When it's cold, insulating your body is the place to start

Elephant man parka
© Steven M. Johnson

I was thinking of Steven M. Johnson this morning while huddling in bed in my thermal underwear. I remembered that he had designed a couple of very clever sleeping bags and parkas that could keep me warmer. Walking yesterday in what was supposed to be -40° wind chill, (I don't have to say whether it is C or F, they meet there!) I wanted his elephant man parka, my eyeballs felt like they were freezing and my teeth hurt.

It was so cold this morning that I wished for some multi-function sleeping bag idea that I could just never leave all day today. I don't meditate much, but thought that if if this had sleeve openings I might be able to work in this.

Perhaps I should introduce Steven to Becky Stern, who solved the working problem with the Compubody, which she knitted up into "an eye-catching hoodie for your laptop to use in public spaces for warmth and privacy." They could probably come up with something that did both.

napsackPOLER/Promo image

The Poler people have come up with perhaps the closest thing, The Napsack.

The Napsack has zippers at the shoulders, so you can stick your arms out, and a cinch at the bottom so that you can open it up and stick your legs out. Hike it up to your waist, cinch it, and wear it like a puffy coat around the campfire, and then crawl right back into your tent without ever having to leave the warmth of your bag.

jimmy carter in sweater photo

After all, as Kris De Decker taught us years ago, Insulating Your Body Is Cheaper And More Effective Than Insulating Your Home and that once again, Jimmy Carter was right.


When it's cold, insulating your body is the place to start
Steven M. Johnson has some good ideas, but there have been others worth noting in TreeHugger.

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