Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wintercamp: A Great Night in the Snow

We had a fantastic night on December 18 for our Wintercamp. The week preceding the camp provided us with plenty of snow and the students proceeded to build one of our biggest camps ever with 11 Quinzhees. Most were build with great quality and provided wonderful escapes from the winter elements.

On Thursday, December 18, the night before Christmas Break was starting, we all gathered right after school to make last minute additions to our shelters and collect firewood for our cooking fires. We were greeted by some snowstorms that were moving through the area.

Once the fires were going (some took a little longer than others), the students proceeded to prepare their meals. There were things like hamburgers and sausages, as well as, steak, chilly dogs, pizza and satay stir fry's. Everyone was well fed. After dinner we hung out by the fire eating marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. During this time the snow stopped and the sky cleared, leaving us with cooler temperatures and plenty of stars.

The night saw a chilly -15 C, but most of the students spent a great night in their Quinzhees. I will leave it to the students to describe their own experiences in the comments to this post.

All in all, it was a special way to end the school year.

17 comments:

qwerty said...

Building a quinzhee was much more strategic than I initially thought it was going to be. I did not know there were certain methods to build it other than a simple oval shape.

I enjoyed building the quinzhee for a few minutes, but after that short time period I just wanted it to make itself. We made a good sized two person quinzhee that could fit 3 people comfortably, so size was not a problem.

One problem that we did encounter was that we made our opening facing the west, and it turned out that the wind was coming from the west that night. We were forced to build a wall in front of our opening to block the wind and ensure warmth in our quinzhee.

If I were to build another quinzhee, I would have done almost all the same things, except that I would have made a higher, flatter, and smoother platform. Our platform was not very high, so our "cold air sink" was pretty much inside our shelter. Our platform was rising, so we were lying more at an angle than flat, and it was also fairly rough.

I would have also brought a firestarter. Saying we had trouble starting a cooking fire would be an understatement. All of our firewood was soaked. We had a pit, and we had a lighter, but we did not have dry wood or any good firestarter. I would guess we were trying to start a fire for a solid hour and a half before we finally grabbed Mr. Brouwer's firestarter kit and got it going. Although after we got the fire started, I had one of the best meals of my life.

The night wasn't cold for me at all, as I had borrowed a -40 army sleeping bag, and I had many layers on to prepare for a cold night. Our quinzhee was nice and cozy, and the sleep couldn't have been too much smoother. Overall, I'd say I had a very successful wintercamp.

scott said...

When we were told by Mr.Brouwer that we would be sleeping outside in the dead cold of winter, I was actually thinking I would never make it through the night. Going ouisde to build the quincee was alot of hard work, but in the end it really paid off. The members of my quincee were Stuart,Dave,Justin, and myself. We had to build our quincee larger than everybody elses becasue we had four people sleeping in it. For the days building it we persevered and got the job done. Climbing inside the quincee felt like climbing into a cave. It was almost soundproof, as stuart and I found out while building it. The night of wintercamp we went out into the wilderness of mystery park to find some firewood. After we got back to our camp we had a classic campfire dinner of cooked hotdogs.It was then time to climb into the quincee. As we walked accross the field toward our quincee, we wondered how the night was going to turn out. None of us had ever built a quincee before and wondered if we had done a proper job. As we climbed in and prepared for the coldest night of our lives, we were surprised as to how the quincee was warming up extremely quickly. After about half an hour our quincee was at a perfect warm temperature. With my sleeping and bag and jacket, in the middle of the night I found myself taking off my jacket. Sleep came easily and morning was there before we knew it. The quincee night was a great success and fas a ton of fun. It's a night I will definatly not forget any time soon.

Taylor said...

The first thing I thought of when I heard that I would be sleeping in a quinzee was "What is a quinzee?" I quickly learned learned exactly what it is and how to build one properly, but I questioned exactly how warm one would be.

It made me nervous, and afraid that I would be cold all night because I usually am cold all the time in the winter, never mind sleeping outside. But, Mr.Brouwer assured the class that they would be warm if built properly.

After this piece of information I was determined to make an extraordinary quinzee. This didn't exactly happen though.

My orginal group was made up of Laura, Stina, and I, but later we were joined by Zoe. I was disapointed that Zoe wasn't there for the first few classes because we could of used the extra help for building the quinzee. As one of the two all girl groups, we were quickly falling behind.

The first class beginning to build the quinzees was an experience. I usually don't get the chance to use snow shoes, and I quickly realized exactly how bad I was at walking in them. I fell numerous times, but my group and I did get a good laugh out of it.

The first couple of the days the snow was perfect for shoveling, it was light weight and easy to throw, and overnight the quinzee hardened. But as our quinzee grew higher, the snow grew heavier.

When my group was satisfied with the quinzee we asked Mr.Brouwer to take look. We all hoped that it was good enough and that we wouldn't have to make any adjustments. But, unfortunaly we did. We extended the front, making an extra long entrance, that turned out to helpful later on.

Zoe, Stina, and I finally finished our quinzee on the night of camp, just before the sun had fully set. I was happy that we did it all on our own without any help from the others. Plus it kept us busy that night.

After finishing the quinzee we continued on to make our fire. It was small, and never grew very large, but I was again happy that I had helped make my own first fire. Our dinner was posponed because Laura had the food, who was working until 8:00. But we managed to find some left over hot dogs from another group who had extras. It was a relief when Laura showed up at 8:30 with extra-large hot chocolates to warm up my group.

It was finally time to get prepared for our nights sleep when everyone started to bring out thier sleeping bags and insolate pads. My group had a special system to fill our quinzee with our belongings. I was the one to crawl into the quinzee and lay everything out, an insolate pad was laid in the tunnel which was about as long as my body (tips of fingers to feet). Stina rolled the sleeping bags in and I placed them.

We all laid out our sleeping bags and realized what a tight sqeeze it would be for us to fit into the quinzee. None of us were tired yet so we wandered outside until we felt sleeply enough. This was the big mistake that I made. Becuase of being outside I let myself become chilled from the cool night air and wind. So when I finally tried to go to sleep I couldn't stop shaking. I had also forgotten to bring in a hot water bottle, which would of helped a lot.

As it turned out, not all of us could sleep in the quinzee itself. Laura, luckily had a military sleeping bag and offered to sleep in the tunnel, but it was still a tight sqeeze. If I touched my feet against the wall then I could feel the cold through my sleeping bag.

After what seemed like an extremely long night, Laura's alarm went off and we finally went inside, as quickly as we could.

Over all, it was a great experience. I was glad that I had the chance to learn some outdoor survival tips, and again how to build a fire. Things could of been done better, but because of those mistakes I learned and will more likely remember them in the future.

Thank you Mr.Brouwer for the experience.

Colin George said...

With one day left before the snow camp and our quincy not finished Matt and I were scared of what the night would be like. But when i came back after school from getting food and supplies, Matt had the quincey almost completely done. That night everyone had a little trouble getting fire going but when Shawn's, Jeff's, Matt's, and mine was done it was a great fire for cooking. We started with hot dogs on sticks and some old marshmallows. When the hot dogs were done and we wer still hungry we got some hamburgers and ate most of them. At about 9:30 everyone got ready to sleep. At 10:00 most people went to their quincey and went to sleep. I couldnt get to sleep for long and was freezing cold. But when i started to warm up i had a fine night. Some highlights for me were building of the quincey and trying to get a match to stay lit for mroe than 3 seconds. Thx Mr. Brouwer for taking the night to let us do the snow camp.

kira said...

I never thought that sleeping outside in the middle of winter would be so enjoyable, and surprisingly comfortable and warm.

Building our 3 person quinzhee was a very rewarding experience, mostly at the end of the night. Being part of packing down the snow, shovelling a pile, digging out the snow, and making the platform and everything else made the night better because i knew it was partly my work.

A challenge we came across, is that during the days we were given to build our quinzhees we never had the full group to work on our quinzhee other than one day. We all had to contribute either by ourselves on a day or in a group of 2 because one of us was away for one reason or another. This slowed down our process and forced us to get outside help from other people to get it done. (thanks to shawn and justin)

We finished our quinzhee in time to sleep in it over night though. With my sleeping bag, i slept very well during the night not being disturbed until morning.

If i had to change one thing about the experience, i would have made our quinzhee wider to fit more people because we were a little squished. Even considering the fact that we were only 2 people waiting for someone to get back. cough cough!

Sleeping over night in a quinzhee that i made felt really rewarding and it was a very fun experience. Thanks to Colleen and Heather for helping build our masterpeice.

Tyler Dubue said...

When I first found out that we were going to build a quinshee in outdoor ed I was curious to what it was because I had never heard of one before. Knowing the fact that we had to build it and then sleep in it, I was a little worried that I would have done something wrong and it would have collapsed on me while I was sleeping. Those worries were soon washed away when Mr. Brouwer showed us how a quinshee was made and all the little things to do like get 40cm sticks and stick them in 30cm so when you see them from the inside you stop digging.

Building a quinshee was one of the neatest things I've ever done. I was partners with Craig and we made a perfect quinshee with a nice cold sink and everything. Our lying area was high and flat, we had a chimney, candles and most of all, it was warm.

Earlier in the night we were hit with a snow storm, which made it extremely hard to make a fire. Running back and forth from our fire pit to the other fires trying to bring a flame over to our pit was…not productive at all. After the storm somewhat died off, Addison finally went in and got some fire starters and got the fire going. Craig and I made some delicious hot dogs which warmed us up.

Later that night Stuart, Ryan and I played some COD, which kept us nice and warm, running around in the bush.

After going in for last call, I went back to our quinshee and had a couple of snacks and then quickly fell asleep.

The sleep was great. Mr. Brouwer came and woke us up close to 7 a.m. I got up and went and had a shower. I can tell you that it was a great way to start off the Christmas break. Sleeping in a quinshee is something I will never forget. The only thing that I would do different next time is to cover up our opening more at night because it had a couple of openings. If it were closed I think that it would be extremely warm and the perfect quinshee.

I would like to thank you Mr. Brouwer for teaching us how to make a quinshee and for the opportunity to sleep in one.

Justin Birch said...

When Mr. Brouwer told us we were going to be building our quinzhees i came totaly prepared to work in the snow. From my toque to my -100C winter boots and my shovel in hand. We were given instructions on how to build a proper quinzhee and then we all went to work.

At first i was in a group by myself so i started packing down the snow for the base but my big winter boots wouldnt fit in the snow shoes so i had to get kira to help pack my base because her boots fit in the snow shoes. Then once the base was packed i spent the rest of the period throwing snow onto the base to make a big pile. I had to start taking layers off and taking breaks because i was getting to hot from throwing snow. And i had a short shovel so i was getting headrushes and dizzy from bending up and down throwing snow. I aslo didnt wana throw out my back so i took my time. The next day Jordan didn't have a group so he joined with me and he was a realy hard worker and helped finish throwing snow on the quinzhee and packing it down and worked hard digging it out.

The night we slept in our quinzhee Jordan was up until one in the morning writing an essay for his English class under candle light. I roasted hotdogs over the fire and spent the rest of the night just hanging around talking and playing in the forest. I had a really good nights rest in my quinzhee it was very warm and comfortable and i would probably try building and sleeping in a quinzhee again. Thank you Mr. Brouwer for taking the night to allow us to camp out.

hfmas said...

One of the things I looked forward to most in the outdoor ed class was to be able to sleep over night in the quinzhee. I’v never done winter camping before and I had always wanted to do it. When I was younger at elementary school My friends and I would always builds tunnels and shelter from by piles of snow, so I knew that I wouldn’t have a problem making the quinzhee. We learned the proper way to build a quinzhee, piling snow and letting it sit for at least 3 hours. Im our case we let our sit for 2 days. We also learned the proper way to dig out the quinzhee, making sure that you have a platform up high to let the cool air run down.
When we first started building the quinzhee , the most important thing for us was the location. We didn’t want to put our quinzhee in the middle of the field because, we thought that if it ever got really windy that the wind would blow through the door, making a cold night. So in the end we decided to build our quinzhee on a slope found between the two soccer fields and also we had it close to the forest be able to block the wind from one direction. We decided to build it on a slope so then when we dug it out it would have a natural slope to it, making it easier for us to create a platform.
The hardest part about building the quinzhee was piling the snow. For me I got very tired really easily. But our group figured out a plan. Because there were three of us and 2 shovel, two people would shovel while the other took a break and patted down the snow, then whenever you felt tired we would switch it up giving the next person a break
Also digging out the Quinzhee was a challenge because at the beginning only one person could dig at a time because the entrance was still small and only one person could fit. If you were the person digging it was also very difficult because you were often in an awkward tight position making it hard to shovel out. Once it got bigger we were able to fit two people inside, making the job go faster. As we were digging out we had to make sure that the walls were the right thickness. Mr Brouwer told us the walls should be about 20 to 30 centimetres thick. So we stuck sticks in the walls approx. 20 centimetres into the walls. Once we saw the stick that ment to stop digging in that area of the wall.
Once it came time to sleep over night in the quinzhee I was well prepared. I made sure I brought lots of clothes and socks to change into. I tried to change as often as I could because, I did often sweat, and sweating is the last thing you want when your outside in the winter.
We started off by going into the woods to get fire woods. We were trying to find old dead trees. We gathered about 5 barrels full of woods then returned back to camp.
One of the hardest thing to do that night was to create a fire. For some reason our group ( trip 1) was unable to create a fire. After about an hour of trying to start a fire, we decided to use Mr. Brouwer’s fire starting kit which consisted of Vaseline covered cotton balls, birch bark and a lighter. The kit was a success and we finally got our fire going.
By the time we got the fire going we were all starving. So we decided to cook our dinner. Most people had hotdogs and sausages, except for me, I cooked myself a wonderful steak and bake potatoes, it was delicious!
Once Mr. Brouwer said it was last call , I changed all my clothes changing into my under armour, I got a new dry hat and mitts and put on a pair of wools socks. It was now to time to sleep in the Quinzhees.
I surprisingly had a very warm sleep. I had two sleeping bags and a duvet cover to sleep in. We used two candles at night to give us and light and warmth. Our quinzhee was so warm that we had to make two air vents to let some heat out.
What I would have changed about the quinzhee night was to have made our quinzhee a little bit bigger. We ended up making a two person quinzhee to fit three, so I think that we should have made it a little bit bigger. Also we could have made our platform a little more comfortable. Our platform was exactly flat, so I did have a little bit of trouble sleeping cause I found that it was hurting my back. Once it came morning Brouwer came to wake us up. Everyone went running inside!
I had a wonderful experience and would love to do it again. I just like to thanks Mr. Brouwer for taking the time stay with us, and also letting us use has fire starting kit!

Colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

I thought sleeping in a qunizee would be so much worse than it actually was. It took a lot of work to build it and the hollowing out was not the easiet thing I have ever done. After 4 days, an avalanche, and a little help from Justin we finally got it done. It was pretty cold being outside all night even with the fire. Especially because it took so long to build it. Roasting hotdogs and changing into dry clothes was probably the highlights of my night. I thought there was no way I was going to get any sleep that night because I was so cold, but when I got in the quinzee it was surprisingly warm. I slept very well until in the early morning I got thrown off of the thermarest onto the snow and against the wall. That and waking up with the string of my sleeping bag wrapped around my neck a few times were the two things I didnt enjoy very much. The shower the next morning was so good. There was no such thing as water too hot for me that morning. I didnt really enjoy going to school the next day either but it was a short day and it wasn't too serious. In the end it was pretty fun.

R-W said...

Upon first hearing about our intended night camping trip I thought it would be a miserable night spent inside a hollowed out snow bank. Fortunately for myself and the rest of the class there were many jobs to be done and preparations to be made which made the time fly and led to an enjoyable experience.

My group of myself, Addison and Steve decided that the location of our quinzhee would be very important. We decided to select a location on a down slope against a natural embankment. Our decision was made for two reasons, we could use the embankment as a wind barrier to protect ourselves and the down slope would provide for an excellent cold air sink.

Once we started the actual building of our quinzhee we got into an excellent rhythm and it was not long before we began to hollow it out. Using the method of 30 cm long sticks to determine the thickness of our quinzhee we worked for two periods and the final result was an effective three person shelter.

The night of the camp out arrived, I was well prepared with many changes of warm cloths and hot food. The night went by very quickly with all of the chores being done effectively. The only difficulty I encountered throughout the night was that my group was unable to start our fire as all of the dry tinder and birch bark had been used up. Mr. Brouwer helped us and with the use of his fire kit we were able to start a fire successfully.

Waking up the next morning it was satisfying to know that we made it through the night and that our quinzhee has stayed warm and provided shelter. If I could have changed one thing about the experience it would have been to locate our quinzhee closer to the school as it made for many long walks in the cold however, overall I was pleased with the night.

This was undoubtedly another once in a life time experience that could have only taken place in Canada and another experience that I will never forget.

-RW

heather said...

As soon as Mr. Brouwer told us that we were going to be sleeping overnight in a snow hut that we were going to have to build ourselves, all I could think was, "Wow, this is going to be bad". I figured that if I got through the night without my quinzhee collapsing on me, or getting hypothermia, it'd be a success.

Unfortunately I let my team down, and missed the first day of quinzhee making because of an appointment. Therefore I missed out on the beginning of the quinzhee building process.

When I first saw our quinzhee I was impressed by the amount of snow my group had already piled up in such a short period of time, however I couldn't help but feel just a little bit uneasy about sleeping in that pile.

Over the next day or two our group worked tirelessly to pile up enough snow for our quinzhee. It was hard work and we often felt discouraged, because we would be piling for a long time and it would still seem like we had made next to no progress.

Finally, when there was enough snow piled up, we began the digging out process. Starting to dig it out was very difficult because there was very little space, so you could basically fit your head and a shovel into the quinzhee. I struggled with this part of the process, and often had to pulled out of the quinzhee by my feet after I knocked down too much snow and caused what felt like an avalanche. Apparently I was just overreacting a bit, but regardless my teammates decided to keep me out of the quinzhee until the tunnel was a bit bigger.

We soon realized that the three of us were not making any progress when it came to digging out, and that if we didn't come up with a better idea we were going to be sleeping beside our snowpile rather than inside it. So Justin came and helped us since he was already done his quinzhee. IN about 15 minutes, he dug out more of our quinzhee than we had in an hour.

Once Justin got most of the hard digging out done, we were able to continue from where he left off fairly easily. We worked well together, each taking turns digging out and all working as hard as we could.

The quinzhee building process was definetly tough, but we persevered and eventually ended up with a pretty functional quinzhee. I wish I could say that we did it without any help, but I think that putting our pride aside and admitting that we needed assitance was definetly the right choice.

The night of the winter camp, we had to go out on snowshoes to collect firewood. As expected, I fell a number of times and I realized that it is not so easy to get up off the ground when you are wearing snowshoes and have a barrel on your back. During the wood collection, we were able to use what we had learned on the canoe trip: what types of wood to get, how to identify trees that are dead, as well as the best way to break the branches.

For dinner, we had to build our own cooking fires and then merge our individual fires with those of our other group members. We used the teepee style of fire building, and with the help of some birch bark, a lighter and a lot of patience, we got our fire going. A warm meal was a nice treat on such a cold snowy night.

The rest of the night passed by quickly, just hanging out by the fire and playing in the snow. It turned out that the inside of the quinzhee was surprisingly warm and comfortable. And it didn't even collapse, which was great! It was the best sleep I've ever had, but considering I was sleeping in a pile of snow, it wasn't that bad.

Thanks to Mr. Brouwer for this amazing experience! I learned a lot and had a great time.

Matthew Goddard said...

I definitely would have to say that i was excited for the outdoor camping, but was also dreading it at the same time. The idea of sleeping on snow, in a little snow cave isn't very enticing, but ended up being very fun. Though i did enjoy the night sleeping in the quincy the couple days before trying to build it were a little more annoying. The first day that Mr. Brouwer gave us to work on the quincy I ended up with a shovel that was the perfect size for pick up dog crap around the yard, not making a pile of snow my height and big enough for three people to fit in it. Thankfully couple days into building the quincy our group caught a break when Ethan told us that he wouldn't be sleeping over for the night, sucked for him but damn i was happy. We thought it a good idea to build the quincy on the hill so we had a natural cold which was good but made the pile of snow look bigger then it was. We decided to keep it as low as possible inside to keep the warmth near our bodies and have a really small door, that i almost got stuck in all the time. Colin and i didn't finish until the afternoon before the night we slept in the quincy.
After we finished we started to get the fires going with the tons of wood that magically ended up in a pile, in the middle of the quincies. Our fire was good for cooking, so we made up some hot dogs, burgers, and home made sausages which made the best dinner id had for a long time. Later on when everyone finished eating i stayed around the fire and lied down under the lean to and relaxed for the rest of the night. Sleeping in the quincy was a more comfortable then i thought it would have been. Getting everything through our tiny door was tricky but with me inside and Colin pushing the stuff from the outside it worked. I was surprised when i ended up taking off my coat and the crazy warmth of the quincy. in the morning i side screw it and slept into the bell , that was the best part, sleeping in.
This definitely was the best night i've ever spent sleeping in a quincy outside the school, much better then the last time i did it.. thanks Brouwer for teaching this class.
MY QUINZEEEEEH WAS THE BEST!

Stina said...

When Mr. Brouwer told us we are going to sleep in the snow i thought he was joking- sleeping in the snow?? That's crazy!!
he told us we are going to build Quinshees I had already the next question in my head- what is a Quinshee!?!? He explained it to us and how to build it.. man, that sounded so complicated. Make a base and be sure, that it's strong enough, not that the Qunshee collapses during the night. And then pile snow, and carve it out, but don't forget the platform and the cold sink. Wow, he really wanted us to do that!?

But when we started it didn't seem that hard. I was in a group with Taylor and Laura and Zoe joined us later. We put snowshoes on and createdt a base for our Quinshee. When we were done with that the hard part started. We had to shovel the snow on a hughe pile!! I didn't know that piling snow can be so tiring. After a while I started to make more and more breaks. But after two days we were done shoveling- that's what we thought. But when we asked Mr. Brouwer if our Quinshee is big enough Mr. Brouwer told us, that it's big enough to fit 2 (!!) people in it. But we were four- i almost cried. We decided to build a tunnel.

And then we started carving. It took us so long just to carve the tunnel. The problem was that only one person could fit into it and the rest of our group had to stay around and think about who has to carve next. It was a very uncomfotable work. My shoulders and my neck hurt after a while.

When the Thursday of the night in our Qunshee came we weren't close to be finished and Laura had to work, that meant that we were only three people. So we had to carve the whole afternoon while all the other groups were finished. But as soon as two people could fit into the Quinshee we were pretty fast. Two people carved and the last person shoveled the snow out of the tunnel.
We were so proud of us when we were done, because we did everything alone.

We had planned pizza for dinner, but the problem was that Laura had all our stuff for the dinner, so we decided to go to Loeb and buy hot dogs. We also started our own fire- I was so proud of us. It was the first time for all of us and we made it in the snow with wet branches.

Half an hour before the school closed everybody went inside to change and warm up. I put lots of cloths on, because I knew that this night was going to be cold.

When Taylor and me put our sleeping bags into the Quinshee we recognized how small it was. We could barely fit all the sleeping bags in.

We decided not to go sleeping and went outside again. That wasn't very smart, because I became cold again.

When we decided to go sleeping and went our Quinshee Laura decided to sleep in the tunnel with her military sleeping bag, because she didn't really fit in the Quinshee.

My night was pretty uncomfortable- I maybe slept for 2 hours before i woke up and couldn't fall asleep again. I was cold, my feet touched the wet, cold walls, i couldn't move, because the Quinshee was so small, and the ground was very hard. I was so happy when I heard Laura's alarm cock, because I knew the night was over!

I was so happy when I survived this night!! But it was definitely another experience that I would have never done in Germany. And I will never forget my night in the snow! Thanks to Mr. Brouwer for giving me this opportunity.

craig said...

When I heard that we were going to sleep in a quinshees over night, I was worried about being cold and not being able to make it through the night. But once we started building them, they started taking shape and before you knew it you had a nice quinshee. The inside of my quinshee was actually very roomy even for my size. The biggest difficulty that we had with the night was trying to make a fire in the snow. The group spent close to 1 hour trying to get a cooking fire going. Once we got the fire starting kit, the fire was going in no time. But before we got the kit, we wanted to make a fire without the kit, so we went out searching for birch bark to use as a fire starter. In the whole forest beside the school, we could only find 1 birch tree and the tree was a very small one.

Once we got our fire going, we could finally eat, for supper I had hotdogs cooked on a stick. I looked over and I saw someone with a full steak and a baked potatoes. When I saw that I realized how much you could cook on a small fire in the woods.

We had a fun game going called gontlet. It is a game in which someone runs down a line of people and someone hits him into the snow. I thought this game was one of the highlights of the night.

During the night I wasn’t very cold because I had a nice big sleeping bag with a warm blanket inside the sleeping bag. We were also warm because we had a nice cold sink for the cold air to gather. We also had a candle going before we went to sleep to get some heat inside the quinshee.

Now that I know how to build a quinshee, I will never be trapped in the arctic cold over night again.

scott said...

In addition to my last comment, there are some things that would have done differently now that I have spent the night in the quinzhee. When we constructed our quinzhee, we had 4 people sleeping in it. We chose the location for our quinzhee to be downhill, as the hill in the back field would protect us from the wind. We found that the hill protected us, but not completely from the wind. If I were to plan this out differently, I would build a bigger cold air sink, and build up our platform. Our platform wasn't very flat as it wouldve taken us longer to construct it has we had 4 people in our quinzhee. To insure our wamrth I wouldve also built the quinzhee facing towards the river because thats the way the wind was facing away from where the wind was blowing.

Kayaker said...

Quinzee night was one night that made this semester memorable. I enjoyed quinzee night because of all the preparation we put into it the days before. The first two days we didn’t do much because we didn’t prepare ourselves very well, we had two small plastic shovels and one good shovel. It was slow work. When we finally got our proper tools it was a breeze we had four people working as hard as they could, some days we spent entire lunch hours working on our quinzee. My favourite part of that trip would be obviously being with my friends the whole night, but also that I wasn’t board anytime during the night. I had thought that I should bring my ipod but I’m glade that I didn’t. Something I should have done differently was bringin an extra blanket so I could have been a little warmer. Another way I could have solved the warmth issue would have been to alter the design of our quinzee. Our quinzee was massive but we didn’t realize how much bigger we could have made it until the next day. We should have hollowed out the sides of our quinzee to give us more room, we should have also made the entrance on the other side of our quinzee so that the wind didn’t get in our quinzee. We should have made a sleeping platform as well, so the cold air that didn’t affect us while we were sleeping. Finally we had forgotten to make an air hole, which was terrible because we had candles burning when we realized that it was getting hazy and hard to breath we had to make a huge hole with my arm so that were weren’t breathing in poison. Finally I think the only thing that made that night bearable was all four guys huddling together for warmth, which seemed to do the trick.

Stuart