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How to build an igloo: a step-by-step guide

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Hardware purchaser, Zurich Office
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Building an igloo and overnighting in it is a true adventure. In the video, professionals explain how you can safely build your own house out of snow. They also share tips on the best way to saw the blocks to the correct size and build the inside of the igloo.

Our igloo stands in a snowy mountain landscape. A light breeze blows; the snow glistens in the sun. But getting to this idyllic scene takes a big effort and a lot of time, because building the igloo requires a lot of hard work. The blocks of snow weigh between 10 and 20 kilograms, and you need up to 50 of them for a two-person igloo.

In the video, professionals give step-by-step instructions on how to build an igloo. Follow their tips and you’re sure to succeed.

How long you need to build the igloo depends, of course, on how many of you there are. Other factors are whether kids are helping you and whether you will sleep in it that night or continue building the next day. For experienced igloo builders, one hour may be enough. But reckon with around four hours as a more realistic time for beginners.

Building an igloo – the essential tips

Before you start building the igloo, find a spot that’s not at risk from avalanches. Take your time. You want to be safe – both while you are building and at night. Also consider the wind direction. You want to be able to position the entrance later so that you don’t have the wind whistling around your ears the second you leave your igloo. As soon as you have found a suitable spot, check whether there is enough snow.

Similar to camping in summer, you need a level surface for your igloo in winter. To achieve this, you need ground that is firm. For a two-person igloo, a circle about three metres in diameter is sufficient. When you’ve finished, leave the surface for about twenty minutes to firm up.

Now it’s time to start building. Saw the blocks and arrange them in a circle. Make sure they are slightly slanted. This will allow the typical igloo shape to gradually form. You simply plaster the joints with snow from the outside. This prevents the cold wind from blowing in at night.

Finally, build the entrance. The small tunnel around the entrance stops the wind from entering your igloo.

Equipment for building an igloo

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