SnowDogs, Quinzhee, and Bannock - WinterPeg Series

Started Mar 19, 2006 | Discussions thread
OP Garry Frankel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,830
Quinzhees, Basic Survival 101 (Pics)

Most folks are familiar with what is sometimes called the Igloo. A shelter built by cutting up blocks of very densely packed packed snow. Made mostly by the Inuit peoples of the high arctic (they have over 50 different words for snow), those type of shelters don't work down here on the prairies (we don't have the right snow). So how did the Cree and Ojibwa peoples survive ?? Here is how . . .

The are called Quinzhees, and you start by finding a snow bank and then you pile all the snow around it into a big mound. NOTE: You will generate zillions of calories building this thing, so if you are really in a survival mode then you best strip off layers to try to keep from sweating as you build your temporary home.

Then you have to dig out a place to stay in the bottom of the shelter. If your not in survival mode you can always toss the snow at your annoying daughter who has been throwing snow balls at you . .

The "scientific" principle behind the shelter is that you are taking heat stored in the ground (there is no permafrost this far south) and then the snow becomes your insulation from the outside. You must dig down until you are at the earth so that the heat can come out of the ground to keep you warmer. Before you enter and build up snow around the door it should look something like this . . .

This shelter will keep you above freezing for 24 to 48 hours. Then you will have pulled the heat out of the ground and you will have to build a new Quinzhee.

Now, that doesn't mean that learning how to build one can't be fun. This is not a 4 star hotel though . . .

Well, now if you are ever caught in a blizzard and the motor league can't get to you, you know what to do to survive until the sun comes up !!

Up next . . . the promised Snow Dogs . . .

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