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How to Build a Snow Fort

You're outside. You're getting pummeled with snowballs. Time to build a snow fort.


  • Step 1: Get dressed Get fully dressed in your winter attire, including durable waterproof gloves.
  • TIP: Avoid jeans. They'll get water-logged and cold.
  • Step 2: Find a spot Head outside and scope out a strategic area for your fort. Natural barriers – like fences or walls – are good places to set up your fort. Determine where the front of the fort will be. If you're using a fence or wall, let it serve as your back wall, and build the fort in front of it.
  • Step 3: Mark out the fort's dimensions Mark out the area of the fort by drawing a line in the snow with your foot or with a plastic food container or shovel.
  • Step 4: Clear away snow Clear the snow off the floor of your snow fort, and collect it to one side. Pack snow on top of the line you drew to establish the foundation of your fort's walls.
  • Step 5: Build the front wall Begin by building the front wall of the fort. Use the plastic food containers to shape bricks of snow.
  • Step 6: Build the side walls Build brick by brick, or pack by pack, until the front wall is tall enough that you can hide successfully behind it. Use the same technique to build the side walls. Depending on your angle, you may not need to add significant length or height to the side walls. Remember, you'll need all the snow you can collect for snowballs.
  • TIP: If you've built near a wall or fence, be sure to leave an opening between the barrier and the side wall so you can easily enter and exit the fort.
  • Step 7: Scoop out gunner's turrets When you're happy with your structure, scoop out gunner's turrets into the front wall so you can keep your opponent in sight.
  • Step 8: Sprinkle walls with water If it's below freezing outside, sprinkle the walls with water, which will help to freeze the fort, making it impervious to oncoming snowball attacks. Now, duck behind it, start making snowballs, and prepare for battle!
  • FACT: Fort Sumter, in Charleston, South Carolina, was the site of the first battle of the Civil War in April 1861.

You Will Need

  • Winter clothes
  • Ample snow
  • Imagination
  • Water
  • A barrier (optional)
  • Plastic food containers (optional)
  • A shovel (optional)

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