Welcome to this website about snowshoeing.

It's a site with information about how to camp out in the snow. And also on what to do if you get stuck overnight when you planned to go just for the day.

Being a snowshoer you are often rewarded with beautiful winter scenery. But sometimes you will encounter danger, this website will help you deal with some of these dangers.

Below you will find a list of items that you absolutely need to bring with you anytime you snowshoe out into the frozen wilderness.

Winter can be very dangerous and cruel, it can kill you or cripple you for life. But if you are prepared for what can (and will happen sooner or later) to any snowshoer you will get through it with no problem.

If you bring all the items on the list you will get through a cold winter night in the woods not just alive but also in pretty good shape. If you decide to skip some items you could very well die out there and they won't find your body until the spring thaw.

I'll be adding more info as time allows so please bookmark my site and check back once in a while.


Such as a swiss army knife or a Leatherman tool. You will need this to fix broken equipment, cut branches for a shelter, cut wood for a fire. This item will always be used and if you don't have at least a knife you might not make it.    

You will need this to suspend firewood in the air to have a fire to keep you warm. If the snow is deep you cannot make a fire directly on the snow. Bring at least 10 ft (or 3 meters) of wire, preferably stainless but regular will do fine too. If you are snowshoeing in an area that never has very deep snow you can skip this item. 
Make a screen with the wire and make sure it's anchored well on the snow or to nearby vegetation or rocks and make you fire on top of it.

Perfect for fixing a broken snowshoe or to fix supports around a broken leg. Even if you don't break your legs or your snowshoes duct tape will still come in handy for fixing pretty much anything.

Perfect emergency food. Very light weight and full of energy. In an emergency you just need lots of energy, don't worry so much about vitamins. Bring about 3 cups of rice per person per day you think you will spend in worst case.
To boil water to keep you warm and to cook rice to eat. If your pot has a lid it will heat water more efficiently.


You need to bring a stove, no question about it, your best source of heat will be drinking plenty of hot water and you need a stove to boil all that water, without a stove you're dead for sure. What ever you do, don't bring a propane stove or any type of stove that runs on gas or liquid fuel.  Gas and liquid stoves work fast and efficiently but they have a number of problems that only show up in cold temperatures, propane stoves sometimes simply don't ignite if it gets too cold, they also have moving parts and complex nozzles that can get jammed or clogged by ice. Relying on a propane or liquid fuel stove in the winter is suicide. You need a very simple wood stove with absolutely no moving parts such as the Trailstove (click for website). These types of stoves are slower to cook on than propane stoves but they ALWAYS work.

The trailstove is also a perfect heat beacon in case you need to be located by a rescue aircraft. Rescuers use infrared goggles to look for people from airplanes or helicopters, they look for heat emitting objects such as human bodies, if you have a burning trailstove they will see it much easier than a human body and you will have a better chance of getting rescued. 


Bring plenty of lighters and matches. Lighters are very small and light so bringing extra ones in case one doesn't work is a very good idea. Without means to make fire you will freeze to death. You can try to make fire like a caveman by spinning a stick against a piece of wood but that is a skill that takes practice to learn and if you don't already have that skill you'll freeze to death before you have it figured out.



You should build your igloo on a level surface where the snow is at least 3 feet deep. There should be enough hard snow for your igloo, if the surface snow is powdery there's probably hard packed snow a bit deeper. Large bumps on the surface of the snow it usually means that there is a large object below the snow such as a boulder or a large stomp, they can get in the way so it's better to pick as flat a spot as possible. Don't make your igloo bigger than it needs to be. Mark out in the snow where you plan to have the wall of your igloo.    


Cut out blocks from the area which will be the inside of the igloo. The lower blocks should be about 1 foot thick, 3 feet long and 1.5 feet high, the higher blocks should be about 6 inches thick, 2 feet long, and 1 foot high. If you size the blocks as I have said above you will need approximately the following number of blocks:

Sleeping 1 person, 6 feet inner diameter: 30 blocks
Sleeping 2 people, 7 feet inner diameter: 40 blocks
Sleeping 3-4 people, 9 feet inner diameter: 60 blocks

Don't worry if you think you'll have trouble fitting, once the igloo is finished you can carve out a bit of space for your feet from the inner wall.

The hole resulting from your cutting will be the floor in the igloo so you want a sleeping area for each person as high up as possible, a general purpose area that should be a bit lower to allow for mobility, and a deep entrance hole that extends outside of the igloo. The entrance hole should be as narrow as possible while still allowing you to get in and out without too much discomfort. The deep entrance hole will absorb the cold air and release it to the outside while the warm air will rise and stay trapped inside the dome.



Place your largest and widest blocks in a circle around the hole where you have been cutting out your blocks, the blocks should be tilted in towards the center. Start with the block that goes on top of the entrance hole, the whole entrance hole must be traversed by one single block with plenty of support on both sides. Cut the blocks so they form a spiral, make sure that the block covering the entrance hole is the largest block.   


Add blocks to the wall until you only have a small opening in the roof. Before you get to the point that it's hard to get in and out of the dome move any blocks not yet used to the inside of the dome so you can put them all up in one sweep from the inside.


When all the blocks are in place cut the final top piece to the right size. If you can wiggle it out from the inside and lower it down into position that's great, but if your hole is very circular this won't be possible, you'll have to put the block on top of the dome from the outside and then lower it down from the inside.



Fill any cracks with snow.

Make a little doorway over the entrance to keep snow out.

You have to make at least one air hole in the roof to ensure proper ventilation. Without good ventilation you could run out of oxygen, very dangerous.

Smoothen the inside of the dome to prevent water dripping.  

Your igloo is now ready to be lived in, check your air hole periodically to make sure it's not blocked. If you've done everything right you will be quite comfortable.


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