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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. That would probably work if it snowed more than 2 inches here!

  2. That’s so cool

  3. I kinda need 22” of snow for that.

  4. looks hard to make if you only get up 2 2ft of snow

  5. scienceman100 // October 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm // Reply

    awsome works great i love i do it every winter

  6. awesome geek // February 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm // Reply

    Awesommee! Dude best igloo making guide ever!! Whhoo hoo

  7. Cool, it seems to keep your body heat in it

  8. My boys used 1 gal ice cream buckets packed full of snow to build their igloo and it was so great the local paper published a picture of it.

  9. I hope OH gets a little more snow this year so that I can try this.

  10. pink and purple // January 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm // Reply

    That would be awesome(:

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