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How To Build a Quinzee Hut

What the heck is a Quinzee?

created on: 01/13/09

A quinzhee or quinzee is simply a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow. This is in contrast to an igloo, which is made from blocks of snow.

Take a Saturday, find some snow, shoulder a few six packs and build yourself a quinzee. Because you can actually use them in the backcountry for shelter, not only are you hanging with your friends having an outdoor bonding moment, you're learning a vital winter backcountry skill. created on: 01/13/09

Quinzees are simple to make; they just require a lot of shoveling and digging (this is why you bring your friends along). 

What you need:

  • Lots of snow
  • Shovels - either the avalanche variety or larger ones if you're not having to lug them into the woods
  • A bunch of 6-8 inch sticks
  • A thermos of hot chocolate or coffee and some energy bars
  • 90 minutes of wait time to let the snow settle once you have your mound built (that's what the hot chocolate is for)

If you do happen to practice this in the backcountry, skip the twelve-pack and haul in a camp stove to make some hot drinks for the 90 minute wait time, and of course, all your normal gear.

Take pictures.

Settle in for the night.


created on: 01/13/09

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