In our journey back home to Dancing Rabbit, April and I brainstormed ideas of how we could better button up the house for winter. At the time, the house was in the 30s, the rocket stove was clearly not going to keep us warm, and we didn’t have plans in place for a temporary stove yet. We expected to be cold. But we wanted to do what we could to make things more comfortable.
We came up with the idea of creating a sort of structure, almost like a tent, that would trap our body heat as we lay in bed. We recalled the four poster beds of old, which were beds with four vertical posts and curtains that lowered around the bed to keep drafts out and the sleeper warm.
Our version was something simpler, that didn’t require four posts. April drew up a little sketch of a hoop supporting blankets that would drape over the bed, forming a sort of warm cone.
April’s friend dubbed our warm body heat tent the Cone of Silence. (I didn’t realize it was a Get Smart reference at the time, but the name has stuck!)
The very next day, we found a mosquito net with hoop at a thift store for $2. (What luck!) We took off the net and used the hoop to support a couple of blankets (one 100% wool army blanket [another $4 thrift store score], and one quilt), which were safety pinned together. We tied the hoop to rope and strung it from a hook over the bed, above the pillows, where our heads would be exposed.
It looked pretty silly, but the results were amazing! We climbed inside. While the temperature inside the house was 38°, the temperature inside of the Cone of Silence had risen to nearly 60° from our combined trapped body heat! That’s a 20 degree difference!
The Cone of Silence is a little tight for two to sleep in, but the warmth makes it totally worth it. It doesn’t extend over our legs, but it does shelter our heads and shoulders, which would otherwise be exposed to the cold air of the house.
If you live in a terribly cold house and have no way to generate heat, use your own body and capture the heat you produce while you sleep! The Cone of Silence makes sleeping in a cold house much more comfortable. All you need is a hoop and two or three blankets. (I bet you could even use an old bike rim as a hoop.)