It did take me three nights to realize that it didn’t really go down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit in Newfoundland, but rather 15 degrees Celsius/59 degrees Fahrenheit. It was nippy at night, but we didn’t need the long underwear that I had previously wanted to purchase. This is where layering clothing and packing for all kinds of weather comes into play when camping. Even though we predominantly camped during the summer, I brought long-sleeved as well as short-sleeved shirts, long and short pants, sweatshirts, and windbreaker jackets as well as quilted-lined raincoats.
It was so cold one Newfoundland night in July that, by dawn, everyone had climbed into Mom and Dad’s bunk, nearly toppling the new trailer. With pull-out ends for bed bunks, you can’t have all the weight on one end. As the trailer wobbled on its four spindly legs, my husband shouted for everyone to climb to the tables at the center of the trailer. So there we all stood, shivering in our p.j.’s and socks, wrapped in blankets or sleeping bags wondering why we decided to camp in what felt like “wintertime.”
Chilly nights aside, we usually tried things that the locals do. Well, not everything. Parents draw the line at swimming in glacial lakes. The temperature was about 18 degrees Celsius in the evening. My husband and I don’t venture into glacial waters when it is only 64 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, we approach frigid waters with trepidation even in 98 degrees Fahrenheit with the sun blazing down upon us. But our children? They plunge right into the frigid waters no matter what the temperature.
So my husband and I sat on Deer Lake beach, huddled in blankets and extra towels, waiting for the children to come to their senses. You see, we were warming up the towels for any “ice floes” who happen to shiver too close to the edge of the lake where they could be caught and wrapped in the warmth of welcoming arms and held tightly to arrest those uncontrollable shivers.