Tuesday 10 January 2017

The Low Part of The Urban Nomad Cycle

This is it, we have officially arrived at the low portion of the cycle that is my life as an Urban Nomad: the dead of winter.

It’s okay, as I have been here before, so I know what to expect and I know how to manage; the cold doesn’t really bother me. I mean, I don’t like it, but I can handle it.

As witnessed by this exchange yesterday: 

“Damn, it’s cold out there!” My boss said as he entered our workplace from running his errands. 

He hadn’t been out there long; in fact he had just crossed the few feet from where his truck was parked right outside our offices to the front door.

“Meh, it’s not even minus twenty,” I replied with a shrug.

In my head I was thinking “You’re not even dressed for the weather; T-shirt and jeans? No wonder you’re cold.”

This told me that I am fully in Polar Bear Mode. This time of year is when I hibernate more, and just stay warm and do very little. 

I find myself spending most of my evenings in my sleeping bag, under the covers, staying warm whilst not wasting propane. 

I am okay, I am managing, and I know this cold will not last long.

This end of the cycle lasts for January and February; March and April is when it starts to warm up. As expected July and August are the high points of the cycle.

Hmm, warm weather: the door and windows all open (save for bug screens) a nice breeze blowing through the trailer and me in my shorts . . . good times.

This end of the cycle sees me in six layers of clothing when I am not at work, and constantly thinking about how long it will take for this or that to freeze (yes, even me).

It is because of this end of the cycle that I got into the habit of setting up my kettle and coffee percolator the night before. Usually they, and my water supply, are frozen by morning.

I still take home 3 x 1.5 litre bottles of water from work each day and bring them back each morning, even if they are not empty. This is so that they can defrost in the warmth of work during the day. 

I finally figured out why my deadbolt lock freezes up, and thus leaves me without the ability to lock up my trailer when I am asleep.

Typically I leave the roof vents open a crack at all times (except when driving). This allows the air to escape, fine. 

What happens is that in windy weather some of that wind is blown into the trailer through those roof vents. This then increases the air pressure in the trailer.

Air pressure must equalize, so the air must exit somehow, one of those ways is through the crack in the door, and past that deadbolt lock.

The problem, I surmise, is the fact that we have a very cold, frozen piece of metal that has moist air blowing over it. 

The moisture in the air then condenses on the metal and freezes, thus freezing the deadbolt in place. (Either in the locked or unlocked position.) 

The way to free myself is to light a candle and have it burning as close as possible to the business end of the deadbolt lock. After a bit, this usually heats up the lock enough for me to force the deadbolt open. 

To air the trailer out I plan to leave the door open and open the roof vents for at least half an hour each night. (Whilst bundled up for the outdoors . . . joy.)

Again, it is little tricks like this that I have picked up over the two (not counting this one) winters which helps me survive, and yes thrive during this time of year.

What also helps keep me going, is knowing that this is only temporary . . . this too shall pass. (It will warm up a bit by the weekend, so there is a reprieve).

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

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