Marine & RVs

Michael Dietrich Says Downtime on Naked and Afraid Led Him to Live in a Camper Van

Van life isn’t for everyone. But when you know, you know. Sometimes you’re just the right person to live full-time in a 2020 Dodge Promaster van. For Naked and Afraid winner Michael Dietrich, all that downtime in the Colombian jungle gave him a lot of time for reflection. Sitting there with his thoughts, naked and waiting for the 21 days to pass, Dietrich decided that it was time to sell his home and take to the road in a Dodge ProMaster camper van.

Bear Bear in his seat, ready for the next adventure in the camper van
Exterior Photo of his Dodge ProMaster Camper Van | Michael Dietrich

From one place, to any place

Dietrich lives for the outdoors and an active lifestyle is just part of his being. He’s happiest when out in the backcountry near Banff, Canada, and its surrounding areas. In the summer he’s hiking and camping, or putting one of his three bicycles to work. In the winter, Dietrich chases snow. But he also hikes and camps too. He’s definitely not afraid of a little snow or freezing temperatures. Living in his Dodge ProMaster camper van just makes sense.

a view of the interior of the naked and afraid winner's camper van built out with elegance and utility
Interior Shot | Michael Dietrich

RELATED: The Fact That She Built it Herself Isn’t Even the Coolest Thing About This Custom Camper Van

And of course, there’s Bear Bear who is Dietrich’s ride or die. The dog is a faithful companion both while the pair are driving their camper van to the next adventure and on the trails when they hit the backcountry. In fact, during the build of his 2020 Dodge ProMaster van, Dietrich thought carefully about how to incorporate stairs for Bear bear to easily climb onto the bed platform.

In addition, the successful Naked and Afraid participant added built-in food and water bowls for Bear Bear. If you head over to Dietrich’s Instagram, there are tons of awesome photos of the pair doing what they love most–exploring. For this active duo, that means skiing, biking, running, or hiking. That’s the whole allure of living in a camper van.

Naked and Afraid

In our interview, Dietrich spoke of his time on Naked and Afraid. He said that “they only show you the exciting stuff––making a fire, finding water and all that. What most people don’t realize is that there is so much time where you just sit around and do nothing.” While sitting around on Naked and Afraid, Dietrich decided to take the leap as soon as he returned home from the adventure.

gorgeous night time photo of the camper van in the snow with a dusted mountain peak in the background
Exterior Photo of the Camper Van | Michael Dietrich

RELATED: Tarzan’s Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper

While he owned a home, he felt he was never there. So he sold the place and moved on. He delved into the research and building of his Dodge ProMaster camper van.

Dietrich decided on a gas engine, because it can be easier to count on in sub zero temperatures. According to Parks Canada it’s negative 1 degree Fahrenheit right now in Banff National Park. Hope you’re cozy, Michael!

The 2020 Dodge ProMaster van ticked the necessary boxes

For Dietrich’s budget and purpose, he decided to go with a 2020 Dodge ProMaster van. Largely due to the width and shape of the van, he went for it and started the build. But he was so excited that once the Dodge ProMaster camper was outfitted just enough to live in, he took it on the road and kept up with the build between adventures.

Bear Bear and Dietrich enjoying a moment outdoors with the dodge promoter camper van behind them near a beautiful lake
Dietrich and Bear Bear | Michael Dietrich

Dietrich and Bear Bear see a few summits a week, tons of fresh powder during ski tours throughout the snow season, and really just unlimited amounts of outdoor fun. He says he loves the freedom and spontaneity of van life. Plus, Dietrich told me that he’s met so many amazing people and all of his experiences over the past year have done nothing if not confirm that he made the right choice to live the van life in a camper van.

For now, the pandemic keeps him from crossing the border into the states. But when the borders are open, you can expect Dietrich to head to Jackson, Wyoming. Then he may take a trip to gorgeous Telluride, Colorado. After that, who knows? That’s all part of the adventure.