How to stay Safe

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I’ve been Traveling as a Solo Female Vanlifer for over two years now, and keeping safe is and should always be a top priority.

I constantly get asked if I’m not afraid, how I keep Safe and am being told that I’m so brave. Some people write me and tell me that they can’t wait until they find a partner so they also can travel & live in a van.
Honestly, that makes me super sad – we should never put our lives and what we want to do in life on hold waiting for something that might not ever arrive.

If you want something in life – you have to go after it! No one will hand you exactly what you want on a silver platter, you have to go after it and make it happen! I understand that the unknown sometimes can feel a bit scary, but what’s even scarier is regret.

I promise, you will regret the things you don’t do more than the things that you actually do. We probably only have one life on this incredible earth of ours and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

I’m writing this article to help you realize that it’s not that scary, and that if I can do it – YOU can do it too!

In this article I will go over a couple of things that make me feel safe living in a Van as a Solo Female Traveler. We will start with things you can think of even before moving into a Van, gadgets you could get while living in a Van & of course How to find Safe Parkings.

BEFORE moving into a Van

Before moving into a Van there are a few things you could think about to make sure you’ll feel prepared and safe.

  • Some women take self-defense classes which I think is a very good start, if you have practiced self-defense the higher the chance is that you feel more comfortable and more safe with just yourself.
  • When building your van and choosing your layout; Make sure to think about what would make you feel safer living in it. It’s all about You and how You feel. Imagine yourself in different scenarios; What if it’s night time and you need to drive away quick? What if someone is trying to break-in to your van in the front – How many doors can you exit from?
    Keeping this in mind when I designed my layout I felt it was important to me to be able to go through from the living area to the drivers cabin so I could leave a place without going outside. It was also important to me to be able to close off the area between the living area and drivers cabin; it helps both with insulation and keep people from being able to peep through to where you live. It’s also a second barrier if someone would break-in to my van in the front – which makes me feel safer while sleeping.
    I also chose to Not have a fixed bed in the back; I didn’t want my home to feel like a bedroom all day, but I also don’t have to go outside to reach something that’s under the bed in the “garage” AND it’s easier to open the back doors if there’s not a bed in the way if I need to escape through the back.

I made a YouTube video where I try out the CPH Tracker and the SSF DNA-marking and go over some other safety things like alarms, stickers, parkings and keeping valuables safe while leaving the Van. You can watch it below or head on over to my channel and Subscribe!

AFTER moving into a Van

After moving into the Van, there are a few gadgets things you could get to improve your feeling of Safety; Both when you’re in the Van, and when you leave the Van.

  • The CPH-Tracker is a little black box that you hide in your van and it will send out a signal of where it is however often you choose. There are 4 different settings for how often the signal can be sent out. You can choose between the Live Tracking one; it will send a signal once every 15 minute while moving, and once a week while stationary. The After Movement one; it sends the position one hour after the last movement and once a week while stationary. There’s also the option to choose once a day and once a week. Lastly it’s the Burn mode, it will send out the position every 10 minute – which is perfect if your van gets stolen.
  • SSF DNA-Marking is a thing that let’s you mark all your valuable items with DNA-tracking. It comes with stickers that say that all valuables are DNA-marked which may put the thief of. Having your valuables DNA-marked till make it more difficult for thieves to sell, and if the items are found by the police the DNA will tell them that it’s your items. If you want to sell your items yourself, it’s easy to change the ownership in the international database.
  • Having an alarm on your Van is something I highly recommend, make sure to get one where a light flashes so it shows that the Van has an alarm. One thing to think about is that alarms works differently; some only go off if a door is being opened, and some are for windows. Some have alarms that will go off on movement and even send out an alarm to the owners phone so they know that something is happening – some even have a camera that goes off by movement so they can see on their phones what’s going on.
  • Some Vanlifers install cameras in the front so everything is recorded and is being uploaded to a cloud for 24hrs. 
  • I have a safety box in my Van, which I highly recommend. Make sure to get a big enough one so you can fit all your valuables in it, but even more importantly; Make sure to place the safety box so it’s not easy for burgulars to use a crowbar and break it off and just take it with them. 
  • Some people carry pepper spray or mace. A thing that’s important to keep in mind is that it’s not legal in all countries.

How to find Where to Park & How to stay Safe

Feeling Safe while Parking in the beginning can be a struggle for many. I mainly use one source for finding Parkings, and it’s also on the same source I try to find out if the parking is Safe or Not.

In the article to the right here (tap the image) you can read everything I have to say about Finding Parkings and how to Stay Safe while living in a Van.

If you speak Swedish – I also recorded a Podcast episode where I talk about Staying Safe and Finding Safe Parkings – which you can listen on through the button below.

Lastly..

In my two years of Vanlife staying and sleeping in over 17 countries nothing has ever happened while I was in the Van (pepper, pepper knock on wood). I truly believe that people who brake into Vans aren’t after You. They are after your valuables.
I think that most people who brake into vans are watching you, they know when you’re in the Van and when you’re leaving the Van and it’s when you’re leaving the Van that they will make their move and that’s why I think sleeping in a Van (If you’re careful about how and where you park) isn’t necessarily more unsafe than sleeping in a traditional home.

I hope you found this article helpful and that it makes it easier for you to follow your dreams!