How to Construct an Igloo

by Updated January 22, 2013

How does one picture an igloo? Well, we see it as a small dome house and is made from snow blocks. The ideal temperature range for making an igloo structure starts from −7 °C up to 16 °C.  Below are the instructions on how to make an igloo from the ground up.

1.) Optionally search for a gentle slope. By doing so, you would be able to build your igloo in no time. Actually, you can do it with a flat area if you are making this structure just for fun. However, if you truly live in Antarctica, then that’s a different story. Just keep away from mounds (free-standing) and use a long stick or snow prod for you to be certain that there are no objects in the land that you’re going to use for one’s igloo.

2.) Get your snow blocks. Dig a long trench beforehand and get your blocks from that area with the use of a snow or hand saw. You can actually make your very own snow blocks or buy them from a store if you are just making a recreational igloo. For your homemade snow blocks, create a board box without any top and bottom. A rectangular garbage can or any container would also do.

3.) Create the entrance trench of your igloo. It should be the structure’s lowest part. Also, it must be .6m wide and has a length of 2 ft. This measurement is needed for you to be able to fit into the igloo. Just don’t dig too much. Snow should still be present inside your igloo to serve as the structure’s insulator.

4.) Create the platform where you would be sleeping. This feature should be more elevated than the entrance of the igloo and it must be deeply dug in the snow. It must have a measurement that’s 15 cm wider than your frame in all of its side to ensure your comfort. If you are creating a single platform, then place it perpendicular to the entrance. Make the platform parallel if you have two and only create 3 platforms if you are confident in being able to make a huge igloo.

5.) Create an even top for your igloo walls when needed. This would certainly help you in layering and stacking those snow blocks. If you have a very sloped snow top, then make even steps instead.

6.) Fill your entrance of the igloo with temporary snow blocks. This would help you in making a firm entrance top for you already have the blocks to serve as your foundation.

7.) Place the first layer of blocks. Expect to see triangular gaps as you accomplish this task but you can easily remedy that situation by putting snow to fill those gaps.

8.) Repeat step no.7 for the 2nd layer of your igloo’s snow blocks.

9.) Create as many layers as you can until you finally form a dome. Just remember to make use of bricks which are smaller in size as you make your way to the top. Have a partner in building your igloo as well.

10.) Finally place the “capstone” block on top of one’s igloo. In this step, it would be best for you to ask the help of another person.

11.) Create an arch in the snow blocks that you have temporarily placed in the igloo’s entrance.

12.) Smooth the inner walls of the igloo and its capstone as well. Lengthen your platform and carve grooves (longitudinal) too.

13.) Create more rooms in your igloo if you want.

14.) To prevent you from suffocating inside the igloo, block (partly) its entrance before you go to sleep.



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