Last night I used my Mr. Buddy heater for the first time. I used it again this morning while I ate breakfast. This was so empowering for me. I now believe I can park anywhere and be fine. Even if it gets cold (it’s been around 20 degrees at night here) I can do it. I do not need electricity or to plug in. I do not need a parking space at work or to utilize anything other than public parking or parks.
This is huge. I took another step toward self-reliance. Another cold, frighten step toward my goal of simple living and survivalism. I was smart. I didn’t run the heater long, just to take the edge off as I ate and relaxed before bed. I cracked a window to release the CO emissions from the propane. I still slept in a cold van and woke up cold. However, when I got back from my run, I turned on the heater and ate in comfort. It was amazingly peaceful. If I didn’t have to work late I would have parked at the lake or Treman park. I plan to do that tomorrow.
When I began living in a van, I knew things would be challenging. I got lucky and people helped me out. I was able to plug in during the winter near my place of work. This helped me adjust to van life. After my spot was unavailable, I knew I’d have to learn how to use the skills I read about when teaching myself how to do this. I’d need to use my propane heater, I’d need to be smart with my solar energy and figure out what draws too much power.
I have learned that I cannot use my electric kettle or hotplate. I can however use a small butane burner to boil water and my propane heater. These things aren’t as convenient, but they make the difference. The pictures you see on Instagram aren’t really true. It takes getting uncomfortable, being cold and honestly taking the time to figure shit out. I was lucky for three months this winter. Next winter, I actually would like to travel south instead. It was my plan all along.
Breakfast: peanut butter and jelly on sourdough
Running: 78 minutes