Battling vicious snowstorms and extreme cold can be very challenging, especially in the remote state of Alaska. With the lowest population density in the United States, the Alaskan winters are extensive with restricted resources, rough terrain, dangerous animals, and of course, exceptionally low temperatures. With this critical survival tip, the seven Alaskan residents on the National Geographic Channel series, Life Below Zero, can outsmart their frozen surroundings and finally make it to spring.

The series follows these individuals as they are constantly battling for the most basic necessities in the minus-60-degree climate; so staying warm is a must in order to survive. Surprisingly, snow can actually be a great insulator. By building a suitable snow shelter, a warm and safe retreat from the harsh Alaskan landscape, or any wintry surrounding, is achievable. One of the most quick and effective ways to construct a snow shelter is in a tree well, which is the area directly below the lowest branches of some coniferous trees like spruces, larches, hemlocks, cedars, or firs. First, support the natural enclosure by propping up additional branches around the lowest branches. Next, dig out the amassed snow around the trunk. Finally, lay evergreen boughs on the bottom to make a comfortable resting place that can be as much as 40º F (22º C) warmer than the temperature outside.

Looking at snow from an unusual perspective could make all the difference on each person’s journey to spring on Life Below Zero. In such extreme conditions, only the mentally adept will be able to withstand this high-intensity test of isolation and rigorous work that is necessary to survive the many months of winter in the Alaskan landscape.

On Thursday, April 9th at 9PM, tune into season three of the eye-opening series on the National Geographic Channel to see which of these seven Alaskan residents combat the cold long enough to see the start of melting snow.