Living Alaska: How to make a redneck swimming pool
My pale Alaska body was not prepared for this summer heat. A sunburn and a few intense, detoxifying sweats later and I was wishing my little Spenard neighborhood had a community pool.
What’s my remedy? A redneck swimming pool.
My driveway swimming pool is constructed with three things; an oversized blue tarp, the bed of my Ford pickup truck and hose water. Often it’s accompanied with a cold, refreshing beverage and friendly conversation.
The first time I made one, it was a spontaneous decision because I had gotten sickeningly hot during the Three Barons Renaissance Fair. My wizard hat, beard and elf shoes were too thermal for the summer weather.
Ripping off my pathetic attempt at ren faire garb and exchanging it for my red, white and blue bikini felt like a cross-cultural experience of sorts — although probably not as enlightening as happenings qualified under similar terms should be.
I’ve made redneck swimming pools several times since. Sometimes I’ve invited friends, but other times I enjoyed the Sunday edition of the New York Times in peace, relaxing in the cool water in the bed of my truck all by myself.
I have been inviting my friends regularly this summer, though. They’re like me, their Alaskan bodies need reprieve from the heat. So — if the summer heat continues, so will pool time at Megan’s.
What you need
Optional: Bungee cords and/or duct tape
Do your best to make sure the truck is parked on a flat area, preferably with the bed in a sunny spot. Clean the bed of your pickup of any leftover camping or dog supplies. Spread the tarp over the bed of the pickup truck. I use a 20-by-20 tarp, so there is plenty of excess, which means I don’t have to use any other tools to keep the sides from falling as I fill it. You can use smaller tarps, but depending on the size of the bed, you’ll need duct tape and/or bungee cords to keep the walls in place.
Next, put the end of the hose into the pool and turn on the spigot. Once you have hose water funneling into the pool, grab a large bucket and start filling it in the bathtub with hot water. Pour the bucket of water in the bed of the pickup truck. Repeat this step, mixing it with the hose water, until the pool temperature is to your liking.
Tell your friends, or don’t. Sit. Relax. Enjoy.
Pro tips, tricks and fails
Fill the bed of the pickup truck first thing in the morning. If the sun can hit it before you get in, it will be a less shocking to your system.
Adding buckets of hot water won’t make it a redneck hot tub, just a slightly less cold swimming pool.
If the tarp isn’t big enough, the weight of the water can put too much stress on the tarp and cause it to rip in some places.
Duct tape patches holes, although it’s not a recommended permanent fix.
Megan Edge is a lifelong Alaskan residing in West Anchorage. The views expressed here are not necessarily the views of KTVA. Living Alaska is a regular feature, appearing on KTVA.com, about experiencing the Last Frontier through the outdoors.
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