It's that time again, being stuck indoors, having your daily commute take two times longer than it usually does and the freezing temperatures which will keep you from going anywhere. For my dog who is a Siberian husky, this was a different story; he was very surprised and joyful to be able to enter his natural roots. I decided to build him a fort as a challenge and from my winter tradition of building igloos. This fort is large enough for two people to fit inside and is similar to an igloo, but is made entirely from snowballs. Lets brave the cold weather Instructables!!!
Step 1: Supplies and Gear
For this Instructable you will need the following:
- A snowy backyard with 10cm to 15cm of snow.
- Mans best friend
- Lots of large snowballs (I used about 50 Large ones)
- Gravel shovel
- Wheel barrel (Optional)
Clothing: (Warm clothing will prevent frostbite and help you stay warm)
- Warm jacket (Thermal jacket)
- Snow boots
- Wool socks
- Your favorite hot drink to warm your belly on a cold day
- Dog treats
Step 2: Enbrace the Season
Winter can be one of the most depressing times of the year because of the lack of sunlight and the below freezing temperatures, which can make anyone feel miserable. Despite it being the holiday season, the overplayed Christmas music can make you feel like your trapped in a particular decade era. As the first major snowfall fell in my home town in British Columbia since about two years, I figured I was going to do something productive with my time, instead of being indoors this holiday season. In this Instructable we are going the brave the elements this Winter, while being productive outdoors and enjoying it.
Step 3: Roll Some Snowballs
This process is very time consuming, but is the back breaking technique that will allow you to create a massive snow fort. To create a humongous snow ball, start by packing snow together into a small ball, then roll it around in the snow. For achieving the dog snow fort, you will need to roll about 50 of these large snow balls.
Step 4: Building the Foundation
Start by placing the snowballs in a semi circle and then fill in the gap slightly, but leave an opening for the door. Make sure the foundation is solid and secured, this will allow for the addition of the walls, in which will be stacked.
Step 5: Build It Up
With a strong foundation provided now the walls can be built up. Start stacking up snowballs on top of the foundation to the desired height of your fort. Make sure the snowballs that are being stacked are connected to each other. There my be a few gaps and holes, but don't worry will be fixing that in the next step.
Step 6: Filling the Holes
As you are stacking up the walls by placing the snowballs on top of each other, make sure to fill in any holes or gaps with powdered snow. By adding more snow to the outsides, this will ensure that all of the snowballs stick to each other. Using a gravel shovel will speed up this process as well deliver the required amount.
Step 7: Keep Stacking
Continue to stack up snowballs on top of each other until they start to merge onto the center of the fort, this will allow the creation of the roof for the fort. It will require a lot of muscle and strength to be able to lift the snowballs up high to stack them. Remember to lift with your knees and not your back to prevent any injuries.
Step 8: Break Time!!!
This project takes a quite some time complete, so make sure to reward your progress with a warm refreshing drink (Hot cocoa). Refueling will give your body calories that will allow you to stay warm. Don't forget to give your dog something.
Hot coca recipe (Easy):
- Boil hot water in a pot at 70 degrees C for about 3 mins
- Pour in hot chocolate mix of your choice.
- Add whip cream and marshmallows
Step 9: Patients
Building projects take a lot of time, but also patients; don't expect it to be smooth sailing there will be pit falls. As I was stacking, the right wall suffered some damage because I didn't create a great foundation on that side. The total construction of this fort took me roughly about 3 1/2 hours to build.
Step 10: Dig Out the Interior
After building the walls up and they have started to fill in the roof, you can start to dig out some of the snow from the interior walls. Digging the snow out will provide more room inside, I was able to expand the interior by about a third in this process. You could use a shovel to do this, but its better to be cautious and just use your hands. Letting the fort sit over night is a good idea as it will freeze the snow.
Step 11: Building the Roof
With the desired height achieved, start angling the snowballs towards the center to build the roof. remember to shovel snow on the outsides of the fort to allow the snowballs to stick to one another. Building the roof is the hardest part of this tutorial. I would recommend allowing the fort to freeze over night before building the rood, however it will still work without doing so.
Step 12: The Final Masterpiece
Congratulations, with the roof completed your dog snow fort will be finished. I choose to have my roof only cover about 60% of the fort, in case it was to collapse. Togo my Siberian husky really enjoyed this years snow fall, since it hasn't snowed in a few years in British Columbia, this was truly a great holiday surprise.
Thank you for reading my Instructable on how to build a "DIY Dog Snow Fort", if you could please vote for me in the "Brave The Elements Contest" it would make my day. If you have any ideas for future projects or any questions please let me know in the comments section. Also please share your creations of this tutorial in the comments as well, I would be happy to see what your guys own creations.
Thanks again and Merry Christmas