Shelters, Shacks and Shanties Info

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As this book is written for boys of all ages, it has been
divided under two general heads, "The Tomahawk Camps" and
"The Axe Camps," that is, camps which may be built with no
tool but a hatchet, and camps that will need the aid of an axe.
/>The smallest boys can build some of the simple shelters and the older
boys can build the more difficult ones. The reader may, if he likes,
begin with the first of the book, build his way through it, and graduate
by building the log houses; in doing this he will be closely following
the history of the human race, because ever since our arboreal ancestors
with prehensile toes scampered among the branches of the pre-glacial
forests and built nestlike shelters in the trees, men have made
themselves shacks for a temporary refuge. But as one of the members of
the Camp-Fire Club of America, as one of the founders of the Boy Scouts
of America, and as the founder of the Boy Pioneers of America, it would
not be proper for the author to admit for one moment that there can be
such a thing as a camp without a camp-fire, and for that reason the tree
folks and the "missing link" whose remains were found in
Java, and to whom the scientists gave the awe-inspiring name of
Pithecanthropus erectus, cannot be counted as campers, because they did
not know how to build a camp-fire; neither can we admit the ancient
maker of stone implements, called eoliths, to be one of us, because he,
too, knew not the joys of a camp-fire. But there was another fellow,
called the Neanderthal man, who lived in the ice age in Europe and he
had to be a camp-fire man or freeze! As far as we know, he was the first
man to build a camp-fire. The cold weather made him hustle, and
hustling developed him. True, he did cook and eat his neighbors once in a
while, and even split their bones for the marrow; but we will forget
that part and just remember him as the first camper in Europe.

Average Ratings and Reviews


46 Ratings






Ratings and Reviews From Market

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Reviews for Shelters, Shacks and Shanties:


February 25, 2010

Ruined a Great Book
The copy I received was a poor recreation of the original that included ZERO of the important diagrams and pictures. The book is full of references to illustrations and there are none. It was recreated with the use of OCR and not very well. It is full of unintelligible typos. And, the worst part is, the Amazon Look Inside feature on this page was showing a very different copy of this book. The one shown on the page is the original, and has the actual images included. I'm returning this now and buying the proper book.

December 29, 2010

Cheap copy with out pictures
Like all the other 1 star reviews who got this book after 2010, i recieved a cheap rip-off computer print out. every paragraph says to refer to (Fig. x) but there is not a single picture in the book. yet now where in the description does it say this is a computer printed out copy. I mean the i can handle the cheap computer printed pages, but the lack of photos makes building very difficult.

December 30, 2010

A worthless copy of Beard's work
If I could of given a lower rating than one star i would have. Quite frankly the book sold by this particular publisher borders on fraud. There is no artwork. Which makes this book a pointless book of text, without any redeeming value. While Beard's orginal work is a fine example of this type of work, the company that published this edition hasn't a clue. Highly recommend you don't purchase this edition of Beard's work you will be sorry. Any edition of Beard's, other than this edition will be a worthly addition to your library.

December 28, 2010

Do NOT waste your time on this book!
A copy of the original "Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties" like I have had in the past was what I was expecting. What made the original book so great was the page after page of illustrations by the author himself. So...imagine my surprise when I received this particular copy and opened it up to discover it contains nothing but TEXT! How in the world can someone learn to teach small building construction from words only? That's akin to teaching surgeons how to perform an appendectomy by describing what an appendix looks like using only words and no pictures.

You would be a fool to purchase this idiotic version of an otherwise spectacular book. Buying this version is like wiping your butt before you poop...what's the point?

The seller should have made the notation that this was a text-only version.

April 11, 2004

For "boys" of all ages
When I was a child, I would look for this book when I went to the public library. I checked it out frequently and marveled at the lined drawings of various kinds of wilderness dwellings, especially the "Boys Hogan"-a type of hidden shelter built into the side of a hill. No doubt this book became the inspiration of the "forts" we built in the woods and the lean-tos constructed in Boy Scouts.
The tree house recently built for my own children, caused me to remember this little book and so I ordered it from Amazon. It not only brings back great memories, but also has inspired me to think about building a log cabin. This is a great book for those who love the idea of building or living in primitive shelters.

June 3, 2007

Outdoorsmen's delight
This book is geared towards building structures that were used by outdoorsmen from years past. It covers how to make a bed from natural materials, a log cabin, Native American log house, and how to work an axe just to name a few topics covered in this book. The drawings of the dwellings in the book are simple (but not in depth plans or charts). The author does a great job of explaining how to construct these devices, but as I said a drawn picture is all your going to get if your a visual learner. Over all the book does what it says it will do, gives the reader good information, and I personally wouldn't be caught dead without it if I was trapped in the middle of nowhere by myself.

May 14, 2013

Awesome basic fundamental housing instruction book
Although this book is only 5" - 6" tall, it is an invaluable resource. I purchased it as a gift, and as I always do, scanned it to ensure it is a good fit for the receiptient. It gives instructions (and has color drawings) that even the unintiated, such as myself can follow with ease. It will not overwhelm, has an easy style that reminds you that your common sense tells you how to build the structures.

December 13, 2017

Look elsewhere.
This is a repackaged version of the FREE project Gutenberg version of this book. The *real* book is awesome. This edition lacks much of the artwork you'd actually need to build anything from the book. Make sure you get one of the legitimate versions from Amazon and don't bother with this one.

January 25, 2013

A historical document
This little book is an encyclopedia of the types of shelters built by native peoples and frontiersmen. It seems to have originally been intended as a how-to book, but assumes a great deal of knowledge of natural materials, tools and construction that most people today simply do not have. Therefore it's not the how-to book that I expected from the title. Even so, I gave it three stars for carefully documenting and preserving a record of the often clever and ingenious ways that our more rugged forbears sheltered themselves. Choosing, and figuring out how to build one of the shelter designs would be a great project for a scouting group or a wilderness class.

September 2, 2008

My, how we've changed...
My, how we've changed over the years. In the classic book Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: And How to Build Them, D. C. Beard covers the wide array of possibilities for building your own dwelling out of nothing but materials provided by nature. This was originally published in 1914, and I think it's more interesting to observe the changes in culture than anything else.

Daniel Beard became fascinated with cabins and such in 1864 when he exhibited a saddleback cabin scaled down to size for him to carry to the fair. He sold it for $7.50, which was a major disappointment to him, as he thought it worth much more. That started him on his journey to sketch, document, and build just about any type of natural dwelling you can think of. He starts out with how to make a soft sleeping platform using pine boughs. From there, you have half-cave shelters, fallen tree shelters, and teepee-like structures. By the end of the book, we're dealing with full-scale houses, obviously beyond the skills of the boy scouts he tends to target in the first half of the book. But even then, the emphasis is on using logs and axes to accomplish most of the work.

Most of these skills are lost on 99% of Americans, and sending out a group of boys to build even the simplest of these structures would likely turn into a disaster. But back when this was written, it was pretty much assumed that most boys had basic scouting skills and would be able to build some of these shelters in just a matter of hours, or at most a couple of days. He even has them building hogan shelters built into the side of a hill and designed to last a considerable time. These days, we'd likely freak out because the kids had an axe or a shovel in their hands... And building a shelter covered by sod? But what if it collapses??? Needless to say, we wouldn't fare well if forced to rely on our own skills to survive without our comfortable houses.

If you're an outdoors-type person and you want to work on survival skills, this would be an interesting way to start out. Or if you're just looking for how much we've changed (or regressed) in the last 100 years, this'll point out many areas that fall into that category.

January 29, 2012

Good book but free online
Interesting book and plenty of illustrations but $2.99 is expensive considering it is free to read online (the links in the book go right to the Project Gutenberg website...[...] ). At most 99 cents for any work the uploader did to convert to Kindle. I am not sure this complies with The Project Gutenberg usage but I will let someone else figure that out.

Something to get the kids out of the house and try out. The book itself is a great compilation of shelters. It is quite interesting how safety concerns of the times have changed. It is definitely not a how-to book but if you have common sense then the shelters will be easy to reproduce. It seems back in the day everyone had a general knowledge of tools unlike today.

October 8, 2019

Awesome instructional book
Very fun book to go through. It features multiple instructional guides with common sense directions. A good old fashion book to put your skills to the rest.

April 10, 2019

Same old stuff
Nothing new

January 12, 2017

really cool book with alot of pertinent info on this subject
really cool book with alot of pertinent info on this subject. from small hide holes to building your own cabin in the woods. it is a really cool book

November 28, 2007

Old book but great ideas do not grow old!
I know that most people will find this book to be anything but "green" however, I found this concept to be perfect in a world that sometimes forgets what it is like to be young at heart. Some of the shelters are not safe and one should always supervise young children who if left alone will build forts and such, yet there is a certain allure about thinking you are back in time and surviving on your own wits. Great ideas for survival campouts or if you like getting out "there" and just might once or twice get too far out "there" and find yourself in the need of an overnight shelter. Loved the book and will use or adapt many of the detailed plans.

November 10, 2014

Clean Text and Images make this a must buy
Clear text and illustrations make this ediion stand out. I had been struggling with machine scan editions, and finally "splurged" on this edition. Ncle Dan would may well appove of this bring his work t new readers. I have used his methods to build multiple shelters.

September 24, 2014

Buy the original/reprinted book, not this.
Should have read the other negative reviews on this book. I ordered it, thinking it might have updated info/material in it. This book is just the written text of Beard's original book. There are no illustrations or diagrams that the original contains. Here's the Amazon link for the original book -

October 19, 2012

just ok
I was not impressed by this book. If you have no skills or limited knowledge then this book is a good starter. I have years of knowledge in this field.

May 19, 2017

Three Stars
Some are jokes.....

November 5, 2013

So So
Thought it would be more useful for simple construction in the backyard. Worth reading, just wouldn't pay for it in the future.

October 3, 2014

I've read a little
It's damn good. I'm a regular lazy guy and I think this guy is smart.

May 25, 2014

help with wood skills
good for different type of building, go intl detail with some of building. hope to this year try some of building

December 8, 2012

Very thorough info
This book contains a wealth of knowledge. It describes in fairly good detail the way the early tribes and settlers went about making living accomodations for themselves with the materials at hand. Great book for developing the mindset of working with what you have at hand. Shows you how by following a 'blueprint' you can avoid the pitfalls of doing what doesn't work. A good read with many well done picture drawings.

April 16, 2019

Good book.

February 25, 2018

Five Stars
Just the book for getting out and building a shelter, even if it's in your living room.

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