Driftwood Forts of the Oregon Coast

Driftwood Forts of the Oregon Coast

One of my favorite gift guides this year is The Wirecutter’s “Special Gifts for your Favorite People,” which led me to James Herman’s “Driftwood Forts of the Oregon Coast.” The author describes the book as “a complete spiritual, historical and how-to guide, showcasing the phenomenon of driftwood fort building.”

Herman once spent a summer working in a restaurant in Lincoln City, Oregon, and saw 20 to 30 forts clustered together along the beach. He became obsessed and went on to develop his own forts. His book highlights the best locations for discovering specific types of forts, which are categorized by lumber quality, quantity and age. Finally, there is a wonderful how-to guide for building your own forts. The teepee is the most common and easy to build. See more images of the forts on Instagram.

Herman describes building forts as a “collaboration with nature and time, and the human involvement can span generations. One fort can stand while having had many people work on it. It could have stood a whole season only to come apart and to have someone else pick up the parts to make it better, different, and their own. This cycle continues for as long as there are free public beaches for humans to wander and explore and build forts for fun.”

Lake Erie’s driftwood can’t possibly be as robust and hearty as Oregon’s, but I’m certain that I’ll find a use for “Driftwood Forts of the Oregon Coast.”

Summer is only six months away!