A-Frame Shelter With Paracord
How to Build an A-Frame Shelter with Paracord (10 Steps)
When you find yourself in a survival situation, you have 3 primary needs: shelter, water, and food. You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, and 3 hours without shelter in adverse conditions.
In this tutorial we will address your most urgent task, by showing you how to build an A-frame style shelter, using only paracord and whatever natural resources are around you.
The full video above includes detailed instructions as well as knot tutorials needed. The 10 steps are also laid out in the images below.
Start by finding and clearing an area to build your shelter. For the A-frame style build that we’ll teach you today, you’ll want to pick somewhere that’s relatively flat and dry.
Begin gathering large branches for your frame. You’ll want at least 7-9 branches, each about 7 or 8 feet long. Make sure at least 5 of the branches are thick enough to support the weight of your shelter.
To start building the frame, you’ll lash together two branches in the shape of an “A.”
Start this knot with a timber hitch around both poles. Wrap around the two poles a few times, then do the same around the other axis. Tighten the lashing by surrounding it with a few frapping turns and finish with a clove hitch.
Repeat this process with two branches for the other side.
Next, stand both up and lay your largest branch across the top. Lash it to the A-frames on both ends by repeating a similar lashing to the one you just did, ensuring to wrap around each leg and over the crossbeam tightly.
Your structure will grow more stable as you go but if you dig out holes for each leg it may help you keep things steady while you work, especially if you’re building alone.
Grab another branch and lash it to your frame horizontally, about midway down. Start with a clove hitch around one pole. Twist the short end around the long end and wrap the rope around both poles, alternately going over and under each pole about 3 or 4 times. Then tighten it with 3 or 4 frapping turns and finish with a few tight half hitches.
Do the same on the other side. If you’d like to add more stability and have the resources you can add another beam across each side.
If you have a limited amount of paracord, you can cut it open and use an individual strand for each of these knots.
Start gathering whatever foliage is available. You’ll want branches with lots of leaves or needles. These will help insulate the structure.
Weave the branches through the sides of your frame. Don’t slack off on this stage, the more layers you add, the better it will be at keeping out moisture and wind. Not the mention the body heat you’ll keep trapped inside.
Lay down the most comfortable bedding you can find and hunker down. If you’re in a cold climate, you would want to create more padding between you and the ground. You can also add branches in front of the doors and build your shelter lower to the ground to help trap in more body heat.