Thing I love #11: Forts

Driftwood fort picture courtesy of TheRogue/flickr

The Blanket Fort

Show me a blanket fort and I’ll show you someone having a good fucking time.

willholmes/Flickr

No one makes blanket forts when they’re depressed. People make them because they have a vision. Or because they need to get away from it all. Or because they have a better way to use eight couch cushions and a sheet than their mom. When my sisters and I were little, we made things called “cozy corners” – essentially nests of blankets and pillows that we could sleep/play baby birds/pretend to be orphans adrift at sea in. Combine a cozy corner with a fort and you have pretty much the best afternoon ever.

Blanket Fort Building 101

  • Keep the entrance small and low to the ground. This keeps the adults out.
  • If using sheets/blankets for your walls or ceiling, securely fasten their edges. That means using clothespins, very heavy books or wedging the corners way the hell into the sofa. Nothing is more embarrassing for a fort architect than a cave-in. Duct tape also works.
  • A roof is key. This turns a mediocre blanket fort into a true room/building/hideout.
  • Consider using a chair, broom or tall friend to prop up the middle of a sagging ceiling.
  • Multiple rooms are great. Sometimes a fort is about getting away from it all. Adding another wing makes this that much more possible.
  • Escape route. That is all.
  • Forts are constantly evolving and are really about making something awesome with limited resources. Learn to look at everything in a room as building supplies.
  • You can’t take them too seriously.

The Snow Fort

A fort whose glowing memory will never dim in my mind was constructed behind a friend’s cabin during our early elementary school years. It was the product of many day’s hard work; dragging around decomposing logs found in the woods, staring at the wood beetle designs on said logs, creating a teepee-like room around a tall rock at one end, packing gaps in the walls with pinecones and dirt, pretending we heard bears and scaring the snot out of my youngest sister.

Yeah.

We were perfectionists.

The best part about that fort was that when it snowed in the winter; it was transformed into a magical snow castle where we had epic snowball fights and sledding contests for hours before going inside to eat macaroni and cheese and make fart jokes.

Emily Carlin/Flickr

The Tree Fort

With these come buckets on pulleys and (hopefully) bb guns and climbing to a platform with a backpack full of important supplies. I wholeheartedly believe that every child should have access a tree fort. If for no other reason than to learn about gravity.

Dan Zen/Flickr

On a more adult note, the best Craigslist personals ad I’ve ever seen was also about a fort.

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