Picnic shelters

In some places the climate and the landscape may suggest that picnic shelters could be useful. Examples are: rainy climates, where the benches, tables and grass are frequently wet; hot climates, where shade is important but cannot be provided by trees; windy cold climates, where a warming shelter with a fireplace inside is very welcome; or insect-prevalent locations, where a shelter or hut can reduce their annoyance.

In hot climates a roofed shelter with no walls is adequate. Sturdy timber uprights and a simple pitched roof built in similar designs to the toilet blocks described earlier will suffice. Versions that resemble large umbrellas can be effective and decorative, using a single upright around which a table is constructed. Fireplaces can also be included.

Where strong winds occur then some walls may be needed to keep out the rain. These can be devised so that at least one half of the shelter will be out of the wind whatever its direction. Slatted sides may prevent wind eddies back into the sheltered space. Benches can be set against the walls and a fireplace provided, with a chimney and movable sides to help it draw.

In cold climates, particularly when winter sports such as cross-country skiing are taking place, completely enclosed shelters with fireplaces could be appreciated by visitors. In Finnish Lapland the traditional Lapp shelters, which look like wooden teepees or wigwams, are used at recreation sites. These have self-closing doors and a fireplace in the middle. The smoke may be left to find its way to a hole in the roof, or may be given a chimney.

Shelters near the car park should be better finished than

more rudimentary structures located in wilder settings. If there are toilets on the site the shelter should relate to them architecturally, in form and materials. Some of the old Civilian Conservation Corps designs for the US National Park Service in the 1930s are excellent examples designed to fit different landscapes.

Picnic shelters

Updated: October 3, 2015 — 9:29 pm