How to Build an Igloo

An igloo represents a dwelling place that is usually made within an extremely cold and snowy environment by using snow blocks. These have been made by the Eskimos since ancient times and are still in use to this day. Building one takes a lot of work and energy but with a couple of friends and some food you could be on your way to creating your very own igloo. Follow the instructions below and get started.

Tools Required

  • Snow shovel

Materials Required

  • Snow
  • Board or board box


  1. The first thing you have to do is to create some snow blocks. To do this you either have to find a box container or create a four-sided mold box using boards that have no top or bottom. The sizes should be 12 inches long and 6 inches high and 4 – 5 inches wide, and the other should be a bit smaller in size to create the variation in size.
  2. Find a place in the snow that is flat and then mark out a circular area that you are going to use. Make sure the area is covered with plenty of snow then take more snow to the area so that when you start building you have like a 3-foot layer foundation. Pack even more snow by using the shovel to collect snow into the area and leave overnight or for a couple of hours. This allows the snow to become stronger.
  3. Now after you will create snow blocks by taking the snow from the area and tightly packing snow into the boxes or mold. When it is completely packed tap the sides so the block slides out.
  4. Now use the blocks to form a row around the encirclement that was made, and use the snow as your mortar for joining them so that each crack is filled. Then gradually stack up the snow bricks together laying them on top of each other so that each joint where the blocks meet is covered by a full snow block.
  5. As you build the igloo walls make sure the bricks move slightly inwards to create a dome shape of the igloo. As you build upward into the dome the thickness of the brick walls should start to decrease.
  6. Cut another brick that is bigger than the hole at the top of the igloo, then fit it on the top. The person on the inside will then trim it until it fits in the hole.
  7. Again use more snow to smooth out the cracks and edges so it packs as tightly as possible, also smooth out the inside of the igloo dome.
  8. Create an entrance for the igloo, by digging a hole a little lower than the foundation that will allow persons to slide in and out of the igloo.

Tips and Warnings

  • You can sprinkle a little water on the snow when making the snow bricks if it is too dry. This makes it easier to pack together and also adds strength.* It is best to build the igloo with one person inside the igloo to govern its construction to secure that the inward build is done correctly.
  • You may add more rooms to your igloo by using the same procedure to stack bricks unto the original igloo building.
  • Before going into your igloo at night, you can drip water on the igloo top to make the walls stronger when the water freezes. Another way to make it stronger is to make a small hole at the top of the igloo and then light a candle and put it at the top. The heat from the candle will melt the inside of the igloo which will then refreeze into ice.
  • Never build a fire inside an igloo as this can cause smoke inhalation which can be very dangerous
  • It is recommended that a group of persons build an igloo because the snow is very heavy and may hurt someone in the process of building.
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