Clinophile.

Over the holidays I came across this word, which I had to look up. Usually when there is a “phile” on the end of a word it means a person who likes or loves something… but what? Well, it turns out, it is a person who really likes their bed.

Since we spend around eight hours a day in bed either sleeping or trying to sleep, we should at least like out beds. But do you like your bed enough to be considered a clinophile? That is the question. To start with, I think they should change the name to something more understandable. Maybe a bed-o-phile, a sleep-o-phile or even a nap-o-phile because I really do enjoy a good nap.

As a prospector you start your day with a packsack which is already fairly heavy because of all the gear you have to carry with you to do your job. Then you spend the day hiking in the bush over hill and dale, through swamps and thick bush looking at the rocks and the topography for hints of interesting mineralization. Occasionally you stop and pick up a rock and put it in your packsack. This adds to its weight, but your job description calls for rock samples. Then at the end of the day, you have to haul yourself and your heavy packsack back to camp.

When you arrive back at camp, you take off your packsack and work boots and I usually stretch out flat on my camp cot or bed. It feels great to stretch out. It helps if you learn how to relax every part of your body particularly your muscles. Then it feels like you are floating. Also, you clear your mind and live in the moment. You listen to the wind rustling the leaves and the occasional bird calling. It feels like you are floating without a care in the world. I think of it as a form of meditation and achieving a state of bliss. It feels wonderful. So I admit at times I am a nap-o-phile.

If you work in the bush, you spend more time in your bed then most people realize. If a big storm blows in, even if you have a heater of some sort, chances are your tent will be on the cold side. The warmest most comfortable place is lying in your bed, cocooned in your sleeping bag probably reading a good book. Sometimes on the tundra it lasts for days, until the storm blows over.

So, when I stop to think about it, yes, I really enjoy a nice warm and cozy bed. Now, during our last protracted cold snap a lot of people were complaining about their apartment or town house being cool to cold because the buildings heating system couldn’t keep up with the demand. It is one thing being cold in a bush camp, but you would think we would have learned how to make comfortable buildings in the north by now. Many just aren’t built or insulated for our climate. They tend to be too hot in summer and too cold in the winter.

Sometimes they do this because it is cheaper in the short term. However, when you add up the extra heating and cooling costs in the long term, they use up a lot more expensive fuel and electricity. So short-term savings for long term expenses.

The government building codes are partially to blame. Also, many government buildings would also fall into this category. So, I would suggest we learn how to build practical buildings for the north. There is a novel idea, let’s build for the climate we live in.

Anyway back to the philes. There are people who love the rain and are called phuviophiles. People who love storms are ceraunophiles and people who love snow and the cold are chionophiles. Once again, I find the names archaic and confusing, A snow-lover should be called a snow-o-phile.

So, if you really like or love something, just add phile to the end of it. Now its time for a winters nap. Warm and cozy in a comfortable bed. One of life’s little pleasures.

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