Winter has currently shown its face in Colorado this year. With the arrival of “OctSNOWber” we believed it would be a could time to share some of our ideas and tricks for living in a van for the duration of the winter months. We devote most of the winter braving the cold and chasing snow in the Canadian Rockies. Though this can be an really rewarding practical experience, it calls for some really serious preparation and preparing to make positive we keep secure out there.
Possessing a great set of tires and chains is not an alternative, it is crucial.
A single of the most typical concerns we get about our van is no matter whether we have 4 wheel drive or not. We do not, and even if we did, a great set of winter rated tires would nevertheless major this list. You hear it all of the time, 4 wheel drive will not enable you one particular bit when you require to quit in a hurry. Even so, a great set of tires will. We run Falken Wildpeak A/T3Wtires. Though these are technically not a devoted snow tires, they are completely winter rated and especially developed for deep snow. We chose these mainly because we can run them year round without the need of the require for a second set of tires especially for the winter months. We also cary a set of tire chains as an further insurance coverage policy. There are a lot of other selections out there and you will require to locate anything that performs greatest for you. We went to bed one particular evening outdoors of Large Sky, Montana and woke up to a number of feet of unexpected snow. Fortunately, our good set of tires was capable to get up back to the plowed pavement. Do not wanna get stuck, and miss out on fresh tracks? Invest in great tires.
Possessing some basic recovery gear can get you out of a jam
Though great tires will hold you secure, it is great to carry some basic and low-cost recovery gear in case you get stuck. We propose carrying a light duty shovelto dig your self out. A simple tow strapis also a great thought. It will not enable you when you are alone, but in our practical experience, you are in no way also far from a great ol’ boy with a beefed-up pickup just waiting to pull somebody out. This can also save you from an high-priced tow in a pinch. We also carry a little 12volt air compressorto hold our tires appropriately inflated to assure a great grip on snow and ice. There are some individuals out there who will say that airing your tires down in the deep stuff can enable, nevertheless, we’ve in no way attempted this so we’ll let you do your personal investigation. Lastly, a bag of kitty litter can be a great alternative for finding some further traction if you get stuck.
Locating a spot to sleep is significantly tougher in the winter
We located this out the really hard way. It may well appear apparent to some, but when traveling in unfamiliar areas, we located it to be Significantly tougher to locate a secure spot to sleep (legally). In the summer season, it is basic. Locate a Forest Service road and drive down it till you locate a spot to park. In Winter, this is a terrible thought. Most campgrounds are closed and a lot of forest service roads are closed or at the incredibly least, impassible. Our assistance is to strategy ahead and attempt to locate a spot to park ahead of the sun goes down. We had a handful of scares final year when driving into the unknown. Appear into places exactly where snowmobiling and backcountry skiing are prevalent. We located that these trailheads and parking places have a tendency to be plowed, or at least packed down adequate to make a secure spot to sleep. In the winter we appear for additional heavily utilized places.
A heater is not important, but it assists
There are lots of heating selections out there. Some are additional high-priced than other people. For the extended haul, a great gasoline or diesel heater is our favored alternative. These forced air furnace style heaters are the most high-priced, but also the safest to in an enclosed space. We use a Webasto, but there are lots of knock-off heaters on the market place as properly. These forced air furnaces run off of your typical fuel tank, are super-effective and have an external exhaust so you do not have to be concerned about hazardous fumes in the van. This heating alternative is incredibly dry and will not introduce further moisture in your van.
Several #vanlifers out there use propane (tiny buddy style) heaters. These are by far the most reasonably priced alternative, nevertheless, there are a number of drawbacks. Propane heat introduces a lot of moisture and fumes into your car. For this cause, appropriate ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector are important. These can also be a fire hazard.
If you want to hard it out, you could also invest in a great 4-season sleeping bag and lots of blankets.
Recall, if you do not vent your car, you will wake up moist and that can be really unpleasant in the winter.
In spite of your heater, liquids will freeze
This incorporates your water tank, water lines, and faucet. Unless you devote your complete time in your van with your heater operating this WILL come about. Maintaining your water tanks complete will enable them from freezing speedily. Anytime we know we will not be in the van for a handful of hours we take further care to drain our water lines and make positive there is not any stress in our water pump or faucet. This season we are exploring some selections like 12volt water tank and line heatersthat are developed for RVs. Our concern right here is that something with a heating element will drain your auxiliary batteries significantly quicker. Only time will inform if this is a great repair or not.
Do it. Reside the #vanlife in the winter and do not let individuals inform you that you can not. Just strategy for negative climate, be ready, and ski all of the powder days that your close friends want they could.
There is one particular way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our amazing sponsors that make this tour come about: Sea to Summit, Mountain Property, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Large Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For additional information on our sponsors, verify out the post, “Live Outdoors and Play is Back!”