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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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12 Comments on How to Build an Igloo

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

  2. Love it !!!

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

  4. burbur2002 // July 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm // Reply

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

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

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

  7. Can’t wait until it snows in Minnesota

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

  9. awesome

  10. i dont get it at all

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