Pro skier Kalen Thorien technically calls Boise, Idaho, “home.” But these days, more accurately, her home is “the road” as she heads to her next ski adventure. So to ease the stress of traveling across the country, Thorien purchased a camping trailer, dubbed “The Bigfoot,” that lets her keep all her favorite possessions and conveniences close by. She pulls The Bigfoot behind a 1986 HJ60 Diesel Toyota Land Cruiser named “Francis,” which she picked up in Salt Lake City by way of somewhere in Canada. (Yes, Thorien has a thing about naming vehicles.) When she doesn’t feel like bringing her house along for the ride, she travels by motorcycle. “A 1993 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide. Hands down the best bike that Harley ever built,” Thorien says.
The 28-year-old athlete has made a name for herself in big-mountain skiing, but her many talents and hobbies have made her a bonafide media star with her Instagram and other social media followers. No surprise there, as Thorien is an athlete, a musician, a mechanic, a photographer and an all-around A-list adventurer.
One of the cool, and legit, aspects of Thorien’s love for her badass toys is that she does a good amount of the mechanical work on them herself. “I’m definitely a daddy’s girl,” she explains. “When I turned 16 he bought me my first car, which just so happened to be a 1974 Jeep CJ5 that didn’t run. He handed me the keys and said, ‘It’s yours. You just have to fix it.’ We spent the summer working on it together and ever since then I’ve been in love with tinkering and figuring out how to fix things. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I’m always eager to expand my knowledge in mechanics which is why the motorcycle is going to be a great asset for learning.”
Currently Thorien has several projects and trips that will take her on the road this season, which kicks off with her starring in this fall’s Warren Miller film, Line of Descent.
Her take on life is probably what you’d expect from a professional adventurer who lives in a camper named The Bigfoot. “You can plan and craft your future all you want, but I will say this: As long as you work hard, be nice, and use your head, life is going to be just fine,” Thorien says. “No more excuses my friends, you only get one shot at this, so do it right.”
What are a few gotta-haves when living the camper life?
Kalen Thorien: I like to run off solar as much as possible but I didn’t want to make my trailer any heavier for towing, so I went with the Goal Zero Nomad 100 Solar Panel and plugged that into the Yeti 400 battery pack. That allows me to charge everything I need while keeping my power use very minimal.
If you’re a coffee junkie like me, get your hands on an Aeropress for tasty espresso (and really step up your game with an electric milk frother/heater) for lattes.
Invest in your bed, too! Especially if you’re in your rig all year long, a big down comforter is a game-changer. Toss on a memory foam pad and you’re in heaven.
Last but not least, down pants and slippers. After a long day of skiing, you can’t beat being wrapped from head to toe in down and sipping on a whiskey.
Keep up with Kalen at instagram.com/kalenthorien.