Ahhhhh….flip flops

This time of year you can’t help but think about the weather. Seems all craziness is loose out there with massive cold-fronts and blizzards sweeping down on the North both here and in Europe. I write this, of course, from the sunny warmth of my RV sitting in my flip flops…and that got me thinking. One line of my convoluted brain went on a tangent of footwear ending up somewhere with ultra-plush-faux-fur-covered flip-flops (I would buy ‘em!) whilst the other more scientific penchant of my brain started analyzing the practical side of things. After all, one of the many beauties of RVing is that you can travel with the weather, and that means flip-flops all year around (with occasional sock-in-flops on chillier days -> it’s a fashion statement don’t you know). As the self-proclaimed original discoverer of this phenomenon I nick-named it the flip-flop barometer of RVing, and decided it was worth a post.

Scientifically speaking the ideal flip-flop weather is between 60 and 80 degrees fahrenheit (16-27 degrees centigrade) with a soothing breeze and complete lack of bugs. You should be able to sit comfortably, not bothered by excessive temperature or bugs sipping a drink (with mini-umbrella as occasion demands) in the sun. Got it?

Now, I really must admit I’m not the first person to think of this. Snowbirds are well-known for fleeing the North in the winter to go South for warmth. Although not so-named (as far as I know) summerbirds do the same in reverse running like mad chickens from the heat and bugs of the summer into the North for relative cool.

Through our RVing we will attempt to perfect this travel with 365 days of perfect flip-flop accuracy. We failed this year, travelling South way too soon and thus spending way more time with bugs than we should have liked. Next year we will aim to do better and there’s a couple of spots that are helping us to plan the ultimate trip:

1/ US Weather Maps - The NCDC (National Climate Data Center) keeps a record of historical temperatures, visually mapped and color-coded as to whether they are above or below norm. It’s a very cool reference.

The NCDC Map for February 2010

The NCDC Map for February 2010

2/ Local Data - Once you’ve got the big picture Weather Underground is a great resource for getting into details. For historical info, just plug in your city and date and the site will spit out details and maps of daily, weekly or monthly data on temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation and wind speed.

Weather Underground data for June 2010 in Denver, CO

3/ Bug Activity – There are limited resources for bug activity, but if you’re a natural-born-mosquito-magnet such as myself you’ll take anything you can get. Turns out the Weather Channel has a resource called the Mosquito Activity Forecast. Here you can get up-to-date info on how the little beasts are biting all around the US.

4/ Weather Alerts - Although these won’t affect your long-term planning, having access to severe weather alerts can definitely make a difference to your immediate safety. The NOAA issues the alerts and you can buy various weather radios to receive them as you travel cross-country. Certain media also offer cell-phone and e-mail alerts, but they’re usually limited to a given location.

Between these resources we’re going to re-try for the perfect flip-flop trip in 2011. Planning is in progress and will be revealed in due time. In the meantime here’s hoping your feet are free and footloose in the perfect flip-flop pose.

22 Responses to Travelling w/ The Weather -> The Flip Flop Barometer

  1. Dickson says:

    What a great blog. Found it on IRV2…Tracy and I and the dogs are hoping to hit the road this year, 2011 for a coulple of extened trips, and be full timing by 2012. To young to retire, so we are just going to quit. Look forward to more from your travels. My son lives is in Palm Bay, we will be there in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait for the flip flops…Peace and Safe Travels…D

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh, how very exciting!! Do let us know if we’re ever in the same spot and if/when you start a blog or travelogue. Can’t wait to hear more about your travel. Nina

  2. Daniel&Shula says:

    Yes we all live accordingly by the weather ,it decides what we will do,wear,grow ,eat and so on…
    2 things we – can not control the Weather and the Time, so I ask myself why to waste energy on these issue???just adjust and go with it.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I love these kinds of things…keeps me busy during the winter month planning & calculating :) We’ll see how we do next year. Nina

  3. Terry & Candace says:

    In response to your “but if you’re a natural-born-mosquito-magnet such as myself” ….

    we carry dryer sheets with us …. and rub them on our skin to keep away the critters. Avons’ skin-so-soft works well also. We will not use anything with DEET in it, so these 2 discoveries work well for us.

  4. [...] Thanks to skill, guile or perhaps pure, dumb luck we’ve been tracking superbly well on our flip-flop barometer. The cold weather has lingered longer than expected in the North, which means our Southern route [...]

  5. [...] paid closer attention and the beauty of being mobile is that you can do exactly that. I launched my flip-flop barometer early this year and we managed (mostly) to stay right on it. We’re wintering in the SW this [...]

  6. Nina,

    Your blog was in an IRV2 thread a couple days ago and I clicked on the link to see what you have to say. First of all, your writing is quite good. Nice breezy fluid style.

    But to this post, and the flip flop travel. How does traveling the eastern Sierra in November in with that? I guess maybe with smart wool socks you could live with flip flops.

    Bob and Barbara San Diego CA (Jamul CA actually)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well, sock-in-flop is one of our regular fashion statements :)
      All I can say is that we aspire to greatness, but do not always reach such heights. It’s been a pretty good flip-flop year, but not perfect. Still…many more years to get perfection in front of us.
      Nina

  7. [...] also managed to stick pretty closely to our flip-flop barometer. Early in the year with a longer-than-usual winter hanging in the North we hugged the Southern [...]

  8. Mollie says:

    Love your blog – hubby won’t wear flip flops (hates anything b/w his toes) but I love them. Our motto is run from the heat and run from the cold. Plan to not need anything more than a windbreaker. Thanks for all your tips and pointers – keep up the good work. We are working on our bucket list and discovered we can’t spend 3-5 months workcamping and be able to see everything we want to see. Wish more workcamping spots allowed for 1-3 month stints since it really has helped us financially to be able to enjoy this adventure. I need to be more adventurous and try more remote areas without FHUs to save money.

  9. [...] °C) on a daily basis.  This year, more than ever, we’ve managed to stay on-track with our flip-flop barometer and we’re crossing toes that all our RV friends and family are staying safe and [...]

  10. [...] idiocies and have slowed down, spent more time getting to know the “local” scene and followed much better weather ever since. We’re still going to hit periods of weather that suck, and will still end up [...]

  11. Alison Kirk says:

    Hello! Searching your archive for information on winterizing. Is the Beast a “four-season” RV? Did you have to make modifications to it for warmth? I’m wondering what needs to be done to prepare for night-time temp drops in the southwest. Thanks for the information!

  12. [...] thoroughly enjoying the higher elevations and thus near-perfect temps. This is the time of year our flip-flop barometer keeps us heading higher and northwards, warm enough to bask in a T-shirt but not so hot that [...]

  13. […] (yes, even the Mid-West). I call this our “flip flop barometer” and we regularly use US Weather Maps and other such tools to help simplify the process. So our first planning tool is “where will we spend […]

  14. […] there’s a reason to our madness. Despite our fondness for flip-flop temps, there’s one big reason to brave the cold in fall up here and it has everything to do with […]

  15. David & Kathy C. says:

    Love this. You guys are the BEST.
    302 days til Retirement

  16. […] elevation, mainly to get a few degrees cooler (and of course to bask in romantic soup). Even the flip-flop barometer isn’t perfect all the time, and being flexible is just one of the keys to a happy journey. […]

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