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One of the earliest things I learned when I left to live as a recluse in the Canadian wilderness was that nights out there are extremely cold even in Summer. The entire journey took me about 5 hours to complete, but I was only about 300 km north of Edmonton as the raven fly. 5 hour long drive north of Edmonton and you’ll experience brief Winter every night even during Summer months. Luckily, I had everything I needed to keep the fire going and there was plenty of dry firewood around, plus night only lasts a few hours a day this time of year so even though ill equipped, I kept myself warm-ish by utilizing natural resources. First night was hands down the worst but I got right down to building a primitive shelter that would tightly wrap around the bed of dry leaves the following day. This entry was posted in Canada, Wilderness and tagged Alone in the Wilderness, Canada, Cold, Day, Edmonton, Hermit, Hermit Experience, Lake, Night, Recluse, Remoteness, Stars, Sun, Temperature, Wilderness by Mark. Except where specified, all writing on this travel blog is written by me and represents nothing but my personal opinion. I did my hermit experience over the warmest months of the year – June, July and August, but while it was nice and warm during the day, night time temperatures dropped below zero. The nearest paved road to the lake was more than 100km away but invasive logging industry left a passage through the forest which I was able to use to get myself closer.

I personally think this had more to do with complete remoteness of the wilderness than its placement along the longitude.
Regardless, it was a lesson I learned the hard way – remote Canadian wilderness can be very cold even in Summer months. I got most of my sleep during the day when it was warm and I didn’t have to spend time feeding the fire and when the sun went down, I kept myself entertained by staring at the stars. I kept improving on my natural tent every day, but night time temperature drops were just so severe, I quickly realized that the only way to stay warm at night would be by building a shelter big enough to have a fire inside.
If I were you, I wouldn't think about plagiarizing any of my writings as that would doom you to being my sloppy second and there's more than enough of them out there already.
And since I didn’t anticipate freezing temperatures, I neither had clothes, nor other equipment (sleeping bag, tent or stove) to keep me warm at night. Needless to say, this forestry equipment road was full of obstacles and rough terrain that’s normally only negotiable by heavy machinery with continuous tracks, but being a skilled driver and having been blessed with dry weather, I was able to safely traverse this incredibly challenging stretch of the road all the way to the lake. I have not done any scientific research on it, but high concentration of warm bloodied mammals who radiate body heat into the environment surely contributes to keeping the temperature in urban centers warmer than in the wilderness. Sky was cloudless most of the days with sun baking down on me from wee morning hours until late night.

If such shelter was well isolated, the fire would keep the interior warm even during freezing nights.
But as I learned after my first night out in the wilderness (and each night thereafter), despite daytime temperatures reaching pleasant 29 °C, they were followed by night time drops to -3 °C. Yet even in August, when daytime temperatures were in their 30’s, as soon as the sun was gone, the gauge started dropping rapidly and got to freezing just before the dawn.
One would still need to feed the fire, but pay back in feeling warm over night would be well worth it. Feel free to use any of my images (my images, aka images I took and hold copyright on have Traveling Mark watermark on them).
I'm releasing them under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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