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Thread: My Igloo in England!

  1. #1
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    Default My Igloo in England!

    Just finished making my very own Igloo! Inly about 4 or 5 inches of snow on the ground but i piled it up and then compacted it with a shovel, then let the snow settle and re-freeze for about 30mins or so. I could then cut blocks from this pile of snow with a hand saw. Hope you like the story of pics...



















    Jon's Bushcraft Site
    www.jonsbushcraft.com

  2. #2
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    Absolutely fantastic
    May your knees never fold the same way as an ostriches ankles.

  3. #3
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    Thats spot on Jon, looks like fun to build, are you going to sleep in it?

  4. #4
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    Cool, if only we had enough snow down here
    Al Me Blog Thingy

    Do not mess with the forces of Nature , for thou art small and biodegradable!

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    Great stuff Jon .

    Pete.

  6. #6
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    Nice size.

    It would help to plug the holes inside and out with virgin snow, block the entrance with you inside and keep the candles lit. When the inside starts melting kick open the door quickly and the snow inside should freeze to ice. Candle use won't then melt it.

    I would imagine most of the breeze is kept out by the construction in any case. Must have took some time to do that. Congrats.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not Happy.

  7. #7
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    Default

    brilliant. thanks for sharing
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

  8. #8

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    Nice one!!!
    I always thought we had the wrong sort of snow.

    I want to make one now...
    Tom - I'm a country member...

  9. #9
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    Default

    Well done that man

  10. #10
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    Default Great

    WOW ! 10/10
    cheers Danny
    Out here at the Perimeter there are no Stars
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the compliments! Its amazing what you can do in this country if you are determined. Before finishing the Igloo i was putting the cap stone on top and it was so heavy and i fell against the structure and destroyed half of it. I had to rebuild half of the structure all over again! Putting the last block on top was hard to do and i ended up making about 4 cap blocks in the end to get it right. Once i had rebuilt the Igloo it was stronger than before.
    Jon's Bushcraft Site
    www.jonsbushcraft.com

  12. #12
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    Well done Jon! That igloo looks great mate
    My blog

    Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity, so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.

  13. #13
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    Excellent Really brilliant achievement on your own

    We built one, when the snow fell over a metre deep, back in the eighties, I didn't even think since then that the snow could be piled up and compacted to give enough depth

    atb,
    Toddy
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  14. #14
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    THat looks so cosy , its been ages since I made an igloo, perhaps I should have another go.
    Well done you
    Scars are just memories of what we have SURVIVED

  15. #15

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    thats fab,well done. we need more snow. i want to give that a go

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by widu13 View Post
    Nice size.

    It would help to plug the holes inside and out with virgin snow, block the entrance with you inside and keep the candles lit. When the inside starts melting kick open the door quickly and the snow inside should freeze to ice. Candle use won't then melt it.

    I would imagine most of the breeze is kept out by the construction in any case. Must have took some time to do that. Congrats.
    Does an ice layer not then act counterproductively ? Stopping the insulating properties of the snow ? and just acting like a cold box ?
    I thought that was one reason not to heat them up very much since you don't want the snow to melt into ice
    Happy to be proved wrong, now I'm curious

    cheers,
    Toddy
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  17. #17
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    Fabulous work Jon, and great pictures to match. I think you not only must be a good builder but it takes a bit of artistic talent to pull this off.

    Fyi:

    I believe the Inuit leave a small hole in the top to let the smoke of cooking out and to let out excess heat and some fresh air in. They stick some dried grass in the hole, rather loosely. They never seal the igloo completely. On one side they build a small snow shelf for cooking on. Eskimo stoves are kind of cool and very simple.

    On the other side they build up a snow shelf big enough to sit/sleep on. Remember that cold air falls to the floor, so just raising your bed a foot or two puts you into a considerably warmer layer of air.

    Disclaimer: I have no first hand experience with igloo building or living but I read this somewhere. I believe it was in "The Book of the Eskimo." The author's name escapes me but I want to say Peter Freuchen (?) It is an old book and it is a classic of the far north.
    In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

    --- John Muir

  18. #18
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    Really fantastic, well done!
    "When it rains, we get a little wet, and when the sun shines, we get a little hot"

  19. #19
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    Fantastic Jon
    Rich



  20. #20
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    Very well done.

  21. #21

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    Now thats unreal

  22. #22
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    I would just like to add that I think that this is an absolutely magnificient achievement that most of us would feel positively chuffed about making... well done, and great post.

    Shankly

  23. #23
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    Jon,

    Excellent effort. What a great way to spend a day.

    My wife and I are sat in front of the fire and she, not a massive bushcrafter, was well impressed with your efforts and wanted me to say well done.

    Great to see people rising up to the great weather we are having at the moment.

    Lovin it!

    Barry

  24. #24
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    Well done that man! Well done! As you say, goes to show what you can do if you really try, or more simply put, if you get off yer behooky and attempt it!

    Cheers,
    "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?"

  25. #25
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    Give that man a cigar!!


    Well done Jon.

  26. #26
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    well done that man

  27. #27
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    Superb, you've done an excellent job there

    Might I offer some advice which will hopefully make things easier on your next build, I notice that you appear to have left out a block on the first row to form the door?

    rather than leaving out at block on the first row, which severely weakens the load bearing potential of the subsequent rows, construction of the door is best left until the walls of the iglu reach a height that you can no longer swing your leg over to step inside, at which point you simply choose the location for the door and cut it out with the saw, a door with an arched top is obviously the strongest structurally.

    Before finishing the Igloo i was putting the cap stone on top and it was so heavy and i fell against the structure and destroyed half of it.
    from the looks of your pictures, you would have benefited from one more row of blocks before fitting the cap, this final row appears to defy gravity as the tilt of the blocks is disturbingly counterintuitive, but they will hold if trimmed and aligned correctly; the final 'cap' block will then be much smaller and subsequently lighter, this final block is fitted in place from the inside (as with all the other blocks) by tuning it end on, passing it though the hole from inside and then turning it horizontal before dropping it gently in place.

    This doesnít really make sense in writing so here is a photo sequence:

    passing the block out from the inside:


    Rotate into place and lower:


    Trim with a saw from the inside until all sides sit flush:


    Finished:


    I assume your Iglu is still standing and you have had the opportunity to try spending a night in it, if so you could now make an addition and experience the benefits of having a raised sleeping platform inside, which i notice is absent from your photographs.

    A raised platform allows you to sleep near the roof where the warmer air collects and provides a lower level for the cold air to fall away into, making the shelter considerably more comfortable.

    Build it opposite the door, wide enough to comfortably sleep on, and high enough that you can sit on its edge like bench without the crown of your head touching ceiling when sitting with your legs over the side and your head dipped forward a little. This puts you high enough to benefit from the warmer air, whilst allowing you to sit up to organise your equipment without dislodging frost for the ceiling, which would otherwise melt on your bedding:



    This is a quinzee rather than an Iglu, but it gives a better idea as to the optimum dimensions for a sleeping platform (also, note the candle arrangement):


    Once built Iglus are exceptionally strong:


    A group of use are off to Canada in March to visit Mors and amongst other things practice building Iglus and other snow shelters under his expert instruction, would you like to join us? Iíll PM you with the details
    Last edited by Stuart; 10-01-2010 at 13:05.
    Success is not measured by what you have, but by what you can do without.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    Does an ice layer not then act counterproductively ? Stopping the insulating properties of the snow ? and just acting like a cold box ?
    I thought that was one reason not to heat them up very much since you don't want the snow to melt into ice
    Happy to be proved wrong, now I'm curious

    cheers,
    Toddy
    Normally Toddy a hole is left in the ceiling for smoke and condensation to escape. The ice inside seals the cracks. The Norwegian Army instructor told us (back in the mid 80s) that the proficient can build one single handed with exact fitting blocks in 30 mins. It took 4 of us about 4 hrs! An igloo is intended to be a semi long term affair and not overnighting or survival.

    Incidentally, he believed the quickest shelter was a snow bank dug out. No carrying of snow, no cutting, no aligning/fitting, just dig out, do admin then sleep.

    I know how difficult igloo building is (but I'm definitely no expert) and Jon has done a fantastic job.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not Happy.

  29. #29
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    WOW!!! mate well done give yourself a pat on the back from me

    Is this your first IGloo?
    Have a happy life with no regrets, and live long enough to be a burden to your kids.

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