Appalachian Trail winter skill…building a quinzee snow shelter


Exterior of a quinzhee facing the entrance.

Exterior of a quinzhee facing the entrance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a three-season hiker and backpacker when on the Appalachian Trail.  That said, I’m always conscious that during any season at high elevations weather conditions may reshape into a survival situation with alarming rapidity.

As the first snowfall blankets New England, I’m reminded of a useful winter wilderness skill I learned some years ago: building a “quinzee” (also, “quinzhee” – from the Athabaskan) or snow-hut.  In constructing this emergency shelter I found it to be easier than any other type I’ve tried.

When you’re out with the kids making snowmen, consider adding this to your skill set.  Even if you never need to make one in under emergency conditions, you will find it fun for backyard overnight camping forays or winter weekend getaways in the woods.

The following link gives clear directions on how to build one.

Quinzee Shelter.

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Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, The Appalachian Trail, Timothy J. Hodges, Writing

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