How To Deal With “The Year Without A Summer”

So picture this…you’ve taken a time machine back (you borrowed Marty McFly’s flux capacitor just humor me) and you’re in the year 1816.

Europe was just beginning to recover from the French Revolution and Napoleanic Wars when a volcano in Indonesia blew its top.  The previous year, Mount Tambora which at the time was an active volcano erupted.  In fact, nearly a third of the mountain blew apart during the eruption sending tons of debris and dust into the atmosphere.  This dust formed its own giant layer literally blocking out the sun in parts of North America and Europe.

What must have completely confused everyone is the bizarre weather patterns that followed.  As Spring gave way to Summer, people prepared to harvest crops when instead of warm sun they got…winter.  In parts of the United States like New York and Massachusetts locals were treated to frigid winds, snows in June and outright mayhem.  Crops failed, food prices skyrocketed and starvation became a real threat.  Even the rain didn’t look right.  During rainstorms in some areas, the drops were red instead of clear because of the dust in the atmosphere.

The rich and famous didn’t escape.  In Virginia, Thomas Jefferson had recently retired to his estates and looked forward to years of selling his crops but instead went deeply into debt to finance his farms.

To give you a feel for how people felt during The Year Without a Summer, here’s an article from The Boston Independent Journal dated June 17, 1816:

“On the night of 6th instant, after a cold day, Jack Frost paid another visit to this region of the country, and nipped the beans, cucumbers, and other tender plants. This surely is cold weather for summer.

On the 5th we had quite warm weather, and in the afternoon copious showers attended with lightning and thunder — then followed high cold winds from the northwest, and back back again the above mentioned unwelcome visitor. On the 6th, 7th, and 8th June, fires were quite agreeable company in our habitations.”

The insane weather actually inspired a classic horror tale, one you’re familiar with.  In Switzerland, the intense winter weather inspired Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft to write horror stories.  Frankenstein came alive because of the Year Without A Summer.

So here’s the question for you, what would you do to deal with a summer without heat or sun?

Not sure, here’s some ideas:

Tri-Zone Base Layer Top – link

Battery Heated Fleece Jacket – link

Source:  Robert McNamara, History Channel – link

How To Survive In The Cold – Venture Heat Winter Survival Guide

Just because the temperature drops outside doesn’t mean you need to put your favorite past times in hibernation.  Over the next few weeks, we’re going to get  you all the information you need to survive the cold and keep on playing outside.

First things first….safety!

Cold weather has its good, bad and ugly parts to it.  The good?  According to Harvard Medical School you can burn lots of brown fat by exposing yourself to cold weather.

Yes, your body needs to produce heat so it takes those nasty fat cells and begins firing them up.  Guess you can call it your “cold diet”.

The bad?  When the temperature begins to drop your body begins prioritizing where it needs heat the most.  Primarily it’s your body’s critical organs like your heart.  The losers in this game are your extremities namely your fingers and toes.

Now for the ugly…

As your body relocates heat from  your extremities, those body parts are more susceptible to frostbite.    What happens is you experience a “pins and needles” feeling in those body parts followed by numbness.

With prolonged exposure you run the risk of losing those body parts.

Question is, how do we keep this from happening in the first place?

The National Institute of Health (USA) first suggests to plan ahead when it comes to winter outdoor activities.

For instance, if you plan on being outside for several hours avoid drinking alcohol and get plenty of sleep.  But there’s one major thing you can do to avoid frostbite.

Reducing exposure to the cold.

Any bit of skin that’s exposed to the cold is going to result in you losing body heat…super fast.

In fact the Weather Channel suggests that within seconds, with temperatures in the 20s you can lose 40% of your body heat from one exposed area.

First thing you need to do in extreme cold weather is make sure that your base layers (clothing touching your skin) completely covers every square centimeter (inch for US people).

Hands, ears, nose and yes, toes (you’d be fairly crazy to go outside barefoot) need to be completely covered.  If you do go outside barefoot, please seek help.

Here’s what you should look like in terms of keeping your skin covered, take a look:



Xtreme Weather Protection Suit

That’s part one of your Winter Survival Guide.

Got some great ideas or tricks you use to play in the cold, share them below we’d love to hear them.

How To Choose Between 12V and Battery Heated Gear

Here’s the most basic question you need to ask when looking at heated gear:

“Which type of power source is best for my needs?”

With all the brands and choices you have put in front of you, making a decision can be incredibly difficult.  Do I use 12V gear that plugs into my vehicle?  What about battery heated gear…will that give me enough heating for my hiking?

In part one of our battery heated buyer’s guide we’re going to help clarify those choices so you can take the stress out of your decision making process.  Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • why you should buy gear based on your lifestyle
  • how long can battery heated gear keep you warm?
  • what parts of my body will it keep warm?

Want more news and help with your heated gear?

Subscribe to our updates and get:

  • first look at new heated gear technology and news
  • how to videos for caring for your heated gear
  • tricks and tips for riding in cold weather

How To Extend Your Riding Season In Winter

Get 12V gear with unlimited heat, wireless control and inter connectivity

Imagine this:  you’ve just enjoyed your summer riding season, but time flew by and now you have to decide what to do with your bike for the winter.

Typically you have two choices:  a) shut it down or b) keep riding but figure out how to keep warm

Which do you choose?  If you want to keep riding but tend to shut it down…we’ve got a solution for you.

Check out this new video featuring the new Grand Touring Collection of heated gear.

You learn about:

  • extending your rides in winter with 12V gear
  • new way to control your heated gear’s settings
  • how to power multiple pieces of heated gear with one power source

Click the video to watch:

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