Okay, these people, who reportedly habitually sleep out in a tipi all winter, considerably further north in Maine than us, are definitely hard-core and definitely qualify as Heroes of the Cold House (or, cold native-style shelter, as it were.) I can’t fully commend them on their overall efforts at lowering their environmental impact (unless quite a few of their 11 kids are adopted), but for sure they deserve admiration for trying out this way of life. (Also, I can commend them on managing life with 11 kids, which boggles my mind much more than their cold-tipi-sleeping…)
I can’t really compare our lifestyle to theirs, but our sleeping plans are a bit similar. They mention using an electric blanket, which is also a critical part of our strategy for sleeping in an unheated bedroom. Our bedroom, though, at least has solid walls, and rarely goes down into the 30F range– while their’s must routinely go well below freezing, if not below 0F.
Actually, it’s not quite clear in the story whether they use fire inside the tipi– in the video clip, Mrs. Winters (great name) says they never have heat in the tipi– but in other photos, you see her wheeling some very large pieces of firewood towards the tipi, with mention that Mr. Winters “had started a fire inside”. And in another photo, you see a small fire in the tipi. But they appear to have two tipis, so maybe one is a hang-out tipi where they have fires, and the other is for sleeping and totally unheated? It would seem considerably unpleasant to sleep in a tipi with a smoky wood fire burning inside– hard to imagine they would be doing that.
Anyway, I’m hoping we might get an invitation to go visit. Also, this reminds me of an idea I had last winter: to build an igloo in our yard, and offer overnights in it via Airbnb. Also, I note a great advantage of their sleeping arrangement: they are very unlikely ever to be infested with bed bugs, which can’t survive prolonged sub-freezing temps.