Wednesday, February 5, 2020

I had my aversions backwards

The forecast was for overnight lows near freezing, and it was certainly feeling like that shortly after sundown. Grumble moan whine. I could use the stove to heat the Rolling Steel Tent while I was awake, turning it on for short periods, but I couldn’t do that while sleeping. Groan mumble whine.

I got under the covers: a medium down quilt with a lightweight blanket on top. Layering, man. I pulled on my ratty old knit cap. Keep the head warm, amigo. And I thought about how miserable I was going to be. Groan mumble whine.

The temperature continued to drop and my bedding was barely adequate. I reached into the cabinet (which is easy when you’re in a tight space like a van) and grabbed my sleeping bag. I added it to the bottom of the pile. That helped. Oh, the joys of retained body heat. The groaning mumbling and whining died down and I slept well, in a semi-conscious, semi-cryogenic state.

It was 34°F/1°C inside the van when I woke in the middle of the night to pee. That’s when I had a mini epiphany: It’s not sleeping in the cold that I hate. It’s being awake in the cold.


  1. It's the getting out of bed, at least that's what I've always said.

  2. Pee when it's cold at 3 a.m.,.,...It's the ONLY thing I dislike about freedom.

  3. Maybe one day there will be a heater invented that will be microscopic when not in use.

  4. I had a Wave 6 in the van ('92 Ford Aerostar), but it put out too much heat for the Tracker. Monoxide emissions are so low for both the Wave 6 and the Wave 3 I was/am able to keep the windows shut tight. Been doing it for years. The 1.1 gallon propane tank (Cal Ranch stores have small tanks) lasts about 4 days if I use the heater all night every night. Costs $3.50 to fill.

  5. Is your van insulated? Did you include insulation when you got it ready for your nomadic life? If not, have you considered it?

    1. Yes. It was a bare van when I got it. The most time consuming thing was doing the insulation.