A trench shelter is a snow survival shelter that is quick and easy to build. It can be built even if the snow is not packing snow. The trench shelter can be built in as little as a foot of snow, possibly less. The temperature inside a trench shelter will be close to freezing and you will be out of the wind, even if it is very cold outside.
Step 1: Choosing the Site
You will need a open place with quite a bit of snow for your site. There is about two feet of snow here but you can do it with one foot of snow. Check out the ground where your trench will be by using a stick or shovel to look for big rocks or logs hidden under the snow. Be careful not to walk anywhere but where the trench will be or you will ruin the walls.
Step 2: Digging the Trench
Dig a trench that is 1 1/2 times the length of your body. Try to get right down to the ground. Try to keep the sides as straight up and down as possible. If there is not much snow, pile the snow that you are digging out along the sides to make the walls higher. An average sized person will need a trench about 20 inches wide and 20 inches high.
Step 3: Laying Sticks
Break some sticks around three feet long. There should be a lot of dead wood in the forest that you can use. The sticks should be fairly strong, about the width of a ruler because they will be holding some snow. You only have to put the sticks a little bit more than the length of your body.
Step 4: Adding the Evergreen Boughs
Break off evergreen boughs and put them over the sticks. They need to be fairly thick or the snow will sift through them.
Step 5: Covering the Top With Snow
Being careful not to go too close to the walls, cover the evergreen boughs with snow. You don't need huge amounts. A half a foot to a foot will do.
Step 6: Evergreen Base Layer
Collect more evergreen boughs and lay them along the floor of your trench. This will keep your body off of the cold ground. It should be a pretty thick layer.
Step 7: Closing It In
If you are going to be sleeping there for the night, crawl in and pull the snow in front of the opening so that it is completely closed. Snow is an insulator and it will be close to freezing inside the trench shelter, even if it is - 25 outside. Poke a hole in the roof for some air.