Instructables

Snow Survival Shelter [must have deep Snow]

I can show you how to make a safe Snow Shelter with two store bought tools, some twigs, and a lot of Snow.Once I picked a good spot it took me 60 minutes to complete.
A Saw and a Shovel were purchased then used for this.
This Instructables Shelter is based on a real life Survival Shelter and is a re-creation. A few tree branches were harmed in the making of this re-creation Shelter discretion is advised.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Snow required

Picture of Snow required
 I searched for a snow drift where nothing could fall  from above and bury me.
The Saw was used to cut some Willow branches then brought to the shelter site.I cut enough to make about 20 sticks to use for proper thickness in the walls.All sticks were about a Foot and a Half or so long but all about the same length.This is how thick your walls will be,as long as your sticks are.

Step 2: Don't Dig It yet?

The branches are placed in the snow from the outside pointing inside so when you dig from inside you can't dig too thin of walls.I placed these every 2 or 3 feet apart pointing into the place I will dig covering about 7 or 8 ft. wide on the outside, in a dome shape covering the front,top and back sides..The Entrance needs to be on the side with the least wind.
So I have:
Cut branches
Found a safe suitable location
Placed the equal length Twigs from outside pointing in every 2 or 3 Feet
Decided where the Entrance should be
Now I can start digging.


Step 3: Dig It

Starting at the chosen Entrance that I decided was out of the the wind the most, I dug out a hole big enough for me to get in and out of the Shelter.I then dug all the way to the back wall where the sticks ends pointed into the interior.The Saw and Shovel were used to help dig carefully looking for the ends of the twigs. I could then carve up also to the Stick ends. I made it big enough to be able to sit up while inside by digging down deeper in the Snow floor.
So now I have:
Dug out a interior
I then made a place to lay down and next to that dug a pit about One foot deep by Two feet or so wide in the main floor.This pit is where the cold air will be forced by your warm breath as heat rises,when/if it is below Zero- Fahrenheit this will help you stay warmer.I found a large slab of Snow to place over the entrance cut with the saw, a back pack may also work as a door.
There was no room inside to get a decent photo but that lousy shot is reaching inside taken from the roof area with my sleeping platform in the center against the back wall and pit on the left side. The weather changed while building this [why the photos get bluer] so when I placed the Door Slab in place it was just a photo of Snow I do apologize for that.

Step 4: Important...If you are just skimming through please read this

------Most important is fresh air must get in--------------
While you are breathing inside ice will form on the inner walls from condensation. This blocks any air from getting inside.YOU MUST HAVE FRESH AIR or Carbon Dioxide will build up and can cause death. If it is Snowing on your door slab keep making a fresh air hole through the new fallen Snow.This Shelter is to save your life in a Emergency.

Also shown is why I wanted thick walls. It snowed 2 feet.
anonymouse1979 months ago
The way to stop CO2 building up is to dig a step as your entrance to the snow hole. CO2 is heavier than air, so by digging a step out of your shelter (and leaving a gap above any "door" you might make out of snow) then you will get "clean" air circulating through your shelter. To reduce avalanche risk the snow hole should be built against a face of some form. Often snow will build up on the lea side of an obstacle like this, but such snow is not usually stable enough, although with caution, it can be used in emergencies.
Ketzer2 years ago
You exhale carbon dioxide. The only way you'll get carbon monoxide in your shelter is if you are using a stove, heater, or gas-powered device. (or you are downwind of car or generator exhaust)

Carbon dioxide will still kill you, but carbon monoxide will do it much quicker.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!