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My Outdoor Experience

By Garret Hammond, Olpe

Ever since I was little, I built forts in the woods. Until I was 7, I lived on a ranch in chase county. At 8, we moved to Olpe. When I was 11, I realized I could take this further. I built my first real “hut” out of clayish mud bricks in a dry season, so rain would not destroy it. The roof was made of cedar cuttings and it didn't shed rain. Little did I know, I built it on a flood plain, and it was destroyed during May. I then discovered thatching, a method of roofing used by ancient cultures. It consists of grass being tied onto horizontal sticks called battens, overlapped in a way that sheds rain. All of my “huts” since then have been made of grass thatched roofs. Mud is a very important resource as well. I built the frames with wood which I cut with a hatchet. The posts were put in the ground (using a large piece of concrete as a hammerstone) and were then enveloped in thick mud layers, each on top of each other, forming a wall. The only modern tools I use are a shovel, (Kansas’s soil is very hard, especially during summer), a hatchet, and twine.

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Last modified on Thursday, 11 June 2020 16:37