These are instructions for a basic debris hut. A good debris hut can be useful in a cold night to get out of the wind. I would not suggest building a fire around a debris hut or trying to establish one in a direct wind for obvious reasons. Also debris huts arent always made of leaves and can be adjusted for whatever area you have. Pine branches make good cover outside of a debris hut, and good bedding inside to keep you off the ground.
A strong ridge pole and a good location are the first steps to the debris hut. Make sure the area is high and dry to avoid any problems with water drainage during a storm. The area was checked for abundance of material and possible hazards. (i.e. poisonous plants, insets, deadfalls, widow-makers, etc.) Direction is noted for the door. Look closely; you may find my tracks in a thin layer of debris under the ridgepole.
Next, sticks are placed as ribbing along both sides of the ridge pole. This is done after you have laid down and measured the interior.
Note the door opening near the sapling facing east or slightly southeast.
Still more sticks are placed to hold the debris up. More dry debris is also stuffed in the interior for comfortable bedding that lifts you off the cold ground. This is also a good time to roof off your entryway by placing four forked sticks into the ground at the desired height, and ribbing the top with a network of sticks.
The finished product!
The walls are about 2 feet thick, good for a 20 degree night.
It took about 2 hours from start to finish. The rather speedy time was no doubt due to the extraordinary abundance of material in this beautiful transition forest.