To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Dugout (shelter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dugout home near Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940
Dugout home near Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940

A dugout or dug-out, also known as a pit-house or earth lodge, is a shelter for humans or domesticated animals and livestock based on a hole or depression dug into the ground. Dugouts can be fully recessed into the earth, with a flat roof covered by ground, or dug into a hillside. They can also be semi-recessed, with a constructed wood or sod roof standing out. These structures are one of the most ancient types of human housing known to archaeologists, and the same methods have evolved into modern "earth shelter" technology.

Dugouts may also be temporary shelters constructed as an aid to specific activities, e.g., concealment and protection during warfare or shelter while hunting.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    944 074
    311 682
    28 900
    176 504
    54 734
  • ✪ Sleeping in a SUPER shelter in the forest
  • ✪ 03/ BUSHCRAFT SHELTER - Mors Kochanski Inspired
  • ✪ Building A Primitive Shelter In The African Jungle (Part 2)
  • ✪ Overnight at my favorite shelter
  • ✪ 08/ BUSHCRAFT SHELTER: (-12°C) First winter overnight at camp


Hey folks, how are you doing? As you can see, today, I'm on my way to the backup camp again, aaand I have my small camping rucksack with me and here at the side I have my canteen. This is a original canteen by the US Army pretty cool. You see this. This is a small creek... That I have played in, when I was a kid and as you can see here at the other side this here Was a shelter that I built like seven years ago And yeah, the frame is still there, so that's pretty awesome Okay, now. I have to cross the creek. I just want to make sure that I don't fall down into the cold water because as you can see there's still a little bit of snow around And this... :o *chuckles* And this year actually was one of the coldest beginnings of spring and yeah Maybe I should build a shelter here one day. It's pretty cool this location So I'm walking like Half an hour now And my backpack is pretty heavy And the Sun has gone down already Or, maybe it's about to go down so... I don't have a lot of time left What I want to do now is I want to arrive at my camp Get a warm fire going and get something to eat because I'm hungry Pretty awesome water hole. A couple of years ago, I forgot my water, and I drank water from such a puddle like this one here. *agh* But I do not recommend that because you can get sick from this water And I didn't get sick so I was lucky Look at this *oagh* This here is a roe deer feeder Whoa, I'm here Bug out camp, teepee. And today, I'm going to sleep at the bug out camp. I love my bug out camp! So let's take a look here, how're we doing? Howzits going bug out camp? Yeah! It's looking pretty cool :) Everything is fine Now I'm just gonna leave my stuff here And then I need a quick snack Okay woohoo! I'm glad that I got here. While it's still light. Alright, so now. I'm very hungry and today I want to show you this here This is a subscription box that you can get by primal urge food and actually this is containing meat sticks in various forms. In the box you will get... a description of what's in this 'pup' and you get a ton of different information about the meat sticks that are in here and usually the box contains buffalo, wild salmon, chicken, alligator, wild boar jerky, Ostrich, beef, pork, elk, lamb, duck and rabbit and that can switch out like every month So that you're not always eating the same meat and the package come comes with ten selected meat sticks... Okay, that's it woo! Let's try this one 'Lucky Jerky' beef and apple. *apple ;3* *mhmm* Wow that's really that's a really Good combination, I haven't thought that apple and beef would be such a great combination That's really good Wow *mmm!* Kewl - this stick here is beef that has been fed with flax feed. *mm* *mm waow* N-wow this one it's very good! *m-wuah* *mmm* Super cool. wow That tastes really good! And I guess they are holding for quite a long time, so this is really... Oh this one is like holding for nine more months. This one here, so that's cool because You don't have to eat them right away. You can put them into your um Car you can put them into your camping back pack into your bug out bag and Then you know that you have some protein to go protein to go pretty cool idea Can you hear the crows? *kwaw kwaw qua ;3* *woaaaaaa* 9/10 8/10 10/10 Yeah, actually I'm very pleased that Winter is over And now it's like half past 5:00 and it's still light, and I'm so grateful for that because I don't like it when the night is like 15 hours long So I'm definitely a summers person - but I like winter you know? You know what I mean, so... Yeah, I'll get when there's a little bit more daylight left All right, I will quickly baton... ugh... smaller sticks. This wood here is pretty dry so. I need some kindling for this fire for the first flames And for making this kindling, the baton-ing technique is pretty efficient... Doesn't take so much energy than the axe. OK I have this candle here, which I have at the camp and today. I want to start fire with the candle. Okay, I'm carving some shavings. I need some fine tinder. Yeah, unfortunately, I don't have any other tinder here today, but you know... You can help yourself by just making shavings. And now I'm taking the candle and I'm going to drop the wax onto the shavings. Ops ;3 heh, I just poured some wax on my knife. Yeah, that's burning! Just like that. Whoo, fires burning pretty good... and uh, *woops* ;3 heh just almost ran into the tree, so I just wanted to say that the moon is here today, so there's not a lot of moon, but Tonight is not going to be pitch-black Pretty awesome right? Look at this :) Whoo-hoo a lot of people probably want to understand me why I am camping in the forest in wintertime But actually this is great you know. This is something else so If you - if you haven't camped outside in winter time, then I can highly recommend it All right, so I have some of these heart of peach logs... They are going to burn much longer and with more heat So I'm just gonna throw them on and they will make some awesome coals Okay new competition! Don't hit the candle competition! Yeah! You know without a fire in the wilderness... it's not good. The fire doesn't only give you warmth, but also it gives you comfort, and that's what you need in a dark forest. I'm getting hangry. I really want some food now, so I'm just going to eat my meat sticks. You know a lot of people ask me. How come that my shelter doesn't get damaged by other people? Vandalism, and... uhh yeah, when I was building the shelter a lot of people wrote like in the comment section like yeah "In two weeks, this is going to be torn down by other humans." But that wasn't the case actually Nothing happened to the shelter except once when a tree fell onto the roof But yeah, that's a different story and The reason why nothing happens to the shelter or why no like idiots come here to rip down my shelter is because... I have grown up in the village like where da bug out camp location is and people know me And yeah, I believe that they Like me so much that they leave my camp alone, so I'm pretty glad that no one has destroyed my camp and yeah And a lot of people from the village have visited this place. I don't have a problem with that because mostly it's just kids and One time I found a beer invoice in the shelter so apparently some Yeah, some people have gotten drunk in my shelter, but that's all okay by me you know the only thing that I don't like is when someone from who doesn't know me from the village like some kind of Stalker wants to find me and that's a different story because actually one time that happened to me like one time I came to the shelter and there was a yellow cordage hanging down from it and Then I was working you know like I was filming. I built the second thing too and Then all of a sudden a man came to the shelter He was dressed all black and he was jogging so first I thought oh, maybe that's a jogger who has lost his way but no, so he came to the shelter and then he saw me and then he turned around and then he ran away, so I Thought that was pretty strange *ahem* I'm sorry Pretty strange right the yellow cordage, and he was huge. It was a big guy you know So I was a little bit you know worried and the next day, he wrote me an email, and he said yeah he knows me from my YouTube side and He wanted to find me and prove to me that I can be found if someone wants to Wow and that was really Terrible for me I was in a shock for three days that someone really Came into my private field like this so then I wrote back and I told him that I already reported him to the police and That he shouldn't come again, otherwise I will report him again, and then I told him like Do you think it's okay? To come here to my place without my permission? How would you feel if I come to your flat like I mean? This is my living room, right? How would you feel if I break into your house and place a yellow string in your living room? And then - I wrote you an email and said "Oh I just wanted to prove that you can be found." Yeah... idiot, so I don't want any creeps to come here tonight... bug out camp and try to search for me or something Gladly most of my fans are normal, and they wouldn't do some creepy shit like that So I'm really glad that since then I have been left alone Alright, so as you can see the fire has burned down. It's pretty hot here I can't leave my hand here for longer than like three seconds. And first of all I want to sterilize that grill because it has been lying in the forest and I don't want to have any pathogens on it and in about like five minutes I'm going to throw all my chickens Mm-hmm nice chicken breasts All right, I think we are done with the meat. It looks like... it's done. Yeah, this is done, and there's still a lot of moisture in it so it's going to be verrry good. But first before I'm eating this I need some... ketchup. And some mustard and my all-time favorite which is mayonnaise. mmmmm Yeah!! And on top of that I'm going to have some gluten-free bread. Mm-hmm It's really good I love chicken. It's getting really cold now. I really need to get that fire going. mmm! That tastes really good. I love chicken. It's one of my favorite meats. Besides beef of course, heh, you can't beat the steak. That's the best... best tasting meat. I'm almost done with the chicken, but I got really cold, so I stacked up the fire again. And now just to try to warm up. Without the fire it would be very cold. *condenses breath* Alrighty so now I'm going to sanitize my spoon fork. I'm getting tired now, and... I think today I'm going to sleep with the sheeting down. So that my... sleeping bag doesn't get a hole from the sparks flying around And I think I will be very cozy tonight. Let's see how much the temperature is right now. Okay, it's like 15 degrees here at the tree. 15 degrees Celsius And I know for a fact that tonight it has around zero degrees like away from the fire out there in the forest so It's pretty cold, but I have my sleeping bag so no problem. Winter camping actually makes a lot of fun. I like it. *footsteps in the snow ;3* *more footsteps in the snow XD* Okay, I got my water. Can you hear this? *sounds* It's just some birds... and an airplane - wow I can see so many stars! Okay, so we have good weather no rain. *more sounds* I've heard something. Okay, that's just snow coming off of the trees. So I'm about to go to the bed, but first. I want to stake out the fire And I want to have a really nice cozy fire going on. And this hardwood is going to burn for at least an - an hour or so All right, now I want to roll down the sheeting and after that I get out my sleeping bag. Of course it's important that you don't burn down the sheeting so I have this tree stump here, which is going to... take away the sheeting from the fire. Okay... So I got some water from the canteen... and now I just gonna change into my long johns... and my long underwear and Yeah This will be a very cozy night. I'm 100% sure about that oh, that's good to get out of the shoes whoo Okay cool. In da sleeping bag the fire is burning very good outside, and yeah... I still have enough of holes at the side, so I'm definitely not poisoning myself with carbon monoxide So everything good. I think this is going to be one of the best nights ever in the shelter really... All right, so I'm not tired yet, so probably I'm gonna watch some YouTube videos on my mobile phone... and then here... I hope that I can sleep in early because I want to get up early so that's the plan... but that's the plan every day, but I never - cannot get it right so yeah... I like to sleep in. Anyway We see each other tomorrow good night. Okay, it's time to get out of the sleeping bag. My water bottle... power bank... second camera... that's it. *oo-hoo* Ha! The trousers so cold. *wooOOOhoo* Okay, I have to get up. I'm very cold. *ah Ha ha* In the morning it's always a competition how fast I can get on my clothes. *oagh* *exhales* Well I have to say this was the best night ever... Somehow the sheeting is not only you know protecting you from the wind, but also it protects you from the smoke and Somehow, I felt like more protected, so it was good for psychology and that's why I slept much better than the other times here, so The teepee... is in good condition also Wow it's a really beautiful morning... the Sun has just gone up. Okay, I'm packing up my things now. My sleeping bag is the WMNS Titan 750... down sleeping bag... and with this one I have slept all of the *sheeting unfurls* Ooops ah ha ha! *wood falling down noise* What I wanted to say was that with this sleeping bag it was warm enough that I could sleep all winter time I didn't need another warmer sleeping bag yet this winter. Okay, I have a pretty good pile of ashes actually so now I want to... collect some of it because I might need it for another project... so, wha - what can you do with ashes basically you can make some lye... and you can... uh, turn some... uh raw hide... You can make some soap with it... a lot of good stuff that you can make with ashes... and here make sure that you don't get the black stuff, which is the coal you just want to get the white stuff, which is the pure ash. As you can see I have connected half a cup of very good ashes... and yeah, just make sure that I throw out the charcoal... And I'm going to leave this here... for another project which I might do in the future, so just gonna put it... underneath here... and maybe next time I make a fire I'm going to collect some ashes as well Yeah! That's it. whooo! Let's go! Look at the Sun. It's really beautiful! Very beautiful day. Okay, I have to take back my axe... I just don't want to get it sold, but I guess it doesn't matter here. so... Cool! Now let's go. ooo My god I can't wait for spring. Yeah, so... this was my overnighter... for today. I want to thank you for watching and yeah Follow me on Facebook If you want to because on Facebook I will post all of my videos. S ometimes on YouTube, people complain that they don't get notified and actually it's true, so on Facebook you will find every video post and if you don't like Facebook you can follow me on Instagram. And there I post a photo.... of almost every video I make so... Yeah Anyways... Thank you for watching again Please don't forget to visit the website of primal urge food my sponsor for this video and Yeah, see you next time




First driven underground by enemies who invaded their country, the Berbers of Matmata found underground homes the best defense against summer heat.

Asia and the Pacific


An Indigenous Australian dugout near Cunnamulla, Queensland around 1910
An Indigenous Australian dugout near Cunnamulla, Queensland around 1910

Burra in South Australia's Mid-North region was the site of the famous 'Monster Mine' (copper) and home to 4,400 people in 1851, 1,800 of whom were living in dugouts in the Burra Creek. Census data from 1851 shows that nearly 80 percent of the workers living in the dugouts were miners, with probably the majority being Cornish. Floods and the Victorian gold rush effectively ended the large scale use of dugouts in Burra, but people were still being 'washed' out of the creek in 1859.[1]

Coober Pedy is a small outback town in northern South Australia, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway, where opal mining is the dominant industry. Most residents live in caves excavated[2] into the hillsides to avoid the harsh summer temperatures and work underground in mine shafts. White Cliffs, New South Wales is similar, in terms of climate, housing, and mining operations.


In north China, especially on the Loess Plateau, caves called yaodongs dug into hillsides have been the traditional dwellings from early times. The advantage of a yaodong over an ordinary house is that it needs little heating in winter and no cooling in summer. An estimated 40 million people in northern China live in a yaodong. Many people live in semi-recessed dugout houses in north-western China where hot summer and cold winters prevail.[3]


Yoshinogari site
Yoshinogari site

In the Early Jōmon period of Japanese pre-history (10,000 to 300 BC) complex pit houses were the most commonly used method of housing.[4]

Middle East


During the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Jews used an intricate system of man-made hideout complexes, prepared well in advance of the onset of the revolt. Many such sites were discovered in Judaea and the Galilee, for instance at Horvat 'Ethri.

Turkey (Cappadocia)

Cappadocia contains at least 36 historical underground cities, carved out of unusual geological formations formed via the eruptions of ancient volcanoes.[5] The cities were initially inhabited by the Hittites, then later by early Christians as hiding places. They are now archeological and tourist sites, but are not generally occupied (see Kaymaklı Underground City). The latest large Turkish underground city was discovered in 2007 in Gaziemir, Güzelyurt. This city was a stopover on the Silk Road, allowing travelers and their camels to rest in safety, underground, in a 'fortress' hotel equivalent to a modern hotel.


A "plaggenhut" in the Netherlands in Themepark de Spitkeet, Harkema
A "plaggenhut" in the Netherlands in Themepark de Spitkeet, Harkema


The well-preserved cave towns of Crimea are Mangup-Kale, Eski-Kermen, Inkerman and Chufut-Kale. The settlement of Mangup-Kale dates back to the 3rd century AD and was fortified by Justinian I in the mid 6th century. It was inhabited and governed primarily by Crimean Goths, and became the center of their autonomous principality. The last inhabitants, a small community of Karaims, abandoned the site in the 1790s.


In Iceland, since time immemorial and well into the 20th century, most houses were partly dug down, with turf or sod walls built up and roofs made of timber and turf/sod. Turf was used because timber was scarce and expensive, and stone not practical before the advent of concrete.


Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning "stones of Matera"), which is UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. The Sassi are houses dug into the volcanic rock itself, known locally as "Tufo", which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia.


In the Netherlands the dugout (Dutch: "plaggenhut") was banned by the housing safety law of 1901. In some areas in the east the country, people lived in dugouts into the 1960s. Dutch dugouts are constructed around an excavated pit with a roof made from heather sod, and front and back walls made from slabs of peat. Peat diggers and their families lived in these, in life-shortening conditions of poverty, damp and insect infestation. A small number of these huts survive, and can be seen in the open air museums of Arnhem, Schoonoord, Barger-Compascuum and Harkema. Modernized dugouts are available as tourist accommodation in several locations.

Poland (Mazovia)

Dugouts called ziemianka were used as stores for food.


In ancient Scotland, earth houses, also known as yird, Weems and Picts' houses, were underground dwellings,[citation needed] extant even after the Roman evacuation of Britain. Entry was effected by a passage not much wider than a fox burrow, which sloped downwards 10 or 12 ft. to the floor of the house; the inside was oval in shape, and was walled with overlapping rough stone slabs; the roof frequently reached to within a foot of the Earth's surface; they probably served as storehouses, winter quarters, and as places of refuge in times of war. Similar dwellings are found in Ireland.[citation needed]


In Serbia they are called zemunica. Also, the town of Zemun derived its name from Zemln, which is akin to zemunica.


The most famous feature of the town of Guadix is the cave dwellings in the Barrio.

World War I

Zonnebeke church dugout constructed by 171st Tunnelling Company in 1918 (model)
Zonnebeke church dugout constructed by 171st Tunnelling Company in 1918 (model)
Interior of dugout, Gallipoli, 1915
Interior of dugout, Gallipoli, 1915
Steps leading down to a German deep dugout at Bernafay Wood, near Montauban, used in the Battle of the Somme, 1916
Steps leading down to a German deep dugout at Bernafay Wood, near Montauban, used in the Battle of the Somme, 1916

Dugouts were used extensively as protection from shelling during World War I in the Western Front. They were an important part of the trench warfare as they were used as an area to rest and carry out other activities such as eating. They would usually range in size from dugouts that could hold several men to dugouts that could hold thousands of soldiers. Some sophisticated dugouts, such as the Vampire dugout, were placed more than 10 metres (33 ft) underground, lined with concrete, wood and steel to withstand the shock of artillery, accessed via a set of wooden stairs.

About 180 dugout sites have been located in the Ypres Salient and in the 1990s some of them were entered, at least in part.[6] The level of activity can be gauged by the fact that during 1917 and 1918, more people lived underground in the Ypres area than reside in the town today.[7]

World War II zemlyankas

Zemlyanka used by partisans near Nýrov, Czech Republic, preserved as a WWII memorial
Zemlyanka used by partisans near Nýrov, Czech Republic, preserved as a WWII memorial

In World War II, partisans, or armed resistance fighters in Eastern Europe sometimes lived in dugouts called zemlyankas (Russian or Ukrainian: Землянка) which were used as underground bunkers to provide shelter and a hiding place from enemies.[8] In Poland they were called ziemianki.

North America

Many of the ancient peoples of the American continents built semi-permanent houses of poles and brush plastered with mud over a shallow pit in the earth. As these pithouses were very similar to those first built in northeastern Europe 25,000 years ago, pithouse technology may have been carried to the Americas by early nomadic settlers, traveling first through Siberia, and then across the ice bridge between Asia and North America about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago.

An individual pithouse was occupied for an average of about 15 years. By more modern standards, these dwellings were cramped and dark. The centralized hearth created a smoky, cold environment during the winter. Most pithouses are associated with an open air plaza or rooftop where inhabitants carried out most of their daily activities during good weather. In areas suitable for intensive agriculture, groups of pithouses clustered to create communities of varying sizes.

British Columbia and American Northwest

In the Interior Plateau of the British Columbia and in the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest the remains of a form of pit-house called a quiggly hole or kekuli are common, and come in large groups named quiggly towns, which are correspondingly the remains of ancient villages.

Canadian Prairies

The Doukhobor Dugout House in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008. Although today it is the only known partially surviving example of this type of shelter, it was one of many such dugout houses constructed by Doukhobors upon arrival in Canada, and a form of shelter used by many settlers of various ethnicities upon their arrival on the prairies.[9]

American Southwest

Pithouses were very common structures in the American Southwest during the early and middle periods of the Anasazi, Mogollon and Hohokam cultures, and were also found in cultures extending north and west of the Colorado plateau. The emergence of the pithouse marks the transition between a nomadic hunting-and-gathering livelihood and a settled agricultural way of life which also relied on wild plants and animals for food. Pithouse structures were probably the forerunners of the kivas built later in the Pueblo periods, and share many characteristics with them.

Although the architectural styles used by these people evolved throughout their history, the pithouse remained a basic residential structure. Pithouses are found in isolated rural settings, in conjunction with above ground dwellings and adjacent to the large multi-room cliff dwellings characteristic of the region. Historian Linda Cordell notes that ...the late pithouses are often clues to relatively short-term changes in settlement location and adjustment to climatic fluctuations. (Cordell, p. 164) This appears to be true among the modern Pueblo peoples as well. When the Hopi village of Bacavi was founded in 1909, some groups of people arrived in the late autumn. As there was a limited window of time for building, the new arrivals built pithouses as warm shelters for the winter. Some of these homes remained occupied until the 1970s.

Pithouses were built by excavating a well defined hole into the ground, usually around 6" to 18" deep but occasionally as deep as four to five feet, and creating walls and roof using a pole and adobe technology. The sunken floor of the dwelling is below the frost line and helps moderate both winter and summer temperatures, with the mass of the ground serving as an insulator. In addition, adobe walls gather heat during the day and release it when temperatures drop. The earliest pithouses were round, and varied in size between nine and twenty-five feet in diameter. Around 700, pithouse designs became more individualized. Excavations reveal examples based on squares, rectangles and shapes similar to the letter D.

A reconstruction shows the pit dug below ground, four supporting posts, roof structure as a layers of wood and mud, and entry through the roof; Step House ruins at Mesa Verde National Park.
A reconstruction shows the pit dug below ground, four supporting posts, roof structure as a layers of wood and mud, and entry through the roof; Step House ruins at Mesa Verde National Park.

These homes were also warmed by a centralized hearth, a fire pit with an air deflector, and side vents and a smoke hole in the roof provided fresh air and evacuated smoke. The placement of the home's entrance varied by locality and archaeological period. Early homes utilized the ventilation stack as an egress by means of a ladder. Later homes expanded the pit into a keyhole shape to create a low sheltered entrance. Interior space was often loosely divided into two rooms, one for storing personal and dry goods and the other as living quarters. Many pithouses included an antechamber, containing storage bins or pits.

Pithouse construction was usually based on four corner posts positioned upright in the pit. These posts were carefully chosen and trimmed to create a branch or fork at the top as a structural support. They were joined by horizontal beams and crossed with ceiling joists. The interior sides of the pit were plastered with clay or lined with stone — either large slabs wedged upright in the soil or courses of smaller stones. The exterior of the pithouse was formed of branches, packed tree bark, or brush and grass. A thick layer of mud on the outside of the roof and walls protected the shelter from the weather. Often the initial mud layer was carefully plastered with a lighter colored clay.

A large number of pithouses have been archaeologically excavated throughout the American Southwest. Reproductions of these basic family structures exist in museums and tourist information sites, such as the structure at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. National and state parks and monuments showcase pithouse ruins and may include authentic reconstructions such as the Ancient Pueblo structure at Step House ruin, Mesa Verde National Park, Fremont Indian State Park in Utah, and a Hohokam structure at the Hardy Site in Tucson, Arizona.

Sod houses

During the American Civil War, the federal United States government passed the Homestead Act offering free land for those who could "prove up" their claims by living on the land and farming it for a prescribed number of years. Settlers on the newly opened Great Plains found there were not enough trees to build familiar log cabins. As shelter was essential, the frontier farmer utilized ribbons of the thick prairie sod cut as they plowed their virgin land. The strip could be cut into two foot sections, four to six inches deep, to make an almost perfect building block with good insulating properties.

These first homes, often called soddies, were small rooms dug into the side of a low rolling hill. The walls were built up with sod blocks to a height of seven or eight feet. Holes were left for purchased doors and windows hauled from the nearest town or railhead. Cottonwood poles were laid side by side to form a support for a roof made of a thick layer of coarse prairie grass. Over this was carefully fitted a double layer of the sod building blocks. Rain helped the sod to grow and soon the dugout roof was covered with waving grass. Some frontier families found that their cows grazed on their roof, and occasionally had them fall through.[10]

The floor of the dugout home was of dirt or rough wooden planks. Walls were lined with newspapers pasted or pinned up with small, sharpened sticks to keep dirt from flaking into the home's interior. Some families used fabric on their walls while others created a plaster coating from local limestone and sand. Some were carpeted and other variations included building on a second room for school teachers or guests. Heating could be provided by burning buffalo chips or cow chips.[11] The home's comfort and structural stability were maximized when the structure was located on the south side of a low hill, with adequate drainage to provide run-off for rain and melting snow. Most pioneer dugouts had a short lifespan, being replaced by plank or rock homes when farmers had time and money to create larger, more traditional homes. When a family built a house of logs or boards, their domestic animals often continued to be sheltered in a sod dugout.


In frontier Canada and the United States, dugout style shelters were also used by pioneers and settlers from Europe. In these cases, the shelter's construction closely reflected the architecture of the various settlers' origins. They ranged from the French-Canadian–style sod houses called caveaux[12] to the burdeis built by Ukrainian immigrants. The burdei was intended as a temporary refuge until a "proper" home of poplar logs and mud/straw plaster could be built.[13] Mennonites from Imperial Russia also built burdeis as temporary shelters when they settled in the Hillsboro region of Kansas.[14]

See also

Parent categories:

Types of dugouts and other related topics:


  1. ^ Auhl, I. 1986. The Story of the 'Monster Mine': the Burra Burra Mine and its Townships 1845-1877. Investigator Press Pty. Ltd. Chapter 12.
  2. ^ "Document". Archived from the original on September 19, 2004. Retrieved 2007-09-11.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Chinese Earth Shelter Dwellings: By Paul Long.
  4. ^ ^ Early Jomon hamlet found Retrieved January 2007
  5. ^ Underground Cities Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Activities of The Diggers - Restoration of the Yorkshire Trench & Dug-out, access date 10 July 2015
  7. ^ Jasper Conning (2007-08-27). "First World War tunnels to yield their secrets". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  8. ^ Virtual Zemlyanka Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
  9. ^ Doukhobor Dugout House. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  10. ^ Chapter 2: Frontier Homes
  11. ^ Pioneer Dugout - Texas Historical Marker.
  12. ^ Les communautés francophones et leur histoire>> Centre Nord>> Legal (in French)
  13. ^ Lehr, John C (1992). "Ukrainians in Western Canada". In Allen G Noble, editor. To build in a new land : ethnic landscapes in North America. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. pp. 309–30. ISBN 978-0-8018-4189-7.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  14. ^ "A Short History of the Mennonite Immigration to Kansas" Archived August 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at the Hillsboro museum web site


  • Cordell, Linda S. Ancient Pueblo Peoples. St. Remy Press, Montreal and Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C., 1994. ISBN 0-89599-038-5
  • Rohn, Arthur H. and Ferguson, William M, 2006, Puebloan Ruins of the Southwest, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque NM, ISBN 0-8263-3970-0 (pbk. : alk. paper). Pithouse architecture is discussed on pp. 30–33. Animage similar to the above reconstruction appears on p. 32.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.

Further reading

  • Cass G. Barns, The Sod House (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1930).
  • Donald E. Green, ed., Rural Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977).
  • Everett Dick, Conquering the Great American Desert (Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society,1975).
  • Grant Foreman, A History of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1945).
  • LeRoy R. Hafen and Carl Coke Rister, Western America: The Exploration, Settlement, and Development of the Region Beyond the Mississippi (New York: * Prentice-Hall, 1941).
  • Veda Giezentanner, "In Dugouts and Sod Houses, " The Chronicles of Oklahoma 39 (Summer 1961).
  • English Literature

External links

This page was last edited on 3 March 2019, at 23:49
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.