I was hoping originally to build the entire hut out of primitive materials. However, some issues arose as to how I would make a waterproof roof. It is possible to do such a thing relatively easily with primitive resources, but the most effective way would require de-barking one or more valuable hardwood trees for large slabs of bark to shingle the roof with. Other less destructive methods such as making wooden shakes or shingles out of rapidly growing pine trees or invasive Ailanthus trees, or making clay tiles as seen in Primitive Technology’s YouTube videos, would probably take at least as long as the rest of the hut combined. Less labor intensive methods such as covering the roof with sticks and brush would be more of a fire hazard due to the built-in fireplace, and would also not be a good personal choice as I am allergic to the mold that grows on rotting leaves and wood.
That said, I have come to the conclusion that covering the hut with some type of plastic would be the best all-around choice once the walls are completed. I have a couple tarps and a large roll of junked linoleum that I found in a trash pile. For the time being, I set the smaller of the two tarps over my non-waterproof temporary shingle roof to provide a place to store my gear and duck out of the rain should a storm appear while I am working on the rest of the hut.
Also you can see in the above image that I increased the stone chimney to around a meter high, and lined the cracks between the stones with non-organic clay soil that shouldn’t smolder or burn when exposed to concentrated fire. I opted to build the fireplace out of stone rather than clay as I intended for this dwelling to last for at least 2 years through rain and snow with minimal maintenance, and my clay-working abilities aren’t advanced enough to produce a lasting clay fireplace.
You can see that the mud wall is now quite tall, with the northern wall’s mud portion coming halfway up my chest. I intend to make the structure tall enough to stand in, but may have to compromise a little if the winter sets in fast this year and I end up needing a heated space in which to work on my other primitive projects. I am close to running out of movable stones for the stone wall which is somewhat concerning, but I have been able to find a few more that I didn’t know about by digging in the ravine with my pickaxe (which is now half-broken but still somewhat usable due to super glue).