Just because you’re not an Eskimo doesn’t mean you can’t build your own igloo, which is basically the best snow fort ever. All you need is a space to build it, lots of snow, 150 snow bricks and your own roasty-toasty body heat to keep it insulated and warm, notes Modern Farmer.
Modern Farmer spoke with an urban igloo enthusiast who, as it goes with enthusiasts, knows all about building these things.
“Traditional igloos are built with already compressed and packed snow; the kind of rock hard snow that snow plows love to encase your car in,” he says. But you can do it with loose snow, too.
1. Pick a spot: You’ll need somewhere big enough to set up your igloo, so either a nice yard or a park. Draw a circle in the snow about 7 feet wide, or as big as it needs to be for two adults to stand together in. Because everyone knows igloos are more fun with friends.
2. Commit to making 150 snow bricks: Well-packed bricks of snow are a must. Use a sturdy square bucket, like an empty (and washed out) 35-pound cat litter container. Fill it with snow, making sure to pack it tightly as you go. Turn the bucket upside down and bang the side to free the snow. It’s important to let each brick rest for 10-30 minutes so it won’t crumble when you start to build.
“You will be tempted to start building your igloo right away, but you need to resist that temptation,” warns the urban igloo enthusiast. “An igloo with a weak foundation will just not work.”
3. Start building the igloo’s main body: Lay the bricks down along the circle you so helpfully drew for yourself. To make sure it’s stable, keep it circling in on itself, unlike a brick house. Bricks should be as tightly spaced as you can get them, and then fill in the cracks with loose snow to make the rings level. You’ll need to tilt the blocks slightly inward to create that dome shape.
4. Cap it: Frozen blocks will need to be cut with a serrated knife or similar to fit the curve of the igloo. Enlist your tallest friend to top it all off with a single block on top. Thank him/her for being so tall and helpful.
5. Make an entryway: Igloos are much better when you can get inside them, so use a snow saw if you have it, or a serrated knife because you probably don’t, to cut out a doorway that’s big enough for you to crawl through it. This step must be last or your igloo risks being unstable.
6. Brag to all your friends and take selfies inside the igloo: I added this step myself because it’s totally what I’d do once I finished building an urban igloo. While holding a cup of hot cocoa, obviously.
You can follow MBQ on Twitter if you want to find out if she ever builds an igloo or just talks a big talk: @marybethquirk
How to Build an Urban Igloo [Modern Farmer]