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Quinzhee Camping

A quinzhee is a basic snow shelter made by hollowing out a mound of snow. Building a quinzhee can be a lot of fun, but knowing how to make one is also an important winter survival skill. Try building your own quinzhee and sleeping in it overnight!

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  • When and where will you share this adventure?
  • What do you know about building quinzhees? How can you find out more?
  • What equipment do you need for building your quinzhee? For sleeping in your quinzhee?
  • How should you dress for this adventure?


  • Build a snow mound. It should be about two metres tall, and three metres across.
  • Sink some sticks in to the mound (about a half metre deep).
  • Wait several hours for the snow to settle.
  • Hollow out the mound. Stop digging outward when you reach the sticks!
  • Finish your quinzhee with a windbreak near the door, a vent and beds
  • While spending time in a snow shelter can take some getting used to, a well-built quinzhee can be as comfortable as your summer tent.


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • How did you feel before, during and after this adventure?
  • How did your team get along?
  • What would you do differently in the future?

Keep it Simple

Take it Further

  • Try building and sleeping in an igloo!