Winter shelters, igloos and quinzees

Wisdom and enthusiasm for all things northern was thick on the ground during my recent tobogganing trip to Maine, not only did we have of Garrett Conover and Alexandra Conover Bennett of North Woods Ways but also Ben McNutt and Willow Lohr of Woodsmoke Bushcraft.

Ben and Willow teaching Gary to ice the cake.

Meanwhile, inside, Gavin is completing a masterstroke

…fulfilling more than one long lived boyhood dream.

Pleased as punch the boys went on to spend a very comfortable night camped out in their igloo

…but not before I had laid my own proprietorial claim on the igloo with my best trapper pose.

And it didn’t stop with igloos – this is a another great shelter, a quinzee. It’s very simple, just a hollowed out pile of settled snow. The sticks you can see in the photo are the ingenuous bit, they are inserted all over the snow pile to a depth of 12 inches so that when you excavate the snow from the interior and you hit a stick, you can tell that the edges are near – simple.

Crawling inside the quinzee grotto, the light is ethereal

…and more importantly it’s very snug for a sheltered night’s kip. Brian on one of the two raised sleeping platforms, equipped with his euphemistic “liniment”, ushering on the drowsy mists of sleep.

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