Friday, October 25, 2013

Frosty!

This weekend I will be forced to turn the heat on in my cabin. This morning it was 54 degrees in the cabin, and frost covered the plants outside.  Even though my artificial start date of November 1 to turn on the heat is still some days away, I am going to break down and do it today. 54 is just a little too frosty as an indoor temperature for me.

I was toasty enough under my covers, protected by a thick crazy quilt covered with several cats. They cuddle with a vengeance, to the point where I feel as though I’m caught in a strait jacket and can’t move a toe.  Perhaps I’ll have more room when it’s warmer inside.

I do find I am comfortable if the inside temperature is 60 or 62.  The trick, if there is one, is to slowly adjust to the cooler temperature.  If you are used to the higher temperatures that utilities tout as “comfortable,” walking into a room of 60 degrees won’t feel comfortable.  However, if you resist turning on the heat when the temperature inside drops below 70 degrees, you’ll soon find that the human body is quite capable of feeling comfortable at a lower temperature.

One time when I felt hot enough to expire was when I’d been winter backpacking for a week or so and on my way home visited a diner for a good meal.  Even though the other customers kept their coats on, I was sitting by the door peeled down as far as decency would allow.  And I was still sweating like the proverbial pig.  I’d quickly gotten used to living in below freezing temperatures, and a return to a normal temperature seemed terrible.  That said, 54 inside is still too chilly for me. The heat goes on tonight!

10 comments:

Woodswalker said...

We keep our thermostat at 55 for most of our house, but let the kitchen go up to 63 (it has a separate heating system). We wear longjohns and caps, keep a blanket on every chair and sofa, and welcome any or all of our five cats to come cuddle. Then, when we visit others' homes, we die of the heat. Yes, we do get used to being comfortable at lower temps. Think of all the carbon emissions we could save if everybody did this.

Love your frosty photo! Here it comes!

The Solitary Walker said...

Don't blame you for turning on the heat, but I know exactly what you mean about the body acclimatising naturally to cooler temperatures. A few years ago I walked across much of Spain in the winter, and now I shudder to think how minimalist (even 'inadequate'!) my clothing was. Though I can't remember ever being unbearably cold — through the day the body generates quite a lot of warmth while walking, and at night you're ok if you have a good sleeping bag. Thermal underwear's the thing!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Exactly. When I used to work on a farm I always got too hot indoors. But I'm afraid that I've got soft since those days!

Pablo said...

Too soon for the cold. I'm running in shorts this moring (41 degrees) and then going to spend the weekend at my heatless cabin with only two dogs for warmth (and one is a Pomeranian).

Scott said...

Carolyn: I had frost in low-lying areas behind the house this morning (Saturday), but not on the higher land right near the house, and not on the car windows. It was 35 degrees when I awoke at 7:30 a.m.

For some reason, our two cats like Kali more than they do me (but they like me, too, just her more--this despite the fact that I feed them, clean their litter boxes, play with them, and groom them, none of which Kali does). In any case, they, too, like to cuddle up against her when she's in bed and "straightjacket"; I won't complain that they don't prefer me when we're sleeping!

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: I can usually tell how cold it is in the cabin by the number of cats wanting to cuddle. I'm okay at 55 if the wind isn't blowing. My cabin feels tight, but if the wind is blowing a temperature that's comfortable with no wind seems too cold if there's a wind.

Carolyn H said...

Solitary: I've camped more than a few times when the temperature was -10 to -20F. Seems ludicrous today but it wasn't too bad then. I didn't have any wind during those lowest temperatures. A strong breeze can make +20F feel frigid.

Carolyn H said...

John: It doesn't take long to acclimate to a cooler than "normal" temperature. The trick is to do it a few degrees or even one degree at a time.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: I don't think the Pomeranian will do much to help keep you warm! You need larger dogs!

Carolyn H said...

Scott: For the past several days I've had frost every morning down at the bottom of the lane. Further up the mountain where I am, that hasn't happened yet. Not even skim ice in the chicken water.