BL Workshop

How to build an igloo

The best-known snow shelter is the igloo. A brilliant use of engineering and resources, this simple dome made out of snow blocks is both strong and versatile.


Arctic cultures such as the Eskimo and the Inuit developed it, and over time they came up with a hundred tricks to make the shelter more comfortable and sturdy, including making the entrance small (to help keep heat in) and melting the inside of the dome and letting it refreeze (for increased strength).

The earliest reference of igloo use came from the Vikings, who settled parts of Greenland and explored the eastern Canadian coast about a thousand years ago. They found natives living in igloos, but didn’t use them themselves because they considered the technology inferior.

History has proven otherwise, as the Vikings lasted for only about four centuries in the harsh climate of Greenland, while the native peoples are still carving igloos from the landscape today. Six hundred years after the tough Vikings were defeated by the tougher weather of the Little Ice Age, Boy Scouts still use the design of the igloo to keep warm.


igloo1Diameter: Not to exceed 10 feet. Anything bigger would require a perfect dome, which is next to impossible to construct in the field.

igloo2Materials: Top layers of dry powder won’t work. Pack mounds of snow until they harden, or cut blocks of snow from the depth where your feet stop sinking.

igloo3Entrance: Build a door in the ground, about 18 inches lower than the ground inside the igloo, and tunnel below the wall into the igloo. For proper ventilation, never seal or close the entrance.

igloo4Walls: Cut the blocks into a spiral layer, leaning one block against the next. Keep the interior wall smooth so moisture can run down the side of the wall, instead of dripping from the ceiling. Include a vent hole to allow for better circulation.


Comments about “How to build an igloo”

  1. Tristan says:


  2. Tsaur says:

    We don;t have enough snow here in central Oregon yet. ;)

  3. lafytafy says:

    Wish it snowed in california :(

  4. :D Man says:

    Cool :l

  5. McIgloo says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!! IT’S SNOWING HERE IN THE MITTEN!!!! Won’t be long before this masterpiece is possible :D :D :D !!!! :) ;)

  6. Mr. DC says:

    live in pa, didn’t get snow yet:(

  7. Billy Bob Joe says:

    come to Michigan!,!,!,!

  8. awesome man 11 says:

    utah gets the BEST SNOW EVER!!!!

  9. tim says:

    can not wait for snow!!!!!!!

  10. Matt says:

    Is there any way to build one without making bricks out of snow?

  11. dude says says:

    replying to powerking you buy snow block molds at target or walmart

  12. Kaychae says:

    Love it !!!

  13. popcorn says:

    i realy want to try this! i live in pennsylvania so i hope we get snow this year

  14. burbur2002 says:

    cool! i’m going to try it when we get snow. we get a lot of snow here in Michigan!

  15. powerking says:

    it sounds so cool but how do you make the cubes.

  16. westy14 says:

    It does not snow where I live so that’s a buumer

  17. boomrang says:

    Can’t wait until it snows in Minnesota

  18. einstein says:

    This looks awesome but i live in suburban L.A. SO IT NEVER SNOWS AND I’LL NEVER GET TO TRY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-

  19. koolkid says:


  20. boss says:

    i dont get it at all

  21. blabber mouth bro says:

    this sounds cool

  22. armyman says:

    Two years ago I was building a snowfort when my friend stuck her arm through the roof to “Make an air hole” and the whole roof collapesed.

  23. nike says:

    I live in Kansas it hasn’t snowed yet but I can’t wait for Christmas!!!

  24. Monster says:

    Looks awesome I will try it once we get more snow.

  25. samsam says:

    that looks awesome!!!

  26. lego man 22222222222221 says:

    cool looks fun !!!!!!!!

  27. COOL Dude says:

    I am soo going to use this for my school project!!!

  28. ben12 says:

    i want winter to come now!

  29. Jon says:

    It barely snows in Houston.I live in Houston!!!!:(

  30. troop503 says:

    question is can you make it bigger

  31. magicfreak says:

    get around more, peeps! just look in the archive!

  32. BS Luvr 2 says:

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Nobes Lite says:

    I have also always wonderred this. Thanks :D

  34. manny says:

    i have a yard of snow in MA

  35. fival says:

    we just had 8 inches of snow here in missouri…and we built a big ice fort probably 5 feet tall with a diameter of 5 feet…never could get the roof tho. so you can do it with less than 5 feet people.

  36. I am a sith says:

    I wish I knew this before it snowed!

  37. mr.m says:

    look’s good I’ll trie it

  38. B man says:

    It hasn’t snowed here yet so I cant build it,but it looks really cool! I can’t wait to build one!

  39. Swamp Thing GO SAINTS says:

    i wish i was able to at least build an igloo where i am at lol

  40. boeing b-24 says:

    it is hard, takes lots of snow, but i think you will like the outcome.

  41. bunny says:

    Absolutely fantastic!

  42. a fat hamster says:


  43. dtlux says:

    I wish I knew about this in the Febuary snow storm 2010.

  44. square knot says:

    even though I’m not claustrophobic, thats how I would feel crawling through that little opening going underground! wouldn’t you?!?!

  45. fishinglover says:

    one time me and my friend made a little igloo and when we got in it it fell apart on us :o so we couldn’t breath in the snow and we climbed out and gasping for air. shocking isn’t it. :)

  46. ninja man sam says:

    i wanna make one and start a fire in it and roast mashmallows

  47. boy 101 says:


  48. ninja says:

    people have died from building entrances like that

  49. actioncircus says:

    iv always wanted to know how to build an igloo

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