Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to stay warm on cool nights

When doing frugal boondocking as a vagabond, you want to minimize any use of environmental heating or cooling because this costs the most. The easiest way to do this is to always pick a warm weather site. Select your current camping site based on the months high and low temps. Where less clothing when it gets warm in the afternoon and put on warm clothes for the night time. These two things go a long way to eliminating the need for any environmental heating or cooling. Reflectix in the windows help also.

An unexpected change
You can get a rather cool evening when you least expect it and no one wants to shiver while they try and sleep. I try and stay in places that are 40F degrees and above at night but I am not always successful. If you get much below 32F, you will have to protect your RV systems from freezing which is much more work than just sleeping comfortable. Of course if you are hooked up at a campsite, you can handle much lower temperatures but must still worry about freezing water lines.

Radiant Heat
The body loses anywhere between 20% and 50% of its warmth through radiant heat. This heat can be reflected back to the body to make you feel warm. You will be surprised how much warmer you will feel when you do this small thing. The trick is to have a reflective barrier not touching your body. The heat then will not be conducted through the barrier but reflected back to warm your body.

Space blanket
The first thing you should buy is a space blanket. These blankets were developed by NASA and are a thin sheet of plastic coated with a metallic reflective surface. Keep one on hand for those unexpected cold snaps. Since I like to hike and cap away from the RV, I always have one. You can also make a reflective barrier from Reflectix.

Sleeping bag
I also have a cold weather mummy type sleeping bag for hiking and tent camping . I sleep in it right there in the RV on those unexpected chilly nights. The bag I have is good down to 5F so it is really all I need to stay warm at night. It saves having to use any kind of heat. In the morning, I will get dressed and use the space blanket to help warm up while the coffee is brewing.

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