Travelling in winter has so many benefits that one could not resist. Besides extremely low rental costs, expect to have most attraction and parks all to yourself. Imagine nights with peace and tranquil under the starry skies with no raucous tourists or getting a spot right next to the beach and wake up to a majestic sunrise with the sounds of waves clashing in – that’s what we call the REAL van life.
But all these dreams have a great enemy – COLD.
Travelling in winter especially in a campervan can be a huge pain if not done correctly. Here are a few tips to help you beat the cold and make the most out of your trip.
#1. Wear High Quality Winter Wear
One common mistake people do is layering too much with thick layers. This will cause more discomfort than comfort especially while sleeping during the night as thick layers restricts movements and does not promote breathability. It is terrible to find yourself sweating in the middle of the night under these thick layers and you might even catch a cold. It doesn’t help during the day either as you will be feeling constrained and weary as you struggling to move around with reduced flexibility.
Investing in high quality winter wear such as merino wool or cashmere products will help a great deal. These natural fibres provide excellent insulation and breathability. They are usually made in thin layers to make layering light and easy. Yes, the prices may be higher but they last long and you will thank yourself every winter.
Tip: A high quality thermal wear under your pyjamas is extremely crucial for cold winter nights.
#2. Hot Water Bags
Photo credit: Amazon
Ask every seasoned camper and they will tell you this is their holy grail. Nothing beats hugging hot water bag in bed in the cold winter. Keep it well insulated under the blankets and you may find yourself waking up to a little warmth in the morning.
Caution: Do not fill a hot water bag with boiling water as it may cause leakage. Be sure to screw them tight cause there’s nothing worst than wet bedding in winter.
#3. Disposable Heat Packs (Kairos)
Use these inexpensive little heat packs to warm up your body by putting them in your pocket as hand warmers or sticking them onto your clothing to provide warmth to areas such as your lower back and even your feet (on your shoe soles). A regular pack will last from 6-8 hours if kept in an enclosed place (pockets, under the jacket etc).
One great tip is to stick them on your bed to warm it up before going in. For maximum comfort, stick one (or two depending on size) where your neck or shoulders will rest on, one for the lower back and one for your feet. Stick them 30 minutes before bed time and cover them up with your blankets and you will find yourself going into a nice warm bed.
#4. Sleeping Bags
A good sleeping bag will warrant a good night sleep. It does not only provide comfort but the insulation that is crucial to keep your body warm.
Invest in high quality ones such as a down sleeping bag will help you beat the low temperatures.
Tip: Do not go to bed cold. If your body is feeling cold, go for a sprint or do a couple of HIIT exercises to bring that metabolism up before heading to bed. All these insulating winter gears do not produce heat, their function is to retain heat that is emitted from your body.
#5. Portable Humidifiers
There is nothing worst than waking up to a dry sore-throat or cracked lips. Sleeping in a campervan and inhaling the cold dry air during the night can be a nightmare to our skin and respiration system. Without moisture in the air, people find themselves gagging in pain in the middle of the night as their throat could not longer handle the freezing dry air.
Good news is, there is plenty of portable USB powered humidifier in the market that solves this problem. They are small and light and user friendly. All you need to do is screw it on to a water bottle and plug it in to a USB power source (ie: portable USB battery charger) and place it close to you as you sleep.
#6. High Fat Diet
You probably know that carbohydrates give us energy. Guess who does the same and takes longer to metabolise? – FATS.
Eating a high fat diet in winter will help you stay warm and is way healthier than empty carbs like sugary snacks.
So, go ahead and load up on foods like nuts, cheese, avocado, dark chocolate and eggs.
#7. Spend the Night at a Powered Site
While being able to park and spend the night wherever you want is the joy of the “van life”, sometimes this is not a luxury to afford especially during winter. Check the weather forecast constantly and do not hesitate to spend the night at a powered site if you know the weather is going to be unbearable. Treat yourself to a hot shower and get power to use the heater in the van.
Visit these websites to book a powered campsite:
With all these great tips and handy hacks, are you up for the challenge? If you do not own a campervan of your own, visit www.aussiecampervans.com to look for a perfect campervan for your travel.
Gentle reminder: While it is rewarding to travel during the low peak winter season, different body reacts differently. Remember to listen to the cues your body is signalling to you. Always remember – safety first and stay warm!