Shoelaces Survival Shelter




Introduction: Shoelaces Survival Shelter

About: Making something from nothing.

Lets learn a quick easy way to build a survival shelter from 3 log poles and your shoelaces.This can also be used as tent pole repair, it is a handy skill to know.

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Step 1: Pick Your Sticks

I used one long center pole a little taller than my hand streched over my head.This makes the shelter long enough to cover you.The 2 side poles are about my height to the top of my head.I have shown laces but rope or paracord works too.
Lay the poles so the long one is in the middle and all ends are as shown.

Step 2: Lashing It Together

This is how the Boy Scouts lash things together,I learned real stupid things in Girl Scouts nothing as usefull as this.
Tie your lace to a outer pole [either one].
Now the lace goes under the middle pole, then over the outer pole ,then around the outer pole.
This places it to go back over the center pole.
Now under the outer pole and pull them together.They need to be slightly loose not real tight we will tighten them in a later step.

So we went under the middle, over then around the outer,brought it back over the center ,then under the outer pole we started at.

Step 3: Stronger

So now the process starts again somewhat.
Over the outer.
Then under the middle.
Back over the outer, all the way under then around it, and back over the center again .
You need at least one loop on each pole but 3 or 4 loops on each [as shown] is very strong.

Step 4: Tighter

    Now I cheated tying the rope so close to the ends so I could show you how to lash.

Next photo shows I scooted all those lashings down the sticks and moved it so the ends stick out more than shown before,this helps them be stable when finished [longer ends 6 to 8 inches or so now sticks past the lashing].

THIS is how you need to lash them NOT right at the ends as the frist photos show.Not too tight yet.Not at the very ends. 

To tighten these loops we place a loop or two around the lashings, but in between the poles[perpendicular or going the opposite way than the first group of lashings],so this shows how it ended under, then I just wrapped it around the first group once or twice [twice shown] depending on how long your string rope or lace is, and pulled to tighten and hold the lashes tighter.
   Then I just brought it over to the other side of lashings and wrapped around them also. 
Final step I tied the end of the lace to a pole with clove hitches [two more loops around one stick] not square or granny knots ,so I can get my laces back easy but any knot works.

Step 5: Stand It Up

Grab the middle pole and lift.
Arrange them so the center or ridge pole is on top of the other poles and those poles are crossed.
Sounds hard but it almost falls into place. Notice the extra lace is just looped above,it did not use all of both laces ,only about half of the laces that I previously tied together.
These steps can be repeated on the other end of the ridgepole to build a tent shaped hut instead of a just a pup tent type shelter as shown.

Step 6: Build Cover

So there it stands but there are so many ways to cover it.A tarp is nice but it can be finished with what ever is handy around you.I have shown a military style poncho that I have used to cover this type of shelter.I used a poncho and a tarp as examples here. 

The first photo shows the ridgepole sagging it was that way after lifting.The second photo shows that the pole was twisted inside the lashings to be a more functional shape.The third photo shows a tarp that I grabbed a handful of tarp near the center where we lifted it up and twisted a tail shape in it[tarp] then placed it under the ridgepoles short end and tucked it under itself, it is tight now .

You could use 3-5 pencils,or chopsticks and dental floss to practice on at home or even your desk.

Try building on both ends and standing it up in a tent shape using one ridgepole and two ends lashed instead of one as I show here.To do this lay it all flat and lash both ends then stand it all up at once. You must use rope to hold it steady,one rope from each ridgepole then secured to the ground

This is very handy if you or a friend break a tent-pole with no repair nearby.You can use this to hold up part of a tent from the outside.Notice the flat side? just put that flat side against the outside of the tent and tie the tent to it ,or both ends lashed will hold up a tent if you cut longer poles than shown here..So Emergency tent pole repair from shoelaces too.

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is the same way that a Tipi is constructed. You tie three thick poles together in a similar fashion. Then place about 6-8 more poles around it, depending on the size of the tipi.

    After your poles are in place, you will attach the outer canvas shell. It is tied firmly to one pole and pulled around to the other side and then kept together with wooden toggles. Finally, the poles are adjusted to ensure a snug fit.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes they did.They used three equal length poles to hold things above the fire,another use for this.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    thats a lot of boot laces to make that netting