How-To Guide On Building Forts In The Woods

Nothing is more epic than a fort! When you’re camping, your kids could get bored with the same old activities. Show your kids how to build an awesome fort in the woods that will be their awesome secret getaway during your stay! This is also great information to know in the event that you ever become stranded and need to craft your own shelter! Fort building is especially great if you’re boondocking or staying in a secluded location with tons of wooded cover! Here’s how:

There are several different types of forts you can make in the woods, ranging from simple to fairly complex! It all depends on the ability of the person building the fort, and the location of the fort. If your kids want to build the fort themselves, a simpler structure will be better!


The most basic way to build a fort is to build a lean-to. Find a large, sturdy tree with a decent amount of clear space around it. Find long sticks and branches; ones with leaves will provide the best coverage! Prop the sticks up at a 45-degree angle against the tree for a simple fort! Do this all the way around the tree and if you’d like, leave a small space for a door and you’ll have a lean-to teepee!

Alternatively, for a fort for those with little more know-how, find four sturdy sticks. Take two of the sticks and position them so that they form an ‘X’ shape, with the cross-section intersecting toward the top of the branches, forming a small ‘V’. Do this twice, for two sets of braces. Use another sturdy long stick and place it on both ‘Vs’ of your braces. This is the frame for your lean-to! Gather long sticks and lean them at a 45-degree angle against the intersecting stick to create your fort!

Stick Tent Fort

Stick tent forts are very similar to lean-to forts, but cover both sides of the cross-section for tent-like coverage! You can achieve this in a couple of different ways! Use the guidelines for the second lean-to method from above, and add sticks at a 45-degree angle on the other side as well to form a tent of sticks! If you’d like more height for more space, find taller sticks for your braces, or try this alternative method:

Find two trees with enough space between them to achieve the desired length of your fort. If both trees have crooks in their branches at approximately the same height, you can use this for your intersecting branch. If not, use twine or rope to secure a sturdy stick between the two trees. Find long branches to lean against the stick on both sides to form a tent!

Log Fort

If you’ve ever played with log building blocks, this fort will be fun and easy for you! The best part of this type of fort is that you don’t have to build any sort of frame beforehand, you can just start building! Search the forest for sturdy logs, but long branches will work just fine, especially for a short-term fort. Lay down an anchor layer, then stack the logs or braces by alternating so that each different side sits above the other. Continue to stack until you reach the desired height, then top with long branches to form a roof! Younger fort builders might need a hand with this one, but the results are awesome!

Freestyle Fort

If all else fails, just build a freestyle fort! You can use sticks, leaf-covered branches, and even bring along a blanket or tarp for roof coverage! Just stack, lean, or pile your materials to form walls as high as you want! You can cover the roof, or leave it as an open air fort! Imagination sparks the magic of forts, so let your creativity run wild!

Building forts is a timeless activity that all adventurous children should experience! Young campers will love having their own secret place to hang out while you’re camping, or if you live in a wooded area, make a fort for a fun camping experience right in your own backyard! This guide will help you and your children to craft awesome, fun forts that will inspire memories of a lifetime! Did you have a fort growing up? Share your favorite fort memories in the comments!