‘Stealth’ Camping: How to Live in a U-Haul Van

This Alberta, Canada-based YouTuber is taking camping to a whole new — very different — level.

“ABC, Always be camping,” reads Steve Wallis’ channel description. The camping guru has lived in tents, vehicles, yurts, remote forests, and more throughout all four of Canada’s seasons. In Canada, that means Fahrenheit temps as low as -40 up to 80 and above. It may seem niche, yet Wallis has accrued over 280,000 subscribers.

And he’s always up to something strange, like when he camped in a U-Haul in -40-degree weather. If you’re interested in van life and live somewhere cold, this video is a good reference point — especially for the less-glamorous aspects of the lifestyle.

Engel Fridge for Van Build: 6-Month Review
Engel Fridge for Van Build: 6-Month Review
Engel’s portable fridge/freezer series incorporates first-rate designs and modern tech to help you get — and stay — off the beaten path. I put the SR70F refrigerator through real-life testing in my van build for this review. Read more…

Video highlights include how to insulate windows, Wallis’ two cents on the best portable propane heaters, and more.

Be warned: Wallis is an oddball with a surprising amount of skill. He knows a lot about frost and ice buildup and thermal regulation, yet his dinner choice is stewing pork and a banana. Still, we like his commitment to showing us how much stealth camping can offer.

(Note: U-Haul does not endorse van camping, but it’s also not illegal according to the company’s van rental agreement. So if you want to embrace Wallis’ stealthiness, go right ahead. Also, GearJunkie can’t officially endorse it either, as we haven’t tried it.)

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

Topics: , , , ,