I’ll be blunt: I’m building a fort in the woods.
“What the hell are you doing that for? You’re old enough to vote!” you cry.
“Well I don’t care! I want a fort in the woods because it’s freaking cool and there’s gonna be no girls allowed and that’s final!” I say.
I found a pretty good spot the other day. It is deep in the brush and next to a local waterway. Spiders and mosquitoes, which plagued earlier exploration efforts, are minimal here. Being by water makes fishing an option.
I have begun construction of two treehouses on the spot. Walking toward the fort there is one on the left, which you can see here. It isn’t a very good cell phone picture I’m afraid. It’s essentially a VERY high platform with various stepladders leading up to it, and the other side from view has a rope which may be used to rappel oneself down the structure. This will be the lookout point and where in the future we will hoist our flag (I am open to flag suggestions).
The second structure, on the right, is here. Keep in mind I’ve only just recently started this project. What you see there is some trees grouped together and a platform built in that, with wood and other debris scattered around the ground. I’m going to finish the platform and on the first story I’ve got some 2x4s and other wood I’m going to use to add walls to that, so we have an enclosed structure. Aside from the obvious survival benefits shelters also muffle sound somewhat, which is necessary to avoid detection.
In the background of the RIGHT tower between other trees and brush you can see the local waterway. There’s the rub, there’s what I registered here to ask the smartypants about.
This river feeds into a larger body of water, and that body has islands on it. ISLANDS, see. Uninhabited, secluded, awesome. This fort has numerous points to launch a boat off of, and with that in mind it is my intention to explore these islands.
Thing is I don’t have any boats of my own. Or much nautical knowledge. I suppose I could grab a friend with a motorboat and do things that way, but I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to do that on numerous grounds (or, waters). Firstly, it is loud, disturbing the waterlife and polluting the water. Secondly, a “real” boat is natural, easier to moor, evades detection at night (very important), and is simply MORE MANLY. This is important, it is the principle of the matter.
But like I said, I don’t own any kayaks or canoes. So to keep with the DIY ethic of this whole project I intend to build my own boat. But like I said I don’t know anything about that stuff. A buddy of mine has made a number of duct tape boats in the past. Essentially that is a balsa wood-made “boat” covered in numerous layers of duct tape which is only a boat because the walls are just high enough to displace water to barely barely (by inches) keep afloat. But it has ferried over 200lbs upriver and back once before. He’s out of touch however.
My requirements aren’t much. The specific island in question is close enough I could swim there if I wanted, though I wouldn’t be able to carry any supplies to set up a second camp that way. I just need something that can carry roughly 200lbs or more 50 yards give-or-take, and it must be cheap and easy to make. If there are any former Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts, Indian Guides, Beaver Scouts, or general Rugged Outdoorsmen on the Straight Dope, or anyone with numerous websites they could direct me to, so that I can continue this project I would appreciate it muchly.
Also any cool name ideas for the fort, the island, the camp/fort to be set up on the island, as well as flag ideas, all would be appreciated. A buddy of mine suggested Fort He’s A Jolly Good Fellow, but that hasn’t gone over too well. But also, mostly, help me out with this boat.