“Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties” by D.C. Beard (1914)

“Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties” is a quite remarkable book from 1914. Daniel Carter Beard was one of the founders of scouting in America and wrote and illustrated the book based on his first-hand experience organising scout camps. It is packed full of sketch plans and practical details of structures that can be built in woodlands with nothing more than axes and knives – and an army of fearless, enthusiastic teenagers. The designs are also readily adaptable to those of us engaged in 21st century woodscraft, now armed with chainsaws. Some of the details of felling trees and handling heavy logs would also need updating to present-day ideas about safety and acceptable ways of working – not to mention planning issues when building the various designs of log cabin!

Since the book is out of copyright it has been reprinted by various publishers, including the good-quality reprint you can get from Amazon.