Destroying Buschcrafter Shelters: A How-to Guide

BuschCrafter shelters built from live cut trees are bad, and should be destroyed every time you see one.  These shelters are trendy on Instagram with teenagers and MAGA chud Dads.   They demonstrate a gross violation of Leave No Trace principles.  After demolishing a particularly large shelter this past weekend on Siouxon Creek, I thought it may be helpful to write a how-to guide.  These shelters unnecessarily destroy live trees, only to be used for one night of shelter.  Each time I find a shelter, there is a lot of trash lying around as well.  These camps are the plastic straws and plastic grocery bags of the shelter world, and much more harmful to the environment.

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Used with permission from UltralightJerk on Instagram

Step 1:  Find a BuschCraft Shelter

This is the easiest step in the process.  In my experience, 99% of BuschCrafter Shelters are no more than 1/16 of a mile from the trailhead.  This is because their equipment is much too heavy to carry farther than that.  They bring cast axes, chainsaws (poseurs), iron pans, coolers, pony kegs, and trash.  These items cannot make it far, even if you have a giant Gregory Baltoro.  If you don’t find a shelter within a 1/4 mile, that’s good.  Go ahead and hike back out, drive to the next trailhead to continue your search.

In the example below, we find a particularly large shelter, sleeping anywhere from 4-10 people depending on girth.  This shelter was found within 200 yards of the trailhead and parking area and fits our profile so far.

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Step 2: Investigate and Document the BuschCraft Shelter 

Take a look around the camp.  Often you will find  a lot of trash.  Take pictures, make observations.  Check out the shelter itself, was it made from live wood?  Did they use axes or did they take the poseur route and use a chainsaw?  More importantly, are the inhabitants still around?  Chances are, the inhabitants are long gone, due to never having enough supplies for more than an overnight.  If the inhabitants are still around you’ve got a decision to make: do you destroy it right in front of them or come back later?  Your choice, but remember they are armed with dull Wal-Mart hatchets and may also have firearms.  They simply cannot physically carry in more than 18 hrs worth of food since their packs are full of coleman tents, propane stoves, etc; so they will be gone soon enough.  To play it safe, come back later when they leave.

Take good pictures of the shelter, better yet get a friend to make a video of you destroying the shelter.

Upon investigation, I had two main findings.  One was that there was a bunch of trash left here by the Busch Crafters.  Secondly we find that live trees were used in part of the construction process.

A bonus finding is that the live trees have one clean cut… this tell us that the busch Crafters don’t even follow their own rules.  They are supposed to use axes, hatchets, and bow saws from Home Depot or WalMart.  So, we have a poseur in our midst, who will be ridiculed not only by me, but his WHOLE COMMUNITY.

At this point I’ve seen enough, its time to take this bitch down.

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Step 3:  Identify Weak Points and Quickly Destroy the Whole Thing 

Although these shelters may look sturdy, they are very weak and easy to knock down.  I destroyed this entire shelter with my backpack still on if that tells you anything.    Knock out a few supports and it crashes right down.  The quicker you do this, the quicker you can continue your hike.  Say a prayer for the dead trees and move on.  If you want to be really thorough, take the logs and pieces and throw them in a river or deep into the woods.  Make it a pain for them to rebuild.  Don’t forget to pack out their trash, if you can manage all the extra weight.

About 5-6 well placed kicks were all it took for quick assault and decisive destruction:

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Step 4: Post *Everything* on Social Media

This is the most important step, post your photos and videos and saturate social media.  Especially mock them if they use powered equipment like chainsaws, this is something that is frowned upon even in their community.  Include the location and specifically tag the buschcraft community so they know we’re responding to their violations or LNT in kind.

I returned the following day to make sure it wasn’t rebuilt, he’s a shot from another angle of the poseur Busch Crafter “shelter”.  Someone else already cleaned up the trash.  Remember, we need to all work together on this.

Feel free to tell your stories or share any tips in the comments section!

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22 Comments

      1. You reported his ISP? Do you know what that means? You’re not wrong about your ideas of LNT. But you come off just as much of a bigot as the people you are referring to. Just on the other side of the spectrum. I’m all for LNT. But some people treat it too much like a damn righteous cult. I think your message would be more well received if you wrote it in less of a lonely neckbeardy way.

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  1. OK douchebagger,
    Because you think all bushcraft erst are or are related to gun toten beer guzzling MAGA chuddads, here a thought for your consideration.
    Because you ultralightweight, sap sucking, knot hole buggering, carbon crying, pooping in a petroleum-based zip lock bag are going to destroy every bushcraft shelter, we hereby respond to your call for war.
    We will henceforth live boobietraps, traps for all you boobs, in our shelters. So unless you are eod qualified you might want to rethink your plan of action. When you find a shelter and destroy it, and nothing occurs, 2 facts are proven,
    1)it’s not one of ours because you found it
    2)its not one of ours because you will be thumping your chest singin “what a great douche i am”

    Like

    1. MAGA chud dads pretty much describes 90 percent of buschcrafters. The rest are hipsters who probably spend more money on beard oil than their shitty Dicks Sporting Goods gear. Which category do you fall under?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A few points, I am a survival trainer and avid outdoors person. Camping every time I get a chance under the stars or the bough of a tree when ever possible. Need shelter? Bring a survival bag or some polythene. There is ABSOLUTELY no need to cut down live trees, especially young ones UNLESS it is an absolute emergency and there is a risk to your life from the elements. That said… the attitude of the poster of this article is very immature and his attitude towards this issue is just wrong. For a start if you encounter a shelter and then destroy it and “dispose” of the cut trees you are likely encouraging fresh cuts to replace the cut down trees the next time someone wants to be acting like Bear Grills. Document the shelter and any garbage then report this to the ranger responsible for the location. Encouraging this kind of behavior will lead to conflict and/or personal injury. Those of us that practice the “leave no trace” mentality are sadly in decline, and with this there is a growing prevalence of the casual camper that wipes themselves with wet wipes and brings canned food and beer. In Ireland all of our national parks have been destroyed by both tree cutting and by trash. I openly encourage people to crusade on the trash, when I go camping I bring a few big black bags and pick up what I find, I leave the bags out of reach of critters and notify rangers with co-ordinates. I have encountered my fair share of fresh cut trees used for fires and shelters, I have even seen first had a SCOUT LEADER cutting down a young tree, I had a few choice words for him and re-educated him that with a little foraging he could have found A. some wind fell trees dotted around B. Bush food.

    If you are a camper your a conservationist, if your a camper you should always endeavor to leave the area in a better condition than when you found it. I say better because you can always clean up after others restoring a site to pristine condition.

    The OP should not be posting peoples email addresses publicly here either as this is breach of privacy laws in multiple countries. Given this is the case I have created an email address specifically for this post.

    If you find a shelter made from fresh cut trees contact your local authority or park ranger and note the co-ordinates and take pictures. Then by all means pick up garbage but leave the shelter were it stands, destroying it only makes the problem worse, the trees are already cut right… and besides cutting down a tree unless it is very young will not kill it, many trees will regrow from the root over time.

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  3. Thanks for bringing this up. I can see why someone who cares deeply for our natural world would want to destroy these shelters. While some people into bushcrafting truly love the outdoors and practice LNT principles, many are taking up more of a manifest destiny (dare I say white supremacist) approach to the wilderness. It seems to be wrapped up with reverence for a time when our forests and lands were considered the “frontier” and the native peoples were looked upon as savages. The ecosystems that continue to exist now are precious and we don’t have time for people to come and ravage whats left.

    Liked by 1 person

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