It’s easy to see the appeal of rural living. With no traffic, greater privacy, and nothing to disturb the peaceful quiet, who wouldn’t want to escape the city to live in the countryside? Of course, it’s not always as idyllic as people make it sound. If you’re living in extreme environments that gets hot summers and brutally cold winters, the rural landscape can be unforgiving at times. This is especially true if you’re living in the Midwest or the east, which can get blasted by Arctic cold snaps and experience agonizingly long, cold winters.
If you’ve recently moved to a rural location, don’t stress too much about the harsh climate. With the right cold weather gear, emergency supplies, and safety precautions, you can conquer the unforgiving landscape with ease. However, it’s essential that you prepare for extreme weather conditions well in advance. So here's my tips to help you get ready to endure the hardships that come with living in a harsher climate.
Living In Extreme Environments Made Easier
1. Get An Emergency Generator
Emergency generators are extremely valuable for times when severe winter storms cause power outages. In addition to powering your house during a storm, it’s also essential if you have livestock equipment and farm irrigation systems that rely on power to run properly.
When choosing a generator for your home or farm, keep in mind that it can be a dangerous piece of equipment when used incorrectly. People die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators. So be sure to take care when using yours.
2. Wear Appropriate Cold Weather Gear
Don’t believe for one second that big box store clothing will protect you from the brutal windchill and snow in the countryside. If you want to endure the cold for long periods of time, it’s critical that you have insulated clothing designed to withstand living in extreme environments. If you’re working on a farm, it’s especially important that you choose the right cold weather gear for your industry.
Insulated jackets, bib overalls, gloves, and other clothing items designed to keep you warm and flexible will be key to maximizing your productivity and making the most of your limited winter daylight. Also, learn how to layer! A smart layering system should include a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating mid-layer, and a wind/waterproof outer layer.
3. Take Precautions In The Summer
In some rural areas, working in the heat and humidity can be just as dangerous and brutal as working in the dead of winter. Many people living in the countryside are working outdoors for long periods of time, increasing their risk of heat illness.
Not only are you located farther away from medical facilities, but you may also be working alone in the field. To stay safe in the heat, always dress the part. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sun protective clothing can help protect you from sunburn and keep your body cooler. Remember to take frequent breaks and drink at least one cup of water every 15-20 minutes to replenish liquids lost through sweat.
4. Don’t Underestimate The Wind
In some rural locations, there are no trees to stop wind gusts. With miles of flat land, the wind can reach high speeds that are not only chilling to the bone but can also blow dangerous objects at you with force. If you’re doing anything outside in severe wind, always wear eye protection to prevent dust and debris from getting into your eyes. You’ll also want to factor in windchill when choosing your clothing for the day, due to the wind blowing away the precious heat layer your body generates.
5. Set Up Severe Weather Alerts
Getting caught in a sudden storm with no one around for miles to help you is a situation that you don’t want to imagine. The Midwest is particularly known for its abrupt storms, which can make everyday tasks such as driving to work a treacherous endeavor. A simple precaution you can take is to set up email and SMS weather alerts to be sent to your email or phone. Many services are free and will ping you when a severe storm is approaching, giving you enough time to reach a safe location.
6. Create A Winter Home And Barn Checklist
Don’t wait until the last minute to do chores around the home and farm. Weather is often unpredictable and won’t care if you waited too long to set up windbreakers for your cattle or repair a broken fence. Start making a checklist of chores and general maintenance well in advance of winter. Here are some basic winter prep chores that you’ll want to consider:
- Insulating walls and attic
- Creating winter shelter for livestock
- Cutting away dangerous branches that could break during a storm
- Checking fluid and farm equipment parts
- Stocking up on fuel for a woodburning stove
- Relocating pipes and drains to prevent frozen pipes
- Providing blankets and coats for livestock if needed
These are just a handful of chores that you’ll probably want to consider for your winter preparation. Remember to give yourself plenty of time in advance to complete these tasks.
7. Know How To Start Engines In Cold Weather
One of the more frustrating problems of living in extreme environments is dealing with engines that won’t start. Whether you’re trying to get your tractor back up and running or start your car before you’re late to work. It helps to know a few tips that will keep your engines from giving you trouble.
First, you should consider removing your batteries when your tractor isn’t being used. Store it somewhere warm so that it’s reliable and ready to go the next time you start it. In addition to storing your car in a garage during the winter, you can also use an engine block heater to save your engine in the dead of winter. Engine block heaters help keep your oil and coolant warm enough to flow properly, and they are a lifesaver when the weather is at its coldest.
Living In Extreme Environments Conclusion
Living in extreme environments is never easy when you live in a region with extreme weather conditions. However, you can make it much easier and enjoyable by taking a few additional precautions. Whether you’re working in the field in the scorching summer heat or prepping the homestead for Old Man Winter, a little knowledge can help you avoid complete misery. And if you're living in these conditons, chances are you have your own firearm too. Check to see if you're handling your weapon safely with these Gun Safety Tips.