Snow Fort — Roof

One of the longest features in UNBORED is “Backyard Forts & Shelters” — four pages about building lean-tos, tarp shelters, tipis, igloos, humpies, and wickiups. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough space to get into snow forts in much detail; besides, we figured that a lot of kids reading the book might live in places where it never or rarely snows.

Elizabeth and I, however, live (respectively) in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Where there is plenty of snow in the winter.

My family and I build a snow fort in our tiny front yard every winter. As I mention in “Backyard Forts & Shelters,” when you’re building a fort with a snow roof — or digging a snow cave — it’s important to make sure the roof doesn’t collapse on top of you. Not only because it ruins your fort, but because it’s dangerous for anyone trapped underneath. That’s why my family uses boards and other stuff — an old wading pool, for example — to support the roof of our snow fort.

Here are some photos from the winter of 2010–11, for example. That’s my sons’ Nana (grandmother) doing the heavy lifting.

The longer the boards, the safer the roof

Boards *and* a wading pool used for the fort roof

Nana covers the boards up with snow