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How to Build a Snow Cave

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A T-shaped snow cave is a quick and efficient way to protect yourself from even the worst winter storm. Locate a large snow drift or steep, stable snow slope, and start digging with the instructions below.

1. DIG THE ENTRANCE

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Dig an entrance about 18 inches wide and as high as your chest.

2. WIDEN INTO A T SHAPE

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To make it easier to dig, widen the top of the entrance to form a T shape.

3. EXCAVATE THE INTERIOR

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Dig several feet farther into the drift and excavate the interior of the cave. The floor of the cave will be at about waist level, so much of your digging will be upward and to the sides.

4. SEAL THE TOP OF THE ENTRANCE

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When the interior space is fully formed, use blocks of snow, bags of snow or snowballs packed together to seal the top of the T.

5. POKE VENTILATION HOLES

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Use a ski pole or shovel handle to poke several ventilation holes in the ceiling at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Use a bag of snow to seal the tunnel entrance.

7 Comments on How to Build a Snow Cave

  1. …or if you don’t have a domed tent, maybe a look for large hotel with a hatted restaurant and a well stocked cellar. Double voila!

  2. WeaponXtreme310 // May 18, 2020 at 11:23 am // Reply

    Thanks a lot! I am doing a presentation on shelter building and this was good info.

  3. That was good steps for a snow cave

  4. When you are done enjoying your snow cave collapse and destroy the cave so other kids don’t come along and make a grave mistake.

  5. This didn’t talk about arching the roof. It is MUCH more likely to cave in if the roof is not arched.

  6. I wish the graphics included more human figures. I can’t really make out exactly what’s being described.

  7. In a location with very cold, light powdery snow, digging without collapse can be a problem. Try a large dome tent, carefully covered with snow…
    and there you go. Voila!

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