How to Build an Igloo: And Other Snow Shelters

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W. W. Norton & Company, Nov 17, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 208 pages

How are the ice blocks of igloos so perfectly formed and fitted, and able, it’s been said, to withstand the weight of a polar bear?

How can you determine if the fresh snow that’s fallen outside your front door is as good for making a slab shelter as a snowman? What is a slab shelter, anyway? For that matter, what are drift caves, spruce traps, snow block walls, and bivy bag shelters, and how would you go about building them, whether for winter fun or protection from the weather?

In this instructive, whimsical, illustrated manual, Norbert E. Yankielun, a seasoned cold-regions explorer and researcher, takes readers step-by-step through the process of constructing and inhabiting a range of useful snow structures—from the most basic to the more complex. Whether you’re a veteran backcountry skier or a backyard builder, this is one book you won’t want to be without.

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User Review  - janepriceestrada - LibraryThing

This is a fun little book which has not only detailed instructions on how to build snow structures but also explains the scientific principles by which they work (e.g. why an igloo can be warm inside). Read full review


Preparation Before Building
Slab Shelters
Drift Caves
Spruce Traps
Expedient Shelters
Camping Out
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About the author (2007)

Norbert E. Yankielun, PhD, is a former research engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Laboratory in New Hampshire. In his spare time, he conducts igloo-building workshops, which draw hundreds. His Web site is

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