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How to Build Huts With Bamboo

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Due to bamboo's incredible strength -- in structural engineering tests, it has proven stronger than some steel alloys and concrete mixes, and its fast regrowth -- within a period of 24 hours, some species of bamboo can grow up to 4 feet, it is one of the most plentiful, sustainable building materials on the planet. Build a "lean-to" style shelter out of bamboo for protection from the elements in both tropical and non-tropical environments. Make sure to build the shelter with its back to the wind.

Lash and Build the Frame

Using rope, lash both ends of a 6-foot piece of dried bamboo -- a "ridge pole" -- to the tops of two 4-foot pieces of bamboo, which will serve as the upright supports. Lashing techniques can be learned on this website:

Place the upright supports in the ground. Place them about 6 feet apart and about 1 foot deep in the earth.

Lay 4 or more long branches against the ridge pole to form a roof. If you wish, fill in the gaps with thinner pieces of bamboo or other straight branches.

Tie or lash the tops of the long branches to the ridge pole.

Bury the bottoms of the straight branches in the ground. One foot is a sufficient depth.

Form a base for your shelter. Place a 6-foot piece of bamboo on the ground, directly under the ridge pole, another 6-foot piece of bamboo on the ground at the base of the branches that form the roof, and two 4-foot pieces of bamboo on the ground at either side of the structure.

Lash all base poles to their connecting structural pieces.

Add smaller pieces of bamboo -- from 2 to 4 feet in length -- to the upright sides of the shelter. Lash them to the ridge pole and base poles.

Lay a tarp over the roof.

Secure the tarp to the roof. Do this by tying or nailing it to the underside of the bamboo pieces that form the roof. Nailing or tying through the tarp's grommets will provide the best stability.


For a more pleasing appearance for your structure's ceiling, place a colorful sheet or tapestry under your tarp. For added warmth or a natural bug repellent, build a fire on the open side of your shelter.

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