As I sit here and type this, the wind is howling outside of our 5th-wheel trailer as we explore some of the Maine coastline. It is a stormy morning while we are camped on the edge of an Oceanside inlet as periodic splats of windswept rain pelt against the south facing windows, and whitewater chop fills the water. While it is a unique experience to look out across the bay and to ‘feel’ the raw power of the wind and weather as our rig jostles about with the stronger gusts, being this close to it reinforces the respect that we need to maintain. That is, the power of the wind.
Our body does its best to maintain a core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Wind does its best to strip this away. Wind, combined with even a slight chill in the air, will affect your body such that it will ‘feel’ like it is colder than it actually is. This is called ‘wind chill’. While I sit here in relative comfort, just a few feet away is an environment that would not be so kind to my body temperature. I feel slightly more vulnerable to it than otherwise because I am not in my home but instead relying on the systems within this trailer to keep me sheltered and warm. The internal systems are operating perfectly normal, however being so far from home base creates a certain sense of vulnerability.
I mention this to point out a few things. One, if we are well outside of a perimeter where we could get back ‘home’ fairly quickly, we are vulnerable and dependent upon whatever it is that we have with us to keep us warm and safe. Two, the elements of the weather have a significant effect on our environment and our well-being when we are out traveling away from home.
As you would expect, our home away from home (this rig), has been thoughtfully and carefully stocked with the things that we may need while venturing outside of our ‘safe zone’. Multiple sources of heat, power, cooking, food, water, comfort, safety, and more have been integrated into this somewhat self-contained environment. Having said that, again, when the weather isn’t so nice and it’s not a typical summertime vacation climate, you realize the importance of respecting the elements of weather.
Most people are only forced to deal with the harshness of weather for a very temporary period of time… running from the car to a building… from one controlled environment to another… all of which depend upon fuel, electricity, and systems to maintain the optimum temperature within. Next time it’s cold and windy outside, put on a jacket and take a walk in it. Experience the reality of the harshness of Mother Nature, who herself has no idea that you are walking in it and will continue to strip away your body temperature until she sees fit to do otherwise. It is an exhilarating experience that re-establishes your respect with the power of nature. I think I’ll be taking that walk again today…