Drawing from a lifetime of snow experience, two Inuit men in Canada’s Far North find a site full of hard-packed snow for their igloo, or iglu in Inuit. To insulate and protect against wind and cold, a quick, overnight snow shelter can be built by an experienced person in just 40 minutes, or as many as two days might be spent perfecting a longer-term, family-size structure.
The igloo above takes around 90 minutes to build. Cutting out thick snow blocks with large knives, their only tool, the two men construct a compact spiral wall that is shaped to slope upwards, eventually leading to a keystone piece at the very top. Their years of practice makes it look easy.
Presented by the National Film Board of Canada, enjoy this 1949 classic film by director Douglas Wilkinson: How To Build an Igloo.
Related videos: more shelters, more construction, and more snow, including traveling through Greenland on a dog sled.
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