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Old 01-03-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
Check out the Icebox igloo maker! Any thoughts?

The icebox igloo maker looks pretty cool. It's easier than a snow cave, I think.

Any thoughts/opinions on it?

More info at http://www.grandshelters.com . The guy who makes them is in Fort collins.

Good description of the building process is at http://johanna.wandel.ca/igloo/


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Old 01-03-2005   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 23
My experience with the icebox has been less than ideal. I’ve had the contraption for around 6 years and have only finished off 1 igloo (I’ll admit that’s with only 4 attempts). The good news is I did use that 1 igloo for over 5 weeks before abandonment. The problem with the unit is it has a large learning curve, one I’m obviously not very willing to deal with. The general issue for me is I can get it built to chest height but beyond that the structure becomes unstable and progress is slowed dramatically (snow conditions can make a big difference). Add on top of that the few hours you’ve spent building, the cold wet hands, diminishing light, severe hunger and the desire to throw a tarp over the top and forget about it is too much for me (obviously better planning would do me a lot of good). The good news is when you come back a week later the chest high portion is rock solid and finishing the remaining portion is a bit easier.

If you manage to stick it out the finished product is great. The igloo is very warm (relative to a tent) and will provide for great winter camping (use of a paco pad is highly recommended for near the car applications). But the effort vs. reward has proven to be too great for me to use it much. Oddly enough I was thinking about taking it out sometime soon for another attempt. If you’re in the Denver area and want to see it in action (i.e. provide some of the manual labor) drop me a line (bledoux at email.com). Or if you want to borrow / rent for a weekend I’m sure we could work something out.


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Old 01-03-2005   #3
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
brian, when the last blizzard came and i was bored with no work, i did a few minutes of internet research and built one, took about 5 hrs and was 7 ft cir.(inside) and 6.5ish feet at the ceiling. i stomped/jumped the snow down making about 9-10inches of block material, fairly solid, but that was a real wet snow. i cut out the blocks with a machete and peeled them off the grass. i was up about face high and things were getting tough. i got help from amber and with ease we finished her out. having someone on the inside while stacking thast last 10-15 crucial blocks seemed to be the key. so much easier than while i was trying myself and running in and out trying to do a balancing act against gravity with the blocks. anyway, i slept in it a couple nights real cozy like, and then the blasted sun melted the poor thing. amazing how still the air was in there. so, i'd like to see the fruits of my labor last a little longer and where i dont have to stomp all that snow lets go build one if you have a good spot. give a call and say when. z[/img]
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