View Full Version : building an igloo!
Dec 28th, 2004, 10:05 PM
my husband is jumping on my "survival in the stone age" bandwagon
one of the skills he would like to learn is igloo building, anyone have any experience with igloos?
we plan to take a little vacation and build our first igloo soon lol
Jan 3rd, 2005, 6:16 AM
. . .When I was around the age of 13-14, into the sled-riding, tobogganing, snowball-fights and what have you/BEFORE I learned how to drive and learned to HATE SNOW! (HAHahaheheheee!)
. . .To start, you need 'heavy snow pack' which works best; 'powder' snow will not pack, and you will not be able to build blocks from. Roll snow from huge balls/packing tightly as you go, just as you would build a 'snowman'. using a long handsaw, cut the edges down until you have a rectangular block. Heavy snow packed in this way is easy enough to even shape with a slight curvature, as you will want to maintain a 'round' shape, if you are going for the traditional circular-dome-shaped igloo. Build in a spiral-pattern starting from the base-up making the succsessive blocks smaller as you go, always keeping the proper curvature of the blocks in mind. Use a mix of slushy-snow for the 'mortar' between the 'bricks' No reason to try to get too fancy, as you WILL GET BETTER with practice, (have patience!)
. . .An even BETTER WAY is to use blocks of ice cut from a pond (or) lake; be careful of frostbite/hypothermia, and always test the strength of the ice you tread-on by tossing a huge rock unto the ice BEFORE you go out; the ice will be more difficult to cut, BUT it will enable you to build a much STRONGER igloo then you could otherwise with hard-pack snow. As you cut the blocks, don't worry about losing them as they will float until you retrieve them. (got ice-tongs? yah may need them!) Rough-cut them first (oversize), as you can always shape them better once you get them on land anyway. Build the same way, and remember to include an opening [draft] at the peak of the roof for a chimney as you'll want to build a small fire inside for warmth; Entrances will have a half-culvert shape with extension to shield from direct winds, you can regulate the airflow inside in this manner also with a small-section of heavy-cut carpet, as well you will need SOME airflow to assist in the building of a fire. You can cover the inside (bottom) with more heavy small sections of carpeting or rugs like we used to do, so you do not have to sit directly upon snowy/icy ground. You can build a 'fire-pit' in the center lining it with rocks for the 'hearth'. . .Good Luck!
Joe (Bigsky770) :vbroll:
Jan 3rd, 2005, 4:02 PM
Man, here in MPLS we NEVER get hard snow, as it is too cold for that here usually.
Jan 3rd, 2005, 9:07 PM
thanks for the tips, that confirms what ive been reading, joe
i dont know if its really cold enough yet, we are going to be going up north in a few weeks to see
lotrfan, i can never thank you enough for telling me about the peakoil forum, its given me a clearer understanding of what to expect, thanks so much
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