Monday, March 20th, 2006
We finally got some snow accumulation in Minneapolis last week, so I decided to build a quinzie (snow cave) in my back yard. I'd built them as a kid, but never slept in one. So, I decided to try it Saturday night. As I expected, it was quite pleasant. The snow is great insulation from the noise and wind outside. It's roomy
the size of a 2-3 person tent, so I didn't feel claustrophobic in the least.
After, I dragged all my overnight gear inside, I blew up my insulated sleeping pad and got my sleeping bag and bivy sack situated as to create a warm place to sit and recline. Then, I prepared some food with my butane canister stove, brewed some tea, and laid back with a copy of Let my people go surfing' by Yvon Chouinard, the founder and owner of Patagonia. A good bowl of chowder, a cup of hot red rooibos, and some relaxing reading by candlelight made for a satisfying end to my day.
I awoke, well-rested, to the faint glow of the sun coming through a couple thin spots in my shelter. To my surprise and delight, everything inside was relatively dry. From some articles I've read, I expected there to be a bit more humidity inside my cave. That simply wasn't the case. Next year, I think I'll build a snow structure on a weekend camping trip further north, where I'm guaranteed to have a bit more snow base. That should be a good test of my winter survival skills.