A night in an igloo is what we call tourism on the edge. Traveling into an extreme environment requires surviving skills and useful information about how you can make your accommodation more safe and interesting.
Whether it’s about climbing an icy mountain or visiting the arctic areas, a shelter is always advised. Sure, there are those lucky people who stay at night beneath the shiny sky and admire colorful polar auroras. But until you will be able to do that too, we recommend that you build an igloo!
Building an igloo is easy and it might turn out to be a great place to spend the night on a small ‘expedition’. It is much warmer than a tent, and can be built just about anywhere. Building an igloo will take somewhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on your previous experience and level of ambition.
How to build an igloo
Equipment – A special snow saw is recommended, but a carpenter’s saw will do. A machete or small axe is handy for moulding the snow blocks, but not necessary (use your ski instead – less to carry).
Step 1: Find a suitable spot, a hard field of snow is required to build an igloo – hard enough to make solid snow blocks.
Step 2: The snow blocks are prepared with the saw. They should be solid enough to be carried horizontal without breaking by their own weight. Large blocks are used at the base of the dome, smaller ones at the top. A thickness of 15-30cm is good.
Step 3: The edges of each snow block should be smoothed and angeled correctly to make a strong bond to the adjacent blocks. A ski with its tip placed in the centre of the igloo is a perfect tool for this.
Step 4: The igloo is closed! Now it is time to fill all those cracks with snow. (The really big cracks are filled with small blocks of snow.)
- a small ventilation hole in the roof is recommend
- always keep the entrance open
- the floor should be covered with some kind of camping mattresses
- candles can be used as light source