Thatched Dome Hut

I built this thatched dome hut on a mountain ridge using completely primitive tools and materials. The frame was 2.5 m in diameter and 2 m tall. It was made from 8 thin saplings 2.75 m long, the thatching material was split palm fronds and vine was used for tying it all together. A stone hand ax was used to chop the saplings and a sharp stone flake was used to cut fronds. The pointed dome profile is half way between a spherical dome and a ti-pi. This shape sheds rain and funnels smoke effectively while still providing a large inner volume. A moat was dug around the hut to drain water away. As an afterthought I planted sweet potatoes and taro around the moat to hopefully provide some food later on.

9 thoughts on “Thatched Dome Hut

  1. How did you leave the cap on the top, since it was linked to a pole? Did you fix the cap to the rest of the hut in some way?

    Good job in doing what you’re doing!


    • I tied a loop to the top of the cap, looped it just on the end of the pole (a knot in the wood would stop it sliding down the pole) then I pulled the pole out of the loop. The weight alone holds it in place but you could lash it down from the inside if you wanted. Thanks.


  2. Hi, this is Florian from Germany. The way you are doing your projects is very good.

    May I ask, if I can write you a personal email? Can you give me your email address. I would like to talk to you about a project a small team in germany is currently working on.

    Kind regards to Australia!


  3. I would like to do so, but our project is not ready for publication jet I must say.
    No chance for links and a private message that I can send you?
    You could answer me directly to my email address I left here under details, if you wish.
    I would really like to present it to you.
    Kind regards.


  4. Hey John, bought your book. I’m thinking you need to perform your survival magic on another continent. You could make it a guessing game. Where’s Primitive Technology? Give clues through the environment, flora/fauna/geology, that sort of thing.
    Note: I still think you should hook up with Codydon Reeder of Cody’s Lab. I think the two of you would get along famously.


  5. Say John, I was hoping for more of the story of your experiment and adventures rather than a recipe recital of your videos…

    I think your tale deserves a narrative treatment. Need help? My writing skills are materializing and I’d love to help.


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