I learned to build Quinzhees when I was young and just love how easy, fun, and warm they are. I have had backwoods winter camping up North on my mind for awhile now (the appeal of no need to carry in a tent, no need to filter water, prospect of refrigeration :) ), so in an attempt to coax my girlfriend into joining me we decided to do a test run in the backyard. With a thermometer in there it turned out to be 55 degrees F with body heat :)
Here’s how to build a quinzhee, give it a try!
1) In the morning, make some snow angels to see how big to make the base. Then map out 2 boots around the outside for the thickness of the walls
2) Pile up snow in a pile to the desired height including space for ~6 inches thick for the ceiling. Optionally pile up snow for an entrance (longer, smaller, and windier the entrance the more hot air will be trapped in but the harder to tunnel)
3) Insert sticks to mark the optimal width for the walls to mark when to stop hollowing
4) Wait :) the sun will melt the snow and it will refreeze to harden the walls (a process called sintering)
5) Hollow it out. Make sure to dig up before digging straight forward. If you only dig directly forward the weight if the large amount of snow above will cause it to collapse
(Optionally) Make a dip in the entrance tunnel to trap cold air, make snow beds and a center trench between them to also trap cold air.