Survivor – Enjoying The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Are you a fan of Bear Grylls? Imagine being out in the wilderness, completely on your own and forced to find a way to survive.

Reality survival shows, have fast become an international phenomenon. The sheer choice of bushcraft and survival shows available to view on TV, got me thinking about my childhood.

Making dens usually involves taking the sofa apart or draping sheets and blankets over chairs and tables.  I however loved being outdoors and found something thrilling in creating my own special place, where adults weren’t allowed. Teaming up with my siblings or friends to create a den appealed to my adventurous spirit and provided hours of entertainment. I remember working excitedly and with eager anticipation on the careful planning and construction. The challenge was to find suitable materials to create a hideout that would provide real shelter – a place that we could return to again and again. I clearly got great enjoyment out of the idea of gearing up to battle the forces of nature and share a brief experience of living in “the wild” with minimum resources and maximum resourcefulness.

Building a den is a simple and fun thing to do in your back garden, on a picnic, or when camping and with adult supervision a fairly strong shelter can be created. The type of shelter explained below requires very little practice to get it done the right way.

 The basic materials you need are:

  • A tarpaulin – these are tear-proof, waterproof and in some cases have been treated with a UV filter for durability and extended service life
  • Some line – parachute cord is ideal as the all-nylon construction makes it fairly elastic
  • A few tent pegs

To build your den follow these simple steps:

  • Select a suitable area between two trees
  • Run the paracord between the two trees
  • Drape the tarpaulin over the cord
  • On one side of the tarpaulin, run some guy lines from the tarpaulin to the tent pegs
  • On the other side of the tarpaulin, simply peg it into the ground

Tarp Shelter

The finer details will depend on the children. They may, for example, want to clear a smooth place to sit with their friends. This activity is about inventiveness and lots of imagination.

Completion can be celebrated with a picnic in the new den!