We officially moved onto our new off grid land this past September (2021) and it has been one big, beautiful, learning experience. Our latest challenge is the issue of shipping containers, our winter tent just arrived, we’ve been in a summer tent so far. The wood burning stove will be here the first week of December. Our tent, like so many other things, sat on a shipping container for a while. Evergreen is involved so we know it’s just another purposely done scare tactic done by the powerless ones. Regardless the cause, our hot tent arrived very late forcing us to figure out how to stay warm, safe, comfortable and dry in a summer tent. This tent has a mesh roof and, well, it’s a tent, the walls and floor are thin. I’ve done a bit of research, what I found wasn’t too encouraging. Most people were saying it’s a miserable way to winter camp and advise against it. Who can blame them? It can be very miserable.
Before I continue, I want to emphasize that I am not a cold weather person. I grew up in Illinois and spent most of my adult life in Wisconsin so I’m well versed on what Mother Gaia is capable of. I would rather stay warm and dry by the fire with a good herb book than go outside. Since we’re now off grid, I need to get over all that!
It’s been cold at night here…getting down to the 30s and colder later this week. We’ve been comfortable. Days so far are between 50 and 70, we’ve had plenty of rainy days but no serious flooding issues. We’ve had 1 thunder storm. We have 2 huge tarps on our tent that cover the entire tent to the ground on each side. We have a canvas tarp on the floor of the tent. It was originally bought for the top but it’s too heavy for the tent frame. We have the tent walls lined with items to help block the cold…full totes, laundry basket, 2 plastic dressers, etc. We have an air mattress, I keep a moving blanket between the mattress and tent wall. We have an extra tarp and foam under our mattress. At night we cover up with stack of blankets which includes the warmest quilt ever, 2 sheets, another blanket and a moving blanket. I had no idea how warm moving blankets are until the Hubs put one on our bed. We have not been cold at night at all. The mornings are only cold until one of us starts the heater. Our Silky Terrier sleeps under the blankets with us. Our lab/shepherd mix stays under 2 blankets at the foot of the bed. None of us lose sleep at night.
Our heat source is a Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heater. I found it while researching tent heaters. This heater does well in our 10×8 tent. I do need to put a disclaimer out there…I’ve been told this heater isn’t meant for tents (although it’s advertised as such) and to be mindful of the carbon monoxide. I can stand straight up in our tent and it’s roomy. We really don’t have much in here so the heater has plenty of space. As far as the carbon monoxide, it’s not really an issue since this tent has plenty ventilation. The hot tent is solid canvas so I’m investing in a carbon monoxide detector since we will be using this heater until our wood burning stove gets here. Another issue to keep in mind is that propane heat is fire…we’re very mindful when making the bed, folding laundry, where the dogs are, etc to not get anything too close to the heater. Although this heater has an automatic shut off if it happens to fall over, we still don’t use it when we’re in bed sleeping or leave it on when one of us isn’t in the tent.
I would never recommend winter camping in a tent that isn’t meant for winter camping. Although it can be done and we’re not too uncomfortable, we’re doing this out of necessity as it wasn’t part of the plan. We have no control over what the powerless ones do, we just pay attention and make our moves accordingly. No matter what happens we will keep moving forward. When you’re put in a situation to do or die, you do or die. We are making the best we can our of what we have for this temporary living situation. I see it as a challenge, a learning experience and a way to help me learn and grow.
There will be more challenges, set backs and make do moments. I’m looking forward to everyone of them.
What are you experiences winter camping or camping in bad weather? I’d love to hear about them and how you over came them.
Supporting small businesses, our local businesses and our veterans is very important to us. Our hot tent was bought from veteran-owned Wall Tent Shop. Here is their link: https://www.walltentshop.com/