Field and Stream - - F&S -

Since my boy could first walk, he’s helped stack fire­wood. He’ll pick up rib­bons of fresh-split kin­dling, then lean the strips of wood against the dry­ing ricks of maple and hick­ory. When the snow melted this spring and we picked up sticks in the yard, he did the same thing. Am­bling over to a white pine on his 2-year-old feet, he leaned a stick against the sappy gi­ant. It gave me an idea: I set a 5-inch-di­am­e­ter black-cherry log in a wee­villed split 5 feet up the pine to make an an­gled ridge pole. Then I dragged a few big branches from the woods and set them against that cherry brace. My boy caught on right away; we’ve added to our shel­ter with twigs, branches, and leaves. As we were tak­ing out the re­cy­cling one day, he walked off with a mag­a­zine and a milk jug to in­su­late, or dec­o­rate, the side of his lit­tle shel­ter. The whole thing is prim­i­tive as can be but solid, with­out lash­ings or tarp. My son can walk around in­side it, or sit with me and read pic­ture books in the shade. Come July, when the nights warm up here, we’ll un­roll our sleep­ing bags and spend a night in Henry’s lean-to.

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