Friday, December 3, 2010

How to warm up.

Tom's Journal.

All Army Veterans and most folks in Wisconsin already know these facts-- but the rest of you guys and gals who DON'T live in Hawaii can now learn how to be comfortable and sleep warm!! Woo Woo! Think--- what's more important, looking like a cool fool, or knowing how to LAYER your clothing-- pick the right/ correct clothes to stay warm?? I remember having to pull guard duty in Germany near a POL dump in the Winter time, in early 1968, while a bunch of soldiers were sleeping in a tent, but they had a diesel heater inside that kept everything toasty. It was nice to step in out of the cold windy raw weather for a few minutes to warm up. But I had to learn how to dress warm and still be in uniform in the Fatherland.

And you might have guessed correctly that now days ANYTHING could come down the pike--- like shortages of heating fuel or over priced gas and oil if there is a new war or money/ credit crisis.... Be Prepared! Learn and survive.


There's nothing worse than a cold bedroom in winter, so we asked four ice hotels to share their secrets to a cozy sleep space.

During the long, dark days of winter -- and nights too! -- it can be difficult to sleep in a bedroom that is drafty or cold. It might lack a proper heating vent. Or you might be trying to save some dough by cranking down the heat at night.

Fortunately, there are ways to cope with undesirable temperatures in the bedroom.

And what better source of inspiration than from a seasoned pro -- a hotel constructed from blocks of ice or mounds of snow?

Four hotels around the world offer accommodations like this -- Hôtel de Glace in Quebec; Kirkenes SnowHotel in Norway; a property aptly named Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden; and Finland's SnowVillage. We polled each of the hotels for tips on what to wear to bed -- and the warmest, coziest types of bedding -- to help make your bedroom a blissful refuge during winter.

"Clients from whom we have received negative feedback have said that it was too warm to sleep," says Heini Korvenkangas of SnowVillage.

Learn To Sleep In Layers
SnowHotel in Norway injects humor into the idea of sleeping overnight in a hotel made out of snow. "Remember, we are in the Arctic climate," reads a letter of introduction to all guests. "Take extra layers to keep yourself warm. This is not a fashion show; the purpose is to keep yourself warm!"

Not just for outdoor hikes and while downhill or cross-country skiing, thermal underwear is a blessing any time it's cold. Why is it a godsend? Simply put, it traps warm air from escaping your body. Go with not only long underwear but a long-sleeve top too. Add flannel pajamas on top and a tank top underneath, and you are all set to catch some zzzs.

Hôtel de Glace in Quebec coaches guests ahead of time on what to pack in preparation for a night sleeping on a block of ice. Three layers should be worn, with the exterior layer's goal to "shield wind and humidity;" the middle layer of wool, flannel or polar-fleece garments designed to isolate air and control humidity; and an interior layer of undergarments. And not necessarily the undies or undershirts you wear year-round. These should be a mix of wool or synthetic fabric and ideally not cotton. Cotton retains the humidity and then you have a new problem you did not anticipate: sweating. Also, shop for wool socks and a wool cap that fits tightly over your head (you'd be surprised how quickly it can fall off while you toss and turn -- or allow a draft to slip through). At SnowVillage in Norway each guest is provided with not only a sleeping bag but a wool hat and a pair of wool socks too.

And while we know how tempting it is to sleep in the clothes you wore during the day, try not to. The reason is that dry clothing -- garments you've not worn yet that day -- lacks humidity that can actually make you feel cool. Stick with dry layers, and you won't have this problem.

Snuggle Into A Sleeping Bag
Because the beds at all of these hotels are constructed from raw, natural materials (snow and ice) that couldn't be any colder, guests are provided with fleece-lined sleeping bags. Now even though you have a base that includes a mattress, mattress pad and bed sheets, it can't hurt to add another layer next to your skin. Search for a sleeping bag that clearly states the outdoor temperatures it is guaranteed to succumb to. Ideally, that should be below freezing temperatures, because that's how cold it can feel at night, yes?

"Each guest is supplied with a sleeping bag meant for outdoor conditions," explains Korvenkangas. "These sleeping bags can handle up to -25 to -35 degrees Celsius. Yet it's never that cold at SnowVillage."

Take it to the next level -- if your bedroom is really cold -- and invest in a fleece inner sleeping bag, which is what SnowVillage guests also receive. You can either use it in conjunction with the sleeping bag or solo -- your choice and depending on your body's need for warmth.

Ice Hotel Stay Warm in Cold Bedroom ice hotel
Photo: Big Ben Productions for Ice Hotel

Think Exotic
If ever there was a reason to invest in high-quality, exotic materials for bedding, it's the fact that you cannot sleep because it is too cold. At Ice Hotel, reindeer skins are laid between the blocks of ice (that serve as beds) and sleeping bags for a cozy middle layer that traps heat and won't allow it to escape. Large pieces of animal skins are warm. So are leather and sheepskin. Take the problem of having a cold bedroom, and turn it into a positive by splurging on an exotic animal skin!

Wake Up to Hot Beverages

Ice Hotel guests are provided with a small glass of "hot lingonberry juice" at their bedside. And at Hôtel de Glace you are greeted with warm beverages.

Think about how you can get hot tea or coffee going quickly in the morning by doing prep-work the night before. This might be as simple as grinding the coffee beans or cleaning out the coffee pot. If you are lucky enough to have a programmable coffee pot, put that high-tech function to good use so that you can wake up to the smell of brewing coffee.

Or, rummage through your cabinets before bed and lay out on the kitchen counter your favorite tea, a beloved mug and any kind of brewing tools that get the hot tea going. Then lay in bed sipping your tea to toast you up.

Want to read more about bedroom decor?
How to Green and Detox Your Bedroom
Solid Bedding: Making It Work
Bedroom Makeover: Make It Sexy & Tasteful

Bearing Fruit


Q. I have a question for you regarding ‘the fruit of the Spirit’. Jesus said we would recognize Christians in the same way as we would recognize a good tree – because it bears good fruit. As Christians though, we continue to sin and constantly bear ‘bad fruit’ – easily recognizable by [...] Wow!!


Carolyn said...

I may live in Florida, but know Canadian winters and I am STILL a wimp in the cold! And yes, it can get cold at night here, and we have no central A/H so yes, the layers thing works for me! And as of last year, when my good friend and sister in Christ got worried about us during a cold snap (high 20's at night!) gave us an electric blanket! I don't know how in the world I survived winter back home without one! My parents laughed when I told them I have flannel sheets and electric blanket on the bed! :-) Fun post tonight Tom, thank you. I needed a diversion. God Bless!!

Rev. Hagee said...

Tom, I am concerned. Why have there been no blog posts since the 3rd of december? You post usually at least every 2 days. Please let your faithful followers know you are alright. We all care about you and hope you and your wife Sharon are doing alright. This is a very difficult time for so many who are troubled with physical and emotional ailments. The holidays are sometimes a reminder of all that we do not have. Trust in the Lord. He is with you always. Peace be with you and your family. Your Friend, Rev. Hagee