How to build a snow fort

Do you live in a snowy environment that features a massive amount of snowfall each year? Or is the winter season right around the corner and you are getting ready for snot fort season? The winter season comes with much joy and fun, such as sledding and snowball fights, but one of the best memories I’ve ever made happens to be building a snow fort with my family. A snow fort can be constructed really fast if you gather a few buddies and work together at creating a massive wonderful fort built of snow and ice.

Probably the most important factor that requires some deep thought is deciding which kind of structure you are planning on developing. Depending on the type of snow, how much snow your area received, and how much help you can get should be considered. Would you like the snow fort to have a roof? Do you want the snow fort to be completely enclosed? There are many important engineering decisions you will have to make when building your fort from a material as special as snow. Some places have snow wet enough to stick and build a malleable fort.

Others require intense pressure and packing to form a suitable building block. Some children may even want to just find a large snow drift and tunnel into it. In fact, some of the best snow houses I’ve ever seen consist of a simple hole and basic room dug out from a snow drift that a plower pushed aside. Don’t forget to add in extra air holes to breath out of, since the lack of oxygen can produce a dangerous situation. I recommend combining all of these methods to come up with a great snow fort!

Snow fort ideas

When I was little, we perfected the best technique to start a snow fort. We lived in the center of the United States of America and it was quite common to have a wet snowfall. We found out that if you start with a small snowball and roll it on the ground like a snowman you can quickly manufacture very large snowballs at least 4 feet tall. First, we would roll up about 6 of these huge snow building blocks and place them in a circle around the designated area. This method works extremely well if you don’t have access to any building tools.

After you have built the base, start rolling up smaller balls to place on top of the base. Use wet snow as caulk to place in the holes. Finally, place some plywood or other flat material on the top as a ceiling. Cover the material with extra snow to make it look natural. Building a snow fort can be time consuming if you’re building it alone, so consider getting some friends, or some family members to help you. Gloves and waterproof clothing is a must when learning how to make the best snow fort. As soon as you have all the proper materials and help, you can get started on building your very own DIY snow hideout!

Rolling up a few huge snow balls can be a vigorous exercise too, so make sure you have sufficient food and stay hydrated! A simple tip is to use a shovel or other large flat surface to pack the outside hard. If you want to strengthen the structure and the temperature is below 32 degrees F, you can lightly douse the walls with water. Since the water will eventually freeze and become ice, your fort will gain exponential strength. Pouring too much water too fast can damage the building and possibly cause an integrity collapse, so be careful. You can use some cardboard or a flat piece of metal to smooth the outside and make the fort look aesthetically pleasing.

Airsoft wars

Probably one of the most fun activities I’ve ever engaged in was having an air soft war with snow forts. In total, the snow forts probably took about 2 hours to make. We started with two basic snow forts, and extended them to two large forts with 4 extra bases. Everyone on each team had a total of 6 guns and a box full of BBs. Also, safety first is extremely important, so everyone wore thick clothing and goggles. Trying to shoot someone 20 feet away with an airsoft rifle hiding behind a snow fort is quite the experience. Remember that if the wall isn’t thick enough, the BB will actually keep travelling right though, so we had to reinforce the snow walls with plenty of snow. By the end of the night, we had actually brought out buckets of water to pour over the forts. The idea behind this was that since the temperature was below freezing, the forts would absorb the water and become ice. After some hot cocoa and a good night’s rest, we woke up to find that our plan had worked. The forts were really hard, and every BB bounced right off.

Snow igloo building tools

Some of the best igloo building tools we came up with were actually homemade. You can purchase igloo boxes from most superstores during winter for around $20, but who wants to spend that? Instead, we created our own by welding together some spare metal. At first, cardboard was the first though, but eventually we found out that is not durable or rigid enough. This lead us to create homemade high quality snow fort building tools.

If you are looking for how to build an igloo, you’ve came to the right place. First, find a snow bucket, or some other container that you can pack snow into. I always used little storage tubs or lego boxes. Just about any plastic tub will do. Start by scooping snow up until you can’t pack any more into it. Then, with a glove on, pack the snow as dense as you can get it. Depending on the quality of the snow, you may only have dry snow, which is terrible for building igloos. The temperature has to be just right. It has to be warm enough for wet snow that is packable, but cold enough so the melted snow can freeze again. Once you have a box that is fully packet, tip it upside down and pat it on all sides until the snow block falls out. It may need some encouragement, or some poking with a stick, but it will eventually come out. If possible, try to build this igloo out of the sun, so it doesn’t melt during the day and will last longer.

Snow forts and food coloring are a great combination. If you decided to decorate your snow fort, take some food coloring and mix it with about a cup of water for a diluted solution. Pour this solution into an old spray bottle and spray directly onto the fort to make some awesome designs. Decorating your newly built snow creation is the best part! Actually, one of the coolest ideas every is to wait until it is very dark outside. Once the sun has gone down, find an LED flashlight or other light source. Place this colorful light source in the center of your igloo to check for holes and an awesome illuminated snow fort! Remember to opt for low power and efficient lights to reduce the heat generated and stray away from melting.

Always have someone outside with you when you are building a snow fort since cave ins can be very dangerous. If you are planning on adding a ceiling, ensure that there isn’t too much weight. When building a snow fort, much preparation must go into the safety of it. Also, avoid building snow forts and buildings near the road and highways since this creates problems in safety for the traffic. Carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate inside your fort, which can eventually lead to CO poisoning and possibly death. Building away from public places will also help with keeping your fort up longer. Teenagers that like vandalism might think it fun to knock over your fort and destroy it, just as they do pumpkins. Stray dogs or cats may might mess with it as well. If possible, keep your fort on private property.

Always remember to wear the proper clothing when building any structure. Don’t forget hats, gloves, coats, scarves, pants, and boots!

Snow fort pictures

Look at some of the snow fort pictures below to get an idea of some previously built snow forts and igloos!

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