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Adirondack Shelter Plans

These adirondack lean-to shelter plans were originally created for the Greater Pittsburgh Council of the BSA in preparation for a project at Camp Twin Echo. So far that project has yet to happen, but shelters have been built to this plan at Camp Baker and some are in preparation at Camp Guyasuta. I have put the drawings up on the web in case others find them useful. Permission is granted to reproduce them for non-commercial use so long as proper attribution is maintained. If you do use them I would appreciate it if you let me know how the project turned out and also if possible send me a picture of the result.

Construction Notes


Materials List
(Sorry about it being in an image file, I haven't had a chance to transcribe it to the web page)
So far the materials list is a bit rough, particularly when it comes to the trim and finishing materials.


The roof was designed to use standard 12-inch tab shingles with about a 1-inch overhang on each side. If another size shingles are used (such as 1/3-meter tabs) then more layout work will be required. I have not provided anything in the plans on how to install the shingles as that will vary with the type of shingles chosen.
A gutter along the front edge of the roof is helpful to avoid a waterfall where people will enter and exit the shelter. Depending on the site you may be able to get away with something as simple as a level gutter open on both ends with gravel below the ends, or you may need to install downspouts.


There is no length specified for the 6x6 legs that support the main platform. The length to be used will depend on the site where the shelters will be constructed. I recommend that all parts of the platform be at least 1 foot from the ground to allow access to the underside of the shelter for cleaning and the retreival of items that fall between the floorboards. Depending on the climate and ground conditions where the shelters are being constructed additional length will be required for the part of each leg that will be buried in the ground, set into concrete, or shatever else works for your site.


Depending on the site and orientation selected for the shelters there may be a need for steps from the ground to the platform. You also should consider whether the height of the platform as you have constructed it will require a safety railing across the front of the shelter. Neither of these are addressed on the plans.

Weather Protection

A 16-foot wide tarp attached along the top of the front opening and trimmed to an appropriate length should provide additional shelter from the wind when needed. If short pieces of rope are attached with the tarp then it should be easy to roll it up and secure it in place when it is not needed for weather protection.


No fireplace is shown on the plans. Depending on your climate you may wish to install one, either a BBQ style or a reflector fireplace to heat the shelter. In either case be sure to situate the fireplace far enough from the shelter itself to avoid creating a fire hazard. If you wish to use the fierplace to heat the shelter be sure to raise it high enough to allow the heat to go into the shelter instead of just heating the ground underneath it.


Click on the small images to see the full-sized drawings

I have also set up a page with all drawings on one page.
For those of you able to handle Autocad drawings, I also have a zip file of the original drawings available.
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This web site is maintained by Tom Strong <>.

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