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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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15 Comments on How to Build an Igloo

  1. i watn to try one of these

    • so do i. i just make a big pile of snow and dig a hole then ho-lo it out

      • burntboy#1 // February 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm //

        Thats what I do.

      • majestic manflower // February 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm //

        who doesnt do tht? lol tht how simple ppl like us feel like weve actually acomplished sumthin

      • My friends and I did that but, when we came back from winter break the entrance had colapced just enogh so we couldn’t get back in! And we still have some stuff in there! We tried to break the wall down but, it had turned to ice! Gotta wait till spring!

  2. you need a lot of snow to do that

  3. um sounds cool but hard so i started one and these tips will help me later i guess (:

  4. how much does it need to snow before i can make a proper igloo? (feet)

  5. bsa life scout // December 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    I really want to try it!

  6. If only I was able to get that much snow at home!!!!

  7. It sounds impossible!

  8. cool dude5000 // December 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm // Reply

    my brother thinks its boring.

  9. cool dude5000 // December 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm // Reply

    its sounds cool!


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