Most people have probably heard about the tremendous insulating factors of snow. It is true that people that have found themselves stuck in a survival situation has dug themselves a deep hole and buried themselves in the snow, in the hole, and survived. Reason is, because snow is a very good insulator. Living off grid, we are constantly faced with challenges. We live in the woods of southern MO. and we are off grid at Dogwood Hollow homestead. Using many things that nature provides has become a mainstream part of our lives. What else do you do with the amount of snow that southern MO. is seeing since the beginning of February 2015, but use it however you can.
If you are off grid you will understand these ways. When you have a lot of snow, as we have here in southern MO. today, and have had for some time, you do not run out of water. Simply melting all the ice and snow gives you all the water you need. You also know of the insulating benefits it has on stuff like your chicken coops and rabbit houses if you leave it around the outer walls and the roof, taking care not to allow it to get too heavy, obviously. Well living off grid in a cabin poses some challenges all its own but when the snow begins to fall and stacks up, as it is doing and has been for some time, you find ways of dealing with it.
Before insulating the bottom of the cabin using cardboard and snow pack , the cabin was open all around and all winter we suffered with a very cold floor and because there is just no insulation to these buildings, the floor even leaked air, which made it very hard to heat the cabin. You end up burning more wood than you need when your insulation is not adequate. First we started with recycled cardboard. We recycle everything so we had a good stack of large cardboard boxes broken down. Tacking these broken down boxes around the bottom of the cabin blocked the air, completely.
Then since we have a lot of snow we shoveled snow around the cardboard closing off the lower section of the boxes to prevent air from blowing under it. We were able to shovel about a foot of more of snow all around the cardboard. The result, the cabin temperature is so much easier to control and it stays and gets warm in the cabin easier and longer. We have seen we are now burning much less wood and that is a good thing since it is February and we are nearing the end of winter here in the southern MO. ozarks, so the wood pile is very low. Although we can cut more wood, seasoned wood will be hard to gather now.
We have metal roofing on the rabbit house here at the homestead and the roof supports are actually round oak logs cut from around the property, so there is no chance of it collapsing, so we leave the snow pack on the rabbit house roof, still monitoring it, obviously. It is not always the answer, to clear the snow back, away or off off, when you live off grid and are looking to use every chance that nature throws at you to live differently and WITH the land as opposed to OFF the land. Finding ways to deal with the snow of harsh winters as 2012-2015, so far, is all part of living a self sufficient sustainable way of life. We recycle, reuse and reduce our footprint and so using what nature provides us with in abundance is just one more way in which we live as natural as possible! Be safe out there Springfield!!