Having chains in your van is a must. We bought KONIG XG-12 PRO Snow chains after a friend recommended them. Many parts of Canada require you to have them and they are actually not that big of a pain in the ass to put on anymore. We like these because they have a self-tensioning system and were simple to put on.
We are huge fans of snow tires. If you are planning on driving in wintery environments it is SO worth it to have snow tires. We’ve been stopped multiple times and had our tires checked and without our snow tires we wouldn’t have been allowed on certain roads. They significantly decrease your stopping time. We went with Bridgestone BLIZZAK's because Parker used a set for years on his old vehicle.
Recovery Traction Tracks are very helpful should you get stuck in a more remote area and there aren’t any other vehicles around to help you out. Not only are they super helpful if it dumps multiple feet of snow, but they can also rescue you from mud and sand. We also watched multiple videos about the name brand Maxtraxx vs a knock off and we opted for a knock off that is rated for 10,000 lbs. It is a quarter of the price of the Maxtraxx.
Compact SubZero Snow Shovel for those times you wake up and have to dig yourself out.
We also use this SubZero Snowbroom to sweep off the windshield and solar panels regularaly. It is extendable and has a scraper, brush, and squeegee.
We got the van stuck on a patch of ice and needed a little tug. Good thing we already had a Tow Strap. All we had to do was flag someone to stop and give us a little pull.
Honestly no matter how well insulated your van is, to enjoy vanliving in the winter you need a heater. We recommend the Espar B4 Airtronic Gasoline Heater! Dave and Matt Vans installed ours for us (although still pricey, Dave and Matt are affordable and charge a fraction of what other companies in Colorado are charging for Espar install). The Espar heaters have a built in altitude kit so you don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to work when you are camping at 10,000 ft in Colorado. It keeps us super toasty even when it’s negative teens outside. It also doubles as a ski boot drier.
These Fan Insulators are amazing and so cheap. Not only are they good for insulation in the winter, but they block out the sunlight for days you want to sleep in during the summer months. We also like having them in place while we are driving because they significantly cut down on road noise.
I could not believe how much insulated window covers cost when I was researching them. I became determined to make my own- though my sewing skills are pretty much nonexistent. I stumbled across this YouTube video where this guy nerds out about the R-value of Reflectix when separated by an air gap and assembles these awesome insulated window covers with duct tape and hot glue. I was sold. We changed the inside Fabric color to gray to match our interior decor and absolutely love them!
We step into the van and onto our Waterproof Boot Tray. This keeps most of the snow contained and our floors dry!
Parker is obsessed with our DEWALT Vacuum. It is essentially a shop vac and can suck up both dirt and water/snow. It uses the same battery as our Dewalt drill and is pretty compact in size.
Occasionally our sliding van door freezes shut. We keep Spray De-Icer on hand and it works very well!
Our favorite part about this ladder we found is that it can be removed and doesn’t require any drilling. We purchased it from EuroCampers.com It is the safest way to access the roof of our van especially in slick, icy/snowy conditions in order to clear off our solar to get those rays!
If you need some extra warmth, a Down Blanket is the perfect edition to your bedding.
I recently discovered that we can use our small crock pot on travel days while we’re driving. By the time we arrive at our destination, dinner is ready! Ours is 2 quarts and fits perfectly in our sink while we drive.
Parker loves his new Jones Mind Expander powder snowboard ! Built with a surf inspired design and 3D Contour Base technology this board is perfect for floaty slashes in deep powder.
If you’re chasing powder you definitely need skis with a wide underfoot. I love my Blizzard Black Pearl Skis and recommend at least having 98 underfoot for women.
My Rossignol AllTrack Ski Boots are so comfortable. They are a little soft at only an 80 flex but I still love them.
Parker and I both rock CandyGrind Mittens. I don’t really like wearing liners so I have their insulated mittens and my hands stay toasty warm. Parker prefers wearing liners with their non-insulated mittens. Either way, leather mittens are 100% the way to go on the mountain.
Giro Womens Snow Helmet with MIPS technology. Protect your brain friends!
If you like listening to music while you ride I’m obsessed with these Wireless Bluetooth Helmet Speakers my parents gave me for Christmas. They slide into my helmet and are super easy to start and stop for when you’re riding buddies are trying to tell you something.
I decided my toes needed extra interventions this season to make sure they weren’t preventing me from staying on the mountain as long as I wanted. I was skeptical about Hotronics but gave them a shot and could not be more impressed. They have 4 settings and haven’t died on me on the slopes yet. I will say the clips they come with are not trustworthy! I lost one on the mountain and it was luckily turned in to lost and found. I recommend getting these attachments to avoid losing a battery.
Supergoop is our favorite brand for sun protection! We use Supergoop SPF 50 Sunscreen.
We also love their Chapstick and keep it with us daily.
686 is one of our favorite brands for winter outerwear. We especially love their water resistant hoodies for layering under our ski jackets or for wearing by themselves on warm spring days.
Smartwool socks and baselayers are made from merino wool which keeps you warm while still breathable and has odor resistant properties so you can wear them multiple days in a row- ideal for vanliving!
My 686 Waterproof Hood is a game changer! I used to get such bad wind burn but this hood prevents wind burn and keeps my face warm. The bonded material is warmer and is more water resistant than the fleece hoods on those storm riding days.
Eddie Bauer's Down Parka is my go to jacket when walking around resort towns. Eddie Bauer has frequent sales, awesome quality, and a flattering design which is hard to find in a warm parka!
Down puffy jackets are super clutch for those single digit ski days. We always layer them under our ski jackets if it’s going to be a cold one!
Down booties are the best way to keep your feet warm on a chilly day! Here are the ones Parker loves from North Face.
SOREL Boots are amazing winter boots. Mine are 5 years old so I couldn’t find a link to the ones that I own but I really like these boots that tie up the front! Sorel’s waterproofing works really well and they obviously last!
We’ve had quite a few questions about our new camera. Introducing the Insta360 ONE X 360 Action Camera! We absolutely love it. The camera is super compact and shoots 360 degrees. The software has built-in stabilization so your footage is never shaky and is able to remove the selfie stick from your footage giving the illusion of drone shots. The files are very large so you definitely want to make sure your phone or computer has space to edit the footage.
We still love our GoPro and use it frequently. The battery life and storage lasts longer than our Insta360.
The GoPro Karma Grip gimbal really enhanced our action videos making them 10x as smooth especially our skiing footage.
Drones aren’t allowed in most ski areas but if you are into backcountry skiing you can get some amazing footage with fresh tracks and no one else around! We use the DJI Mavic Air Drone. We always love snowy drone footy of the van as well.