Backyard Winter Survival Fun
This was a post from the great winter we had in 2014 when we were blessed with ongoing snow throughout much of the year. Here is what can happen when some kids get bored of video games.
Snow Provides the Fun
The day after Christmas yielded our first significant snowfall. About six inches fell overnight and blanketed the northern Detroit suburbs. We were playing host to four college age young men and two senior high boys who were sick of playing video games. The chatter and talk of the evening was focused on the fun time when they were young and the snow shelters that they made hiking the Chief Pontiac Trail. As they got older the size of these shelters grew and sometimes they dragged sleeping bags and candles to spend the winter night. Later that evening the older boys trooped out to the back yard and started mounding snow. It was dark and getting late so I went off to bed while this group worked away in the snow storm.
The next morning showed the results of their work. A ten foot mound of snow was settling in the bright morning sun. It was an impressive site. The boys built the start of a quinzee. It’s a basic shelter made by hollowing out a big pile of snow that has been allowed to settle and harden. They can take several hours to build, but are an effective way to stay warm when camping in the winter. A quinzee shelter is warmer than any four season tent.
All the Comforts of Home
In the late afternoon Evan, Peter, Matt, Tim, Ian and Austin finished the project. They ran power out to the snow dome quinzee for music, Christmas lights and laptop access from the multitude of unsecure Wi-Fi networks in our neighborhood. They lined the base of the shelter with tarp then wool blankets and sleeping bags. It was comfortable and warm. The entrance was blocked with a couple of sleds.
The Scouting Magazine Boys Life offers a great outline of how to build one.