Preparing for a colder decade – Part 1

My friends who follow the "official" line on climate change look with pity at me as I persist in looking at websites that insist on refuting EPA and IPCC forecasts. As a result I am preparing for one or more decades of increasing cold while they are doing their best to stave off global warming.

We will see how things work out in the coming years.

In the meantime, I am considering a series of actions that may make life easier while Nature makes up its mind whether we will have a warmer future or a colder future.

 The first problem that I see is that many of my handy tools and equipment are designed for temperate weather and we are seeing extreme weather that stops outside work completely. I plan to modify what I can to extend the working range of this equipment.

This is the first step: A Wheelbarrow – Sled Conversion Project

Wheelbarrow -Sled conversion 1I have a fine two-wheeled wheelbarrow which is light and strong and works like a charm until the snow gets more then 4 inches deep. Since the snow is about 15 inches to 24 inches deep and I still need to haul firewood from the woodpile to the front porch, I decided to convert the wheelbarrow to a sled.

Wheelbarrow -Sled conversion 2

I removed 6 carriage bolts and lifted the barrow body off the undercarriage.

Wheelbarrow -Sled conversion 3I drilled two holes in the lip of the barrow and attached a rope to use as a tow line.

Once the tow rope was secured, I could easily draw the barrow across the snow. The entire conversion took only twenty minutes.
Wheelbarrow -Sled conversion 5

We used the improvised sled to move hundreds of pounds of firewood from behind the house up a slope to the storage area on the front porch. My neighbor Raef King did the heavy lifting while I did the heavy thinking. I was very appreciative for his assistance.

He did a little testing on the sled and concluded that more work is needed before it can be used for coasting down snowy slopes. It doesn't steer worth a damn.

Wheelbarrow -Sled conversion 7

Other than that limitation, we have a workable solution for hauling heavy material around in deep snow.

Future projects that might make country winters less oppressive:

I have ideas for other projects, but they are much more difficult to implement. I would like to find a conversion for my garden tractor that involved tracks or really wide wheels for the rear wheels and wide skis for the front wheels. Think of a slow speed snow tractor.

I would like to find a low cost greenhouse with automatic ventilation that can be erected on a raised deck. It should be able to withstand severe weather and should be relatively easy to dismantle and store away during the summer. If I can extend the growing season for my deck gardens, it will be very useful as the climate gets colder.

Covered storage for our vehicles is no longer something that might be nice to have. We spend a lot of time cleaning ice and snow off our car and van. In some cases, it takes as much time to make the car drivable as it does to drive it into town. If winters continue to be colder, it will make sense to make our vehicle use as efficient as possible.

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