How we arm against the Arctic winter

In our recent posts it was already clear that we have entered winter in Northern Norway. In this blog we describe how we arm ourselves against the Arctic winter. Our bodies and our car are well protected against the cold we experience here.

How do we protect ourselves?

Our food

First of all, luckily we are both in good health and we have sufficient resistance. We pay close attention to our food and drink, we get enough nutrients.

In the morning we have breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal flakes with nuts, seeds and dried fruits. To this we add fresh grapes or other fresh fruits and yogurt and a spoonful of honey. We drink a cup of coffee (GJ) or tea (Sonja). A tasty and healthy start to the day.

We usually have lunch with brown bread with cheese, fish, vegetable spread, peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles or chocolate spread. We drink milk or buttermilk or, if we have the opportunity to boil water, coffee and tea. Sometimes I fry an egg, eat leftover hot food or make a cup of instant soup.

In the evening we usually eat a hot meal. We often make these on the basis of vegetarian ingredients (vegetable minced meat or cubes, nuts, cheese) and sometimes we eat fish. Our favorite dishes are spaghetti with tomato sauce, mushrooms and delicious sprinkled cheese on top, sometimes with vegetarian mincemeat; rice or noodles with wok vegetables and vegetarian cubes; couscous with vegetables and nuts; winter dishes such as various stews. And also what comes to our mind when we walk over a local market or through the supermarket.

Tonight we eat couscous with wok vegetables and vegetarian cubes. We feasted.

This is a pack of frozen wok vegetables from the local Coop, the cubes come from the Netherlands, dried and vacuum packed. Everything stir-fried with some stock powder, sambal and peanut butter.
I make the couscous with some stock powder, cinnamon and raisins. Pour over hot water and let it sit for a while.

In between we often take a piece of fruit and drink water or a cup of tea. And we sometimes snack on a cookie or a piece of chocolate.

Our clothing

In the Netherlands, we prepared for cold weather before we left in October 2019. Our winter gear has traveled all along in our roof box. See also our blog Winterizing our Milady and ourselves.

Here in Norway we bought some extras, especially socks, gloves, a hat and a warm skirt for Sonja and warm work gloves for Gert Jan.

As it got colder along the way, we started wearing more and more clothes. In Sweden and southern Norway it was a hat and gloves, the further north we go, the more layers are added. At the moment it is -16°C outside during the day and colder than -20°C at night. So we dress appropriately when we go out.

At night we keep our thermal underwear on and our warm long socks under our pajamas.

How do we keep warm in Milady Landy?

The equipment

To keep or make the interior warm, we opted for a Wallas XC Duo cooker&heater. With this diesel stove we can prepare our meals and heat the interior of our Milady Landy in heating mode. The last few days we have been able to test this function well, it gets nice and warm inside with the heater on.

In addition, I installed an engine heater before we left for Norway. We now also use it to defrost the windows in the morning and to heat the car when we stop during the day with the engine off.

The further equipment

The red outer fabric helps to keep the snow out and the heat in.

We noticed that a lot of cold is coming up from the floor. Despite the multiple layers, on the metal floor I applied insulation, a rubber mat. On it is a regular running mat and three mops for wet feet when we step inside. Recently we also have a sheepskin on the floor, which helps to keep our feet reasonably warm.

P.S. If we still can’t keep it warm inside, we’ll just crawl into our sleeping bags.

Our water system is frozen, despite the insulation and heating, which is not working properly. That’s why we have some jerry cans inside for water storage. They stay warm on the Wallas device and because we put them as high as possible on the cupboards.

We sleep under our warm sheep’s wool winter duvet and have placed an extra blanket on the foot end to prevent our feet from being exposed. An extra fleece blanket on top provides just that little bit of extra comfort on the coldest nights. The heating does not have to be on at night, we keep ourselves warm this way.

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