A Quinze, if you haven't built one in winter, do it!!

A Quinze is a type of shelter built from snow, it is used in regions where the snow is too soft and powdery for an igloo.

It was originaly developed by native inhabitants of northern canada and is constructed by building up a large mound of snow and allowing it to settle before begining to hollow it out to form and sleeping area.


  1. Using rucksacks or inflatable survival bags etc. create a core for the quinze by piling them up together in a heap, ready for you to start piling on the snow. This will mean you don't have to dig up so much snow.
  2. Start to cover the pile (if using) with snow.
  3. Create an external dome shape, make sure it is a fairly large size as you will need to have thick walls when it comes to digging the inside out.
  4. Wait 30-60 mins. for the snow to harden. Whilst you are waiting start to collect insulative material for bedding (spruce boughs etc.)
  5. Insert sticks or poles in that are around 1ft in length all over the dome, these are a guide to the thickness of the walls as you hollow the quinze out.
  6. Excavate the interior of the quinze using a shovel or whatever you have to hand. Try to make the entrance face away from the wind.
  7. Fit in sleeping platforms that are raised, this allows the colder air to sink so you remain somewhat warmer. Also, remeber to add a vent hole in the roof so you don't sufocate.