Tips & Tricks
  • Use a tarp, 6x6 or 7X9 is great, with 3ft long ropes at each end to move snow from the surrounding area to the quinzee.
  • Use a grain-type snow shovel, not a garden spade and not a 2 or 3 foot wide snow pusher.
  • Break all lumps with the back of a shovel.
  • Have two people hold one end of a single ski to knock the snow from the top of the quinzee, thereby rounding off the top. The top must look like an igloo, never like a teepee.
  • X-country skis make great measuring sticks. The average adult ski is approximately 6ft long; the three foot mark right behind the toe clip; and it's two feet from the heel plate to the back of the ski.
  • Insert the bottom row of the wall-thickness gauge sticks 1 to 1.5 feet up the wall. When hitting these last gauges, quit carving and drop the remaining lower wall directly to the floor.
  • Always carve from top to bottom, never from bottom to top.
  • The best interior carving tool is one of those small military-type entrenching tools whose shovel blade locks at 90 degrees to the shaft, making it look like a hoe.
  • Carving with a downward movement is much better than digging into the wall.
  • Always put the entrance and ventilation hole 90 degrees to the prevailing winds.
  • The basket on a X-country ski pole makes the perfect ventilation hole. Use the hand-grip of the ski pole to start the hole and the basket end to finish it off.
  • An L-shaped piece of wood inverted and pushed through near the top of the quinzee makes a perfect attachment piece for an overhead mini light.
  • Leave enough snow at the back as a sleeping platform - softer and warmer.
  • Use a bag or skidoo boots to stop wind from blowing in entrance. Do not completely block.
  • Use some of that leftover snow to make a couple of walls to protect the entrance from the wind.
  • Glow sticks make great nightlights