If you had to grab three things from your shop to use for survival in the wilderness, what would you bring? Let's look at some quick options:
- HVLP spray gun
- 1/2"-shank Roman ogee bit
As it turns out, you don't even need the good picks to build a habitable shelter. At least not if you're the Australian bloke behind the Primitive Technology blog. Said bloke (sorry, no name available) treks out into the wilderness to experience, firsthand, how our Stone Age forebears built houses several millenia before the Industrial Revolution. Luckily for you and I, he records his experiences in both video and text.
One of his earliest recorded projects was to build a wattle-and-daub hut using whatever was locally available. And by "locally," we mean meters, not miles; the man didn't run down to the hardware store to get an axe, but built his own stone adze instead and built the structure with on-site materials. He built his own primitive step-ladder to get the height needed to reach the roof. He even made—and fired—the freaking mud-clay pot one would use to cook inside such a structure. And all of this stuff was built completely from scratch. Check this out:
Something I dig is that the guy writes follow-up information, revealing how the structure stood up over time. (Though this video was released this week, the actual taping took place two years ago.) As an example:
The roof lasted for a few months before becoming rotten and bug eaten. As an important note the species of palm used in thatching makes all the difference. Had this hut been built in the mountain with wait-a-while palm fronds it would have lasted 2 years at least. Instead it was thatched with alexander palm fronds that deteriorated quickly.
I wasn't to know this and was trying to adapt hut building practice I learned in the mountain to low land conditions (I've built similar huts up the mountain with the same roof shape that have lasted a long time). I hope in future videos to explore better roofing options to use in areas like this.
Perhaps the most amazing part of this man's overall mission is what inspired it: World of Warcraft. As he explains,
I got interested building huts in the bush as a kid playing Warcraft (first game) at a friend's place. I liked how you had to harvest resources, build certain structures before you could unlock different technologies and climb up the tech-tree. I couldn't play it cause my parents wouldn't buy it and I was too cheap to get it myself so I played at "warcraft" in the bush.
I'm actually in favor of these sorts of games (though I haven't played Minecraft yet) cause they teach kids to think and plan through playing a game - sort of teaches them problem solving skills.
This kind of attitude has resonated with viewers; his YouTube channel has garnered over 100,000 subscribers. It's not unusual to find comments like the following after one of his videos:
"I'd pay just to spend a weekend with you and just learn how to build tools," one viewer writes, "to just experience something authentic and not virtual and build something with my hands."