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Almost Needing a Heater

It is easy to poke fun at ascetics. I do a bit of it myself, particularly where the 'holy man in the van' syndrome displays itself, usually ostentatiously. Therefore it will seem ironic that this post appears to strut its asceticism before the readers.

Perhaps asceticism only seems ridiculous when it concerns itself with a topic that doesn't interest you, personally. Somebody who, say, gets up at 5 a.m. and runs five miles every day may laugh at people who are abstemious at the dinner table. There are many such examples.

In my case, small RVs don't particularly interest me. It seems like common sense to keep a rig small-to-medium in size, and that is that. But what does interest me is avoiding heaters in a camper. There are some obvious practical reasons behind this, but I would only be fooling myself if I started running on about microscopic 'practical' justifications.

The real reason is that the challenge of living without heaters inspires me. Blame my ethnicity, past habit of reading polar exploration books, a childhood or delivering newspapers in the frozen Midwest, or more recently, my dislike of summer camping, and growing appreciation of winter camping.

At first the weather gods were predicting that it would fall to the high teens this morning. Then they backed off to 20 F. Still, the chances were pretty good I'd break my personal record of 28 F inside the trailer by this morning. 

Ahh, but this time I have a secret weapon. Perhaps you have seen the classic movie, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. There are two really good reasons to watch the movie: looking at Gene Tierney, and listening to the musical score of Bernard Herrmann. 

Courtesy of
At one point Gene Tierney's character, a young widow in England in the 1930's, prepares for bed by heating some kind of water container. Of course!, we 'moderns' have forgotten that a large reservoir of hot water kept people warm at night, before the age of central heating.

So I bought a Platypus brand water bottle, the flexible kind, with a capacity of 2 liters. I put the hottest water I could stand in it. The plastic and the seams did not melt. The heat lasted for three hours, and I slept like a baby. What a magnificent comforting feeling it gives you in bed!

So take that! Mr. Buddy Heater, Olympian, Propex, and Dickinson heaters. We live in harmony with nature in this camper.


Ed said…
I have no problem sleeping without a heater, I have enough blankets and sleeping bags that I can stay nice and warm down to about zero. It is sitting in the cold after I get up that becomes the problem, that is when my Wave 6 gets fired up. As it is now with the temperature as I type standing at 37°.
I assume you are leaving that cold camp today although you claim to like winter camping better than summer. Flaying south with the snowbird migration?
Steve said…
Let that dog of yours sleep where you do ... ha. I know when I am here sleeping with the windows cracked in the winter in Indiana ... the hounds seem to feel my bed is their bed and I am moved out to the couch as they stay warm. I like and had forgotten the old warm water routine.
XXXXX said…
Is it really possible that any creature is not in harmony with nature, including humans? After all, we are all children of this planet.
Take the beaver, for example. It dramatically alters any ecosystem. Some would say in a positive manner, depending on which side they are on; and others would say the opposite.
Same as us humans. We are but little insects to this planet, creating just a little scratch to its surface. The planet will survive long after we are gone, no matter how much fuel we use or not.
You are right, Steve. A pet is a great bio-heater. Unfortunately by bed is only 32" wide. My dog won't come onto the bed when I am there.

Yes, a person can have trouble getting warm when you first get out of bed. If you have a loose fitting jacket, you can insert a half-filled Platypus bladder into it. I promise it will keep you warm sitting in a chair.
George, This post sounds like I am almost posturing as a holier-than-thou Greenie. But of course, I don't think like that.

I agree with what you said about humans living in harmony with nature. I was using the cliché facetiously.
XXXXX said…
Actually, that movie is one of my favorites. Something about a phantom lover..........