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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Staying warm in the frozen tundra or “Looks like Wisconsin to me.”

For a few years my family will attest to the fact that our home has bordered on downright frigid during the winter months - seeing as mom was always quite warm, (no remarks on age please) and ‘if mamma aint happy, aint nobody happy!’ Now the tide has changed and momma is able to wear sweaters again!

If fact, I have found that there now is a certain material that keeps one extremely toasty. It is a particular micro-fiber that my dh says feels like dryer lint. My dd got a throw made of this material from my other dd at Christmas and laying under it when visiting with her in the coldest room of the house (her bedroom) I found it was like lying under an electric blanket. No kidding. I wish I could give exact content, but there are several made of the 100% polyester blend that do not do what this material does. But the way I can tell the warm one from the other ones is that when you run your hand down it, kinda “catches” on the fibers. It does not feel smooth, it seems to feel like it is pulling moisture out of your hand. It is a very soft feeling material, and not necessarily bumpy. But your hand does not glide over it smoothly. That is the best I can do to explain it. You can get sweaters and blankets in this material. I am trying to pick some throws up as they go on clearance at Walgreens (about $4.00) and I found a sweater at a local thrift shop for $1.50. I still need to find socks. The throws could be put into a sleeping bag to add extra warmth. Just keep in mind that I don't know is this material "breathes" so plan accordingly.

Other than warm clothes, including long underwear – a necessity hereabouts, there is the issue of providing heat if the electricity is unavailable. I feel very uncomfortable with my preps in this area as we only have two kerosene heaters and a little bit of stored kerosene. If it were up to me, we would have a soapstone stove. You can google it and find different manufacturers. The soapstone will warm the house for hours, and the stoves are now made to burn very efficiently. The problem with installing the heavy stove at this address is that we have the house up for sale and do not want to have to move the stove when we move. But I would definitely encourage anyone considering a source of warmth for their retreat to check out these stoves. There are models you can cook on too.

A warm meal or drink can go a long way to warming you up so I want to talk a little about fixing food. Not always having sunny days, we can’t count on a solar cooker. But, we also have a grill and propane, both large and small. I would fix a one pot meal on one of them, bring it to a boil and boil a few minutes, then immediately place it in a insulated cupboard to “slow cook” for a few hours. This would save fuel as I would not have to cook the meal for a longer time. You can also keep water warm this way.

You can make your own insulated cupboard by taking any cupboard in your kitchen or metal box, or wood box, large cooler, etc. and using insulation, make your own large thermos-like container. Even just wrapping your stew pot in towels and blankets until it is very insulated will work. I found out about this just a few weeks ago, and have complete confidence in the person who related it to me. I have not experimented with it yet as she has, for I have been learning a new skill and my time must go to that endeavor right now. I am, however, ready to cook this way if the need arises. Check it out here

And another hint I do want to pass along is using ground up cayenne pepper in your boots. It will discolor your socks, so you may not want to try this now, but it will make your feet warm. I also keep it in my first aid kit as I feel it will stop bleeding. I have even read that putting a ¼ tsp under your tongue can help with heart attack, but I do not give medical advice; please do not view my comments as such. I just thought I would throw that in to bait you into doing your own research. It has also been used successfully for some who are sick with flu.

Hope you're staying warm,



Anonymous said...

Sposed to be in the 40's this wekend....hang in there..

I was over at Utah Prepers site and the owner posted about a Sears store closing and possible bargins to be had. Lets see if we can keep our eyes open for your fellow chedder heads for store closings and post them here?

Help U Prep said...

Hi Anon,
I know that there are Circuit City stores closing, but from what I hear, the deals are not that good yet. I would be happy to post this info, if you get some, just let me know!

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