Polar vortex sounds like a made-up character meant to scare children at bed time. If you don’t go to sleep the Polar Vortex will sweep you away to the Netherlands (I imagine it’s cold there) where you have to live in a frigid cave and the only food to sustain your miserable existence is cold beanie weenies served from a spoon made of icicles. But the is all too real, folks. All too real.
George and I are determined to stick it out the weather in our tin can, but there’s been a couple of nights where I’ve questioned my sanity. Luckily we’ve made previsions. Here’s some tips for staying warm in an Airstream and in other old, tiny spaces.
To winterize the Airstream, we wrapped the pipes in insulation, caulked any and all cracks (it’s my favorite thing to do!) and made thick curtains. Most of the cold in our Airstream comes in through the single-pane windows and it’s surprising what a difference thick curtains have made.
- Layer up
I’ll admit it, I hate being cold. It’s annoying and I’m quite the grump when I’m cold. In the Airstream I always wear socks, sometimes two pairs, and I’ve been sleeping in a sweatshirt. I also made this super comfy scarf/capelet (scarplet?) and I’ve been wearing it as I do chores. I draw the line at having to wear gloves in the house.
- Use rugs
The floors of the Airstream feel like a giant ice cube some mornings. By using throw rugs in almost every area of the house, we avoid freezing toesies and add a touch more insulation to the floor.
- Invest in a heated blanket
Heated blankets may just be my favorite invention ever. I mean, it’s a blanket that is warm. Throw one of those on the bed and you’ll feel like a piece of hot, buttered toast. In a good way.
- Heat the pipes
Before we learned all of these tricks of the trade, our pipes froze… twice. It’s quite unpleasant to wake up to no water. Now we religiously check the weather, put the faucets on drip and use space heaters to heat the pipes.
- Have more than one source of heat
We heat the whole trailer with two space heaters. We’ve chosen to not use any propane at the moment and it’s been working out just fine. I did have a small freakout when George spilled a drink over one of the heaters and it stopped working. (What are the chances?!) Luckily, we had two heaters and could use the other space heater that night as our primary heat source. If I was doing it all over again, I’d seriously consider installing a wood stove.
- Have a cuppa
Nothing warms better than a piping hot cup of tea or coffee! I received an electric tea kettle for Christmas and that thing has been boiling non-stop. If you are a frequent hot beverage drinker, it may be an investment to look into.
- Have a backup plan
And as always, have a backup plan. Hypothermia is no joke. Luckily, George’s family lives close to us and they have a wood stove. Living in the country means that if the electricity goes out, we’ll be out of power and water for days. I cannot stress how important a backup plan is in this kind of situation.
How are you staying warm? Let me know in the comments!