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A snowbird is a traveller who “follows the weather” to stay comfortable. Common targets include daytime highs of 65-75F. These highs may seem too cool but snowbirds often camp in full sun to harvest solar power.

Snowbirding reduces the need for expensive and bulky amenities like air conditioning.


A general rule of thumb is that the temperature will drop 3.5F for every 1000' increase in elevation.1) Low humidity will cause a greater swing, as it does when the sun goes down in the desert. A theoretical location with 0% humidity would see a 5.4F drop per thousand while a 100% humid location would see only 2.7F.2)

= 7000' is a good rule of thumb for summer boondocking.3)

Nomads who regularly change altitude significantly may benefit from fuel injected (FI) vehicles over carbureted ones; FI systems automatically compensate for varying oxygen levels.


Climate averages increase as one approaches the equator4), at a rate of roughly 1deg F per 50 miles traveled in latitude.


In order to alter the temperature by 10F one could either:

  • change elevation by ~3000'; or
  • change latitude by 500mi, about the length of Nevada's eastern border5); or
  • some combination of the two

wintering areas

Wintering areas will be closer to the equator and/or lower in elevation

Popular locations include:6), 7)

summering areas

Summering areas will be farther from the equator and/or higher in elevation.


Theory: elevations around 3,000' may be good for “shoulder season” camping. FIXME


Annual weather patterns and forecasts play a large role in the lives of snowbirds

1) 3.54F is more accurate but less useful as a rule of thumb
camping/snowbirding.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/14 12:37 by frater_secessus