As most of you probably have, I've always dreamed of having a tree house and I never stopped dreaming about it! It's very important to live in the real world but it's even more important to never stop dreaming...as someone once said something like this: Never stop dreaming! No one can ever take that away from you!
Ok now, lets get back to the story of the tree platform! Me and my two best friends decided to go enjoy a few days in the raw nature. Don't get this wrong, we planned this for almost 6 months so take it very seriously! You need to take into consideration a lot of things like location, wild animals like bears, wolves, snakes, water sources, food, materials and tools you need and so on, but we will only discuss the tree platform which can also be built in a safer environment.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Place
After we decided on the area we wanted to go camping, we drove there and left the car at the edge of the mountain. We got out of the car, put on the backpacks and went to find a place to build our tree platform. We chose this spooky place you see in the picture because no one could have ever bothered us and because the trees were so close to one another that we could easily find the 4 trees arrangement that we needed.
We had to clean the dead fir branches in the area and on the 4 trees we chose in order to have a little space to move around and put the platform into place.
Rule no. 1: Don't cut more than you need! Respect the nature...after all we were there to enjoy nature, not to destroy it.
Step 2: Plan, Tools and Materials
Plan: We decided to make a platform of 3 x 3m (9ft 10in x 9ft 10in)...not too big because it had to take our weights, the backpacks and it's own weight, but not too small either. It was perfect for what we needed it for (a bed). The platform was errected at a height of about 3 m (9ft 10 in) because there were lots of bears in that area and we did not want one with us in bed...you can imagine why :P
The logs we chose for the frame of the platform (red ones in the pic, no. 1-5) were roughly 25 cm (10in) thick and measured 30cm (12in) more on each side than the distance between each two trees that supported them. Always go for green wood, when it comes to the frame, never use old, rotten wood!
To cut them down, to the exact size and to put them in place we needed the following tools and materials:
- machete - for cutting down, to size the logs and to clean the branches off;
- paracord (a lot) - to tie them in place and to measure the lengths we needed;
- knife - to cut the paracord to the desired size;
- tarp - to make a rain cover, but the weather was nice and we gave up on the roof;
- 5 big logs (25cm=10in thick) - 4 placed in square like shape and a diagonal to take the weight in the middle of the platform.
- thick sticks (7-10cm=3-4in thick) every 20 cm (7-8 in) to make a grid like structure on top of the frame;
- green fir branches - as many as you can get, for the mattress;
- sleeping bags of course!
Step 3: Going Up!
In order to place the logs at the desired height we needed a ladder. You have to build the ladder so that it reaches more than the height you need. So instead of 3 m (like ours was), we should've made it 3.5m.
Each step should not be wider than the width of your both feet and the space between steps should be about two lengths of your boot.
Step 4: Frame
After cleaning the higher branches, we placed logs no. 1 and 2. On top of them came logs no. 3 and 4.After that, the diagonal (log no. 5) came on top of logs no. 1 and 2 as well. We secured each log with enough paracord on both ends.
Next step was making the grid out of thick sticks, which were also secured with paracord at both ends.
Last step was making a mattress out of greed fir branches...as many as you manage to find for greater confort.
We also put, on top of the green branches the tarp we brought for the roof, because it wasn't going to rain.
Step 5: ENJOY IT!
This was one of the best experiences we ever had! Hope you guys get the chance to enjoy such an experience but never forget: PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! It would be a shame to be ruined because you did not give it the necessary thought.