A quinzhee hut is a type of temporary snow shelter, as distinct from more permanent ice-block igloos, that was historically used in survival situations by Native Americans, Scandinavians, and others living in cold northern latitudes. Traditionally, the builder would create a mound of snow 4 or 5 feet high, allow it a few hours to settle and conglomerate, then hollow it out to create a small cavern or snow hut for shelter from the elements.

In real survival situations this ancient method is tried and true, but for the enterprising modern snow-architect there are a few tips and tricks that can turn a quinzhee from a crude temporary shelter into an awesome winter-long snow fort that'slarger, sturdier, better lit, and faster to build.

Step 1: Materials

To build a modern quinzhee hut you will need:
  • Snow, and lots of it!
  • shovels, rakes, and hand trowels
  • some shish-kebab skewers (or straws, twigs, etc.)
  • large plastic trash bags and twisty-ties
  • spray bottle of water
  • cake pans
  • and more water
It sounds like an esoteric list of ingredients for a snow fort, I realize, but years of building these every winter has gradually improved our method to be as fast and efficient as possible.
The water method may make it sturdier, but it will also make the thing colder. I would never cheat when building a quinzee, because when I build them I will be sleeping in them, and I don't want to risk my safety on some might I say lazy, twenty first century methods. If it ain't broke, and has worked for thousands of years, why fix it.
<p>If you've really actually slept in one, you know that this will happen naturally anyway. Just the moisture from your breath/sweat/etc will eventually turns the interior walls into ice after a couple nights.</p>
<p>This is an excellent idea for family activities - or for families with growing kids. Mybe Instructables should form another channel for these kinds of things. Family oriented together -activities. Thancks for sharing.</p>
<p>Love this! I only wish I saw it a week earlier.</p>
Thank you for this FANTASTIC 'ible. I have been looking for some detailed, down to earth instruction on how to build a snow fort/Quinzhee hut. This 'ible was just what i needed. <br>(Now i just need it to snow)
Glad you liked it. It was a lot of fun to make. I hope you get some snow!
Thanks, we just got some snow, and I went sledding at my friends winery/grape orchard and were pulling each other behind their MULE (all terrain vehicle). The snow was good, but not enough to make a quinzee hut. <br>Happy Holidays!
now if only it would snow here I can try this out.

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