Whether you are in a survival situation, or you just want to enjoy a different type of camping experience, a lean-to shelter is a good way to stay safe from the elements.
2 Trees/ poles about 7-8 feet apart
2 poles/branches about 8-9 feet long (Thick for frame)
5-8 thinner 8-9 poles/branches
Filler branches/saplings/ long grass/leaves
Ax to chop down trees/saplings for poles
Step 1- Check for wind direction. If you have satellite capabilities, check for directions of incoming storms. You'll want to build your lean-to to block the direction of the wind.
Step 2- Lash 1 of your thicker 8-9 foot poles crossing the two trees, about chest high. This is part of your frame so make sure these poles are sturdy and lashed securely. (Also known as a "transversal beam".)
Step 3- Create the rest of the outside frame. Lash the other thick pole on the ground to two outer poles, which you will then lash to the pole crossing the trees. Again, this is the frame of your lean-to, so make sure you lash each one securely.
Step 4- Finish the frame by lashing the rest of the poles vertically to the top and bottom of your frame, equidistant apart.
Step 5- If you have excess paracord, cross it horizontally through the frame to create a nest to put filler material. You can also use more branches do do this.
Step 6- Criss-cross saplings, branches, long grasses, etc. to fill in the holes of the frame. You'll want to loosely weave bigger pieces together and to the paracord to secure the pieces from blowing off. The more material you use, the more insulated your shelter will be.
Step 6- Fill the ground under the lean-to with insulating leaves and grasses.
Option #1- Create a front barrier wall about 2 feet tall in front of the opening to trap in heat from a fire. Make sure your fire is outside of your lean-to, and the barrier is a few feet away from the fire.
Option #2- Once the first lean-to is created, create another one on the other side for protection on each side.
Option #3- If you have a tarp, check out THIS option for a good lean-to shelter. (It's always good to have a tarp with you. Keep one in your car emergency kit, at home, or wherever you keep emergency kits.)
Check out this video for some other options.