Winter Backpacking


Sure, anyone winter backpacking can throw up a winter tent. They can also build a Quinzee or snow cave. Setting up large all weather tents, extreme tents, winter tents or snow tents are fine for some conditions, but they are certainly not a winter backpacking tent. They are often heavy and time consuming to set up. Not to mention these tents are often cold, noisy because they flap in the wind and can be pushed down with large amounts of overnight snowfall. Truthfully, even the best winter tent is going to be cold and uncomfortable.

Winter backpacking should be fun. Part of it being fun means it is safe and reasonably comfortable. You don’t want to freeze and cause yourself grief. There is also the peacefulness of winter camping in an igloo that cannot be duplicated. There is a visceral component to spending the night in an ancient snow habitat.Not to mention that the experience is unique in that it is very quiet and calm. The wind can be howling and you are safe and secure inside a dome of silence and calm.

Snow Camping

Don’t Let your Fear of the Cold Keep You From the Snow

Although the fear of the cold is enough to make most people stay inside their houses warm and cozy, these days, there seems to be a renewed interest in snow camping. Although it takes a while to convince first-timers to get out in the cold, snow camping—including igloo making—is one of the most exciting and worthwhile experience to add to your bucket list.

Why Camp in the Winter?

One of the biggest reasons for camping in the cold is experiencing nature at its most harsh and brutal. If you stand up to the challenge and brave the hard winter night in the wilds, it can be an exhilarating and life-altering experience.
Another great reason is the low cost of campsites, many of which are free during the snowy season. Additionally, you do not have to fight the crowds.
Isn’t Winter Camping Dangerous?
One major reason why people don’t enjoy camping in winters is the bitterly cold weather. Unlike animals, our bodies do not have natural wool or blubber to insulate us from the cold in sub-zero temperatures. Therefore, we run the risk of hypothermia if we are exposed to the elements. However, with a bit of preparation, snow camping can be just as fun, comfortable and exciting as summer camping.
…Which brings us to the tools.
Technology has improved a great deal since when Eskimos used to make igloos. The tools these days are much lighter which makes them easier to pack and haul. However, the cost of snow camping tools can be prohibitive for many who do not have the appropriate equipment already or are trying snow camping for the first time.
That’s not the case with the ICEBOX® igloo maker.
This innovative equipment makes a very merry-looking igloo in just two to three hours and weighs and cost much less than a four-season tent.

What Is The ICEBOX® Igloo Maker?

The ICEBOX® igloo maker is basically a plastic device for building the best kind of snow shelters — igloos. It consists of four plastic panels and an adjustable aluminum rod that comes with a spike. Instead of cutting out blocks of snow, the ICEBOX® igloo maker lets you pack snow into the mold to make your bricks. The rod is anchored to the center of the igloo and rotated on its axis to form layers of uniform, tightly-packed snow bricks. Its biggest advantage is that it can use any type of snow to form an igloo. This means you do not have to go to the added hassle of digging deep into the snow to get to the denser snow beneath. The ICEBOX® igloo maker can do the trick for you.
The ICEBOX® igloo maker weighs about 2.2 kg, which is about the weight of a single-person tent. But since a group of people can share the igloo, the equipment weight is lighter, collectively. At just $189.95, the ICEBOX® igloo maker costs less than half the amount of some four-season tents.
Why an Igloo?
There can be no doubt in the mind of those who love the ice and snow that an igloo is far superior to a tent. They are immune to the stiffest wind, are much warmer, and can be made much bigger than a tent.
Additionally, there is an excitement factor in spending the night in an igloo as well. What makes igloos so amazing is the wonderful and profound silence produced by the snow. All sounds are completely hushed and you can snuggle into your bed for a well-deserved rest.
Unlike tents, igloos also retain body heat or the heat of whatever you choose to light inside the igloo. As a result, you wake up with toasty warm toes — even when there has been snowfall outside!

The ICEBOX® Igloo Maker Gives You License to Chill

There is a reason why winter camping is fast becoming a favorite activity. It is fun, less expensive (but more exciting), and you will have experiences that summer campers never have. Next time you think about taking your family to an outdoor camping trip, check the igloo making box as well. That will give you some great pictures for Instagram.

Igloos Make the Best Winter Tent


So, your interest has been piqued and you want to know everything there is to know about building an igloo? Welcome friend! You’ve come to the right place and we’re happy to have you join us on this journey.

Winter camping and ultimately igloo construction needs passion, skill and an adventurous spirit. And just like you, when Ed Huesers started out, he had all three too. Igloo Ed’s love for building igloos has sent him on many an adventurous journey where he has made some impeccable igloos. Are you ready to join him and take on this incredible winter skill too? All you need is an ICEBOX® igloo maker and you will be on your way.

For centuries, the Inuit have built igloos for shelter from the harsh elements of the Arctic. You can do the same and so much more! Thanks to Igloo Ed’s ICEBOX® igloo maker technology, igloos can be used as:

  1. A safe and warm wilderness snow shelter for adventurers
  2. A fun winter camping project for families
  3. A unique location for hosting events with a large groups of friends
  4. A team building activity with co-workers
  5. With the ICEBOX® igloo maker, you can now leave your bulky cold tent at home and build a durable, as big-as-you-want warm igloo for cozy and fun winter outings.

Igloos Make the Best Winter Tent: 3 Reasons Why

Stable Structure: Unlike winter tents that flap around and may even be blown away by strong winds: igloos don’t budge or become uprooted. That’s because they are supported by a stable catenary curve. This ensures that the blocks of snow do not collapse in on themselves. In fact, Igloo Ed is so confident in their strength, that he claims that igloos made with the ICEBOX® igloo maker are strong enough to support the weight of three people! Even though building an igloo takes longer than setting up a winter tent, it lasts much longer too. An igloo built out in the open can last for several weeks. An igloo built near the shelter of the trees, away from direct sunlight, can last for an entire season.

Warmth: Tightly packed snow is filled with air. This trapped air serves as a great insulator and is definitely not something a winter tent can do. It’s true! Igloos are warmer than tents! Want to know more? Check out this fun video that explains the science behind how an igloo keeps you warm. The inside of an igloo can reach as high as 40 degrees, sometimes even more. Compared to this, winter tents are only 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Not to mention how the temperature drops if you open the flap and the cold air rushes in!

Space: Since an igloo is shaped like a dome, it has more space than many winter tents to stow your gear. It can also pack in more people than a tent can. The ICEBOX™ igloo maker is capable of creating an overnight winter shelter for a large group of people in just 1.5 to 3 hours (for experienced builders in ideal snow conditions. Expect 7+ hours for your first igloos). The ICEBOX® igloo maker can make igloos of varying sizes with the help of an adjustable pole, which can give you a maximum space of 95 square feet. For added comfort, dig a trough across the igloo to allow you to sit with your legs hanging instead of cross-legged style. An igloo is also big enough for a person to stand up and stretch. Another feature that many tents don’t have!

There are so many practical reasons to opt for an igloo rather than a winter tent. Stability, warmth and extra space are all logical choices to do so. Plus the sense of adventure and survival that come with camping in an igloo. It’s knowing that you have created shelter for yourself and your group with your own hands. It’s the confidence of being able to survive in the wilderness, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. The ICEBOX® Igloo Tool assures setting up a winter base camp is easy and durable in any weather. Great for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, camping in the snow or snow fort fun in the backyard with family. Winter camping in an igloo is just plain fun.

With so many ways to use an igloo, what are we waiting for? Let’s learn how it’s done! Check out our how to build an igloo page for an in depth breakdown of the steps.

Advantages of an igloo vs snow caves, quinzees or winter tents


Why ICEBOX® Igloos Make the Best Winter Shelter for Backcountry or Backyard Snow Camping

You may already know the advantages of snow camping but if not, you may be missing an exhilarating and visceral experience. No noise, no
crowds, the incredible beauty of the winter landscape, and the peace and serenity of nature are nearly overwhelming.

At first, many people scoff at the idea of spending a night camping in an igloo. It might seem like a far-fetched, outdated idea. However,
with a little research we learn that there is a very good reason why the Inuit have been building them for centuries. It’s not because they didn’t have any other options. It’s because igloos are actually the best option for a warm, winter shelter! Far better in fact than any snow tent you can find. Plus, there is really nothing quite like camping in an igloo in a picturesque winter landscape.

These facts were recognized by Ed Huesers (Igloo Ed) in 1975 when he moved to Colorado. Years of winter camping had taught him that real snow shelters were warmer, stronger, and quieter than other tents designed for winter snow camping. However, since snow caves could only be built in places with deep snow, his choices for snow shelters were limited.

That’s when he thought of building an igloo and created the ICEBOX® Igloo Tool. The ICEBOX® Igloo Block Building Tool gives a new and fun way to experience winter camping. Since igloo camping is rooted in ancient traditional winter lifestyles, just the nostalgia alone can make it a fun winter snow adventure whether you are building a primary shelter for backcountry winter camping with friends or using it as an awesome toy for backyard snow camping fun with your kids.

Advantages of Building an Icebox Igloo vs a Snow Cave or Quinzee

The ICEBOX® built igloo for winter camping is easier than building snow caves or quinzees in snow country. It may not turn you into a winter survivalist but an Igloo is a superior alternative to building snow caves or quinzees. The three most beneficial aspects of building igloos using the ICEBOX® Igloo Tool over the dogged shoveling involved with building snow caves are work, work, and work. It takes 50% or less time and effort using the ICEBOX® to build a snow shelter. An igloo can be left in place for the winter camping season. It is much easier to find when you want to return during the season. It is much less resource and physically taxing to set up your season-long winter camp.

Don’t Bust Your Hump Building A Snow Shelter

The effort required to build snow caves or quinzees expends calories causing fatigue and sweat. While a person’s internal body temperature heats up from the exertion inside a cave or quinzee, external skin gets cold and damp from the wetness of sweat and melting snow. This moisture easily soaks into gloves and coats making the cold unbearable. People digging out a snow cave quickly become uncomfortable and tired. Maybe even close to hypothermia as they fluctuate back and forth between being hot from digging to standing around and freezing while taking a breather. A good thing to do in this situation is to wear Gore-Tex clothing and take care to stay as dry as possible.

With snow flying and dripping, you are going to get wet, So a better thing to do is to avoid this situation altogether. Enter the ICEBOX®. Building the ICEBOX® igloo takes less time, less energy, and you won’t be fatigued when you’re done. Indeed, you’ll still have plenty of stamina (and probably daylight) left to organize the camp, cook, and set up your sleeping bags. The igloos make for a very enjoyable evening.

ICEBOX® igloo shelter blocks are built in sequence on the wall meaning you are only handling the snow once. The igloo blocks are built in place. The builder is able to kneel or stand rather than lying down or kneeling like a snow caver. Kneeling is only required for the first row.

When building an ICEBOX® igloo for snow camping or as a snow shelter, you’ll be outside the entire time, until the very last block. Your body heat is cooled by the outside temperature and stays cool while falling snow isn’t melting onto the top of your head. So your winter camping trip doesn’t become winter survival, buy an ICEBOX® Tool, it’s the cooler way.

Igloos Are Physically and Environmentally Friendly

Prime real estate is not always easy to come by when scouting out a spot for a snow cave. The snow isn’t always deep enough and drifts aren’t always in the most desirable of places. Snow caves built into drifts are smack dab in the middle of nature’s vengeful path. The word “drift” brings up images of wind, and that wind isn’t going to cease just because there’s a new hole in the snow. The wind will still blow, will seek entrance into your snow cave sanctuary, and has predetermined that where you decided to make your home for awhile is where it will continue to stack up more snow and attempt to bury you and your efforts.

Picking Your Spot

Do the words winter survival come to mind? Snow cave doors and vent holes will also pile up with new snow, snow will continue to invade and penetrate, and you’ll probably get all grouchy again. But not as grouchy as if some unsuspecting passerby or fellow camper walks over the top of your snow cave and, quite literally, drops in on you. Not so with an ICEBOX® igloo. It’s above ground, wherever you want to put it, and highly visible. So pick yourself some prime real estate. A nice calm spot. A sunny exposure. A scenic view. Freedom of choice, yet another ICEBOX® advantage.

See The Light

Snow caves can become like an earthly black hole, blocking available light and zapping your energy, making you feel like a human collapsing star. Inside an ICEBOX® igloo, you’ll see the light. The snow used to fill the ICEBOX® Tool, whatever type, is re-mixed, making it airtight and creating a strong bond. It’s brighter inside because the igloo walls are thinner, allowing light through, in contrast to the snow cave’s black hole effect. Even full moonlight can penetrate an ICEBOX® igloo. The benefit of this additional light is a saving of valuable candle and flashlight resources. It’s warmer, too, because with the airtight bond, cold air doesn’t seep through the snow crystals like it would in a snow cave. You won’t have to sleep with your water bottle as your bed mate to prevent it from freezing. See the light. Feel the warmth. Fill the ICEBOX®

Advantages of Backpacking with the ICEBOX Igloo Tool vs a Winter Tent

The ICEBOX® igloo maker weighs just 2.3 kg, which is much lighter than a 4-season tent. Since one ICEBOX® igloo maker can create a shelter that houses multiple people, it actually helps save weight while traveling.

Backpacking with the tool is simple because of the packable design and the supplied straps and buckles. It’s also a fraction of the cost of a winter tent. Enjoy quiet, peaceful camping with no flapping in the wind like a tent.


Winter camping should be fun. Part of it being fun means it is safe and reasonably comfortable. You don’t want to freeze and cause yourself grief. There is also the peacefulness of winter camping in an igloo that cannot be duplicated. There is a visceral component to spending the night in an ancient snow habitat. Not to mention that the experience is unique in that it is very quiet and calm. The wind can be howling and you are safe and secure inside a dome of silence and calm.

Replace your Cold Winter Tents and Build an Igloo Instead


An igloo is warmer than a winter tent and a fun project to learn – they will replace your favorite winter tent! Igloos are reliable and warmer than a large all weather tent.

ICEBOX® Igloo Tool | Backpacking | Extreme Tent Camping