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How to Build an Igloo

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.


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).



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


Materials: 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.


Entrance: 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.


Walls: 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.

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11 Comments on How to Build an Igloo

  1. question is can you make it bigger

  2. magicfreak // July 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm // Reply

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

  3. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Nobes Lite // March 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm // Reply

    I have also always wonderred this. Thanks 😀

  5. i have a yard of snow in MA

  6. 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.

  7. I am a sith // January 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm // Reply

    I wish I knew this before it snowed!

  8. look’s good I’ll trie it

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

  10. Swamp Thing GO SAINTS // November 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm // Reply

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

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