Sleeping in a quinzhee was absolutely something I was able to check off my bucket list. I believe everyone should sleep in a quinzhee at least once in their lives. Overall my group and I had an amazing experience and here are some reasons why our experience was so memorable.
Specific things my group and I did well was making the fire pit, bring a lot of food, making the pile of snow, digging out the quinzhee and bringing the flameless candles. After making the fire pit we were informed we wouldn’t be able to have fires but we were able to have coal fires. Also we were able to pile snow and dig out our quinzhee in the time frame we were given therefore we worked very efficiently. We also brought a lot of food such as salad, chicken, pasta, s’mores and chips that kept us full throughout the night. Keanna, Morgan, Katrina, Jessica and I worked extremely hard to be able to have a quinzhee that was safe and warm. Making the pile of snow wasn’t easy since the snow was extremely heavy and difficult to shovel but we were able to use sleds and half of the canoe to get large piles of snow. After we made our pile of snow we let the snow sit for the weekend to let the snow harden then we started to dig it out. Digging out the quinzhee was difficult but exciting since it meant we were close to finishing. All 5 of us were able to take turns digging it out while the rest of us stayed outside clearing the snow and making a wall on both sides of the entrance. Another thing we all did well were placing the flameless candles on the sealing of our quinzhee, since the candles were flameless it meant we didn’t have to worry about the flame or the wax. Our overall preparation and night in the quinzhee was comfortable and well built.
A few things I would improve upon while making the quinzhee is to make it larger and spend more time of the platform. First I would’ve made it bigger to be able to fit more people in it since we had a lot of people playing cards in it throughout the night. An example to support my answer would be when all 5 of us were about to go to sleep Morgan and I were on the each end and we kept sliding down off the platform because we didn’t have enough space. Also I would’ve spent more time on the platform. I would start off by packing the snow down then smoothing the snow evenly on the platform for comfort. If the platform was comfortable my group and I wouldn’t have been sore the next day. The things I would improve upon are learning lessons for the future and now I’m able to teach others from my own experience.
Three recommendations I have for someone building and sleeping in a quinzhee is to bring layers but not sleep in a lot of layers, bring a lot of food and place a tarp under your sleeping bag. The clothes you wear when you are working outside and when you are going to sleep are very different because when you are working outside you must wear layers such as snow pants, jacket, hat and mittens but when you are sleeping you must wear fewer layers such as long pants and a long sleeve shirt. If you wear too many layers to go to sleep in then your body heat won’t go to the sleeping bag therefore the sleep bag will loose it’s purpose. You should bring a lot of food because you will be hungry throughout the night and you will need food to have energy therefore come prepared. Finally place a tarp on your platform under your sleeping bag to stay dry throughout the night. These recommendations can help someone have a great, warm and safe night winter camping.