23 responses to How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter
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    Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 07:37)

    One Sunday morning while living in Ontario it was cold. In order to stay warm and not freeze, I dressed in a heavy coat, shawl, wool scarf on my head, a bonnet, scarf around my neck, two pairs of mittens and knee high boots. I had stepped on the scale before I dressed to go outside and again just before I left the house. I weighed ten pounds more.

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      Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 08:01)

      It’s true, winter clothes do add about 10 pounds. And this is what I reminded myself, at least, at my last official “weigh-in” at the doctor’s. Unfortunately they don’t let you shed a few layers and re-weigh though.

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    Comment on What would you do? (December 22nd, 2014 at 07:37)

    What would you do?

    I would stay home if I where Amish and could stay home on the coldest days, if that where an option.

    I know from experience that, as a pedestrian and someone who is lucky to live in a municipality that has decent public transit, that clothing and layers of it (including good boots) are good things in the winter.

    Thank you Eric and David for a nice seasonal post!

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      Comment on [minor typo, but yeah] (December 22nd, 2014 at 07:40)

      [minor typo, but yeah]

      Sorry for the minor typo, its early on the Monday before Christmas and I didn’t get enough sleep, sorry that I made the mistake I make regularly, s-h-i-m (slightly-heindsightly-idiotic-man]

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    Trish in Indiana
    Comment on Sounds like the tent heater debate (December 22nd, 2014 at 07:57)

    Sounds like the tent heater debate

    Every October, I do deer camp in a tent (many years in Lagrange County, as it happens). Let me tell you, in Lagrange County, even in October, it is already COLD at night, for someone sleeping on the ground with nothing between her sleeping bag and the wind but a nylon tent wall.

    Some tent campers use propane tent heaters. I don’t, because every safety expert I’ve ever read or heard warns up and down against the things, because of the danger of carbon monoxide. But one time I did poke my head into a fellow camper’s heated tent, and oh, did it feel luxurious! I’m sure a similar debate between warmth and safety goes on in many Amish buggies.

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    Juanita Cook
    Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 09:11)

    Thank you for sharing this info. Very interesting article.

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    Terry from Wisc
    Comment on Staying warm (December 22nd, 2014 at 09:18)

    Staying warm

    Having Amish friends, and being a father of four, I’ve wondered about traveling with their babies and kids in those cold buggies in winter time. With our Wisc winters being a tad snowy and cold at times, we ride in a vehicle and whine until it warms up! So, what do you do on a -25 degree Sunday morning with the wind howling, snow blowing, little kids, and off to church you go? And it’s 5 or more miles to church? What about all that steamy breath that is going on inside the buggy? Do they have defrost on the windshield? lol! An elderly Amish couple that are our friends put hot water in plastic milk jugs and put them by their feet in the buggy. I came to a realization years ago that the Amish are way hardier than we are! When you see Amish kids playing outside in winter and the girls are wearing a dress and sledding down a hill, makes one think that they must be about chilled to the bone! We English dress our kids for the elements way more than the Amish do, and their kids survive just fine. “You don’t miss something you don’t have.”

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    Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 09:55)

    And as you know, cold is a relative term. Growing up in Southern Ontario we had open buggies and no heaters and cold in Southern Ontario is colder than cold in Indiana. As a teenager arriving home after an hour and a half drive with three people on the open buggy, we would open the oven door on the kitchen stove and stick or feet inside until you could smell hot socks. I would eventually go to bed but still have cold feet when I awoke the next morning.

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 11:52)

    It depends a lot on the buggy! Our buggy has a storm-front and roll-down curtains that snap in place. We do have a buggy heater that we got as a gift, but we found it to be too warm. In cold weather we dress warmly: I often wear an insulated vest under my corduroy coat and with good gloves, a heavy insulated fur lap-robe and the buggy closed up, I have yet to complain about being cold. We keep our robes in the house to keep them warm. My wife wears a wool head-scarf under her bonnet and with a thick coat & shawl, she’s warm, too. We bundled our children up much the same, tucked them in robes and tucked them in the back seat. In very cold weather we have used hot-water bottles, but it’s been years since we did that. The storm-front can get frosty, but we keep an ice-scraper & a cloth handy for cleaning the front and find that once body heat warms up the front, the frost seems to disappear. We do spray something on the front that helps keep it from freezing.
    Traveling by buggy probably sounds colder than it really is. 🙂 Think about cutters or sleighs — those might be colder but it never kept people from enjoying them yet!

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      Carl Oliver
      Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 13:04)

      Thanks for the insight Mark! I’ve always wondered about the storm front fogging up or icing over and never think to ask my Amish friends as I mostly see they in the summer during hay season. Another thing I love to see is the Amish snow-mobile. It is common in our community to see a horse galloping down a gravel road pulling a young man in skis in the ditch as he holds onto a rope and tries to stay upright bouncing over snow drifts. Just like water skiing, except replace the boat with a perky horse and replace the water with a ditch full of snow. It really looks like fun!

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      Comment on winter bicycle riding (December 22nd, 2014 at 19:10)

      winter bicycle riding

      Four of us rode our bicycles from Wooster down into Holmes county for a 60 miles ride. Temperature about 28° to 30° and wind chill around 20°. I put a website here showing the map of the ride.

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        Ron Smedley
        Comment on http://www.strava.com/activities/231655113 (December 22nd, 2014 at 19:13)


        http://www.strava.com/activities/231655113 Here is that map of the bike ride

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      Comment on vinegar (December 29th, 2014 at 23:54)


      put vinegar in warm water it defrost s window very easy..in spray bottle and old newspaper to wipe after vinegar no need for scraping..

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    Comment on how some people keep warm in buggies (December 22nd, 2014 at 17:55)

    how some people keep warm in buggies

    I have heard or read that some keep warm by heating stones on their wood heaters and place them on the floor or under the seats and they will emit heat for a long time. With their blankets covering their lower body and the heat from the stones, they keep somewhat warm. Has anyone heard of this?

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      Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 20:10)

      In the areas that I visit most often, A Neveda order and an Old Order Mennonite order, I tried to sell warmers and buggy steps at a flea market last summer. The steps sold at once but I still have the warmers. My groups do use closed buggies but not warmers. I guess they just tolerate the cold temps and deal with it until they reach their destinations and warm up to the wood stoves.

      There is nothing like a wood stove to warm you up. It’s just the way it was meant to be.

      When I was a child, my Mom would use the cast iron kitchen stove to cook the bacon, ham, steaks or fish for breakfast and to heat the water for baths, and bake the biscuits and hot water for oat meal and tea. The kitchen wood stove would heat almost the whole house and cook our breakfast. It was the best of times……

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      Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 22nd, 2014 at 20:16)

      Yes, of course. We also used that system to heat the beds at night. the heat would last about three hours and by that time we all snuggled under Mom’s homemade quilts and we stayed warm all night. My parents would wake up at about five AM and get the wood stoves going so we kids would wake up warm and toastie. It’s just the way it was and now the Amish do the same. It was a wonderful life……

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      Comment on @Tom-GA. I have, sort of ... (December 23rd, 2014 at 09:00)

      @Tom-GA. I have, sort of ...

      When I was a child my mother used to put clean bricks in a flat cake pan looking thing with enough water to cover them & then stick the whole thing in the oven until about half of the water had boiled away.

      Then she would wrap them in some old cloth rags and slip them into some small flannel bags that she had, before placing them under the covers at the foot of the bed. I think this was just sort of a ritual for her though, because we had natural gas heat and it doesn’t get that terribly cold where I grew up anyway.

      I never heard of them being used in a buggy, same concept though.

      BTW: I have the lap blanket that her parents used in their buggy, wagons and then early automobiles to stay warm, though about 10 years ago it started to completely disintegrate so it is only to look at now. No more using it to cover up with on the couch.

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    Comment on What would you do? (December 22nd, 2014 at 22:55)

    What would you do?

    RE: If I were Amish I’d use a heater, because it is cold here in Indiana. What would you do?

    I can’t BELIEVE that no one came up with what I would do. Thought for sure someone would beat me to it.

    Here is what I would do: I’d head out to Pine Croft, Florida and see how our friend Katie Troyer is doing! I’d hang out there until, I dunno … maybe April?

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      Trish in Indiana
      Comment on @ OldKat (December 23rd, 2014 at 02:21)

      @ OldKat

      LOL! Pine Croft sounds like a good option. But I’m afraid when I’m honest, I have to say that the option I “would” choose is the option I “have” chosen: Not being Amish!

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on How (Some) Amish Drivers Keep Warm in Winter (December 23rd, 2014 at 15:23)

    Loved the guest post. Thanks for sharing your humor. OldKat, I loved your keep warm plan the best. I wonder if any Amish wish to migrate to Hawaii.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on buggy heaters (December 24th, 2014 at 14:44)

    buggy heaters

    Well, I know I keep the heater on in my van. I asked Mark about his buggy. He said that he doesn’t have a heater in his buggy. He doesn’t think they are safe. He’s been in a few buggies that have them but not when they were on. He said that the heaters are only a few inches away from your legs. They are installed on the dash right in the front. The propane tank is under the seat. You have an explosive propane tank, flames, and a wooden vehicle. Not a good combination. If you horse decides to act up or shies at a snow plow you could have a right nasty conflagration. Mark says he just closes his buggy up tight. Also, he dresses in layers. He has a buggy robe that is fur on both sides with insulation in between. He says it’s not really as bad as some people think. He said he can remember as a boy getting in the car when we started out with not enough warm clothes, cold vinyl seats, and an ice cold car. That was cold!

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