Solo Winter Camping – Living The Van Life

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Here’s an inspiring video from Living The Van Life channel that documents one man’s inspiring solo adventures in the North Cascade Mountain Range. There’s a ton of drone footage here that tracks the van from above as it glides through snowy mountain passes. These shots must have been a fair amount of work to set up.

Arriving at the camp site, it is snowing hard! So the first thing to come out is the awning, giving some shelter. I am not sure how much snow that awning will be able to handle as it looks a bit flimsy.

After clearing snow from the area under the awning, it’s time for the fire to be lit. Despite the winter conditions, our intrepid vanlifer as opted for camp cooking, he’s even shaving his own tinder which is quite impressive. He’s evidently carrying some dry kindling so the fire catches light effortlessly and he’s got a wonderful blaze going in a few minutes, which in the sub zero temperatures is very necessary!

It’s not all low-tech though; the van has an Engel refrigerator so it’s time to crack open a cold beer and enjoy the calm surroundings before getting started with preparing the feast (and what a feast it is!) A steel tripod, chain and cast iron pot make a perfect setup. Adjusting the chain height gives control over the cooking temperature. All of the equipment used is linked below the video and can be scored on Amazon.

Very little pre-made here, he’s cooking everything up from basic ingredients and even kneading his own bread roll, which is interesting to observe being done out in the snow! This man is really a chef and doing things in style. The technique of placing the fire coals on top of the cast iron pot being used to bake the bread is not one I have seen but evidently provides even heat surrounding the bread as though it were in a real oven. I am not sure of the exact latitude but being way up north means that darkness falls earlier in winter.

It’s easy to forget how much work it is to do all this. Camera shots are set up for every stage of the cooking, requiring continual adjustment of the tripod in addition to making the entire meal. And then the whole thing has to be edited up afterwards and put together. It’s a ton of work to create a successful Youtube channel but you can see that the efforts have paid off, with this video picking up nearly 4 million views at the time of writing. It’s astonishing to learn that it took him 8 years to reach 100,000 subscribers and then it took off, almost doubling in a month. That was in January 2020; he’s at 662K subs in Sept 2022.

It seems this man has achieved a form of true contentment, as he laughs contentedly to himself while devouring his feast. It’s interesting to learn that he didn’t really do much cooking prior to taking on the van life. He estimates that 16″ to 18″ of snow has fallen since his arrival – and it looks like more fell overnight. It seems the awning survived – and he managed to get the van out of there.

Solo Winter Camping - Living The Van Life
Solo Winter Camping – Living The Van Life – Graphic © Images:

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