When I am talking about winter van life, I really mean winter in the Pacific Northwest. That means rain in many places and wet snow in others.
In the Pacific Northwest, mud is an entire situation in itself. It adds another dimension to cold and wet winter socks!
Honestly, I am not much of a slipper person myself but when it comes to traveling in the van, I am fully onboard with slippers. Here are the reasons why!
We like to hike. We get on our rain jackets, boots, and rain pants inside the van. As soon as we step outside, there is no going back. So here we are, hour after hour in the mud and rain. The rain never seems to slow down enough to leave the van door open, take off our wet clothes and get inside.
It never fails that rain pours inside the van when we try to sneak in. With the rain, comes mud.
Even when mud is not an issue, there is the standard issue of cold toes in the winter. My kids have really opened my eyes to all of the ways that snow can get inside your boots! I had no idea!
CD’s love for “camping socks” inspired me to try “van slippers”! It was a win for sure!
2. Camp Chef Stryker Stove
Hot chocolate? Tea? Chicken noodle soup?
I can whip up hot chocolate, tea, or even soup in just a few minutes and from the warmth of the van. We don’t have a formal kitchen in our van and this product has been a game changer for sure! It is really best for heating water fast but when in a pinch or when I just can’t be bothered to set up the stove, I have made mashed potatoes and gravy, soup, indian food, and rice all in the Camp Chef Stryker. I don’t recomment counting on it for meals but it is good to know it is possible if you find yourself 1000 mile days and on a tight time schedule.
I recommend keeping a bag of marshmallows on hand to really impress the kids when they show up after a tough day of sledding and skiing!
3. A griddle
Earlier this winter, I hit the wall of what to cook on our camp stove. Then a camp stove griddle came into my life. Hashbrowns, perogies, grilled cheese, quesadillas, fajitas … The list goes on and on! This was simple solution to a boring camp stove cooking and added to the options for the next afternoon tailgating at one of Oregon’s sno parks.
4. Snow Tubes!
This has winter fun written all over it. Great for day trips but probably not very practical for longer trips as they don’t exactly pack small! After a hand full of broken plastic sleds, the snow tubes are where it is at for sure! The more air you add, the higher they bounce and faster they go. My only reservation is that I worry they are TOO fun! They can really catch some air and pick up speed, especially on highly trafficed sledding runs! In any case, go for the snow tubes to bring your winter fun up to the next level!
Whether you are hiking around in the rain or heading to the snow for some sledding, these four items have made our winter days much better!
Follow us for our latest van conversion! It is right around the corner and we are teaming up with Roost Vans for help with our latest DIY conversion! Check them out at Roost Vans!