Every igloo we make is unique, though there is some consistency in their basic design.
Sometimes we sleep on the floor of the igloo, though more often we attach a tent or two to its side, effectively making the igloo a huge extension of the tent's vestibule, or vice versa. We construct a kitchen platform with a chimney that allows heat and steam to escape (because you don't want extra moisture inside the igloo or tent). We build an arched roof over the entryway tunnel and cut closet space into its side to store backpacks and gear. We carve shelves for food and supplies and candles, and a bench seat to sit on. We add footstools and end tables.
There's usually room for three people to stand in the igloo, or four really close friends to shuffle around each other. There is even room enough for me to pace.
Making an igloo is playing in the snow. That's the right way to look at it, because it's a lot of work. There have been many nights when I have lain on an aching back in my sleeping bag and said,"I hurt. But it's that good kind of hurt." I'm no masochist; it's just a feeling that you get when you literally build the roof over your head.
And what a roof. It's a shelter like no other. We've never had one fail us, even in the worst storms.
A tent flaps in the wind. An igloo doesn't budge. In fact, you can't tell what is going on outside until you poke your head out the door and the wind rips your hood off. You duck back inside and say, "Yeah, it's still blowing," and play another game of backgammon.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication