The Rise of Van Life in the Rockies

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Camping, Destinations, Travel

A new trend is quickly growing in America. There are many reasons more and more people are choosing to ditch their houses with a solid foundation for a home with four wheels.  Minimalist lifestyles are gaining popularity and a wide range of people are choosing to possess less material objects and gain life experience through adventure.  On social media, some of the biggest influencers in the outdoor industries are going with a mobile lifestyle, inspiring others to choose this exciting life with freedom of travel.  One of the most popular places to see this new lifestyle first hand is in the Rocky Mountains.

Reason #1: Employment

The first reason one may choose the van life is for employment reasons. While those who have moved to the Rocky Mountains to follow their dream of a the “ski bum” lifestyle, they soon find that many jobs are based on the weather, tourism, mud seasons. 

During the spring and fall, not many venture toward the Rockies for vacation, leaving many tourism and seasonal based jobs slow or closed for a few months.  Whether it’s river guiding in the summer or ski instructing in the winter, a lease can be a burden to those who plan on working for a season then moving on to another job.  Many who live out of their van don’t plan on staying in one place for long, and having a home and all of your belongings on wheels presents the opportunity of bouncing around the West as much as you please.

Image courtesy of Southern Chronicles.

Reason #2: Rent

Rent in the Rocky Mountains, especially in ski towns, is expensive. The monthly expense of a decent car loan plus insurance is most likely half of what many pay for rent and utility bills monthly.  Though maintenance issues can arise while on the road, the amount you’ll save even in the first few months of living mobile will make a $1,000 mechanics bill no sweat.

Reason #3: Freedom

With social media a huge part of many people’s lives nowadays, many sit there and admire others adventures across the world.  Millennials don’t want to be tied down to a 9-5 office job at 22 years old, they want to live it up while they’re young.  Those who choose this lifestyle are modern day explorers.  For most van-lifers, the limited amount of extra space in their van is filled with skis or a snowboard, a bike, climbing equipment, or what ever gear they need for their favorite outdoor adventures. They have no need for cable television, nice hot showers, and full-size kitchens. 

Luxury is meaningless to van-lifers. Sleeping in a zero-degree sleeping bag with as many layers as you can put on during the dead of winter is worth the ability to take off on another excursion right when you wake up.  The Rocky Mountains offer outdoor enthusiasts the best opportunity to follow their hobbies from one fantastic location to the next, and to those in their vans, nothing is better than taking there home with them from spot to spot.

Best Van-Lifers on Youtube:

Jinti Fell
Minimal Millenials
Dylan Magaster

Best Van-Life Bloggers:

Van Life Diaries
Gnomad Life
Always on the Road

Any van-lifers looking for a new adventure this summer?  Colorado River Rentals has plenty of outdoor gear for rent, so plan to park for van and raft a river or do some fishing this year!