Thoreau also indulges in talk about shelter. However, in contrast to his opinions on clothing, is more tolerant. He says, "As for a Shelter, I will not deny that this is now a necessary of life." However, he does e plain that there is such a thing as a frivolous house, or rather one with too many things that are unneeded. In support of his appreciation of shelter, he writes this: "Who does not remember the interest with which, when young, he looked at shelving rocks, or any approach to a cave? It was the natural yearning of that portion, any portion of our most primitive ancestor which still survived in us." This explains why Thoreau seems to think that shelter is important. It is because shelter is one of our primal instincts as humans. Primitive versions of us taught themselves to find shelter in caves or dens for safety and warmth.
Although Thoreau appreciates shelter, he believes that they can be frivolous. He says "Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have." People believe that a house should be something with furniture, appliances, radios and decorations, when the actual definition of a house is actually just a shelter fit for living. The native Americans only had small tents for shelter, and Thoreau states that "I have seen Penobscot Indians, in this town, living in tents of thin cotton cloth, while the snow was nearly a foot deep around them, and I thought that they would be glad to have it deeper to keep out the wind". This shows that people need only the bare necessities of a house to live in it.