Vanlife — How to survive a Rainy Day

With nearly 10 months of full time vandwelling experience I’m here to share my stories and insights into the vanlife — Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Created by Daniel Osterman — Find me dwelling on INSTAGRAM

Todays article highlights my top 5 go-to activities for a rainy day. The past few years have left California dry due to the drought but this winter left us with record rainfall and an excess of water — at least in the Bay Area.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a casual weekender who likes to jump in a rig and hit the road for a few days or a full time vagrant like myself — we are subject to the same forces of nature the birds of the air and the plants in the ground are lucky to endure when Mother Nature decides to remind us she’s still the ultimate judge in our man-made society.


  • 1. Submit to the elements and go to the beach:​ I wouldn’t advise pulling out the beach blanket and sunscreen on a rainy day but I would suggest driving to the beach, backing your rig toward the ocean (lake or whatever), and enjoying the sound of the raindrops tap..tap..tapping on the top of your vehicle. The mix of the raindrops falling, the waves breaking, and the wind blowing create the perfect ambiance to sit back and read, write, watch Netflix, or partake in whatever hobbies tickle your fancy. ​
  • 2. Vibe at the Coffee Shop:​ While living in a van you’ll be spending a lot of time with yourself. I know it sounds lonely but I actually think its important we first befriend ourselves before trying to merge our lives with another. If you’re unable to find happiness while being alone you’re going to struggle in relationships down the road. Although I rarely feel “lonely,” there are plenty of times I crave connection. Going to a coffee shop with the intention of connecting is a great way to vibe with other people. Coffee is second to only crude oil as the worlds most highly traded commodity, so its easy to imagine the diverse people you run into while kicking back, observing, and drinking a solid cup of brown water. Rainy days are perfect days to go inside and relax — they even have a bathroom. Lastly, coffee shops are the perfect place to use wifi and connect with friends and family all across the globe. ​
  • 3. Learn at the Library: Don’t shy away because I used the word learn in the heading. Two hidden truths our subconscious likes to hide from us are that we live in a world of constant change; and we, like dogs, children, and every other living creature in the natural world are constantly learning and adapting to the environment around us. My point is that although our funked up educational system may have left you with a bitter taste in your mouth regarding the word ‘learn,’ its something you naturally do so why not focus the energy into your passions and personal pursuits? A library is a great place to go when the rain has you trapped in your home on wheels. Free wifi, a plethora of books, lots of seating, and once again the convenience of a bathroom. Libraries are a place of gold and should definitely become apart of your rainy day routine.
  • 4. Go to the Gym:​ Most people imagined my health would’ve taken a hit after leaving the typical American lifestyle behind, but the truth being it actually benefited me far more than I ever could’ve imagined. I’ll occasionally go to the gym 2–3 times a day because its where I shower and use the bathroom. There are days when its raining and I’m not feeling particularly social and the lighting isn’t the best for reading in the van, so rather than wasting moments in my day I go to the gym and stretch, foam roll, exercise, sit in the sauna, or etc. My purpose behind vandwelling is to actively live a life that embraces the moments — living a lifestyle that maximizes the gift of life I’ve been given. When it rains and I have nothing I’d really like to do my body goes on automation and takes me to the gym. ​
  • 5. Do Laundry: If you haven’t noticed a trend I try to live a “no days off” lifestyle. Everything I do is tied together in one way shape or form; enjoying the journey and celebrating the growth! As with any lifestyle, you’ll have laundry to keep up with throughout the week. Rainy days provide the perfect opportunity capitalize on some of your weekly tasks such as: laundry, paying bills, tidying up, and etc — if you’re like a large majority of rubber tramps you feel most alive outside, so rather than feeling FOMO of the sun on nice days you can be outside soaking up the rays.

Barista by day, Van man by night — the vanlife is hella tight. Learning about life while rubber tramping near the river. Sharing my thoughts, insights, and experiences to a global community.

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