Living in a Van: How to Survive Winter?


Living and traveling in a van can be a challenge in the cold winter. But if you are adventurous enough to drive and live in a van, making it through the chilling winter should not be a problem. The goal is simple: keep yourself and your van warm. Do not let anyone discourage you from using a van in the frigid cold as it can be a lot of fun if you do things right. Here are some tips to help you survive:

Make your Van Watertight

You absolutely need your van to be airtight and watertight so that no cold air or water comes in. Inspect the roof of your van for any cracks. You can cover the gaps with a flexible sealant or you can also find special sealants for car leaks.

Keep the Van Warm

Nothing in this world will compare to the warm confines of your van. Imagine after wrestling through cold winter winds and walking on piles of snow, entering the van to find the warmth comparable with that of a hot sauna. What a delight would that be?

You should keep a gas heater which is portable and cheap. Even a small heater will quickly warm the entire van. But do not let it on when you sack off as it can be dangerous. You can use blankets over your sleeping bags as they will provide extra warmth during sleep. You can find cheap rugs from thrift shops and cover the floor of the van; it will keep the floor warm.

Wear Warm Kit

Your clothing is your ultimate protection as you do not want to fall sick. A nice and warm jacket is an absolute essential. You can also carry some rugged boots if you are in a snowy area. And let’s be honest, accessorizing is the best part of winter clothing so, get those mufflers and scarves out.

Eat Warm Food

Some particular things can actually keep you warm from within. Soup, as everybody knows, is going to keep you warm and energized. You can also have stews with dense broths. Garlic can keep you warm but keep it in check, especially if there are other people in the van (Garlic breath!). Spices like cinnamon and dry fruits like walnuts also provide the same function.


Who said winter cannot be fun? Bonfire, good music and good people are the ultimate recipe of winter fun. Just stop your van in a nice and quiet place, set up a fire and huddle around it with people and blankets.

Warm Water Bottles

Keep warm water bottles in your van. They can be utilized for several purposes other than drinking. You can keep the warm bottles in your sleeping bag and make it warm quickly. If your hands are cold, you can hold the bottle for a few seconds. And of course, drinking warm water is good as it will clear your throat and save you from catching flu or cold.

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