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First igloo of the year 2009

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:45 pm
by kealia
Northern Minnesota finally received some snow! The weekend after Christmas saw over a foot of the white stuff. The temperatures were in the upper 20's and the snow was wet and sticky. The igloos were fantastic.

I built a nice solid 8-footer in less than three hours. We have spent some "quality time" inside trying to raise the temperature. I am always amazed at the amount of heat retained inside those 8-inch snow blocks. With two people and a candle the temperature will easily climb into the low 40's.

I am working on an idea for a 12 volt electric blanket for the upcoming -30 degree nights. Any ideas....


Mark in Minnesota

Re: First igloo of the year 2009

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:58 pm
by Igloo Ed
kealia wrote:Northern Minnesota finally received some snow! The weekend after Christmas saw over a foot of the white stuff. The temperatures were in the upper 20's and the snow was wet and sticky. The igloos were fantastic.

I built a nice solid 8-footer in less than three hours. We have spent some "quality time" inside trying to raise the temperature. I am always amazed at the amount of heat retained inside those 8-inch snow blocks. With two people and a candle the temperature will easily climb into the low 40's.

I am working on an idea for a 12 volt electric blanket for the upcoming -30 degree nights. Any ideas....


Mark in Minnesota
I did a bit of searching on "12 vole electric blanket" and the lowest wattage one I found was still 40 watts. That seems like it would drain a battery pretty quick but then I'm not an electrician.
I suppose it depends on if you just want to warm the bag up before getting in or if you want the heat to last all night.
I can see how great it would feel to crawl into a warm bag, I'd be off to sleep in no time. I think it takes me about 10 minutes to warm up in the bag enough to start relaxing.
With your cold temps up north, the battery would last longer if in the igloo and warm but be careful. I suppose a sealed marine battery would be pretty safe and have the best battery life.
We tried a motorcycle battery years ago on a cassette player and it didn't last long. Not worth carrying in a backpack.

Re: First igloo of the year 2009

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:27 pm
by kealia
I have been researching the electric blanket issue further. The draw of the blanket and the capacity of the battery seem to be the limiting factor. I did pickup a heated car seat pad, which I have been using with a portable battery-jumper. This has a low draw. I will give it a test drive this week in the igloo under the sleeping bag.

No new snow to report from northern Minnesota since the Christmas weekend. The temperatures have rarely been on the positive side of zero since then, so the snow we have is still here. Forecast is for a warm up next week with high temps nudging a postive 20 degrees. That sounds like prime igloo weather!

Mark in Minnesota

Re: First igloo of the year 2009

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:31 pm
by Igloo Ed
Good going on finding something with a lower draw.
My body melts in with just a Ridgerest pad and even a little with a standard Thermarest inflatable used with the Ridgerest. You could have that problem and it gets a bit uncomfortable if it melts weird.

They've changed the forecast here to a 30% chance of snow Thursday night here on the plains and then fair weather after that. Must be a small storm passing by. Hopefully the mountains will get a few inches out of it.
The base in the mountains is pretty good for this time of year and it'll only get better unless some kind of drought sets in.