How to Build a Quinzee Snow Shelter

Snow shelters are an essential part of the quinzee survival kit, but building one can be complicated. A great way to simplify this process is with a back-packing tarp and tent poles. For better shelter for your family or group, follow these instructions carefully.

The “how to build a snow shelter” is an article that will teach you how to build a Quinzee Snow Shelter. The article also includes a list of supplies needed, and the steps involved in building the shelter.

Build a Quinzee snow Shelter illustration instructions.

Building a quinzee is an excellent alternative for establishing a shelter from the weather, whether you’re attempting to survive in the chilly wilderness or camping out in the winter for fun. You just need a large amount of snow to build it, which you then hollow down. Because it lacks a skeletal support framework, your quinzee should be kept modest – ideally, it should be built for no more than three people. Shoveling all that snow makes you sweat, and snow will fall on you as you hollow out the interior, so change into dry clothing afterward to avoid hypothermia.

With advice from Dave Hall’s Winter in the Wilderness, we teach you how to make your own quinzee in today’s illustrated tutorial.

  1. Shovel powdery snow into a massive mound 6-10 feet in diameter and 5-7 feet height, big enough for 1-2 persons.
  2. Form the snow into a spherical mound and set aside for at least an hour to “sinter” (harden) (the longer, the better). Gather a stack of straight sticks while you wait.
  3. To a depth of around 12′′, insert the sticks into the snow dome. When hollowing out your shelter, they will assist you in determining the thickness of your walls.
  4. It’s time to start hollowing out your shelter! On the pile’s downhill side, dig an entryway. Make it big enough to allow you to dig snow easily. Remove snow in any direction from the interior of the dome until you reach the end of a stick.
  5. With the remaining foot of snow, construct sleeping platforms. Place smaller snow blocks around the door to make the entrance to your quinzee smaller if needed.
  6. Enjoy! The shelter will keep you unexpectedly warm.

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Ted Slampyak created the illustration.



A quinzee is a type of snow shelter that is made by digging out the snow and building a dome-shaped structure. An igloo is an enclosed, dome-shaped snow shelter built from blocks of compacted snow. Reference: quinzee vs igloo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a quinzee snow fort?

A: You need to make a snow fort first. Then, you either put snow on top of the roof or in front of it. Lastly, you can use more snow for decoration and/or cover up holes with it if there are any visible

How do you make a simple snow shelter?

A: To make a simple snow shelter, you will need to have a tarp, some rope or twine and insulation. Find somewhere that the ground is relatively flat and start by laying down your tarps on the ground in an area about twice as big as you want your house to be. Next lay out three long pieces of rope or twine going from one side of the tarp to another at roughly 10-foot intervals away from each other then tie them off together with 3 quick knots so they form a triangle shape (make sure its secure). Then take another piece of rope or twine and go back over all three ropes creating two more V shapes like this until they are connected end-to-end. Once both sides are secured use rocks or containers filled with small stones to weight them down especially if there isnt much snow around for support!

How do you make a snow pile igloo?

A: First, you would need to cover a large area with snow then start stacking. You would also want two people doing the work in order to get an igloo as high and strong as possible.

Related Tags

  • snow shelter types
  • how to build a snow shelter igloo
  • quinzee construction
  • quinzee safety