Jump to content

cabin fever


Recommended Posts

How do you guys in the northern winter cope with cabin fever? I see pictures of your forges with anvils covered in snow. How does Frosty cope with the long hours of darkness in an Alaskan winter?  I guess it's not cabin fever like you get up there, but I have been stuck at home now for two days as the tropical monsoon season descends upon us. The rain is incessant, everything is damp and mouldy and even the birds are miserable. Here's a pair of rainbow lorikeets trying to find a dry spot on my veranda:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go to work in the dark, I come home in the dark, on the rare weekend I am at home it has been freezing or raining: so I have a blacksmith club at school and have gullible minions willing students to pull out the forge, fill the slack tub, etc. and put it all  away. And I put it down on my Professional Development as volunteer hours as Faculty Advisor.:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's why I do still have a tv even if I don't have cable or anything. Just binge watch movies. But I have enough around the house to keep me busy fixing if it's too nasty outside. Tho the heated shop helps make not going out there a less often occurrence. 

After the winter thaw this year and a ton of rain I had the joy of pumping out my basement and digging to install a sump pump. Now I guess we are back to winter again. 

Those are some beautiful birds Aus. Even if they so look a little miserable. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a good time to pack a lunch and a cold drink and catch up on your reading. Pull that book down off the shelf and turn a few pages. Get a pencil and note book and take notes or write down those ideas that spin off from reading.

This is where modeling clay comes in handy. Use it to solve problems, figure out a different way to do something, or set your mind free with creating and making decorative elements. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Winter is when the weather is good for working where I am at in North America; it's the summer you want to hide in a cool place till "that great big blindy thing in the sky" goes away (as a friend from Edinburgh Scotland used to refer to the sun down here. )

When I lived in Ohio, which has much more inclement winters, I built a 1 soft firebrick forge and forged small items in my drafty basement, (nails for my mastermyr chest, hot forged silver penannular brooches, etc.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's pretty much what it's like here in the tropics. We mainly have two seasons - wet (summer) and dry (winter). Thomas, your Edinburgh visitor reminds me of a visitor we had from Philadelphia. We lived in western Queensland at the time - semi-desert, flat, big-sky country.  He was a keen photographer and said wistfully, "You know what? This whole country is two stops over exposed."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Dabbsterinn,

6 degrees Fahrenheit is comparatively not particular cold.

Please let me explain.

5 layers of clothes is excessive. I suspect that that each layer fits tightly. Such a set up does not allow enough trapped air to be heated , be trapped and circulate between the outer shell and your body. Cold weather dwellers such as in northern Canada, the Inuit (a.k.a. Eskimos), and northern Indians, (for example Dene, Dogrib, Aleut etc. etc.) know to dress in loose fitting layered garments. 3 usually. And four or more in very cold climate conditions. (-10 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit). 

The majority of people new to cold climates figure that many layers close to the body will keep out the cold. That is not the case.

Loose clothes work. They trap air that our body heats up and keep it close to the body. Tight clothes radiate body heated air to the environment.

Why layers? The reason is that when the wearer gets hot, sweating occurs Which can produce condensation which interferes with body insulation. (except wool). So you remove a layer to preclude that problem.

The outermost layer should be wind proof. Today nylon or ... (sealskinwas used in the old days

The Inuit know even better. They work steadily at a slow, even pace. That way they do not sweat, at all.

Why do I stop this explanation at minus 40 degrees? Below minus 40 they stay inside and relax. In the old days they would go into a kind of torpor and wait out the cold snap. (it usually lasts only 7 days sometimes 2 weeks.

But, today, there is central heating in most of the Arctic, so that the former described solution is no longer necessary.

Also, Goretex fabrics help deal with condensation. But slow & steady works even better.

I am guessing that many Icelandic communities are on, or are close to the Atlantic coastline. (e.g. Reykjavic, Akureyri, etc. etc.). Costal towns have milder temperatures, because the Ocean transfers a lot of heat to the land.) That effect is dramatic. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is on the Atlantic coast. The winters are very much milder there, than at the airport only 23 miles inland.

An old friend of my father's worked building stations on the early warning chain of radar stations on the Dew Line (& Pine Tree Line) in the late 1940's.

The Army Corp. of Engineers personal, working with him, were freezing. They noticed that he was working hard and feeling just fine. And they did not know why. He explained They eventually pulled him off his duties and had him give cold weather survival seminars to the new personnel, full time.

Many of the new people had grown up in the U.S.A. south and southwest.

He had grown up in the winters in rural Saskatchewan. (read savage cold).

Trust me. It worked for me in the Canadian north and Arctic. And it will work for you.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do I do during winter's dark days? Turn on the lights.

Layer loosely. Every time you move your clothes tighten on part of your body and loosen on others, this pumps air from your body outwards. If your layers are tight it pumps warm air straight out and you get cold. Pumping warm air from one dead air space to the next only gradually moves it away from you so you stay warm. It also lets moisture be drawn outwards, warm moisture is drawn towards cooler temps, it's drawn away from you and doesn't degrade insulation. 

Wool is one of the only natural fibers that only loses a small % of it's insulating qualities when wet. You can literally fall through the ice wearing wool climb out and not get too cold, amazing stuff. Works better than Polar fleece, Hollow fill, etc. though those are well worth wearing.

Oh, I have boots rated to -60f "US Army, VB boots" and have worn them for 10 hr. days in much colder.

Oh, NO I don't do much if anything in the shop when it's cold. Just because I have the gear doesn't mean I gotta use it. Done that got enough T shirts to stay warm.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Elements Sir,

You have great taste in literature! my friend    . Impressive.

The stanza is from the great poem,

The Cremation of Sam McGee, one of the most famous poems of Mr. Robert Service "The Bard of the Yukon".

A great poem, a wonderful tale and now a Canadian classic.

Highly recommended to ALL the iron bangers on the site.

Permit me to quote a little of the start of the poem and some of the end.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun,
by the men who moil for gold;  ....
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Is that not classic, stirring, and stellar? HUH? (or in Canada  AY?)

Thank you Mr. Elements and also Glenn, whose tolerance is hoped for.


p.s. the term 'queer' supra, is used in the original sense (to be strange).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I googled that poem and read the whole thing. What a classic! It scans really well, rhyme and rhythm a bit like what we call bush poetry. Love the internal rhyme. Copied for sharing amongst poets here. Thanks 4el and Slag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος

οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκε,

πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προί̈αψεν

ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν

οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή, 

ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε

Ἀτρεί̈δης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I commend to your attention: Service's Rhymes of a Red Cross Man "The Haggis of Private McPhee" as well.

JHCC is just an Ill Lad at times and will doubtless devolve to an Oddity

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium---call me Ishmael   (Not bad for an engineer!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Slag and Ausfire, I have a copy of Robert Service poetry and enjoy many of them. I memorized The Cremation of Sam McGee and recited it many times to Boy Scouts at winter camps. I also recommend "How McPherson Held the Floor" and "The Baldness of Chewed Ear".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

all this "doom & gloom" curtesy of old Aus:P  so think summer, not hot but mild :rolleyes: 

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
one of my personal favorite bits of poetry!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...