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Trail Tip 20: A Quick Snow Shelter


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Aaron Zagrodnick

When hiking and backpacking in the winter, having the knowledge and preparation to easily build a safe snow shelter is an essential skill. Some people even prefer snow shelters over tents during the winter because they are quieter and warmer than even the best 4 season tents on the market, which can be very pricey too. Even for people that do not plan on spending any overnights in the backcountry during the winter, knowing how to quickly construct a solid snow shelter is a good survival skill to have in case something unexpected happens…

Ted Ehrlich details his favorite method for building a quick snow shelter in the backcountry, check it out in Issue 20:

Snow Shelters

How to Build a Quick / Emergency Snow Shelter in the Backcountry

Issue 20 Page 1

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Hey there- still working my way through issue 20- but a quick "tip on a tip"

Awesome tip- just to add it- a little trench at the perimeter to drop the tarp edge into really snugs up this style of shelter nicely. Nothing against the improvised stakes though;)

You can also use your pack liner (trash compactor bag) to make a "plug" if you need/want a door.

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tmountainnut

Hey there- still working my way through issue 20- but a quick "tip on a tip"

Awesome tip- just to add it- a little trench at the perimeter to drop the tarp edge into really snugs up this style of shelter nicely. Nothing against the improvised stakes though;)

You can also use your pack liner (trash compactor bag) to make a "plug" if you need/want a door.

I personally would just jam my pack in the opening as my door and use the pack liner (if i had one) for a ground sheet.

I like the trench idea to seal in the tarp. I was more aiming for showing how to do it quick and clean for an emergency shelter, vs how to make it more comfortable and semi-permanent. I mentioned using smaller twigs and branches along the perimeter of the tarp to essentially damn the snow , holding it so it'll stay on top of the slippery tarp material. That's how I've always done it in the past to seal the edges.

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