According to the US Army Cold Weather Survival Manual: “The idea behind a snow trench shelter is to get you below the snow and wind level and use the snow’s insulating qualities. If you are in an area of compacted snow, cut snow blocks and use them as overhead cover. If not, you can use a poncho or other material. Build only one entrance and use a snow block or rucksack as a door.”
Snow trenches are easier and quicker to build than a snow cave, quinzee or igloo, but they are not particularly warm since hot air rises up out of the uninsulated ceiling.
Tim Parker sent in a snow trench design he came up with on his last trip. Tim states “I did it this way to save time. It wWorked pretty good except that I didn’t seal the top very well and all the warm air leaked out. I noticed all the big holes in the morning. I haven’t seen many good designs on the web in terms of snow trenches. To me they make more sense because you don’t need heavy gear and you don’t get wet digging it and TIME. Since then I have thought about some ways to make the roof double walled. Maybe next trip?”
Tim provided sketches of his design.
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