Craft Your Own Wickiup: Traditional Native American Shelter

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If you’re looking for a unique and practical shelter for your next off-grid living or disaster preparedness adventure, consider building a wickiup. This traditional Native American shelter is easy to construct and provides excellent protection from the elements. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of building a wickiup step-by-step, from selecting the right materials to putting on the finishing touches. Not only will you learn a valuable survival skill, but you’ll also gain a deeper appreciation for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Native American cultures.

So grab your tools and let’s get started on building your very own wickiup!pickuppickuppickup

How to Build a Wickiup: A Guide to Off-Grid Living

How to Build a Wickiup: A Guide to Off-Grid Living

When it comes to survival food, off-grid living, or disaster preparedness, one of the most important things to consider is shelter. A shelter can protect you from the elements, keep you warm, and provide a sense of security. While there are many different types of shelters you can build, one that has been used for centuries by Native Americans is the wickiup. In this article, we will discuss how to build a wickiup and why it is a great option for those looking to live off the grid or prepare for a disaster.

What is a Wickiup?

A wickiup is a type of shelter that was traditionally used by Native Americans in the southwestern United States. It is a cone-shaped structure made from natural materials such as branches, bark, and grass. The wickiup is designed to be lightweight and easy to construct, making it a great option for those who need to build a shelter quickly.

Why Build a Wickiup?

There are many reasons why you might want to build a wickiup. For one, it is a great option for those who are living off the grid or preparing for a disaster.

The materials needed to build a wickiup can be found in nature, which means you don’t need to rely on modern building materials. Additionally, the wickiup is designed to be lightweight and easy to construct, which means you can build it quickly and easily.

Another reason to build a wickiup is that it is a great way to connect with nature. When you build a wickiup, you are using natural materials to create a shelter that blends in with the environment. This can help you feel more connected to the land and can provide a sense of peace and tranquility.

How to Build a Wickiup

Now that you understand why you might want to build a wickiup, let’s discuss how to do it. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Choose a Location
  2. The first step in building a wickiup is to choose a location. You want to find a spot that is flat and free from any obstacles such as rocks or trees. Additionally, you want to choose a spot that is protected from the wind and rain.

  3. Gather Materials
  4. The next step is to gather the materials you will need to build your wickiup. You will need long, straight branches for the frame, bark or grass for the covering, and cordage to tie everything together. You can also use rocks or logs to anchor the frame in place.

  5. Build the Frame
  6. Once you have gathered your materials, it’s time to start building the frame. Begin by placing a long, straight branch in the ground where you want the center of your wickiup to be. This will be the main support for your structure.

    Next, place several more branches around the center branch, leaning them against it to form a cone shape. You want to make sure the branches are close enough together that they will provide a sturdy frame.

  7. Cover the Frame
  8. Once you have built the frame, it’s time to cover it with bark or grass. Begin by placing a layer of bark or grass around the bottom of the frame, tucking it under the branches to hold it in place. Continue adding layers of bark or grass, overlapping each layer slightly to create a waterproof covering.

    You can also use cordage to tie the covering to the frame to ensure it stays in place.

  9. Add a Door
  10. Finally, you will want to add a door to your wickiup. This can be done by leaving a small opening in the covering or by cutting a hole in the covering and attaching a flap of bark or grass to cover it. Make sure the door is large enough for you to enter and exit the wickiup easily.


Building a wickiup is a great option for those who are looking to live off the grid or prepare for a disaster. It is a lightweight, easy-to-construct shelter that can be made from natural materials found in nature. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can build your own wickiup and enjoy the benefits of living in a shelter that is connected to the land.

Interesting tidbits about How to Build a Wickiup: A Native American Shelter

  1. Native Americans used a variety of natural materials to build their shelters, including bark, grasses, and animal hides.
  2. The design of the wickiup allowed for ventilation while still providing protection from the elements.
  3. Many modern off-grid homes incorporate sustainable building practices such as using recycled materials or utilizing solar power.
  4. In times of disaster or emergency situations, having a stockpile of non-perishable food items can be crucial for survival.
  5. Foraging for wild edibles is an important skill in off-grid living and can provide a source of fresh produce even without access to traditional grocery stores.
  6. Canning and preserving foods is another way to ensure access to nutritious food during times when fresh produce may not be available.
  7. Water filtration systems are essential in disaster preparedness kits as clean drinking water may become scarce during emergencies such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
  8. Hunting and fishing skills are valuable in both off-grid living situations and disaster scenarios where traditional sources of protein may not be readily available