Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quinzee Winter Camping

When I grew up in a normal winter we'd get 100+ inches of snow in a season. As kids we knew exactly what to do with it: Go skiing, sledding, have snow ball fights...,and of course, build snow forts!

With snow falling continually over the last 3 days amounting to over a foot of snow, I decided that a snow fort would be in line. To add to the fun I'd sleep in it over night. So I built what is called a "Quinzee". It's not an igloo, because they are made of blocks of ice or snow. A "Quinzee" is built just like the forts of my youth. You shovel a huge mound of snow, let the snow set up, then you dig in and hollow the inside out. So I created a 3 person "Quinzee" in the woods nearby.

The next night, at 9 o'clock my 2 buddies and I met at the quinzee, sleeping bags in hand, and well dressed. We set up: put a tarp and sleeping pads down, slid inside, and zipped ourselves in our sleeping bags. We had carved a hole in the ceiling for ventilation (you can suffocate if there isn't proper air flow). The snow insulated very well, and I was very warm in my sleeping bag all night. The one infraction to my sleep was that they're wasn't much room to move with three of us in there...but I eventually fell asleep.

I awoke a 5:50 am to a cell phone alarm, and looked around. The inside of the Quinzee had melted about a quarter inch which looked to have fell as condensation, making the outside of my sleeping bag wet. One friend was wet and cold in his bag. Now getting dressed in the cold dampness with probably my least favorite part of this adventure...but it was a necessary evil. I emerged from the Quinzee to find a beautiful blanket of 3 inches of powder outside. I packed up and walked the mile back to the car with a bit of a smile as a tired expression of contentment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a Grade 12 student and my life lines class is going on a five day camping trip, on this trip we will have to build and sleep in a Quinzee for four nights! I have been researching them to see what it will be like, and I must say your story is not very comforting, haha. especially because me and one of my friends who I will be spending the night with are both 300 plus pound football players! hopefully we will be able to fit. haha