Igloo Mania

The Joys of Igloo Making and Camping
By David E. Myers
  |  Gorp.com
Igloo camper in Alaska
Igloo camper in Alaska (Mark Newman/WestStock)

Here's how we got started with igloos: My friend Jeff was watching the Robert Flaherty silent documentary, Nanook of the North. Nanook, an Inuit native, cut snow blocks with a walrus-ivory knife and made an igloo for his family. Jeff said, "I can do that."

So we drove to Paradise on the south slope of Mount Rainier. It was snowing and windy and you couldn't see the lodge from a hundred yards away. We snowshoed up to a knoll, cut and stacked snow, and in an hour had a dome large enough in which to sit and eat lunch. We were amazed at how calm and quiet it was inside, and kept crawling outside to remind us how the wind was howling. That was all it took to prove to ourselves that we could make a shelter that would serve as well as a tent.

The next year, we built an igloo near Hogback Ridge, south of White Pass in the Washington Cascades, and slept three people in it for two nights. We've played with these things for a dozen years and learned how to build shelters that take winter camping to another level.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 29 Jan 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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