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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

Quinzey Backyard
Start with a big pile of snow

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 Results

Winter Survival
Dig Out Your Space

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

Winter Survival
Stay Dry, Vent Your Space

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 unsecured 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.

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The Scouting Magazine Boys Life offers a great outline of how to build one.


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Mike Hardy

Author of a fun loving and event blog covering topics of the Upper Thumb of Michigan , the wind energy capital of the Great Lakes. Offering great trove of information on Wind Energy, Cheeseburger in Caseville, Saginaw Bay, Sailing.

4 Responses

  1. Looks like so much fun!

  2. Angelica says:

    Wow, it looks cold! Those guys are tough cookies! I plan to move to a colder area soon, so I’m trying to learn about how to deal with snowstorms and build snow shelters. Thanks for the link!

  1. March 18, 2017

    […] Cold weather storms this time of year can be mild (lasting several hours), or severe (lasting several days, with strong winds and very low temperatures). Knowing how to prepare for these events is important for your safety and the safety of your family. Here are a few things you can do to be ready for inclement weather if you live in a cold climate like Michigan. […]

  2. December 6, 2018

    […] Cold weather storms this time of year can be mild (lasting several hours), or severe (lasting several days, with strong winds and very low temperatures). Knowing how to prepare for these events is important for your safety and the safety of your family. Here are a few things you can do to be ready for inclement weather if you live in a cold climate like Michigan. […]

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