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Category: Off-Grid Living

Three Years, 70k miles in a van, and feeling wealthy on $1,000 per month

BrianWilkins.org
January 8, 2018

Snowstorm near Pueblo, Colorado.

I lived in my 1990 Chevy G20 van for a solid three consecutive years. I bought it and began fixing it up in 2012, preparing for the unknown. I’ve touched down in 24 of the 48 contiguous U.S. states; and managed to miss Texas by about five miles. My heart raced as I’d learn the streets of new cities and states spontaneously, hoping I didn’t make a wrong turn or miss my exit. The van had every convenience possible.

Inside of the van, 2017.

Whether on remote land, BLM land, at truck stops, or urban dwelling, I’ve taken up temporary residence in many areas of the country at different times during this period. The van life is over for me, so now is the time for reflection and my version of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.” read more

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Emergency Comfortable Showering For Vandwellers

BrianWilkins.org
April 4, 2016

Shower

SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA — When you haven’t showered in three days and you don’t feel like dealing with traffic and other Monday B.S. that comes with locating a gym to shower, this is an effective alternative.

Find a deserted spot, put on the shower shoes, two gallons of room temp water, 24 ounces of boiling water, generator for shaving/trimming tools, and shower away. Crazy the average American shower lasts eight minutes and uses 17 gallons of water, per one source. But two gallons is more than enough for your pre-wash spray down, then wash yourself with whatever you use (I’m a body wash guy), and use the remaining water to rinse. read more

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Kansas Shortcut Between Midwest and Southwest

BrianWilkins.org
November 10, 2015

The van is now approaching that 200,000 mile[stone]. Interstates are always best as far as speed limits, amenities (i.e. 24 hour rest areas, truck stops, etc.), lighting, smooth pavement and everything else that makes living on the road for months at a time more comfortable. But in most cases interstates are not the shortest route to your destination.

Those who have traveled a lot between the Midwest and Southwest (for me, Des Moines to Phoenix) have probably used the I-80 to I-25 in Denver route until you get to I-40. The scenery in Colorado, along with the atmosphere, is always worth the trip. But that route extends 1,600 miles. I decided to try the Kansas route that is only 1,410 and takes two less hours than the interstate/Colorado route. You also still avoid Texas entirely (albeit by only about 2.5 miles). read more

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Cheyenne Frontier Days And Yellowstone National Park

BrianWilkins.org
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yellowstone

The four days spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming were completely spontaneous (like much my entire life) after pretty much being forced to stay by the locals.

The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.
The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.

It just so happen to be the time of year for the town’s annual Frontier Days, which was described as the largest rodeo in the world by several individuals there. Now I truly understand the saying “this isn’t my first rodeo.” No matter how many of those things you see depicted in cartoons and television shows, there’s absolutely nothing like seeing one in person…for numerous reasons that are not the subject of this article. Despite the fact some moron backed into my generator and ripped up its outer casing at a truck stop in Cheyenne, Frontier Days was pretty awesome…and pretty country! read more

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4 Useful Corporations For Road Warriors

BrianWilkins.org
July 16, 2014

I’ve been to Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, and Utah in the past seven weeks. Living mobile is nothing new for me, as I’ve urban/stealth camped in Phoenix and Tucson during the winters months. But in those cities, I know my safe havens: where to park, where to get free Wi-Fi so I don’t have to use my own, and can always shower at one of the gyms I’m a member at. It’s a completely different story when you’re traveling to places you’ve never been. read more

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