OK, so I have been thinking a lot about you all up in the snow belt.  Which this years seems to include everyone north of FL.  What knife would you use to build a shelter in the snow?  The Inuits have been doing this for many generations and they seem to have developed some interesting shapes and blades.


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A real fine collection of rustic knives. Like the modern gentleman in the photo, I think our classic "Chicago Cutlery 10" butcher knife" would work well. I have a collection of American butcher knives up to 12" with variously shaped blades. Our traditional kitchen knives bear a lot of similarity to Nessmuk's preferred fixed blade knife. For snow one needs a thin blade with a width of 1-2" to prevent the knife from veering to the side easily, thus allowing straighter cuts to form the blocks. Packed (even self or gravity-) snow/ice is not homogenous in density or ice pellet content. My Randall #1 fighting knife would be closet to OK, and what I might use. I usually have my 10" CC knife while in the woods, and would take the 12" if the chance to try my hand at an igloo might arise. BTW the igloo requires a really great amount of skill, which I mostly lack.

depends on the snow pack....a hatchet works well if it is packed snow....also used a machete once when we was making snow man and igloo's....lol

I would use a knife attached to an Inuit's hand and sleep in a nice cozy insulated trailer until they are done.  I normally like winter but I'm about done with this one!  (too bad I've got about another 8-12 weeks to go!

If I can pack a few things in, a Becker BK1, if not, then a lighter BK9. My shelter is a frame made from cut poles and limbs. then covered by a tarp, then packed snow over the tarp for insulation, leaving a smoke hole at the top. Kinda like a teepee.

Then some small crossed poles on the inside at the edge round, to use as a shelf. Or even more poles covering about 1/3 to 1/2 on the inside, about 6 inches off the ground to use a bed. These will lay on the bottom or near bottom horizontal frame poles.

If not, then I will be with Tobias in the trailer. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x51IGHxqb1s or you can watch this documentary

Love the old bone tools, thanks for sharing. I have one scraper made from a scapula. Like to sit and hold it (when I find it ever so often, has a way of hiding from the Grandkids).

The Inuit like all other indigenous peoples, cherished metal for it's rarity and used any and all they could find. Many of the first metal ulus were made from boiler plate and other wrecked ship parts. Most were very low carbon, some even cast or wrought iron, but any would hold a sharper edge longer than bone. I bid on one ulu that still had the stove maker's cast in place logo and walrus tooth handle. Got too rich to quick for my taste, but would have loved to touched and handled it.

As for building igloos, I'd imagine a good hand saw would be the premier tool for the reasons mentioned above. We built a crude one once (very crude). Got a serious whuppin for using my great Uncle Knute's favorite saw. Not built one since....chalk another one up for the effectiveness of capital punishment.

Its to cold to even build a shelter, but if I had to, I would probably use my machete.

Carl I sure hope you meant corporal punishment (spanking, whipping, or other types of physical pain inflicted as a type of punitive retribution and not capital punishment (the forfeiture or life as type of punitive retribution).

Unless your north above the treeline or high up above the 9,000 feet in some areas and lower in other areas, I use bent over willows or small spruce trees.  I tie the tips to the base of the other trees and then cover with thick cover of spruce limbs.  Then I shove snow over all of this to top this off.  A smoke hole is then formed to allow a small fire's smoke to escape.  I keep the fire going with sticks the size of my thumb.  I use the same knife I carry every time I go out into the woods which is Pro-Tech Brend 1 Combat knife.

Might need to help the folks of Birmingham Alabama.... Yes you heard me! Might need some shelters quick,


Combination of both.......My grandmother was Ogalala and Great Uncle Knute was a holdover Viking......could have gone either way with either of them. Dad was a little more gentle and would stop just before you got a permanent limp (just kidding my Dad was a good man, just no nonsense).

Tobias Gibson said:

Carl I sure hope you meant corporal punishment (spanking, whipping, or other types of physical pain inflicted as a type of punitive retribution and not capital punishment (the forfeiture or life as type of punitive retribution).


Not as bad as one would think, few albino brain chiggars never really hurt anyone....much. We got a few inches here just north of Atlanta, but it will melt pretty fast. Lot of "not so smart" folks out there still sitting in their cars. Hah, metal wickyup with comfy seats and a radio for tunes. Pulled a bunch off the interstate last night then came home to rest up. May go out again if I can find some gas for the truck.


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