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Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

The process itself is deceptively simple: Create the biggest, most compact pile of snow you possibly can in the middle of your work area. (The pile above is six feet tall._ And make sure you pack it down as much as you can, so your cave will be sturdy.

Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

Then dig out an entryway, tunneling toward the middle of your pile.

Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

Finally, hollow out an area where you can sit. Or lounge. Whatever.  

Me in my first snow cave, aglow with accomplishment.
Me in my first snow cave, aglow with accomplishment.

Then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Some tips and pointers:

Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

The above is what happens when your walls are too thin. Make sure your pile of snow is as giant as it can possibly be, and build the cave during the day -- you'll be able to see the sun through the walls when you're getting close. For that reason, snow caves are most easily built the day after a big storm.

It's usually most efficient for one person to tunnel at a time, while the other person acts as a backhoe, removing the snow as you dig.

Snow day activity: Build a snow cave!

Dogs can be coaxed into snow caves if you make the entryway big enough.

BE SAFE WITH YOUR SNOW CAVES. We can't stress this enough. You need at least one other person on hand at all times while you're digging. If you pack the snow down enough, then the cave should not collapse on you while you dig -- but be alert to the possibility and never leave a digger alone. Got it?

Have fun!

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