| Tech |

The Icebox: Gear you want but don't need

Based in Longmont, Grand Shelters is a company of snow-cave-makers who make snow-cave-making tools. The company's Icebox is one of the few igloo-building tools on the market.

After hiking/skiing/snowshoeing to your chosen campsite, you just plop the stake into the snow at your future igloo's center, and the attached pole makes for a perfectly circular footprint for the structure. Attached to the end of the pole is the box part of the Icebox, which looks something like a Trapper Keeper and molds dense bricks out of fluffy snow.

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Not only does the tool -- which costs about $170 -- make for a much prettier-snow cave, it also speeds up the construction process considerably. And the resulting igloos are semi-permanent:

The company's website

touts snow structures that stood for three months. Grand Shelters also makes Velcro-based snow shelter doors for keeping the cold out and the warm in.

Here's a pic of the finished product with the door in place in time for dusk:

Made by Grand Shelters, Longmont. Available online at www.grandshelters.com.

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