My First 48 Hours Winter Truck Camping

My First 48 Hours Winter Truck Camping

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This is my first 48 hours on the road to the Arctic Circle in the dead of winter. I gotta say, I don't have any experience driving in the snow and ice, (laughing) and I'm going to the North Cape where it's just snow and ice. I have my first taste of winter camping in freezing temperatures, and I get to see some of the true dangers of driving on ice and snow.

Makes me feel a little bit anxious. These first couple of days are gonna be a real test for me, as I've never driven or car camped in conditions like this. Let's go, let' go, let's go. So can I take it? Is this not too much? Oh, too heavy. I spent the last couple of days in this little Airbnb near Stockholm, just sorting out some last minute logistics, groceries, things like that.

Vilk, come on, let's go. But it's time to go, it's finally time to go to the north of Sweden. (laughs) Oh my God, it is so beautiful here, I'm so excited. (bright music) Oh my God, this is all snow from last night. I have a feeling like the first one or two days is gonna be the steepest learning curve, like where am I gonna sleep? Where am I gonna go to the bathroom? What's it like to drive on ice and snow, is it really as hard as they say? How cold is it gonna get at night? There is so much, so much to think about, but for now, I think we just need to go. (bright music) There's little I love more than the feeling of heading out into the unknown, leaving everything, you know, all of your comforts and safety nets, and diving into a completely new context that you've never experienced before.

What I love about this is that you get to see the world with fresh eyes, and you get to be surprised by it time and again, like a kid just learning the ropes, with all the innocence and curiosity that it entails. So nothing is moving, the traffic has stopped, so I'm gonna see what's going on. I've been waiting here for a little while. Okay, so it looks like an accident, I mean, probably someone slipping on the ice at the roundabout. This probably means another few minutes of waiting before the traffic starts moving again.

Hope everybody's all right, and glad it wasn't me. (bright music) And we're moving again. Just a reminder to be extra careful, it is so easy to lose grip. I mean, as long as you're going straight and at a constant speed, you're fine, but as soon as you start braking or turning, you lose grip almost immediately, you know? And once you lose grip, there's nothing you can do, you're just flying at that point so, and this is steady. I honestly have very little business being out here in wintertime. I've never really driven on ice and snow before, so this is gonna be a steep learning curve, but I did get some help.

Okay, I think I see Tobias. A couple of days ago, I rented a set of studded winter tires from a local called Tobias. This is my new set of tires right here.

So Tobias, what's so special about these ones? Oh, there we go, studs. So is this something that you would 100% take to the north of Sweden? Would you only take studded tires? - Yes. - Why are they good, what makes them good? (laughs) - [Tobias] So like this, no good. This is a little pebble.

- [Eva] Yep. - [Tobias] Here, I have some friction. - Yep, so let's put these guys on, then.

We were actually in touch two entire years ago when I first started thinking about this trip, so he invited me over and we swapped out the tires. This should make driving on ice and snow a lot safer. (bright music) (tool whirring) I think we're done. That was super quick, that was like 20 minutes.

Bye. Okay, got my studded winter tires on. Nothing can stop me now. (compelling music) My goal for day one is to ease into it. I don't wanna rush anything.

So I picked a random spot on satellite Maps a few hours away and that's where I'm headed. I've honestly no idea what to expect of the roads here, and of course, not sure how my camping plans will end up working out. (compelling music) I didn't really have a plan for where I would sleep tonight. I just wanna kind of see how far I could get before sunset, and then I found, I looked on the map, and I found this parking lot next to a lake, so I'm gonna go there and see what it's like.

Maybe that'll be the spot. Okay, I'm just gonna try braking real hard to see what happens. 30 kilometers an hour, brake. All right, oh wait, yeah, well, it skids quite a bit, but I think we're good.

(compelling music) So I guess this is winter camping lesson number one. A place may look amazing on Google Maps, just perfect, but when you get there, there could be a foot of snow blocking the entrance into it, and the parking lot is just completely snowed over, so I can't park there, so I have to find somewhere else. Okay, so I'm still right next to the lake, and I think I found a spot, check this out, just a big meadow, just a big meadow full of snow. (bright music) This is how I am making this whole area a little bit more level. Just saving myself some shoveling, you guys. (laughs)

(bright music continues) Okay, I think this is our spot, you're free. (bright music continues) (Eva laughing) (bright music continues) It is currently just about freezing, which is hard to believe, given how white everything looks. That's not too bad. First night out here in the forest, not too far from the village, which is nice, just in case.

I'm designating this area as the toilet, maybe here, yeah, here? Okay, there's nobody here, it's so empty. I don't think I'm gonna get caught doing this by anyone. Sweet, let's go.

I have about half an hour until sunset, so I'm just gonna get set up real quick. Oh, damn, it's too heavy, huh. I think it's that gear bag that I have on top.

Oh, oh shit, yep. (compelling music) There we go, okay, mission complete. Take two should be a lot lighter, like a good 20 pounds lighter. (Eva grunting) (compelling music) Oh, my God, just go, go, go.

(Eva grunting) (compelling music) Oh. Yes, oh. For a second there, I thought I wouldn't be able to use it. (Eva sighing) You know when you promise yourself that you're gonna take less stuff next time, and then you just end up with the exact same amount of stuff? This is gonna have to sleep outside. Full-time travel is just like constant packing and unpacking, unpack, pack, unpack, pack, unpack, pack, unpack.

That's all it is. And for dinner tonight, we've got spaghetti that I made last night that I'm just gonna heat up, and that will be it. I know, yeah, you're so hungry.

Yeah, you're gonna eat in a moment, don't worry, yes. So I've recently started adding fat to Vilk's food. This is literally just a chunk of fat, 'cause apparently it helps dogs adapt to the cold and put on a bit of weight, which I know is probably gonna be good, because it's cold out there, yes.

Excuse me? Okay, free. (peaceful music) I think this is ready, the most amazing meal. (laughs) I mean, it's just tomato sauce and pasta, but it's hot.

Oh my God, you know that first meal that you get in like a foreign country when you go on holiday, or like the first meal that you have after a long day of trekking? This is the feeling I'm having right now. It's that like, oh, that relief, that like, wow, this tastes so good. This feels so good to be here.

(peaceful music) There is one more thing I need to test, actually, before settling in for the night, and that is my heating system. Let's see if it works. All right, let's take a look.

Okay, I think we're good. You know, that first night on an adventure is always so exciting. It's a little bit like falling in love, I think. You can hardly sleep. A million thoughts race through your head.

You are giddy and excited, and the world looks fresh and colorful. Maybe that's why I keep doing this. I just made my way upstairs into my penthouse bedroom, and it's so cozy in here. The heater is heating. This is the pipe.

It's doing a pretty great job. It's about 15 degrees in here, not balmy, but it's nice and cozy. Vilk is just loving being back in the truck. This is the space that he grew up in, essentially, so it's kind of his comfort zone, so he's super relaxed, and I'm just so happy to be here, 'cause this is, nothing beats sleeping outside, right? Or like inside, but in your truck or like just that, like less than, you know, a foot away is like minus five degrees, maybe colder right now, and I'm here nice and warm and just so happy, feeling like I'm in a little nest. Oh my God, I love camping.

(Eva sighs) All right, it's getting a little bit late. I need to finish up a little bit of work, and then I'm gonna get to bed and I'll see you guys in the morning, bye. (peaceful music) It is pretty cold out, and the water that I left inside the truck but like at the bottom of the truck actually froze overnight, so yeah, I am boiling some hot water inside.

So you know, everyone has their thing that they do for health, and I've just recently picked up a new thing, and it's bee pollen. I mix it with some honey and some warm water, and drink it twice a day, and it honestly is, it has been working pretty well for me. I mean, I know what you're gonna say, it is just a health craze, it's just a whatever, but if it works, it works. (peaceful music) Here, check this out. Whoop, there's some water in here, but this here is just a thick layer of ice, and this was inside the truck at night, so yeah. I think one of the best things about being on a road trip is that things become so simple, so easy, right? All the dramas and pettiness and busyness of like day-to-day life just disappears, and all you're left with is kind of the basics.

And for me, something as simple as like my skincare routine is like it doesn't exist, right? I wake up, I brush my hair, I wash my face with water, put some lotion on it or oil on it, that's it, nothing else. I sometimes brush my teeth, (laughs) but you know what I mean, it's like it's so simple. You don't worry about what conditioner you're gonna put on your hair 'cause you can't wash it anyway.

You don't worry about putting on makeup 'cause who cares? It's freeing, it's so liberating. All right, I think it's time to go. Woo, this was a great campsite. I loved it, but we have such a long way to go until the Arctic Circle and until the North Cape. The distances are pretty vast, and the driving is slow, because, whoa, because of the snow and ice.

How is this thing so much heavier than what I remember it to be? Oh my god. (peaceful music) Okay, ready to go, let's see if she starts. (laughs) So it wasn't like super cold at night, but I reckon yeah, minus five.

But this is the first test. Well, I was using a lot of different devices and I was charging a whole bunch of things last night, and the heater was on the entire night, the fridge was on the entire night, so I don't know. Okay, woo, it's that easy.

That was very smooth, not a single moment of hesitation there, good girl. (bright music) Okay, and we're out of the snow field. Today, I'm covering about 150 miles again, with no specific destination in mind.

The only thing that's occupying my thoughts is honestly getting north, and wherever that leads me today, that's where I'll go. But my road today is full of bad omens. (compelling music) That's two big trucks in the ditch over the space of just one single mile, which makes me feel a little bit anxious, but I guess I just have to keep going, just carefully, you know? (compelling music) What are you running from? This is a question I get asked every other day on social media. It seems like if you start traveling, people will just assume that you must be trying to escape something, maybe even running away from yourself.

So I ran this by my therapist the other week, and she confirmed something I had always suspected. Yes, I am running, I am sprinting, but I don't think I'm running from the things that people assume I'm running from, because you know, you can run from a lot more than just yourself. You can run from dullness and predictability. You can run from the moments that all merge into one gray hole and years spent doing the same old thing day in, day out. You can run from complacency, so I guess I'll just keep running.

So I just turned off the main road and onto a kind of side road that's leading me a few miles inland into the forest. I wasn't sure if this campsite would be snowed in just like the one last night, but I guess that's just part of the gamble with doing a trip like this in the winter. Well, it ended up being a lot smaller than expected, but I managed to tuck in.

Okay, this is it, our home for the night. Yeah, you're excited to get out? I bet. (Eva sighs) It looks cold. My new daily routine, apparently.

(compelling music) Today I'm also gonna take off the sled, because tomorrow morning, I wanna go and test it out. So I'm just gonna get rid of it now so that I have a hopefully easier time lifting the roof tonight. I should also mention if you've been watching since the beginning of the series, that I decided to remove those canoe supports, because they were just making this whole thing a lot harder, and actually turns out that the sled stays on the roof much more easily just on its own. Oh, so cold. (Eva grunting) Okay. All my huffing and puffing sounds so much louder out here because it's so silent.

It's so silent. Okay, let's get the sled off. Still haven't got a name for him. People suggested Bob Sled, so Bob, that's a pretty good one. Fred the Sled, I like that, I do like a bit of rhyme.

I don't think we've come up with a perfect name just yet. Give me something dramatic, something slightly over the top. I decided to brush away some of the snow and ice that may have been making my roof so much heavier and harder to lift.

All right, time to test the new strategy. (bright music) (Eva grunting) A little better, but I reckon the problem's not with the weight on the roof anymore, because there's barely anything on there. I think the problem's with the temperature and the struts that like lift the roof. I don't know anything about physics, but I'm just gonna assume that's what it is. So if anyone has any ideas for what I should do to fix it, let me know please. My coach, John, shout out to him, is not letting me forget that I'll be running an ultramarathon in about three weeks from now, and that I still need to train.

No matter, it doesn't matter if I'm on a road trip or whatever, I still need to train. So I'm gonna go out for a little run with Vilk. Actually, the weather is quite nice, so I shouldn't be complaining. It's not even that cold, I just think a nice little minus five degrees, I believe. (bright music) Let's run.

(Eva laughing) (bright music continues) Vilk, stop, Vilk, stop. Yeah, dude, I almost lost my phone. I swear, he is like, he's got some Husky blood in him, 'cause the way he pulls.

(lively music) Are you seeing this light? Is this camera even capturing it? It's like this peachy blue arctic light that's full of ice and snow, and somewhere a glow of sun hidden behind the mountains. It's amazing. I've always wanted to see light like this, and here we are.

Yay, ha. Come on, let's go, let's go, let's go. Yes, good boy. John, I did it. That was video proof that I did it. Okay, time to get changed into some warmer clothes and make food, I am starving.

(peaceful music) Well, insights from the first two days on the road include number one, it's cold, and there's nothing I can do to escape the cold, really. It's only gonna get colder too, better embrace it. Number two, driving on snow and ice, honestly, those trucks in the ditches gave me a good shot of anxiety, and I know I haven't even started driving in the real snow and ice of Northern Sweden, so let's see how that goes. Number three, car camping still rocks. I still love the freedom of it, the lightness of it.

I guess I just needed a little break in order to appreciate it more. In the next episode, I try to reach the actual Arctic Circle, which is where I'll spend the next month of my life, camping most of the way. Things are about to get a whole lot colder. Oh.

(peaceful music)

2024-02-22 11:40

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