How to Make a Snow Pit

In the winter time, it’s a waste of energy to dig through a layer of snow trying to get to the debris and build a leaf hut. A more practical solution in the colder months would be a snow shelter, or a snow pit.

Here’s how to make one:

  1. Choose a good location near your materials and start digging a pit. The shape doesn’t matter, but some prefer rectangular pits because they are easier to cover.
  2. Rather than trying to carry armloads of snow, try to kick it out because it is very important to stay as dry as possible.
  3. If possible, dig all the way to the ground, leaving enough space for bedding and enough room to prop up on an elbow. The best depth for a snow pit is approximately four feet, or deeper if you plan on building a small fire for warmth.
  4. On the bottom, spread out at least six inches of leaves everywhere except the fire area.
  5. Create a roof over your snow pit using a thick layer of branches, and cover this with snow. Plan for an air vent through the brush and snow.
  6. Create a tunnel on one side of the shelter, and fill it with as much insulating material as you can collect.
  7. Plug the door with a block of snow and rest for the night, away from the wind and cold winter air.

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