* These are products that we actually use and believe in. By clicking on an ad photo or link and purchasing a product, you'll be supporting our blog and receiving a discount (on some products)...a win-win situation! We do not list or advocate any products that we don't currently use.
There are a ton of outdoor clothing brands, there's no arguing that. For us, Cotopaxi embodies everything we seek when choosing what outdoor clothing and products to purchase. Cotopaxi says it best, "We create innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure."
Whether you're looking for a quality jacket, sleeping bag, backpack, camping gear, or tent, Cotopaxi is sure to exceed your expectations. One of our favorite aspects of their products are the vivid colors in each design. When we're having a gloomy or 'off' day, we make sure to brighten it by wearing or using some of our Cotopaxi gear. Sound cheesy? Maybe it is, but it works and we love it!
And if that isn't enough, Cotopaxi has made a commitment to creating positive social impact. They focus their efforts on global poverty alleviation and give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world. Cotopaxi believes in a holistic approach to alleviate poverty. They focus on three pillars which they believe are crucial to creating a sustainable pathway out of poverty - Health, Education, and Livelihood. If you haven't already, click the link below and check out their products and sustainability efforts.
Wherever we go, you're likely to see our LuminAID lights either strapped to our backpacks, held in our hands, or hanging in our van. LuminAID designs and makes inflatable solar powered lights that are used by backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, and relief workers all around the world.
And you know what the best part is? Their lights were designed to help countries affected by devastating natural disasters - specifically to assist in the relief efforts of the destructive earthquake in Haiti. Since then, LuminAID has partnered with NGOs and non-profits all over the world to distribute light to people who lack proper access to electricity. They have helped people recover from Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, the earthquakes in Nepal, and many more natural disasters.
Support LuminAID's mission to make light more accessible and sustainable by clicking the link and purchasing a light for yourself and sponsoring one with the Give Light, Get Light Package! Each purchase from this link will also help fund our blog.
Living in a van doesn't mean that we're always "disconnected". Sure, we'd love to be outdoors 100% of the time but reality tells us that we still need to work and stay connected (bummer, we know). When we're not hiking or exploring the world's natural beauty, we're updating and adding to our blog, doing remote work, and pursuing side projects, all which require us to be online.
Our Skyroam hotspot allows us the freedom of working remotely wherever we are, without tight data restrictions. We've experimented with various hotspots and currently use a mix of different ones, depending on our needs. With our Skyroam hotspot we're able pick and choose the days we want to use WIFI and pay a set price for unlimited data. For us, it also allows us to upload videos, download and upload files from remote jobs, stream music, and cozy up to stream a movie, all for a small price...which we split in half!
Yeti Cups and Ramblers
Hot coffee, hot tea, hot chai, hot soup, hot water... What do all of these have in common? They're hot! Since our home runs completely off 200 watts of solar power, we are always conscious about how much energy we're using. When we're making coffee, that means that once the fresh pot of coffee is done brewing, we turn off the coffee maker. If we don't drink it right away, we're left with room temp coffee...and who wants to sip on room temp coffee? Same goes with our propane stove. Once we've boiled the water for tea or cooked a batch of soup, we turn the propane off and try to shove it into our bodies before it starts to cool off.
Here's why we love Yeti products. We've tried a ton of different travel mugs and have found that the quality and longevity of our Yeti Cups and Ramblers are superior to other brands. They keep our drinks and soups steaming hot for a crazy long time...and yes, we do mean a CRAZY long time! One night, we left one of our Yeti cups on the roof of the van and as we drove away the next morning, we realized one was missing. Until we bought a new one, we had to patiently take turns using the Yeti. It was a test in our relationship, and if we hand't purchased another one, it would have torn us apart.
Oh, another awesome thing. It keeps your drinks ice cold in the same exact way! Go grab yourself a Yeti Cup or Rambler and enhance your drinking/sipping experience!
LifeStraw's slogan pretty much sums it up - "We make contaminated water safe to drink. Adventure awaits". A LifeStraw is an essential part of any travelers packing list. We've had ours for years and have used it in National Parks, international travels, long treks, and casual camping trips. It's versatility, ease of use, and size makes it the ideal product for our travels.
LifeStraw started with the mission of making clean water accessible to people in areas where contaminated water is an issue, and to this day, they still hold true to their mission. They work with countries and people that have been affected by natural disasters and other water contaminating events, such as filtering Guinea Worm Larvae from contaminated water sources. LifeStraw has come out with some other great products that we're very interested in acquiring in the near future. Check out their products if you haven't already!
Dometic gives us the power of refrigeration and our own van toilet! It was especially hard to decide what style of fridge we wanted, what brand to go with, and if the one we chose would be energy efficient enough to run solely off of our solar panels. After days of research, we finally decided to go with a Dometic fridge. We're happy to say that we've loved it ever since. To this day, we haven't had a single problem with it's functionality, energy pull, or reliability.