Winter is here! That means skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding. With all the joys of winter come the cold nights in between. Here are a few do’s and don'ts before you head up to the mountains to prepare you for cold nights in your van.
Growing up in the mountains of Tahoe taught me the importance of layering. You start by wearing thick socks and a thermal base layer on the top and bottom. Then you layer up on top of that, the outer layer being water and wind-resistant. Always have boots or shoes that keep your feet dry and warm.
Sleeping bags can keep people warm in a tent on Everest. You should invest in a sleeping bag that has ratings for the low temperatures that you plan to venture to; this is a sure way to stay warm when you are sleeping.
If you find you are parked in a Vanly spot where you have access to electricity that can power an electric heater make sure the heater is placed in a safe position in the van away from flammable objects. Newer electric heaters have safety mechanisms that automatically turn off the heater if it tips over. You can also haul a generator to run a heater, this will keep you warm but it is noisy and draws attention.
Bringing an emergency candle can give you the little extra warmth and light you might need in your van. A candle flame can warm your hands and toes quickly as it produces a lot of heat instantly. Always make sure you have a safe place for your candle and never leave it unattended.
Do not use any form of gas heaters that are not specifically designed and installed in your van. Gas-powered heaters are dangerous and can kill you if not properly used. Never sleep in your car with the engine running in snowy areas because the snow can cover up your tailpipe, trap carbon dioxide inside of your car, and can kill you.
With the right equipment, you can stay warm in your van even with winter knocking at your door. All you need is proper clothing and a solid sleeping bag. Always remember to make sure your van is water-tight before you leave on your adventure. To stay warm, cozy, and shielded from the winter the right socks, thermals, blankets, and sleeping bags will keep your body temperature up even if the inside of your van is cold.