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Discussion Starter #1
Lets say you are building a lean-to type shelter with a fire pit/cooking area in front of the opening.
I'm *assuming* you do not face the opening towards the wind. Otherwise smoke, rain, sparks and the elements could blow in. Right?
What if the wind's direction is the way you want to face?

I never see very much discussed on these "authentic" TV shows and YT vids on the wind's direction. It seems they find a natural wall (tree or rock) and build out from there. But if you want to face into the wind to keep a lookout, what are your options?

Sorry if this has been discussed before, I only went through the first page and didn't see much more than knot tying.
 

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Believe it or not I've thought about this same thing before. My thinking was to build the fire to the side of the shelter, so the majority of the smoke and any embers would in theory go past the shelter instead of inside. Or at least have a better chance of not coming into the shelter.

The fire off to the side would still allow use of it for cooking and warmth, but it should be out of the way enough as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Believe it or not I've thought about this same thing before. My thinking was to build the fire to the side of the shelter, so the majority of the smoke and any embers would in theory go past the shelter instead of inside. Or at least have a better chance of not coming into the shelter.

The fire off to the side would still allow use of it for cooking and warmth, but it should be out of the way enough as well.
That could work. At least from a safety viewpoint.
I was also thinking about one of those fire deflector walls, but that probably wouldn't stop you from getting smoked out. Especially if it starts raining and the fire gets smokey. It might block some of the wind though, depending on how high it was. That would also block your view, too.

I'm just thinking it might be beneficial to face a certain direction, but the landscape/environment might not lend itself well to doing that.
You could have a beautiful lake in front of you, but if your lean-to is facing the lake and that's the direction a strong wind is coming from... you might be better off facing a rock wall behind you.

Just something I was kicking around.
 

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No matter how well you guess it can go wrong quickly. Between fronts, upslope/drainage winds, and wind channeling around rock walls or other surface features, it's best to leave enough room for smoke to rise because it will eventually turn toward the shelter. I've also found good shelter and good views tend to be exclusive of each other, so I'll set up camp where the natural shelter is good and just walk over to a better view to eat, drink, and enjoy scenery.
 

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I have never built a leantoo shelter but when tent camping I keep the fire far enough out that it does not burn my tent. For warmth I'll take warm rocks inside the tent. I would assume the same would work for a makeshift shelter. DR
 

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The answer is adult disposable diapers.

It depends.

If on a slope, the opening should be lower than the back end. If in the shelter, it's to get out of the elements.
If it's raining, gonna be hard to keep lookout.
And usually build a fire pit with a windbreak. Trying to keep coals going, not a roaring blaze.
Strong wind, opening either into or away from unless you have no choice.
 

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My son and I camped in the rain for a week. Spent most of our time under a tarp. We dug a modified Dakota fire pit under the tarp. About a 3-4 foot long straight trench, maybe 18 inches deep, large flat rocks over the middle. Used dirt to seal it up so there was no leaks. The intake side into the wind. At the exhaust end we dried soaking wet wood, then cycled it through. It acted efficiently like a stove didn't burn a lot of wood. Radiated a lot of heat, flames contained and worked well under the tarp. Cooked on the exhaust end. Had coals each morning to start with.. If you had nothing but say pine boughs, you could sleep next to it on the ground for warmth...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That Dakota fire pit is great. Thanks for mentioning that, 1911s.

It seems counterproductive to have to choose between shelter and warmth. And these bushcrafters that are building stone stoves inside their shelter seems a bit much. Maybe more of a long term camp/shelter.

I watched quite a few different youtubers building shelters last night and started my morning off with them. Not one yet has mentioned positioning the shelter in accordance with prevailing winds. Maybe I was thinking too deeply on that. It seems like it should be a concern, but maybe it isn't.

QK, I believe the term is, smoke follows beauty :wink:
 

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This was modified, as in a simple straight slit trench, vice original design. This fire was directly under a tarp with no issues. Like a stove in the ground. I'd say you could hang a hammock next to it and be fine as well. The 3 advantages were ; 1. Location (just under the tarp where it got no rain. 2. Efficiency (a lot less firewood used) 3. Ability to use soaking wet wood for fuel by using the design to dry it. It puts out less light, but under some conditions that may be a plus. IE; military use. We don't primitive camp much anymore but if I did. I'd take an E Tool for this purpose. Test it out you'll be amazed...
 

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My son and I camped in the rain for a week. Spent most of our time under a tarp. We dug a modified Dakota fire pit under the tarp. About a 3-4 foot long straight trench, maybe 18 inches deep, large flat rocks over the middle. Used dirt to seal it up so there was no leaks. The intake side into the wind. At the exhaust end we dried soaking wet wood, then cycled it through. It acted efficiently like a stove didn't burn a lot of wood. Radiated a lot of heat, flames contained and worked well under the tarp. Cooked on the exhaust end. Had coals each morning to start with.. If you had nothing but say pine boughs, you could sleep next to it on the ground for warmth...
^^^Excellent idea!^^^^
 
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IN WNC trying to plan a shelter based on wind is useless. Upslope breezes start when the sun hits the hill. Down slope breeze starts when it goes down. Winds swirl in the mountains. I used to sleep under a tarp. I "might" try to guess the wind for that night. But generally I just put it up where it was easiest. If I was in an area area with known predominate winds, maybe. But I'm guessing there are better reasons for where to place the shelter than wind. If I were there long enough to worry about it, I'm there long enough to start enclosing the shelter so I don't have to worry about it.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks.
I guess wind wasn't as big a concern as I thought. Must be why no one mentions it as a consideration.

I did watch a bunch of those Joe Robinet videos. In one of them he set his backpack at the end of his lean-to bed and said it would block the wind when he was laying down. Maybe an afterthought, but that means he set up his lean-to ninety degrees to the wind's direction. His fire was close enough he could sit on his log bed when cooking.

I've noticed in a lot of these videos there doesn't appear to be any wind, lol.
 

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PAcanis,
Camping in PA or elsewhere? If ya ever get a chance the wilderness areas in the Adirondacks are beautiful and have nice log lean to's with fireplaces. Only problem is, its NY and they have gone gun bat crap crazy...
 
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Discussion Starter #17
PAcanis,
Camping in PA or elsewhere? If ya ever get a chance the wilderness areas in the Adirondacks are beautiful and have nice log lean to's with fireplaces. Only problem is, its NY and they have gone gun bat crap crazy...
I can't get away to go camping. My job pretty much has me tied down. That and the ankle bracelet :wink:
I was actually thinking of tinkering around out back here. I like to keep busy and thought it would be interesting to try to build a lean-to and campsite on the back of my property. Maybe cook one or two dinners a week back there. As if I was camping or bushcrafting, same hand tools, just no hiking :smile:
That was the crux of my question. Ideally I'd like the lean-to to face west, but that is right into the wind and we get some good winds here. Not a problem in my case, but what would you do if you were really out in the wilderness alone? You might start a makeshift shelter to protect you from the wind in a storm, then realize you would rather be facing the other direction when things calm down. At least that's how I was over-thinking it.
 

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Slightly Off Topic.

I have discovered years ago that I am a powerful smoke magnet.

No matter how I move around any wood fire...that is exactly where all of the smoke will be.

If I move....the smoke will move.
This is why you should always camp with a companion like QKShooter. Position him on the opposite side of the fire from the shelter and all the smoke will go away from the shelter. It also helps if you can run faster than he can in case you encounter bears.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This is why you should always camp with a companion like QKShooter. Position him on the opposite side of the fire from the shelter and all the smoke will go away from the shelter. It also helps if you can run faster than he can in case you encounter bears.
Good tips :eek:k:
 

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Ideally I'd like the lean-to to face west, but that is right into the wind and we get some good winds here. Not a problem in my case, but what would you do if you were really out in the wilderness alone? You might start a makeshift shelter to protect you from the wind in a storm, then realize you would rather be facing the other direction when things calm down. At least that's how I was over-thinking it.
After camping in the Adirondacks most of my life. We always try to arrange the camp with a wind break, either trees or well positioned tarp. We go in the fall, no people. But often cold and wet. Always consider wind ,deadfalls and drainage. I always position the tent to see the entire camp...for the zero dark thirty black bear show. The back yard idea is a good one. Have fun with it. Wish we could the deer ticks are so bad. We've had to cut our woods back about 60 yds.
 
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