The Family Igloo Page of

January 13, 2001
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

All my life I have tried to build igloos. The closest I ever came to being in a real igloo was when my dad dug out a snow cave in the pile near our driveway in the mid-60's. It was neat, but not real repeatable.

Lo and behold, an inventor came up with an igloo maker! After ten minutes of reading the web site at "", I knew that this was what I was waiting for all these years. I immediately ordered one, and it arrived in the mail a few days later.

Igloos are amazing things -- inside, it is eerily quiet, and actually quite warm, due to the great insulating qualities of snow. The interior is very spacious, since the walls are only about eight inches thick. We have been a little too scared to lean on them much, but there are pictures of people standing on their igloos on the Grand Shelters web page, so I'm sure we'll be a little more aggressive as the novelty wears off. (We are expecting to be using this as a kids' playhouse for another couple months!)

The ICEBOX comes folded for backpacking ease

The precise radius of the igloo and angle of the blocks is controlled by the adjustable pole, with a stake driving into the center of the igloo site.

This is the promo picture from the Grand Shelters web site. Our version didn't look quite so crisp!

I was rather suprised that we were able to accomplish the entire project with no other adult help! After three false starts, we finished the 8-foot igloo (the smallest size) in about 4-5 hours, with my 11-, 9-, and 6-year-old kids helping. (My 4-year-old and 1-year-old were our cheerleaders, while my wife watched helplessly on crutches from the house.)

After we finished the whole thing, we decided to add an entry way. This was basically just two bricks long on each side, three bricks high. There no instructions for this part, but my 11-year-old son and I whipped this part out in about a half hour, thanks to the very wet and sticky snow. To complete the look, I installed "Igloo Accent Lighting" to give it a soft blue hue.

Here are all the pictures I on any to enlarge it:

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This page was created by a cool Perl program written by Tom Arneberg (
For maximum strength, the ICEBOX creates an igloo in the shape of a catenary curve (same shape as the St. Louis Arch).

- Tom Arneberg,

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