France really missed her vocation. She could have, she should have been an accountant… Or an actuary. To her, it’s all about numbers, statistics, values (and not just in dollars).
We decided to go for a little jaunt in Vermonts’ Green Mountains to test furthermore how our CampCruiser and us would be at ease in cooler temperatures. The idea of spending a weeks vacation in the mountains right smack in fall color season wasn’t much of a deterrent either..
In respect with our spirit of Adventure, we pack up and leave on a friday, a friday the 13th. As a punishment for our bravado, mother nature sends us rain the first three days… Rainny, foggy, cold and damp weather, we wanted to test, well we do test!
On the forth day, the skies clear up just as we find the ideal spot where to spend a couple of days. In Green Mountain National Foerst, south of Grout pond and west of Somerset reservoir, on N.F. 71, make a right to “Flood dam” and then, about 1 km before reaching the cul-de-sac, there will be a 90 deg. left hand turn in the road. If you go straight instead of turning left, you will end up in a clearing in the woods with direct access onto Deerfield river. 42*59’41.23 N 72*59’35.99 W. Our own private spot. Perfect.
Clearing skies mean wonderful days to come but also mean considerably colder nights are to be expected.
20.4*C daytime high. It must be shower time! And taking a shower, CampCruiser style, can be the project of the day.
“What should we do today, Honey?”
“I don’t know about you, but me I’m taking a shower.”
“Whoa, sounds like todays program is taken care of !”
First, we need to build up a decent camp fire. Oh, we could heat up the water on the stove but that would be cheating, wouldn’t it? So we set off to gather dry wood (yeah sure, after 3 solid days of rain, that’s easy to find…) and light up the fire. Later, water from the Deerfield river in the pot and pot in the fire, we set up the portable WC and take out toiletry and other necessary items like collapsable pail, battery operated water pump, etc… Synchronizing is key here. Hot water must be available precisely at the warmest time of the day.
At 1:00pm, both the hot water and pump are in the pail that is with me in the “shower stall”. Naked, showerhead in one hand and bottle of soap in the other, I’m barely starting to use the showerhead on me when I notice the stupid collapsable pail is…..Collapsing! And emptying itself on the ground!!
“Oh NOOOOOOOO! SHHHHHHHIT!”
Taking full advantage of my legendary agility and swiftness, I instantly drop soap and showerhead and jump to retrive the uncollaborative container and save… Less than one third of the now already lukewarm precious liquid that took so long to get. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to concentrate on washing areas that stink the most…
Minnie thinks it’s so funny, she is litterally rolling on the ground in laughters.
We repeat the process for Misses, but sans the collapsing pail episode, and next thing we know, it’s dinner time!
On the menu: Charcoal cooked sausages on a bed of pasta with a bottle of red. Hummmm, life in the boonies may not be that bad after all.
Night soon falls on the cooking sausages and the damp coldess of the dropping dew is simply bone freezing. Soon as they’re cooked, I run inside with the links and make my announcement:
“No camp fire tonight, honey. Too cold. It’s freezing out there.”
Of the whole week, this would be the one night where we did not have a fire.
On the other hand, opportunity strickes to test our new propane heater.
France: “What’s the temperature outside?”
Marc: “According to our new probe equipped thermometer, it’s 3.5*C.”
F: “And inside?”
M: “11.4* at counter height and 12.6* on the shelf near the ceeling… No wonder it felt soooo warm in here. Total coziness, I tell ya”.
F: “And in the fridge?”
M: “Well, according to our brand new wireless probe thermometer, it’s 6.5* in the fridge.”
F: “A nd relative humidity?”
M: “According to our inside only thermometer/hygrometer, 75%.”
F: “Pretty effective, that little propane heater, isn’t it? Lets’ wait ’till it’s 15* in here and then we can turn it off and go to bed.”
M: “Well the heater may work well but me, I’m burnt. It’s midnight, it’s 15* and I’m going to bed.”
F: “Good night.”
F: “Hey Honey, how cold is it outside, already?”
M: “zzzzzzz….Unh? Euuuh 0.2*”
F: “And in the fridge?”
F: “And the humidity, what’s the humidity in here?”
M: “OH COME ON! ….IT’S 70%… NOW WOULD YOU HIT DE SACK AND LET ME SLEEP, SIMONAC!”
F: “Good night Honey XXX.”
The next morning, around 7:30
F: “Morning Hon. XXX”
M: “Morning XXX”
F: “Kinda cool in here, isn’t it?”
M: “I tell ya…”
F: “….Euh…How cold is it?”
M: “Here we go again…Outside, 0*C”
F: “…And inside?”
M: “And in the fridge? Well, in the fridge, it’s 2.8*C”
F: “Euuh, it’s 2.5* in the camper and 2.8* in the fridge??!! That must mean the fridge has better insulation than the camper!?”
M: “OK Honey the conclusions of your study are clear. If we want to be more comfortable tonight, we sleep in the fridge!”
As the week progresses, it gets warmer and soon, we can put Mr. Heater aside. And draw serious conclusions to our tries.
Mr. Heater produces immediate and highly enjoyable heat. But the risks of fire and carbon monoxyde poisonning are very real. That’s why we will not be using our heater while we sleep.
Without a continuously working source of heat, temperatures inside immediately begin to drop to end up stabilizing at about 2 degrees above outside temperature (most probably due to the heat that WE are emitting…). Highly effective bed sheets are must and the ones we’re using will get the job done very nicely, keeping us warm all night at temps as low as 2 or 3*C. The extra “blinds” that France added (pics coming soon) are a big plus as they create somewhat of a thermal barrier between the cold camper canvas and us.
Note that, despite its superior insulation, after further size verifications, a decision was made not to sleep in the fridge after all…
A few shots:
Near the lake at Woodford state park, near Wilmington, Vt.
View from hwy 9.
To be continued.