Snow cave in the forest

Snow Cave

A really exciting winter activity is building a snow cave. If you are super ambitious you can make one that will fit your whole group to sleep in, or you can make a small cozy one just for the two of you. Or do a little more research and learn how to make an igloo although that will take more time than a standard snow cave.

Snow caving is quite easy, and honestly, this date might save your life—who knows when you’ll be in a survival situation where you’d need intricate knowledge of snow cave making. Happens all the time, right? Okay fine, maybe not. But still, basically building a fort out of snow is pretty awesome.

This doesn’t have to be a freezing evening. Snow caves and igloos are remarkably warm inside because they capture your body heat and hold it inside the structure. Also, you won’t have to worry too much about it falling apart, as the cool air outside keeps the snow cave together. Of course, you need to make sure you build it correctly, or yes, it just may collapse on you.

Bear Grylls and Les Stroud will be proud of you. In case you don’t know who they are, they are the stars of Man vs. Wild and Survivor Man. Those guys are epic.

snow cave igloo in the frozen forest.

What you need for this snow cave cheap group date idea: 

You need snow and probably want to be up in the mountains where it’s more fun. Shovels are a must for this operation and snow shovels are ideal, but even standard ones will work. Buckets will make it easier as well.

There are a couple of techniques that can be used for making a snow cave. The first technique is to shovel a ton of snow until the pile is about 4 to 6 feet high and pack it together. The bigger the pile, the better the cave will be. Next, start at the bottom and slowly remove the inside of the pile out. Make sure to leave about two feet of thickness for the roof and sides otherwise it will be too weak and collapse.

The second method for this requires using branches to form a frame and then piling snow all around it. Either way works great. This date is totally free, unless you buy snow shovels, and of course it will probably cost you a little gas money to get to the location.   

My experience with this cheap date idea: 

The first winter I was in Utah, years ago for college, two of my best buddies, John and Tim, who were also my roommates at the time, decided to get a group of people together and go snow caving. I remembered doing it with the Boy Scouts a long time ago and thought it would be fun to do in college.

Another friend of ours, Jason, said he was going to meet us there and that he would bring some girls up, too, to which I agreed would be a great idea. It wasn’t planned as a date, but Jason had a crush on one of the girls he was bringing.

The location was only about an hour away from our apartment and happened to be a normal campground that was covered in snow. We started building our snow cave around 5 in the afternoon and worked well into the night.

Our snow cave

group of people in the forest making a snow cave
(Our group making our mound of snow for the snow cave)

We made an enormous cave. The entrance was small, just big enough to crawl through and then it opened up into a cavern. And seriously . . . it was amazing. We hung out in our little winter house for a few hours before someone had the bright idea to try and make the cave larger by digging away from the ceiling. Sure enough, it collapsed on us, but we could only laugh.

So you can learn from our little mistake that the number one rule for snow caving is to not make the ceiling too thin. We decided that that was the end of that, packed up, and left for an actual house where we played card games and drank hot chocolate. An amazing memorable evening, for sure.

Watch this video I made about the snow cave date idea

Do you have experience with this date idea? Let me know in the comments how it went and if your date, spouse, significant other liked it. You can buy a copy of the book 101 Creative Dates: ideas, tips, and personal experiences from the life of a hopeless romantic here or visit the shop.

Here are other creative date ideas you might like:

Pumpkin Carving

Horseback Riding

Indoor Climbing Gym

Visit the Hot Springs