures in an easy to read, sometimes humorous style. From lean-to's, shacks, log cabins, even tree houses; there's a wealth of practical information for any outdoorsman within these pages.

I'm very pleased to see this book still available. If you've any interest in the outdoors at all you will not be displeased by an investment in this wonderful book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Melanie C TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a former Boy Scout, and former Marine, who has spent more time outdoors, both professionally and personally; I can easily say that if you have this one single book, an axe, a file to keep it sharp with, and a shovel; you will NEVER worry about being caught 'off-guard' again.

This book gives dozens of working, strong structures that you can actually build, that WORK, with the information taken from over 100-years of pioneer knowledge. Hogans, cabins, lean-tos, Teepees, shacks, even in-ground hogans and swamp stilt houses. It's all in here, with excellent drawings of how to construct them. Not only is it fun to read the 'old ways', but this is good information that really works.

Get this, read it a few times, put it in a ziplock bag, and throw it in your backpack or survival gear cache with the appropriate gear. You won't regret it, and you won't need a dozen more similar books to fill the gap - this one doesn't have gaps.

Can't recommend it enough. SOLID 5-stars.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By AlpineZone on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am into bushcraft, survival, primitive skills. This book is an excellent part of my various books on the subjects. It starts with simple style debris shelters, A frame shelters, platform shelters for building in swamps and soft ground areas.

It goes on to list larger wood tents, log cabins, proper use of axe, thatching for larger shelters. A very good laid out book that is both detailed and understandable and more in depth on shelters then any others i've seen on the subject.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Curtis on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book surprisingly good. I bought it as a reference but ended up reading it cover to cover immediately. Each chapter draws you into the next. The whole thing gives good insight into primitive housing of our ancestors.

Eco Alert! If you pride yourself on "leave no trace camping", this book will likely shock and disgust you. Just remember it is not oriented toward camping in a modern sense. This is more like seasonal housing for nomads or pioneers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BRYAN LINDSTRAND on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...if you don't own any other books on the subject. I imagine much of this information can be gleaned from similar publications.

The book is well written and easy to read. The illustrations, I'm sure were excellent in 1914 and, are still adequite now. Most of the designs seemed repetitive, though. I wish more attention had been given to lashing materials. If you are looking for that you will find almost none here. The book was fun to read and provided enough inspiration to make my brother and me attempt a large hut.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Turpin on June 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives an interesting overview of how to build all sorts of shelters from a simple lean-to to a log cabin. He throws in simple details that I had tended to overlook, such as the different ways of jointing and joining a log cabin's logs. Another example is how to clay in a wooden chimney so that it will not catch fire.
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