Create Your Own Authentic Wickiup Adventure!

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Are you planning your next camping trip and looking for a unique and authentic way to experience the great outdoors? Look no further than building a wickiup! This traditional Native American shelter is not only practical and functional, but it also adds a touch of history and culture to your camping experience. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of building your own wickiup, from selecting the right materials to constructing the frame and covering it with natural materials.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, this guide is perfect for anyone looking to add a new skill to their survival food or offgrid living or disaster preparedness toolkit. So grab your tools and let’s get started!pickuppickupoff grid


Camping is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. However, it can be challenging to find the perfect shelter that will keep you safe and comfortable during your camping trip. One option that has been used for centuries by Native Americans is the wickiup. A wickiup is a type of shelter made from natural materials such as branches, bark, and grass. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to build a wickiup for your next camping trip.

Step 1: Choose a Location

The first step in building a wickiup is to choose a location. Look for a flat area that is free from rocks and debris. You should also consider the direction of the wind and the position of the sun. You want to choose a location that will provide shade during the hottest part of the day and protection from the wind.

Step 2: Gather Materials

The next step is to gather materials. You will need long branches or saplings for the frame of the wickiup.

Look for branches that are straight and at least 10 feet long. You will also need smaller branches for the crosspieces and bark or grass for the covering.

Step 3: Build the Frame

Once you have gathered your materials, it is time to build the frame. Start by placing the longest branches in a circle, leaning them against each other to form a cone shape. Make sure the branches are firmly planted in the ground. You can use rocks or dirt to secure them in place.

Next, add the crosspieces. These should be placed horizontally around the frame, about 2 feet apart. Use smaller branches for the crosspieces and weave them in and out of the frame.

Step 4: Cover the Frame

Once the frame is complete, it is time to cover it. You can use bark or grass for the covering. If you are using bark, start at the bottom and work your way up, overlapping each layer as you go. If you are using grass, start at the top and work your way down, tying each layer to the frame with twine.

Step 5: Add a Door

To make your wickiup more comfortable, you may want to add a door. Cut a piece of bark or grass to fit the opening and tie it to the frame with twine. You can also add a flap to the door to keep out the wind and rain.

Step 6: Add a Fire Pit

No camping trip is complete without a fire pit. You can build a fire pit inside your wickiup or outside.

If you choose to build it inside, make sure there is enough ventilation to prevent smoke from building up inside the shelter.

Step 7: Add Bedding

To make your wickiup more comfortable, you will need bedding. You can use a sleeping bag or a blanket. If you are using a blanket, make sure it is thick enough to provide insulation from the ground.

Step 8: Add Lighting

Finally, you will need lighting. You can use a lantern or a flashlight. If you are using a lantern, make sure it is safe to use inside the shelter.

You can also use candles, but be careful not to start a fire.


Building a wickiup is a great way to connect with nature and experience camping in a new way. It is also a great survival skill to have in case of an emergency. By following these simple steps, you can build a wickiup for your next camping trip. Remember to choose a location, gather materials, build the frame, cover the frame, add a door, add a fire pit, add bedding, and add lighting.

With a little bit of effort, you can create a comfortable and safe shelter that will provide you with a unique camping experience.

Interesting tidbits about “Step-by-Step Guide: Building a Wickiup for Your Next Camping Trip”

  1. Wickiups were traditionally used by Native American tribes as temporary shelters for hunting and gathering trips.
  2. The structure of a wickiup is made from flexible branches or saplings, which are bent into a dome shape and tied together at the top.
  3. The covering of a wickiup can be made from various materials such as bark, animal hides, or woven mats.
  4. Wickiups are designed to be easily dismantled and transported to different locations.
  5. Building a wickiup requires minimal tools and can be done using only natural resources found in the surrounding area.
  6. A properly built wickiup provides excellent insulation against both heat and cold weather conditions due to its thick walls made from natural materials like grasses or leaves