It may seem like we’ve all been living in an igloo the past few weeks, as temperatures have plunged and snow totals have skyrocketed, but Nick Gordon does have an igloo in the front yard of his White Caps home.
Gordon built the snow structure a few weeks ago, using “very heavy snow that contains a lot of water,” he said.
In other words: No ideal igloo snow.
Because of all the water in that snow, the igloo “starts to compact and push down,” Gordon explained. “A week ago you could stand in there, but now it’s compacting. “
The best snow for igloo construction, he said, “is older snow, containing a lot of ice crystals. This snow will not settle as much. You want dry snow to build igloo blocks.
This is one of the keys to safely building an igloo that will not collapse.
Gordon – who said he tries to build an igloo at least once a winter – uses an “Igloo Ed” igloo kit called The Icebox.
“I have to watch a video every time I try to use the kit,” Gordon said. “It works with an adjustable pole and a sliding block maker. It’s very effective once you start.
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“Igloo Ed” is Ed Huesers, a Colorado winter camping enthusiast who developed a system for building igloos.
As the owner of a plastic mold maker, Huesers began using various plastic shapes to build different types of snow walls, eventually inventing his Icebox Igloo Maker, which he said “is capable of creating a shelter. winter for the night “in just a few hours.
To build an igloo using Icebox, you put snow in the Icebox mold to make bricks. The kit also includes a post around which the igloo is built, ensuring that “your igloo is perfectly circular”. There is also a mold to build a ramp on the first blocks for a solid foundation and arch. For more details, visit https://grandshelters.com/how-to-build-an-igloo/.
Gordon cautions against the occasional construction of igloos. “You have to know what you are doing so that you don’t get run over,” he said. “This igloo kit is designed to make the perfect arch so it doesn’t collapse on you.”
A neighborhood move
The igloo is a hit with the children of Gordon, Emily, 6, and George, 4 (Theodore, 1 has not commented), although “they prefer to toboggan on the huge mounds of snow”.
More importantly, the White Caps igloo attracts “neighborhood dads, who come to see it,” Gordon said. “The inner 10 year old loves it.”
The entrance to the igloo is a small tunnel opening, which appears to be sized for a large dog or small human, but Gordon insists it’s friendly for all ages.
“I’m 6 feet 4 inches tall and I adapt easily to it,” he said.
When not building – or relaxing indoors – his igloo, Gordon teaches winter survival lessons and runs year-round outdoor workshops and expeditions as part of his business, NOW Outdoors. Check out her upcoming classes and trips at https://nowoutdoors.org/.
IN PHOTOS: Scenes from the snowstorm February 15-16