Turn Your Snow Fort Into an Impenetrable Snow Palace
The average snow fort consists of a long wall or two, a small stockpile of snowballs and maybe a tunnel. All a determined enemy needs to do is to wait patiently, just out of range, for that stockpile of ammo to be spent. Once your intrepid team runs out of snowballs, the opposing force will rush in like a tidal wave of white rage and your precious snow fort will be no more.
However, with a little foreknowledge and planning, your next snow battle could make your revenge sweet and comfortable from within the ramparts of a reinforced snow citadel. Following a series of professional snow fort building techniques will certainly tip the balance of the next engagement in your favor.
Location, Location, Location!
Choose a spot near a building, wall or another physical barrier. Build your fortress facing outward from that location, which makes any attack from behind an exercise in futility.
Also, if you want your fort to remain intact for an extended period, you ought to avoid building in an area where your mighty fortress will be flagged for removal by local authorities.
A Strong Foundation
Unless you are building on a concrete slab, the chances are good that an uneven terrain full of hazards and obstacles will need to be properly prepared in order to support your fortress.
First, plan exactly where the walls will be built. Assemble your entire team into a huddle and design the ramparts around them by drawing an outline in the snow with a stick, shovel or sword. Make sure that you will have enough room in your completed fortification for your entire army of snow warriors.
Next, pat some snow down to even out the ground and to create a strong, smooth plane for the foundation of your fort walls. A strong foundation will make for better footing and traction for your troops as they hurl carefully aimed snowball grenades over the wall and into the advancing enemy lines.
Build a Wall Worthy of Song
Only an amateur would simply pile up snow and attempt to chisel out a wall-like shape. Instead of showing your enemies a weakness to be exploited, find some large plastic storage bins and pack them full of snow. These will form snow bricks that you can use to build a stronger, thicker, sturdier and taller wall.
Place them the way you would place normal bricks, with each row overlapping the row beneath. Either find or make some slush to use as mortar between the bricks. When you’re finished, your impenetrable wall will be ready to withstand the Mongols and the Persian Empire together at the same time.
Some of the more serious snow soldiers prefer to make their fort bricks out of pykrete instead of snow. Pykrete is essentially sawdust and ice, and it will stand up to almost anything, from a concentrated hail of snowballs to a bullet. However, if you’re fighting a snowball war with bullets you’re going against the Geneva Convention, so be forewarned.
The Final Touch
Once your snow fort is finished and ready to stand the trial of combat, you must complete one more step before the enemy arrives at your gates. Take buckets of water and douse the entire fort with water.
Once it freezes, the frozen water will create an extra solidifying barrier to your snow fortress. Nothing short of an actual tank – or, well, summer – will bring your walls down. All you’ll need is a large stockpile of ammunition and the will to ceaselessly crush your opponent to the point of surrender or annihilation.
Depending on where you decide to build your snow fort, you may also be able to tunnel through a high snow drift or mound of snow to make a secret snowball munitions armory or to join forces with a nearby ally by connecting your fort to theirs. (Never tunnel alone. Make sure there is someone with you at all times in case the tunnel collapses on top of you.)
You can also follow igloo construction techniques to close yourself off to aerial attacks. An enclosed fort area can also be used as a munitions cache, as a makeshift infirmary to tend your wounded or as a throne room for you, the supreme ruler of your army.
Other advanced techniques are primarily aesthetic in nature. You can use food coloring in the snow to add a little panache to your structure (there’s nothing like a brightly colored skull and crossbones to make your enemies think twice about attacking). Some snow fort architects even add lighting to their palaces – but be wary of wires and electronics around water, even when that water is frozen.
You can tip the odds of the next snowball engagement in your favor with a little knowledge and preparation. Evolving out of the stone age of snow fort construction will give you a distinct advantage over most of your opponents as they attempt to hide behind their simple, pathetic piles of snow. Your reinforced frozen walls will intimidate the prehistoric sensibilities of your enemy!
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