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.
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.
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.
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:
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!