I’ve never actually measured it, but I think the change happens somewhere around 10 degrees above zero.
Somewhere above ten is the good cold. It braces you, calls out the frontier history in you, and challenges you. You respond by focusing in tighter on getting the fire going, because being sloppy and rushed about it will just keep you cold longer. You respond by loving your zero-degree sleeping bag even more.
In the good cold, I want to run out to meet it. The good cold fills me with the knowledge that this is real life, and I am beating it.
In the bad cold, things are a little different. In the bad cold, I just want to get inside, crank up my electric heat, and not even come near the windows because those will be too cold.
I’m not exactly sure where the boundary is, between good cold and bad cold.
But negative ten degrees is the bad cold. Of that, I’m pretty sure this morning.