You can’t always have Bear Grylls or Rambo at your side when you’re stranded in the forest overnight. However, you can have the wise words of Skye ghillie Mitchell Partridge (Skyeghillieflyfishing.co.uk), who’s here to tell you how to stay safe from the elements.
1: “Clear the ground of rocks and other lumpy things. Using branches, lash together a goalpost-like structure using strips of bark. Or, if two trees are the right distance apart, you only need to cut a ‘crossbar’ and then secure it to the trees using roots and bark. Make sure it is high enough for you to sit comfortably and long enough for you to lie down under.”
2: “Cut branches of equal length, sharpen one end of them and stick them into the ground.
Then, tie the top to the ‘crossbar’ at a 45-degree angle. The opening or ‘goalmouth’ should face away from the prevailing wind and rain.”
3: “Use saplings or thin branches to weave between the 45-degree branches or ‘net’. Use heavily leaved branches, grass sods, earth and bracken to make your shelter wind and waterproof. If needs be, the sides can also be built in the same way.”
4: “Use moss and bracken for a comfortable bed. Once your lean-to is built, collect firewood to start on your fire. Then think about food. Once you’re settled, you can customise your camp. Build a fire reflector — this can be two walls of branches insulated with earth — and a shelter to keep wood dry. Activity and comfort build morale.”