I really didnt expect either Arkansas or the desert of Arizona to be so crazy cold! brrr... about froze my smartwool socks off a few nites. I have been so very grateful for all the help and advice of fellow full-timers to get me through this. Dee n Walter in Arkansas gifted me reflectix n helped fit it to the windows. A stranger left a mighty warm sleeping bag outside the van at Toad Suck COE Park. Peace Lutheran Church too me under thier wings and blessed me a few nights at a campground, a lovely lunch and some warm blankets. Pastor Ben from Central Church in AR brought me Thanksgiving dinner and firewood and also helped me with nites at a campground so I could plug in an electric heater. After arriving in the AZ desert, Bob Wells and his tribe of Cheapgreenrvliving full-timers were a wealth of knowledge and assistance. Charlene (swankiewheels) especially befriended me and not only helped me stay warm with her xmas gifted blanket, she and I worked together to build my bed and storage bench. One evening, after nearly leaving the tribe because of the bitter cold and wind, she and Cheri showed me how to cacoon my sleeping space for more warmpth....I cant thank them enough. Bob and Brian loaned me a Buddy heater which was wonderfully warm, although I was reminded, after using it a few times, of my allergies and athsma, so I decided to try other ways of staying warm. Here are a few simple things that seem to help:
smartwool (any wool really) socks and wear them to bed!
winter hat and gloves or mittens wear them to bed also.
use an old fashioned hot water bottle n warm up your bed before getting in then hug it while you sleep
before bed, drink hot chocolate with cayenne pepper in it while you chat with friends around a campfire...and speaking of campfires, if your athsma is too active to deal with wood smoke, make an alcohol fire by placing a roll of toilet paper inside an empty medium size coffee can, fill it with rubbing alcohol and let it sit so the tp soaks up the alcohol and then acts as a wick....its a pretty clean burn outdoors.
I am still experimenting with heaters and fuel. My new Kandle Heeter is cute and cozy tho a little small - I got better heat out of it last nite using an unsented candle in an empty tin can....I will keep you posted on this as I practice with it more.
So I pass the help along as other newbies arrive to visit or join the tribe. Making coffee or hot chocolate and encouraging others to share the safety or warmpth of my tiny abode, or at the least its respite from the wind.