Instructables
Make a big igloo in 3 hours using a snowblower, some trash cans and a tarp.
 
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Step 1: Make a pile of trash cans

Picture of Make a pile of trash cans
step 2.jpg
get about 5 trash cans with lids together and tie a loop of rope onto a few of the trash cans for easy removal from the igloo

Step 2: Create a plug for building the inside of the igloo part 1

Picture of create a plug for building the inside of the igloo part 1
Lay the bottom row of cans their side on soft snow, don't pack the base down or it will be too hard to dig out the cans. Put the lids on the cans and have the wider top part of the first can pointing toward the door. You will dig in to find the wide part of this can and pull it out first. The tapered shape will make it pull out easily.

Step 3: Build the plug part 2

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Step 3a.jpg
Pile up more cans, and the upper row needs to have the rope loops accessible so you can pull them out easily.

Cover the cans with one or more tarps, I used a big tarp folded in 4. You can pack down the snow a bit around your pile, but

Step 4: Blow snow onto the plug, then start digging out the cans

Picture of Blow snow onto the plug, then start digging out the cans
You need about 18-24 inches of thickness over the whole thing, preferably of light, powderey snow. Heavier, packing snow is not as good , it won't last as long.

Then, dig out the trash can at the bottom.

Step 5: Finish the igloo

Picture of Finish the igloo
Use a toboggan type sled to carry snow out of the igloo as you dig it out.

Smooth out the walls and ceiling so that any meltwater runs down the walls instead of dripping on you. Put a small chimney hole straight up through the top of the ceiling, this allows CO2 and candle smoke to exit safely.

To gauge wall thickness, put some 18" long sticks thru the walls from the outside, and then dig out the interior till you get to the sticks.

It won't collapse suddenly, but over a matter of days it may slump and eventually cave in. You can use the snowblower to add more snow on top and then dig out the interior more.

Make the center floor area higher - with gutters around the edges to cach meltwater and to get you up into the warmer air.
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crank_girl1 month ago
"Quigloo". B)
TechDante2 years ago
a while back i saw one of teose ultimate survival programs where the contestants went and did teh norwegian army snow training (the british army still send troups to take this course) part of teh training was to build a snow cave after a gruling hike. their principle was to build two bed shaped shelves either side of a trough and then a dropped down entrance like @orangewood mentioned. This made the chance of sufforcating less as the excess CO2 went out of teh doorway and the heat was kept inside. I cannot remeber if they built in an air hole above the door but this would seam logical to me as you would neeed a new supply of air as you were converting it to co2.
wupme5 years ago
Did you know that German "Gebirgsjaeger" (military montain special forces, trained to fight in the icy mountains) use a technique thats nearly the same? Well instead of barrels the use 5-6 six Soldiers wo "form" the inner part with a Tarp over them. I think if your in war, your probably gonna be short of barrels ;)
ve2vfd wupme5 years ago
We just pile our backpacks and put a tarp over them :) I'm not sure I'd like to have snow piled on me!
GeekGod ve2vfd5 years ago
Ditto that here.Same basic method I learned as well. Pile up whatever equipment you have plus any convenient filler in the local area (usually more snow). Never considered using people and not so sure I'd be keen on being buried either. But whatever works in a survival situation I guess :)
Blaaken GeekGod3 years ago
if there are multiple people and something goes wrong, it would be a simple matter to just busty out of it.
blazingpencilsdotcom (author)  wupme5 years ago
Thank you, that is the coolest idea ever. Remember if you ever need to survive outdoors your best rescue device is a piece of mirror to signal aircraft
CD's work great for this, with the hole in the center to let you see the reflection to aim it.
daelans4 years ago
you know what i think would be waaay easier then this, just take a tent, a normal camping tent, right, and then leaev it out over the winter, and the snow falls on it and presto. but youd need some supports cuase tents arent that strong at all.
Blaaken daelans3 years ago
actually, if the snow builds up on it slowly, the snow would hold itself up so long as the tent is kind of small.
froggyman5 years ago
I do believe what you made is a Quinzhee, not an igloo(the differences are marked on wikipedia). Just putting that out there

But still very cool, if you want to have more "fun" you can just skip the garbage cans or gear and just hollow it out all the way.

I think i will try this method the next time I build one.
blazingpencilsdotcom (author)  froggyman5 years ago
Is dinner a dumpling, a pierogi, a ravioli, a potsticker or a gyoza? Depends who you ask.
Well, when there are specific meanings on words and people don't know then and use the words wrong, it's not an opinion, it's stupidity or laziness
No, actually Quinzee and Igloo are very specific words which describe to very different structures. The Igloo is made up of cut blocks of naturally set, and much more dense snow, whereas the Quinzee is made of loose hand piled snow. Also, the Quinzee is a mound which is then dug-out, and the Igloo is built with an internal cavity. Igloos are also far more structural and do not sag like Quinzees do.
H204 years ago
I am getting 3-6" of snow right now.  in the morning I will try this! :}
i have 16 inches of snow!!!!!!
shenzer3 years ago
has anyone tried misting the walls with water to sloidify them?
Algag shenzer3 years ago
yes it works but BE FAST....you need to be spraying water nearly constantly or the hose will freeze
Gerrles3 years ago
i only have 2 trashcans will that work??? What else can i use to replace the trash cans
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
cool! too bad i don't have a snow blower, or snow for that matter something i'll have to try!
Just use a shovel. I used to make one of these every year.
Screamo3 years ago
Who needs that? get a house. or at least a cardboard box :)
ve2vfd5 years ago
Cool instructable! By the way it's called a Quinzee, a native Athabascan Inuit word for "snow cave". An Igloo is made of blocks piled up into a "dome", a quinzee is a dug out snow mound. My Scouts build a quinzee every winter and sleep in it. When built properly, it never goes below zero inside the quinzee. Also remember to naver make your door facing into the wind :)
daelans ve2vfd4 years ago
one time, i was camping, im in boysouts, and one of the scoutmasters brought like 5 square things like brick molds, and we had the whole troop, almost, aking turns and we built a whol igloo like that, dont reccommend it, it wast sturdy, it took hours and it was only big enough for like 1 person to curl up in. it was fun till the end and we realized we wouldnt be able to actually go in it.
I once built this HUGE one (by hand) it had a hallway ,well more of a crawl way lol. it was so strong you could ride a sled down it. I never dug out the walls enough so you could not fit in it without curling up.
one time, i was camping, im in boysouts, and one of the scoutmasters brought like 5 square things like brick molds, and we had the whole troop, almost, aking turns and we built a whol igloo like that, dont reccommend it, it wast sturdy, it took hours and it was only big enough for like 1 person to curl up in. it was fun till the end and we realized we wouldnt be able to actually go in it.
the priciple for the door is that cold air descends and hot air rises, so if the entrance is lower thank the floor, it make a sink, and keeps the cold air out.
I found the picture of mine. I made this like 6 years ago.
Igloo.jpg
sorry it's so small I messed something up.
blazingpencilsdotcom (author) 5 years ago
Over a month later and the igloo is still standing, it's like concrete now. We had an 8" snowstorm, after which I went around it with the snowblower and aded wall thickness, and we had a very cold month and a couple of wintry mix storms. We put a foam mat on the floor and an oriental rug on top of that, and some christmas lights inside to make it magical and warm. I will send photos.
orangewood5 years ago
One thing you might want to consider is digging the entrance down below the wall (if the snow is deep enough) and up into the igloo. I forget the exact principles, but it keeps the wind out and the warmth inside. If you search google for "How Igloos Work" you'll find a How Stuff Works article about it. Also, when I was a kid I made "windows" by freezing ice in a baking pan, then building them into the walls.
cog665 years ago
Love it. Brings back alot of good memories from my childhood.We used to dig ours out of the huge piles of snow from where the plows pushed it up. We had as many as 4 different rooms in them befor.You can heat these things with a candle and be quite comfy,just remember to have ventilation.I do however have to disagree with blazing on one thing.I think the most important resue device is your mind.To me that is the most important survival tool.Great stuuf though and thanks for the memories.
NinjaSloth5 years ago
Doesn't CO2 weigh more than O2, therefore, causing the CO2 to remain trapped inside? Would it help The problem if you would dig some ground level holes in the iglue or would it just make it worse? It always gets hard to breath in the snow forts I've made and I'm just wondering if it would help more to build a chimney or to dig ground level holes.
Hmmm maybe it's because the CO2 is warmer? That's a good point
dchall85 years ago
My Scouts build a quinzee every winter and sleep in it. When built properly, it never goes below zero inside the quinzee.

Do you mean 0 degrees C?
=SMART=5 years ago
Wow thats awesome !!
Plasmana5 years ago
Wow! That is really cool! i always wandered how to easily build a large igloo... Unfortunately, I had less than a inch of snow in my area... ;-(
Same :(
blazingpencilsdotcom (author)  Plasmana5 years ago
You can build one out of white milk jugs glued together with hot melt glue. It makes a great school project.
ac1D5 years ago
what happen if you are inside.. and the roof fall on you?
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