Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

An 18th-century No-Nails Survival Shelter

Watch eighteenth-century lifestyle YouTube host and Indiana-based proprietor Jon Townsend build a “Frontiersman’s Survival Shelter” with no nails.

“The wilderness is a very harsh environment and shelter is crucial to survival. Thousands of men, women, and children ventured into the interior of North America in the 18th century. It was a wilderness, a wilderness without any support structure, without any shelter. They had to build these shelters quickly just to survive.”

He teams up to build this three wall shack, a refuge from the wilderness built from what was available: Tree trunks, strips of inner bark for rope, and what might be honey locust tree thorns, used as nails to secure the thin shingles of the tree’s outer bark.

john townsend
building a shelter
Level the 1700s-era builds up with another Townsends video: Building a log barn in Limestone, Tennessee.

Plus, more shelter and construction videos, including:
• Building a ‘bed shed’ sleeping shelter with Primitive Technology
How to Build an Igloo (1949)
• How to build with different mud recipes
How nomads put together a ger (or yurt)
• Building a wigwam, a time lapse
Log cabin time lapse: A Canadian man builds a shelter from scratch

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Casa ecológica de botellas (The Ecological Bottle House)

Rion Nakaya

This “snail shell spider” uses its web to hoist objects up high

Rion Nakaya

How to Make a Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Rion Nakaya

Building a traditional Basque style bird house – La Fabrique DIY

Rion Nakaya

Adrienn Banhegyi’s world record jump rope skills

Rion Nakaya

Building a wigwam, a time lapse

Rion Nakaya

Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by designer Angela Luna

Rion Nakaya

Making a rice straw animal sculpture, a time lapse for the Wara Art Festival

Rion Nakaya

Elizabeth Magie and the history of the board game Monopoly

Rion Nakaya