Out for a snowy adventure but don’t have a place to sleep in during the cold winter evenings? A quinzee is the icy shelter you need to keep you warm all throughout the night. Here are some tips to help you build your cozy camping cave!

Everything You Need To Know About Building Your Own Quinzee

1. Find the Perfect Spot

snow covered mountain during daytime | how to build a quinzee
The snow field may look like an endless piece of land where you can set base anywhere. However, there are some things you need to consider before finding a place for your quinzee.

Always look for an area with even, level land. Make sure the snow is powdery enough to be dug out, but firm and sturdy enough to be shaped or molded.

2. Start Shoveling

woman cleaning snow shovel outdoors on | how to build a quinzeeNow that you’ve found the right spot to build your quinzee, it’s time to create your snow pile. Using a shovel, start digging through the snow until you have enough of the stuff to work with.

The size of your quinzee must depend on how many people will be staying inside. Keep digging away if you don’t want to be cramped with two or more people like a can of sardines!

3. Hollow Out Your Pile

ice cave on fox glacier new | how to build a quinzeeOnce you’re happy with your snow mound, the next step is to shape it into a dome and hollow it out. This will serve as your entryway, so be cautious of the size.

While you are making a hole, it’s also important to reinforce the quinzee. You can use sticks or twigs to poke through the dome walls, which will also become your guides to determine the thickness.

4. Check the Interior

european boy making snow cave | how to build a quinzeeNot so sure whether your cave has the ideal interior? If you can see a bit of light passing through the snow walls, then you’re all set!

You can also test out the area inside by checking if all the people involved will fit; each person should have enough space to lie down comfortably.

5. Make Your Snow Beds

man lying snow spread hands | how to build a quinzeePreparing your snow beds might be the best part of learning how to build a quinzee. Your sleeping areas must be elevated, with narrow trenches in between to allow better airflow.

Your DIY mattress can definitely be a little colder than your liking, so don’t forget to bring a cozy blanket or sleeping bag.

6. Poke Holes for Ventilation

hole snow drift | how to build a quinzeeRegardless if you want to keep the heat inside the quinzee, it’s essential to poke holes through the snow walls for ventilation. Fresh air is a must, especially if you’ll be staying inside a tiny space.

Small holes are sufficient, but you can also make slightly bigger ones according to your preference.

7. Mark Your Quinzee

snow covered mountain with green pine trees | how to build a quinzeeYou might think that a quinzee won’t be hard to spot because of its unique shape, but marking your shelter will help you during your adventure.

The entrance can get covered in snow when you’re out and about, so bringing your shovel while you’re away will work wonders in digging through that icy buildup.

Want to see the actual process of building a quinzee? Check out this vlog by the Sask Wanderer:

Building your own quinzee can take a lot of manpower and time, so make sure to bring a friend on your winter camping trip. It also won’t hurt to bring other materials that can help reinforce the structure of your shelter. Being prepared will definitely give you an advantage!

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Do you have any other tips on how to build a quinzee? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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