Instructions on how to build a dugout in the forest with a do-it-yourself stove

The dugout is not a temporary shelter, but a structure that allows you to spend several months in the forest. Dugouts are usually erected by hunters, huntsmen, foresters. This difficult device requires the expenditure of materials, time and effort, but it is able to shelter from rain, snow, cold for a long period. How to build a dugout with your own hands to create a reliable shelter will be described in the information below.

Dugout in the forest: construction features

Dugout in the forest

A dugout is a structure deepened in the ground, covered with logs, poles, and sprinkled on top with soil, grass, foliage. This is an ideal dwelling for survival in the forest, but it is not built as fast as a hut or other temporary shelter. A special location below ground level allows you to hide from the wind inside this building.

The dugout has its advantages over other temporary structures:

  • High level of thermal insulation, the dugout is warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Well sheltered from gusts of wind, and in winter from snow.
  • The inconspicuous location of the structure allows you to not stand out from the wild. For a hunter this is an advantage for trophy hunting, for a forester it is an opportunity to observe the inhabitants of the forest without scaring them with their presence. In addition, the inconspicuous dwelling in the forest is difficult to find for other people who can plunder the house in your absence.
  • Subject to the correct construction technology, the dugout can last a long time.
  • For heating the building does not need to spend a lot of energy.

The main advantage of the dugout is that it is a kind of simplified version of a real house in which you can calmly winter.

How to build a dugout

In order for a home to be comfortable in terms of thermal insulation, protection from wind, precipitation, dampness, it is necessary to build it correctly, observing some important points:

The dugout should be on a small hill
  • When choosing a place for construction, you need to proceed from some parameters: it is better if it is some kind of hill. Then the dwelling will be dry and warm, because all the water drains into the lowland (both rain and snow melting). Construction on the hill will save construction materials and time for the construction of shelters. In addition, the place should be with soft earth, without rocky soil, roots that interfere with the construction of the dugout.
  • The entrance to the dugout should be on the leeward side of the hill to maintain heat inside it.
  • During construction, it is necessary to take into account the proximity of vital resources to housing - water, food.
  • If the dugout is a temporary refuge on the way to finding access to people, it should be erected in those places where it is possible to give a distress signal at every opportunity.
  • Do not select wetlands for the construction site.
  • The roof of the dwelling should be monotonous, repeating the slope of the hill to avoid flooding, while maintaining heat inside the shelter.

Observing these simple conditions, you can proceed with actions on how to build a dugout.

How to build a dugout in the forest with your own hands

It is clear that in conditions of survival in the forest there is no way to have all the necessary tools for building an earthen long-term shelter. In such circumstances, it is necessary to somehow get out of the situation by replacing the materials listed below with any analogues that are available. So, to build a dugout you will need:

The roof is covered with moss, branches, leaves.
  • Roofing material for roof and floor. Instead, you can use branches, leaves, grass, bark, spruce branches. If lapnik is used, it will need about 5 m3.
  • Poles (approximately 70 pieces of 6 meters and 120 pieces of 5.5 meters).
  • Wire (8-10 kg). In the absence of this material, bast, thin willow branches can be used.
  • Iron for sheltering the roof. For an ordinary dugout, two sheets will suffice.
  • Timber, boards, chipboard, insulation, and other building materials that may be useful for building a warm home. Instead of ready-made insulation, you can use dry moss.
  • Windows and doors can be made of lumber, or installed in a finished form, if there is such a possibility.
  • A stove, if you plan to build a heated housing.
  • Nails, screws of various diameters, lengths.

Of the tools you will need: an ax, a hammer, a knife, a saw, a construction tape measure, level, spade.


To build a dugout in the forest, it is necessary to draw up a detailed drawing of it. If the conditions do not allow, and the time for construction is very limited, you can do without it.

It is necessary to think over the external and internal diameter of the room, as well as its height, then proceed to the preparation of the site for construction. The place is cleared of branches, grass, then a recess of approximately 6 by 7 meters is excavated with a depth of 50 cm.

Dug hole

After that, a depression of another 50 cm is excavated along one of the walls, this will be the floor of the future home. A meter deep leads to the exit from the building, which is equipped with steps. An elevated strip above the ground of 50 cm forms a place for a couch inside the building.

Wall and ceiling

The next stage is the construction of rafters from a wooden beam. The first way to install them is to lay the pillars directly on the ground, and the second - to cut into a bar or pipe made of metal laid on the perimeter of the house. If there are anticorrosive, antiseptic substances, they should process the contact points of the timber with the ground. After installation of the supporting posts, a roof deck is formed. The rafters are laid on the rafter system with a maximum density to each other. The poles are attached to the vertical rafters with nails or wire.

We build walls and ceiling

If you could not get even poles, you can use branches, reeds, reeds, tied in bunches. From above, the walls are covered with roofing material, and the gaps between the poles can be plugged with soil, clay, moss, or any available insulation. Ruberoid will not allow the soil between the poles to crumble or wash in the rain. The end face of the roof is covered with the same materials, and a window and door are arranged on the sides. It is best to install the doorway and window at the stage of installation of the rafter system, this will remove part of the load from it. If it is not possible to install a solid door, you can cover the entrance with any vestibule, the main thing is that it tightly closes the opening and does not allow rain water to enter.

After laying the poles on the roof, it is necessary to warm it, at the same time form a protective layer. The frame is covered with several layers of soft clay, each of which must dry before laying the next layer. The end part also needs to be overlaid with clay. Instead of clay, you can use turf coated on top of the roofing material. In order to prevent leaks into the building during rain, along the perimeter you need to make drainage channels from clay.

The walls and ceiling inside the shelter can be insulated with foam boards.

The ground on the floor is covered with roofing material, on top of which wooden boards, sheets of chipboard or plywood are laid. You can lay the wooden logs, and then do the flooring.

How to build a dugout with a stove

A dugout with a stove is a practically full-fledged house for wintering, sometimes even warmer than an ordinary wooden house, since it keeps the heat inside well and for a long time after the stove dies. To install the stove even at the stage of installation of the rafter system, it is necessary to provide a place for it and the outlet of the pipe. The distance from the rafters to the stove should not be less than 50 cm. If this distance is not observed, the walls around the stove and chimney, as well as the rafters, should be covered with a fire-resistant compound, foil or some kind of fire-resistant material.

Dugout with stove

Pipes for ventilation and for the stove are installed before sheltering the roof, and for ventilation two pipes are installed - one at the highest point of the roof, the second - at the lowest, near the ground. The chimney pipe is installed above the place where the stove will be located, it should be made of non-combustible material, usually iron. The stove is usually stacked of bricks or a camp stove is installed. The simplest version of the stove is made from a barrel. Its installation is carried out at a level below the floor, so that moisture does not accumulate on the ground, and the floor is heated. To reduce heat loss, it is necessary to install adjustable ventilation, and carefully seal all the cracks between the logs of the wall and ceiling sheathing.

How to build a dugout in the forest: video

Watch the video: Thatch Roof House: Full Bushcraft Shelter Build with Hand Tools. Saxon House (February 2020).