Extreme Cold

Texas friends, and anyone else dealing with unusual extreme cold, I am sending warmth your way. ๐ŸŒŸโ˜€๏ธโœจ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿงกโค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›

I remember back in the days when I was doing without heat in a little trailer in Austin, the lowest temp I remember was maybe 19. Now it’s 10 or even lower that some of you are experiencing.

The best tips I know are probably the most well-known, but there’s a reason why they are well-known!! And just in case you haven’t heard them, or need a reminder:

(From a friend who has spent much of her life in cold climes; this also matches my experience):

  • Layers – Avoid cotton. Silk/poly/wool etc are great.
  • Cover your head. Always.
  • Mittens are better than gloves. Gloves with the finger flaps are better than mittens.
  • Sock layers are magic. But (if you put shoes on) you have to have giant boots otherwise the sock layers get squished and they have less insulating value.

(From my own reading and experience):

  • Get all the people and pets into the warmest room, or smallest possible room. Bring bedding and all the blankets in there. Cozy up.
  • If you have a tent or EZ-up, pitch a “room within a room” and pile in there. (This can actually become a fun thing for the kids. And for some of us “adults” as well!)
  • If-when you have power, boil up water and put it into thermoses so you can drink hot drinks throughout the day.
  • During the day, if it’s safe to go outside AND if you have adequate clothing, you can get VERY warm from your core by performing tasks such as shoveling snow, chipping/scraping ice, chopping wood. Or brisk walking, if the roads & sidewalks are not too icy. I found I was able to get and stay remarkably warm by exerting myself in these ways. (If you do this, make sure your attire includes under-layers that will wick your sweat; otherwise you’ll get cold from your sweat. I recommend silk, capilene, duofold, or merino wool as under-layers.)

On a personal note: Voluntarily doing without heat was harder when I first started. (I think my first winter of voluntarily doing without heat was in 2006-2007), because I was very skinny back then. However, even back then I was able to manage, because I have a lot of experience dressing in layers, hiking/camping for days, etc. My vulnerability to cold always scared me, so about 30 years ago, while I was living in Japan, I started aggressively tackling my fear by joining a group that went on multi-day winter camping trips.

Sending love and warmth your way. Stay safe!

Further Reading:

Southwest Power Pool Declares Energy Emergency Level 3; Rolling Blackouts Are Imminent for Their Utilities (kfyo.com): State of emergency ranges from the midwest all the way down to Central Texas. Because most of their power plants are powered by natural gas, and the natural-gas wellheads and line valves are freezing, it is difficult to supply the natural gas that powers the electric generation stations. Dire situation. Yes, if we needed more proof — fossil-fuel dependency makes us brittle.