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  • Winter Camping in the Van – 5 Tips & Information

    December 22, 2023

    Wintercamping Van | Zenbivy Sleeping Bag Systems

    The cold season has its own unique charm, especially when you're on the road with your camper during winter. We have some tips and tricks to ensure coziness in the camper van.

    1. Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag System for Winter Camping

    Opt for a Sleeping Bag Over a Blanket
    Especially during winter camping, using a sleeping bag is recommended as it snugly conforms to the body, preventing the entry of cold air or the formation of cold spots between the body and the surrounding air. If you find yourself too warm or confined during the night, the flexible Zenbivy Sleeping Bag System can help:

    • With the Zenbivy Convertible Footbox, you can quickly provide ventilation to overheated feet while keeping the rest of the body comfortably warm.
    • Detach the quilt from the sheet with a few simple steps to create space and airflow.
    • The patented Kylie-curve™, a drawstring at the top edge of the quilt, gently seales around your neck while allowing the sides of the blanket to remain loose around your body by only cinching the center of the quilt.
    Wintercamping, Mason Strehl | Zenbivy


    Select the Right Comfort Temperature
    Choosing the right temperature range for your sleeping bag depends on your van's insulation, heating options, and personal sensitivity to cold. For winter camping, it's advisable to use a warmer sleeping bag. You can identify such sleeping bags by lower values for comfort or limit temperatures. If you tend to get cold quickly, choose a sleeping bag rated 10-15 degrees lower. The same precaution applies to children's sleeping bags – opt for a warmer model. Also, ensure the sleeping bag is large enough – too-small sleeping bags not only feel restrictive but also provide less warmth.

    Tip: You can find the temperature rating information for Zenbivy models in the product title and under “Specs. + Materials”. 
    All Zenbivy Sleeping Bag Systems

    Avoid Moisture in the Sleeping Bag – with Premium HyperDRY-Down
    Winter camping brings not only cold but also higher humidity. With Zenbivy's Premium HyperDRY down, you can stay warm even in moist conditions, thanks to the special coating that keeps the down dry. This ensures the sleeping bag remains warm and snug even in damp conditions.

    Tip: All our down complies with RDS standards, ensuring ethical down production, humane animal treatment, and sustainable supply chains. Zenbivy also offers sleeping bags with synthetic insulation as an alternative to down. 
    Read our article "Let's talk about down"

    Keep a Warm Head – with the Insulated Zenbivy Hood
    Primarily, you should avoid getting too cold in low temperatures because once lost, it's challenging to regain warmth. Most heat is lost through the head. Therefore, it's advisable to wear a head covering at night – or you can use the insulated hoods of our sleeping bag systems. The sheet has a wide, rectangular hood that provides extra space and cozy warmth around your head and arms. Additionally, the hood can be used to secure your camp pillow in place at night.
    We recommend: Zenbivy Bed-12°C

    Share Heat – with Zenbivy Double Bed
    Sharing warmth with each other is an excellent idea on cold winter nights. Our Double Bed is particularly well-suited for this purpose. It is sized generously, has a soft Pongee lining, and is filled with water-repellent duck down.
    Shop: Luxe Bed Double -4°C

      2. Ensure Adequate Insulation

      Also, pay attention to the insulation of your van during winter camping. One area that can be insulated separately is the windows. There are special covers and insulating blinds with thermal functions that also provide some protection against the cold.

      Your direct sleeping area should also be well-insulated. For warmth during the night, a good mattress with sufficient insulation is crucial. It should have an R-value of at least 5, meaning the mattress is suitable for temperatures down to -17°C. We recommend the Flex™ 3D Mattress for winter camping, which has an R-value of 7 and a thickness of 8 cm, providing excellent insulation.
      Shop: Flex™ 3D Mattress

      Wintercamping Van | Zenbivy Sleeping Bag Systems

      3. Avoid Moisture

      Moist air has a very negative impact on ones temperature perception, as cold feels even more unpleasant in humid conditions. Therefore, you should actively prevent the entry of moisture – whether in the van or on the skin.

      • Dry and store your shoes and clothing outside the van.
      • Store winter sports equipment on the roof of your vehicle or at the campsite.
      • Immediately remove snow from the car with a broom.
      • To avoid moisture on the skin, carry sufficient spare clothing.
      • Use a hair dryer to dry clothes if neccessary
      • Ensure adequate ventilation to prevent condensation. For example, you can leave the roof vent slightly open. A brief ventilation once a day brings dry air back into the car – especially after cooking!
      • A dehumidifier can also help.

      Also make sure that your body is as warm as possible before you go to bed. The following measures will help:

      • Have a warm meal or a warm drink.
      • Take off damp clothes immediately and put on dry ones.
      • If you are cold, make yourself a hot water bottle.

      4. Winterizing your camper van

      Depending on how your car is heated - via electricity, gas or fuel - you should plan for sufficient energy reserves. A pitch or campsite with a power connection will ensure that your battery can be sufficiently charged. If you heat with gas, remember to take a second gas cylinder with you to replace it. Water tanks are a separate issue. For fresh water, waste water and faeces tanks, you should make sure that the tanks or pipes do not freeze at low temperatures. If this risk exists, the water should be drained early enough. In the case of waste water tanks or toilet system tanks, antifreeze can be added


      5. Visit Winter Camping Sites

      Even for the most hardened individuals, we recommend staying at campsites during winter camping – warm sanitary facilities, lounges, dry rooms, wellness areas, and an external power supply can significantly enhance the quality of winter camping.

      Find winter campsites on:

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