Most people dont have to use a hose outdoors in cold winter weather.
However, as a farmer, I do have to use one often. Other occupations use
them too. But one thing about using a garden hose, is that sooner or
later it's going to slip or shoot the water the wrong way, and YOU get
soaked. In warm weather that is not a big problem, but in freezing
winter weather, it can be a big problem.
Last winter I had a hose get away from me when I slipped on some ice,
and in seconds I was soaked. The temperature was well below zero, so by
the time I got the hose to it's destination (a livestock tank), my
clothing was coated with ice. I quickly went in the house, and was real
cold. But my clothing, espacially pants, were so coated with ice they
did not flex, and I could not get them off my body, at least not without
cutting them off.
I grabbed a hair dryer, and that started to work, but was very slow.
That's when I got my electric heat gun. That worked wonders. But those
heat guns are meant to strip paint melt plastic pipes to bend them, and
other tasks. DO NOT apply them to your bare skin. But to melt the ice
off those pants, I just kept moving it fairly fast across my frozen
clothing (still on my body).
Once the ice on the clothing turned to water, I changed clothes and
tossed the wet stuff in the dryer. But on one incident, I only had a
wet sleeve and just kept using the heat gun until it was dry.
Just be careful to not start your clothing on fire, or burn your skin.
The trick is to keep it moving and dont let it sit in one place. Also
keep the tip of the gun at least 2 inches away from the clothing.
People should know that it's the air trapped in clothing that provides
the insulation against the cold. Water logged and frozen clothing won't
insulate you from the cold.
Also, it's a common misconception that drinking alcohol will "make you
feel warmer", and in fact it does, but at a price. Normally, when you
get cold, your body's normal reaction is to restrict blood flow to your
extremities like your hands and feet so as to minimize heat loss from
the core of your body. Alcohol interferes with that natural reaction so
that you still get normal blood flow to your hands and feet, so that
your hands and feet feel warmer, but because that's where you lose heat
the fastest, maintaining normal blood flow to your extremities actually
causes your core temperature to fall faster than if you had not drank
any alcohol. So, drinking in cold weather can be a dangerous business
for hunters and ice fishermen if they don't understand that. And, if
you've had too much to drink, never fall asleep in a snow bank thinking
that the snow will be a good insulator. You'll freeze to death.
I used to take a 30 or was that 33 gal large trash bag, cut holes for head
and arms making a pancho, slip over clothing,then I could spray water with
complete impunity. [often had to spray above head] Get wet? no biggie. not
only that, during the whole processs that plastic sheet made it a LOT
warmer inside the clothing, especially if there was a wind.
On Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:00:34 -0600, "David J. Hughes"
Actually I have such a thing in my barn, which drains outside to the
stock tank in the back of the barn. But having a variety of animals, I
have more than one tank, and in one place, requires running a hose
across the gravel driveway. I cant see any way to run a sloping pipe
across there, and have it high enough for farm machinery. The ideal
solution would be to have more yard hydrants installed, but that costs
big money. Plus those yard hydrants can and do freeze up too, if the
weather remains way below zero for weeks at a time. Last winter I had
one freeze about 4 1/2 feet below the ground. That is the first time
that happened, but last winter was one of the most severe winters ever.
I ended up cramming many animals in the barn, which was chaotic, but it
kept them warmer, and was the only waay I could get water to them.
Before I moved them, I was attempting to connect SEVEN 50ft. hoses
together, which would freeze before they were all connected. Then came
the trick of trying to shove those frozen stiff hoses into the door of
the house, and later mopping up lots of water as they thawed.
I was never more happy when Spring came. It still took weeks before
that hydrant finally thawed.
If it's just my pants that are frozen, going in the tub or shower makes
sense. But if it's also a thick winter coat, ans/or multiple layers of
clothing, I'll stick with the heat gun method. The clothing is wet, but
not completely saturated. But in severe cold weather, it freezes very
stiff and is hard or impossible to remove, until the ice is melted.
Much of this also depends on what a person has for doing laundry. My
basic washing machine is too small for a thick winter coat. I normally
take it to a laundromat in Spring. I dont wash it during the winter,
it's only a work coat and not one I wear to go to town. If it's wet
from the hose, it will dry if hung over a heat register over night. But
wearing it into the tub or shower will require a trip to town and the
laundromat, and probably a frozen coat when I get there.
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