It’s been a busy month! Ian and I haven’t done much adventuring since we’ve been completely absorbed in van building, but we’ve got some exciting new van build additions to share.Continue reading
It’s official! Our camper van is officially camp-able — albeit a bit incomplete.
Phase One of our van build is nearly finished, so this past weekend we decided to take our Ford Transit campervan out for a test camping trip! With just a few days remaining before our scheduled return to Chicago, we drove the van to both the beach and the desert for a brief but relaxing first trip.Continue reading
Twenty-six. The only integer that is one greater than a square and one less than a cube, the number of spacetime dimensions in bosonic string theory, and the number of faces in a rhombicuboctahedron (thanks, Wikipedia). That’s how many people were in our Burning Man camp this year — double our numbers from burns past!
Despite our camp’s monstrous growth, however, we managed to keep our important camp traditions intact. Nightly camp dinners, the Da Vinci bar, and our biannual camp photoshoot all brought us together per usual, and some awesome new additions made 2018 even more special.
Could we have done without our recycling queen, that handy megaphone, or our unplanned (but ridiculously delicious) Sunday meat feast? Of course — but it sure wouldn’t have been as memorable without each and every campmate that made up this year’s Prosciutto Bay.
“You can summit Mt Whitney in a day,” they said. “It’s a class 1 hike,” they said.
Add to that the claim that it takes 10 hours to hike up at a “slow” pace, and you may start thinking the Mt Whitney hike is downright easy. But “easy” isn’t a word I would use to describe our hike to the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S. this July.
Want to know how long it really takes to hike Mt Whitney? — at least, if it’s your first time and you want to have some sort of enjoyable memory from your trek? — Read on for the scoop on our entire experience, from (finally) getting a Mt Whitney Trail permit to planning and executing our highest-elevation hike to date. Continue reading
Phone, camera, Kindle, laptop… As a travel writer, I travel with these items almost daily. But the best destinations don’t come with power outlets, and camping without power limits you to the pre-charged power you brought along. That is, unless you have a generator.
Being as it would be impractical to purchase a large, noisy, fuel-powered generator for a quiet camping trip in a small car, and also wanting to be eco-conscious, I was eager to find an adequate off-grid power solution. My research directed me to Goal Zero’s on-the-go solar panels and batteries. As a super environmentally-conscious solar power supporter, I so wanted to love everything about them — and I’m happy to say I came very close. Read on to discover our first experience with solar-powered camping and find out what wasn’t quite perfect about the particular setup we chose. Continue reading
We’ve learned from experience that creating a definitive schedule for a road trip is pretty silly, and since camping without planning is an easy thing do in New Zealand, we approached our 3-week campervan trip with no campground reservations and vague plans to explore the country from north to south. With the assistance of the Camping NZ App and recommendations from several local contacts, we decided what to do and where to stay as we went.
In the three weeks we spent in New Zealand, we drove entirely around both the North and South Island, experiencing some of the best New Zealand has to offer — without receiving a single infringement along the way. Here we share our guidelines for an unplanned, yet well prepared, campervan trip in New Zealand. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find our “un-itinerary” — the unscheduled list of places we stayed and things we discovered along the way. Continue reading
Driving a small car to Burning Man? That’s what we did for our last two Burns, and it certainly posed some packing challenges for our week-long camping trip in the dusty playa. If you’re wondering what you can reasonably pack for two people in that tiny car you own, take a look at our Burning Man packing list to find out!
I say this every year, but I say it because it’s true. The people are what makes Burning Man such an incredible experience — friends and strangers alike. I don’t know what my Burn would have been this year without that group spiral hug at the Hug Deli, the helpful strangers who lowered me back down from that MAGIC artpiece I climbed, or the hilarious nude portraits we captured of some of our spontaneously sparkly friends.
In my three years of burning, I’ve found it’s the people closest to you — your campmates — who have the biggest impact on your Burn. You camp together, eat together, explore together. You experience Burning Man together. So this year we again turned the spotlight on our campmates for a sunset portrait session in the open playa.
With 14 Burners, ample booze, and a brief appearance by “El Guaco” (I still can’t believe I missed that), Ian and I did our best to capture the spirit of our Burner family on camera. Continue reading
Let’s visit a popular U.S. National Park in peak season at the last minute! Yeah, that sounds like our travel style. And that’s how our conversation started two weeks back when we decided we had to see the Death Valley Superbloom.
All advance reservations for park accommodations were full. We could try our luck at a first-come first-served campsite, but we didn’t really feel up to tent camping this trip. So we decided to try something new: the rental campervan.
Despite paying more than we should have (no thanks to Escape), we had a good time on our trip. Want to know what the campervan life is like? Keep reading to find out! (More on why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans, too.) Continue reading