I recently wrote an article for the About.com Survival Skills website titled “How to Build a Snow Trench Shelter,” and I wanted to offer more information here about snow trench variations; I’ve also included a video link to a nice snow trench tour.
First of all, if you need to build a snow trench when the snow isn’t deep enough, you can shovel snow off of the ground into a big mound and then build the trench, as this person does here:
Some nice hints from the above snow trench construction include: first, shoveling the snow into a mound deep enough for a trench shelter (about three feet deep); letting the snow pile sit in the sun for a while so that it consolidates; digging the trench into the snow pile after it has consolidated; using sticks, branches, a tarp, and more snow for a nice insulated roof.
For a tour of a more traditional snow trench that’s built by digging directly into the snow, see this video:
Notice that a snow trench should be tight; the smaller the snow shelter, the warmer it is to heat up with your body heat. Claustrophobic? This isn’t the kind of shelter you’d like to hang out in for multiple days or nights, but it will keep you alive in an emergency or survival situation.
Want more details about how to build your own?
See my article on the About.com Survival Skills website:
“How to Build a Snow Trench Shelter”
If you’re lost on a winter hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing journey, then knowing how to build a snow trench can be an important survival skill. Perhaps it’s getting dark, and you or someone in your group becomes injured, but you need to rest or sleep for the night…click here to continue reading…