Icebox

The Icebox tool lets you build an igloo out of any type snow. I made 4 igloos last winter – all with different types of snow: one with heavy, wet, “packing” snow, two with new powder, and one with “sugar snow” – ice crystals that pour like white sugar. No problems. But this is definitely not a kid’s toy. You need to shovel snow fairly high — the 8 foot diameter igloos that I’ve made stand about 8 feet tall when completed. It took me (and a helper), approximately 4 hours to build each igloo. The whole igloo is free standing. The post device is used during construction to assure a circular igloo and to properly position the blocks. It works fine, although I did need to take my gloves off to extend and shorten the pole. The only difficulty that I’ve had is properly angling the first course of blocks — if you don’t get the box lined up properly, you have difficulty aligning the second course of blocks.

I’m not into winter camping but the system does fold up and pack. It weighs two kilos. The guy that introduced me to the Icebox has used it for camping in the Adirondack mountains. The igloos are really quiet inside, and noticeably warmer than being outside. If you want to make igloos, this is an awesome cool (no pun intended) tool.

-- Tom Connors  

Icebox
$180
Includes tutorial video
Available from Grand Shelters