Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Bunny Boots and Block Heaters

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Bunny boots, also called vapor barrier boots, were originally designed by the United States Military in order to protect feet in sub-zero temperatures. They are insulated with felt and wool, and are named after snow shoe rabbits, or Arctic hares. The snow shoe rabbits have large hind feet and their fur changes from brown to white in the winter so that they blend in with the snow. Apparently the snow shoe rabbits are common around the U.S. Army base Ft. Greeley and they provided the inspiration for the name of the boots.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While I was researching my novel Polar Night, I learned about block heaters for cars. My main character Danny, who lives in Fairbanks, buys a block heater after moving to Alaska and has to plug his car in each night when he parks it. The block heaters help the cars start up and also help keep the coolants and oils warm.


Source: Wikimedia Commons


Just reading about both of these frigid weather supplies made me cold! I'm glad they're not things I have to deal with, although I can't deny that I would love to have my own pair of bunny boots, just because. :)

Do you, or have you ever, lived in a place that's cold enough to require block heaters or bunny boots? I'm happy to say I have not. 

66 comments:

  1. I do live in cold enough place for both and I am seriously considering a pair of bunny boots.

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  2. No I haven't, although I've driven in temperatures so cold an additive was required to keep the fuel line from freezing.

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  3. I do remember bunny boots and I have to make sure cars have block heaters. We can always tell when car dealers in the area get a shipment of cars from the south. We have to purchase block heaters, even in July/August, or make sure we get them before the first big freeze. I live in Minnesota. And bunny boots...they were heeavvyy. My toes got crunched a lot if I wasn't watching.

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  4. I was happy to throw away the ice scraper for the car windshield once I got to FL, so no way on the bunny boots or block heater! :)

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  5. It's 75F and I just got a chill reading this! Brrr. The bunny's cute, though. :)

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  6. Yes and yes. We do have bunny boots up here and block heaters are common if one has a desiel fuel car up here as well so I knew what was happening in your loverly novel. I wish that I didn't know what they were however, I would be very happy living in the desert (except I don't like bugs).

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  7. I could have done with some of those bunny boots here in the UK these last few weeks!

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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  8. I took my North Dakota car (complete with block heater) to California when I moved there, and I constantly got jokes from people asking me if my car was electric. (That was back before there actually WERE electric cars...)
    ~Just Jill

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  9. I'd love some bunny boots 'just because' as well. I live in NC, so it doesn't really snow enough for snow boots, but it gets too cold for regular sneakers to be a comfortable footwear choice. Plus, they're kind of cute (don't tell the soldiers that, lol). I love the research you put into your novel!

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  10. I just can't imagine living in a place so cold you have to have a heater to warm your car so you can start it.

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  11. It was probably cold enough for a block heater in Wisconsin, but I don't remember my parents ever having one.

    I certainly wore big 'ol boots in Wisconsin, but I could not have pulled off those bright white bunny boots.

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  12. I have never seen a plug come out of a car!! I am sure I would not bear that much cold but I still think Alaska is amazing. I wonder how a dragon would look wearing such boots.

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  13. I want some bunny boots for next winter in CO!

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  14. I live in Singapore, far away from snow -- so all of this is fascinating to me. :)

    Look forward to the rest of your challenge posts!
    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  15. @Regina, I totally love the bunny boots even though I could never stand the cold LOL.

    @Alex, even just needing that additive sounds too cold for me. I don't think that's ever been an issue here.

    @Mildred, oh, that makes sense Minnesota would be the same. I just can't imagine the block heaters!

    @Madeline, LOL, I would love throwing away my ice scraper too. If only!

    @Laura, LOL, I agree, I love the rabbit.

    @Lynn Marie, I'm not surprised you are familiar with these considering the snow pics you have shared on your blog. I have relatives in New England so I would guess they probably know about these things too.

    @Rosalind, oh, I've heard you guys are having a terrible winter over there that just won't end. Hope it gets warmer soon!

    @Jill, LOL, I can imagine that wasn't a common sight in Calif.

    @Nickie, thanks! That's what I think, the boots are cute, but I bet I wouldn't think that if I had to wear them LOL.

    @LG, I couldn't either and had seriously never heard of it before.

    @Tim, LOL, I'm sure the boots would have been very stylish.

    @Al, I think a dragon can pull off any look, even these boots.

    @Susan, maybe you can order some online, you should check LOL.

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  16. @Damyanti, thanks so much! And I'd love to learn more about Singapore, that sounds fascinating to me. :)

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  17. If the weather doesn't warm up here in Buffalo, I'm going to invest in bunny boots!

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  18. I live at 8000 feet and subzero temperatures are the norm for winters. Keeping a heater running by our water heater so the pipes don't freeze, block heaters, and Sorrel boots are the norm. The winter's are long and cold, but the summers and falls are paradise and the views can't be beat.

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  19. I live at 8000 feet and subzero temperatures are the norm for winters. Keeping a heater running by our water heater so the pipes don't freeze, block heaters, and Sorrel boots are the norm. The winter's are long and cold, but the summers and falls are paradise and the views can't be beat.

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  20. Cute bunny!
    Are those white boots? Eeeeek! And the dirt? Oh, I forgot, it's only snow... LOL.

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  21. My aunt lived in Alaska long ago and told me about the block heaters. I was young then, had no idea what she meant. They were essential apparently.

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  22. Fortunately not. Still, I really want to go to Alaska. :-D

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  23. Phew, I'm glad I don't live somewhere like that. My last car used to struggle in winters here, and they're not even that bad!

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  24. Cute little bunny :)

    I've heard of those block heaters. BAck in the day, my husband said they (from North Dakota) used to light a fire under the car to thaw it out. Crazy!

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  25. The Bunny Boots do look kinda cute. Don't think I'd do well in arctic temperatures though.

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  26. I was born in Fargo, North Dakota and I always laugh when people complain of a "cold" day in Texas. Never had bunny boots, buy I had a giant purple snow suit.

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  27. I never heard about bunny boots before, but I'm sure I could use them as my feet are always cold. Cute snow shoe rabbit.

    Julie

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  28. I have never lived in a place that cold! I live on the coast of South Africa, where it never snows and where you can sometimes wear shorts and a T-shirt in winter :-)

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  29. I live in Chennai, India. This place doesn't experience even the mild winter. But I would like to own a pair of these boots for the cold places I desire to visit. Quite an informative post. :)
    http://www.poeticbug.blogspot.com

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  30. Being a native Texan, I had never heard of block heaters until I asked about a strange wire sticking out of my Minnesotan friend's car. She had a good laugh at my expense, then explained what a plug-in is. :D

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  31. Might need some of those bunny boots! Never needed a block heater...doesn't get 'that' cold here in CO.

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  32. @Cathrina, I hope you will get spring temps soon!

    @Julie, just from the pics you've shared I can imagine the summers and falls there are amazing.

    @Michael, LOL, I never knew how common they are.

    @Michelle, yeah, I love the rabbit. :D

    @Susan, I can't even imagine using one, I truly had no idea. Makes me feel like a wuss for complaining about the cold we get in the winter.

    @Misha, me too!

    @Laura, I was never sure my last car was going to start in the winter either LOL.

    @Gwen, LOL, I can't imagine that!

    @JL, I agree, I definitely wouldn't.

    @deathwriter, that snow suit sounds so funny LOL.

    @Julie, I always have cold feet too so I kind of love the bunny boots. :D

    @Rachel, that sounds like heaven!

    @Salvwi, thanks! Great to meet you!

    @Melissa, she would have laughed at me as well because I would have had no clue LOL.

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  33. @Rebecca, I hope you can get some bunny boots before next winter. :D

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  34. bunny boots?! i want some too!
    cute & functional!

    dont ever want to live where i would need a block heater!

    happy b day!

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  35. I can't even imagine it, but it sure sounds intriguing.

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  36. @Tara, I don't either. For a minute I was confused by happy b day and thought, wait, it's not my birthday. LOL my mind is totally gone!

    @MJ, I agree!

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  37. Nope! No block heaters or bunny boots at the Tiki Hut either :)

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  38. I could use a pair of those boots up at the observatory! Anything under 40 has me half frozen.

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  39. I know we have the heaters in Sweden and I know the boots would come in handy too.

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  40. Soooo glad I live in Florida...lol.

    I used to live in Waukeegan, Illinois and I remember it getting quite cold...especially off the lake!

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  41. I've not, but I'm intrigued by the bunny which looks like it's part kangaroo. Look at the size of the hind feet!

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  42. Well, we have winter in Romania and sometimes is very cold but... I just prefer staying in, near a fire, not in the cold. :)

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  43. I love these insights into your novel. I wish I had used my fencing terms in mine, but I was afraid that readers wouldn't understand what I meant so I chickened out.

    The Bunny Boots are cool! and I knew about Block heaters. My dad lived in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska for two weeks at a time off and on for 5 years. He would come home (he was off for two weeks), and wear normal clothes, and then he would head up there, and change immediately into super warm clothes. I went to visit him at work a few times, and it seems like we just hustled into the "base" of operations because I didn't have the right gear to be outside, even in the "spring."

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  44. That's so neat about the bunny boots. I knew a few people up north in Ontario that used block heaters. You'd definitely need them in Alaska!

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  45. Happily, block heaters are not a necessary thing here in Colorado, though I think some might be surprised by that. Maybe up in the mountains, though. It's fairly temperate here. I'd love a pair of those boots. Wonder if they'd carry them at the military surplus store!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  46. Not really. Though in the winter, it sometimes feels like it's getting close!

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  47. I was born and raised Floridan. This is something I can't imagine. :)

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  48. @Carol, yeah, I imagine the bunny boots would be really uncomfortable at the Tiki Hut.

    @Mary, oh, that's true! Maybe you could get some before the season starts up again. :)

    @Inger, oh, I can imagine these are needed in Sweden.

    @Mark, LOL, I'm wishing I lived in Florida too.

    @Nick, I know, the rabbit's feet are funny! I would guess they look really strange when the hop.

    @Adriana, that sounds perfect to me.

    @Tyrean, oh, that's so interesting that your father worked in Prudhoe Bay. I can't imagine actually being there.

    @Christine, I just love the boots LOL.

    @Shannon, I would have thought you might need them, that's interesting. I guess I just tend to assume all of Colorado is like the mountains even though I know that's silly.

    @Eagle, that's how I feel too even though I'm sure people in northern areas would think our winters here are nothing LOL.

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  49. @Ciara, oh, I guess not LOL. I'm sure you want it to stay that way. :)

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  50. Wow, I've never heard of both. I am very glad to not have to use those; it doesn't get THAT cold where I live!

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  51. It's been years since I have had to drive in anything close to that weather but I can't say I miss it. I miss the pretty snow though.

    *~ MAJK ~*

    A to Z 2013

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  52. This makes me so grateful that I live in the south :D

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  53. Living in Australia, I had no idea about block heaters :)

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  54. I've seen block heaters in movies. In Jamaica we don't need such things on the regular. Sun!! Love the bunny pic.

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  55. Hi, Julie,

    What a heat pic of the bunny.,I love rabbits especially in the spring..

    I live in Chicago... Need i Sayers. On certain days, I could certainly use a part if those bunny boots... L

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  56. @Krista, I'm very glad too, and also glad I'm not the only one who never heard of the heaters LOL.

    @MAJK, I know, the snow is so pretty to look at but I still hate being in it.

    @Sam, I bet!

    @Lynda, oh, I guess not LOL. I think you are the lucky one there. :)

    @Sheena, I hadn't even seen them in the movies, I was clueless. I love the bunny too!

    @Michael, yeah, I can imagine this isn't strange to you in Chicago. Maybe you could get some bunny boots before next winter. :)

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  57. Block heaters are very important for folks up north who don't have garages! :)

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  58. My dad has an old truck and has always used a block heater in winter time ever since I can remember and we live in Indiana.

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  59. @EJ, I fuss so much during the winter here because I don't have a garage, but reading about these heaters kind of put my whining in perspective.

    @Dani, oh, that's interesting. I never knew they were used at all, I don't know where I've been.

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  60. Awww, what clever bunnies, to change colour like that! :)

    I haven't ever lived in a place that cold but I have to say it's more appealing to me than living where I do in the height of our summer.

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  61. @Trisha, I remember your post about your summers there and I can understand that! And I agree about the bunnies, very smart. :)

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  62. Since my hub was in the military and participated in cold weather training, he wore bunny boots. I wished I had a pair when we lived in Skopje, Macedonia. Didn't think cold could be that cold!

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  63. @Kittie, oh, I didn't know you lived in Macedonia at one time, how interesting. I'm sure I would react the same way to the cold.

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  64. Me, too! Though I love the name!

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Thank you for your comments!