It’s a bit more difficult to live in a van during the winter when it’s colder…
Alright, it’s not that bad, but it did snow the other day here in Athens, Greece!
So here are 6 things I’ve been doing to make winter more comfortable:
1. Van preparation
Keeping the van watertight is important. I went round the gutter of the roof and filled in any gaps and cracks that have emerged over time.
2. Drive as South as possible
There’s still the odd night here in Greece when the night-time temperature goes below the comfort level, but it’s generally just about OK. (see post – where to go for winter)
3. Staying warm in the van
Some things I do to keep warm in the van:
DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend you use the heater mentioned below. This was a last resort and I have since upgraded to a proper Propex van heater (see this post)
- hot water bottle in sleeping bag – the best thing ever
- blanket over sleeping bag – makes a big difference
- a rug for the floor – for bare feet
- gas heater (I got this one from Amazon) – it definitely get’s things warm but I only use it for 5 minutes at a time. Although this heater has safety features (for example auto cut-out if oxygen levels get too low) I do not recommend using it inside a campervan
4. An adjustment of clothes
Before I set off in March 2014 I had no jacket, so I decided to ask nicely for one. I emailed Rab clothing (based in Sheffield, where I lived – they do outdoor gear) explaining what I was doing, and that I need a warm jacket. They gave me this really warm down jacket and wished me luck on my adventure. I was amazed. Very cool company, and the jacket has proven to be an essential bit of kit for vanlife. It’s ultra warm.
5. Good Food. Winter food.
It’s easy to get run down when it’s cold, but good food makes a big difference. I’m mostly cooking hot stew kind of things with plenty of garlic, turmeric and spices. (see carpark cooking stew post)
6. Finding good people, fire and music
There’s nothing like huddling round a fire, with people, music, cats, dogs and blankets. It’s so nice! (see Jedi Academy post)
What would be essential for you, living in a van? I think things like a hot water bottle makes a huge difference to happiness in the cold…