To ready the van for the winter I have used a few tricks from the previous winters, modified some others and introduced a couple of new ones.
Returning due to popular demand:
-As in has been the case in prior winters when it's chilly and you're warm the motivation to put cold shoes on and step outside to visit nature loses some of its appeal, so the pee bottle has remained a constant.
-Another constant is the memory foam mattress that gets rock hard when cold but almost melts underneath you when it warms up, it's the closest a mattress can get to a hug and it feels great!
-The Coleman two burner continues to make cooking and water boiling a cinch while also cranking out those BTUs and making the van interior feel like a tropical paradise despite the snowy landscape.
-Books and podcasts as I talked about in my entertainment post have occupied much of my evening free time.
- This summer when I sold the purple dragon (the van I spent the previous two winters in) the home made tea candle space heater went with it. So far I have dabbled with a modification of placing a small bowl in a low walled pail (for draft protection). It fits three tea candles and I think is just fine for taking the edge of the air while I sleep. I moved away from the prior construction because last winter I knocked it over many times which was something of a fire danger as well as a great way to spill hot wax everywhere. The down side to the new design is that the candles to light up the van which isn't very stealthy and can sometimes inhibit sleep, also the exposed flames continue to present a fire hazard, we'll see if any more modifications occur as the winter progresses as it's still an imperfect system.
|The Coleman with the coffee percolator, perfection!|
New this Season:
-All Wheel Drive, as you may know I upgraded to a Toyota Previa this year and it has AWD, it is awesome. With new snow tires and ingenious design I have had to work to make it slip. Time and time again I have assumed that I won't get out a snowy parking lot or will slip going around a corner, all of which would have been true in my previous vans. Time and time again I've been disappointed with a mundane and safe drive to my sleeping place or work. I now understand how my friend Nathan was able to pull my old Dodge out of ditches and through town with his Previa last winter, they're amazing vehicles!
|The ensolite foam insulation on the sliding door.|
-Down socks, they're awesome also! I wear mine inside the van when lounging, inside my sleeping bag on cold nights, in my snow boots when I'm lazy and it's cold outside. They pack down to nothing so are easy to accommodate in the van and are extremely warm (You might recognize the guy in the picture in ^ link).
|Books on the left, chitenge from Zambia on the right |
and a man cave in the middle.
|A view of the yard out of my bedroom window. |
River front property is as great as they say it is.