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A snowbird is a traveller who “follows the weather” to stay comfortable. Common targets include daytime highs of 60-75F. 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.

Wiki: list of cities by elevation


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

This video shows how the latitude of 70deg F. changes throughout the year.


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

general patterns

On the east coast, snowbirds will typically move further south into Florida with cold weather and up as far as Canada in warm weather.

In the central US, snowbirds may move to the Gulf Coast (Texas, Lousiana) during winter and up into the mountains of Colorado or further north in the summer.

In the west, snowbirds often move to sea level in southern Arizona or California in the winter, and either up in elevation (New Mexico) or latitude in the summer.

Draft version of common boondocking spot temps by month - Google Drive (view only, in progress)

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

3.54F is more accurate but less useful as a rule of thumb
camping/snowbirding.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/05 14:38 by frater_secessus