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Calgary athlete who lives in her van shivers through cold snap: ‘This is the worst!’

Click to play video: 'Calgary athlete who lives in her van shivers through cold snap: ‘This is the worst!’' Calgary athlete who lives in her van shivers through cold snap: ‘This is the worst!’
Getting through these past few frigid days in Calgary has definitely been a challenge. And as Gil Tucker shows us, one woman's unusual living arrangement means she's really braving the elements in a unique way. – Jan 17, 2020

This week’s brutal cold weather has been a challenge for everyone in Calgary, but for one city dweller weathering it while living in a van, it’s a different kind of challenge.

Rebecca Hughes and her five-month-old puppy Ruby have been toughing out the cold snap in the van she customized herself.

READ MORE: What to do if you see someone sleeping out in the cold in Calgary

Hughes is an athlete, representing Canada in international Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, and making a van her home is something she chose to cut costs and make it easier to travel for training and competitions.

Hughes has enjoyed living in her van for the past year-and-a-half, but she’s never had to deal with winter weather like Calgary’s experienced over the past few days.

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Click to play video: 'Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold' Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold
Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold – Jan 16, 2020
“This is the worst!” Hughes said. “For the last four days I’ve woken up without my heater working and pretty much with a dead battery, so definitely a novice to the Canadian winter. But I think that there are a couple of things I can do to improve [living conditions], a solar panel being one of them.”

READ MORE: Cold Alberta weather prompts many to fly to warmer climates

So, what gets her through those frigid nights in her van?

“I guess knowing that I’ll be in California in two months to compete at the Pan-American championship,” Hughes said. “I’ll be down in San Diego for three weeks and then I’ll come back and maybe you guys will be over this. Hopefully!”

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