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Handy Hermit Hut
You can build this little shelter in one hour. No carpentry experience is needed, and, there is no measuring needed! Total cost is under 50 dollars, less if you use scrounged materials. The shelter sleeps one or possibly two people and will last for years with an occasional coat of paint. This tiny shelter is perfect as a hunting camp, low profile hideaway, doghouse, or backup shelter. It ainâ€™t fancy but beats sleeping in the rain. If I am ever down to my last 50 dollars I will build this shelter to live in. Here is a list of materials and tools you will need.
(5) Sheets of 7/16 inch OSB â€“ Some folks call this chipboard. Ask for OSB at the building supply, they will know what you need. It comes in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets
(4) 2 by 4 by 8-foot boards - Pick the straightest boards you can, it makes building way easier.
(1) pound of 1 5/8 inch or 2 inch coarse thread drywall screws
(1) tube of latex caulk â€“ The cheap stuff works fine
(1) Caulking gun â€“ the cheap ones work fine
(1) set of door hinges with screws
(1) Piece of scrap rubber, an old rubber car floor mat or inner tube works well.
Rechargeable drill with screwdriver bit or a good ratcheting screwdriver
Cut one of the OSB sheets in half to make two 4 foot by 4 foot pieces. The building supply will do this for free in most places. They use a panel saw that can do a neater job than you can.
Start by building a long box, open on both ends. A full sheet of OSB forms each side of the box and a 2 by 4 goes into each corner. A rechargeable drill makes this quick and easy. Use one screw about every foot. Drywall screws are the best thing that ever happened to amateur carpenters. If you drive it in wrong, reverse the drill and back it out. Screws are way stronger than nails as well.
Screw one of the half sheets of OSB over one end. Drive screws into the ends of the 2 by 4. Work carefully to minimize gaps that rain water can leak through.
Attach the other half sheet with hinges ON TOP to make the door.
Caulk the top seams with latex caulk to keep rain and wind out. Pay special attention to the top edge of the end piece. A leak there will drip water on your head.
Cut strips of scrap rubber and staple them over the hinge to keep rain out.
The shelter works best when the closed end is uphill. This keeps rain from running in and makes the whole thing shed water. Never sleep with your head downhill, it will cause a headache. OSB is not rated for outdoor use, but, I have seen the stuff last for 10 years exposed to the weather. Two coats of exterior paint will help durability as will putting the shelter up on boards, concrete blocks or rocks. The one weak point of OSB is it cannot take contact with damp ground. If you can get the shelter off the ground about a foot it will last for years.
In colder areas, some one or two inch thick foam insulation can be fastened inside the hut with screws or a glue called Liquid Nails. Insulate the end and door as well. The insulation can be cut to shape with a pocketknife, razor knife, or a hacksaw blade.
For security, you can install 2 hook and eye fasteners on the door. That way you can lock it from the inside.
SAFETY WARNING! DO NOT use any fuel-burning appliance in this tiny space. Carbon monoxide will be produced and WILL kill you. Use an LED lantern if you need light. You can burn a candle lantern or small oil lamp ONLY if you leave the door open about an inch for air circulation.
There you have it. You have just built an insulated box to sleep in. In most climates, your body heat and a sleeping bag will keep you warm without an external heat source.