It seems funny to switch to a new project about enjoying a difficult season -- winter -- so soon after making a big project out of enjoying summer more. Perhaps the summer project worked well enough that it encouraged me.
What makes winter difficult? It isn't the temperature or the clouds or the snow -- not for snowbirds, it isn't. The difficulty is the long hours of darkness.
Remember that the American Southwest has a higher latitude than the Texas coast or southern Florida. Phoenix is only slightly south of Atlanta, GA.
The easy answer to too many hours of darkness is to sleep more. Yes, animals do sleep more (and better) in cool weather, but there are limits to that trick.
Recently I was watching a video by Jonna Jinton, a young woman who spends the winter in northern Sweden, so her credentials are similar to an Alaskan. She was probably quite correct when she recommended not trying to sleep too much. Her point is even more important for an oldster.
Campers in small RVs, vans, or tents are at a great disadvantage compared to somebody in a normal house who can walk around and find errands to do. This hardship doesn't get much attention from the bullshitters on the internet who rhapsodize about the glamorous van nomad lifestyle. It can get glum and confining in a small box during 13 hours of darkness. I don't see how people do it if they can't even stand up.
Fortunately modern technology helps.
- LED lights for brightening the RV without draining the battery.
- Electronic screens for reading books. No longer are we at the mercy of tiny print in a paper book, or poor lighting from light bulbs.
- All kinds of media consumption are easier than in the past. Granted, 99.9% of media is garbage but that still leaves a lot of good stuff to use during the long hours of darkness. Audio books in particular are helpful because eyes tire at night, but ears don't.
- LED headlamps for doing chores inside the RV.
- Cooking is probably the best chore of all for the dark hours. Then, during the daylight hours, you need only warm up what you cooked at night. This could save you a lot of money, considering what food-inflation has become.