Simple Reminders of How to Conserve Heat and Stay Warm
As we are experiencing a cold season that seems to produce massive Arctic blasts that cover most of the country in frigid temperatures, it’s a good time to look at some simple ways to stay warm. For those who live in the north, cold winters are nothing new, and adapting is almost second nature. However, for those who are situated in parts of the country that don’t normally get below the freezing mark, these suggestions may be helpful. Let’s take a look at a few simple tricks that can help you to retain a considerable amount of heat.
Even poorly-insulated rooms can retain a lot more heat if the doors are closed and large gaps or holes are blocked. You don’t need to seal off a room completely to keep a lot of heat from escaping, but the more you can close off, the more heat you can retain. While this sounds simplistic, it really works, and this is something that is easy to overlook. If you are in a room with a small space heater or fireplace, simply close the door, and line cracks and crevices with any type of material you have on hand when possible. If the room in question doesn’t have doors, drape some heavy fabric to block off entryways as much as possible.
Avoid Areas Exposed to Wind
Whether you are sheltering in place or using your bug-out location, find an area that is shielded from direct exposure to the wind. This could involve blocking off a particular room or angling your shelter or vehicle so it is not facing the wind. While cold temperatures will cool things down no matter where you are situated, getting out of the wind can help you to stabilize temperatures and keep the impact of wind to a minimum. The same principle can be applied while walking or being outside when temperatures drop to dangerous levels. Turn your back to the wind when possible, and you’ll notice a dramatic impact in the ability to retain heat.
A little bit of physical activity produces a lot of heat, and spending a couple of minutes exercising or performing some manual labor will turn your body into a portable heat generator. Best of all, the results are immediate, and the cold ambient air temperature will feel less uncomfortable. Finding ways to exert energy can also reduce the amount of fuel you would otherwise need to heat an area as you start to be able to cope better with lower temperatures.
Try to hunker down and avoid going in and out of rooms that are difficult to heat. Every time a door is opened, heat can escape, and you may need to restart the warming process all over again. In extreme cold situations, try to plan ahead so you can have items with you in the “warm” space that you’ve established. The impact from entering and exiting rooms under normal circumstances is less noticeable when heaters are working properly, because warm air is replenished. However, if you’re in a situation where you have weak heat, or need to improvise in order to raise temperatures, opening or closing the door a few times can rob the room of heat that may take a lot of time to regain.
Finally, layering up, wearing warm socks, shoes, a good shirt or wrapping yourself with a blanket will go a long way toward keeping you warm, even in cold rooms. This is also a great way to conserve energy and fuel as you won’t need to warm the air temperature as much. Make sure that you have warm clothes on hand, particularly those who live in areas where freezing temperatures are not common, and put them on as needed.
These are just a few basic ideas that can make a big difference in your ability to keep rooms and shelters warm for longer periods of time with less fuel. However, this is by no means a complete list. What other ideas can you think of that you can put to good use when the next cold snap hits? Feel free to share some tips that can help all of us stay warmer this winter, under normal circumstances or if we find ourselves in an unexpected crisis.