Snow shelters such as igloos, snow caves and quinzees other an alternative to tents for winter campers. Snow shelters are quieter and offer the benefit of warmth, as body heat causes temperatures to rise in the cozy interior.
In the article “How to build an igloo with West Coast style” Jackie Christie reports on a technique for building an igloo using wet snow.
Unlike the Arctic technique of carving snow blocks from the surrounding tundra, then configuring a spiral of thick bricks into a shelter, a speedier approach is to saw rectangles of dense snow from the compacted layer.
Rather than using dry and granular snow we are often faced with heavy wet snows early in the season or in West Coast or North East. Although lifting heavy, wet snow presents a challenging workout its cement like consistency works far better for shelter construction than does fluffy powder.