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Van Life: Dirty, Smelly, and Perfect

Brianna Madia takes over our instagram Hitch a ride with Brianna and her family as they make their way to visit us here in Portland, OR. Hitch a Ride Instagram takeover Brianna Madia spends her time roaming the desert in a van named Bertha. She loves the warmth and solitude, and the environment’s scrappy toughness. “There’s something really intentional about the desert that just sort of clicked with me,” says Brianna. “There’s nothing easy about living in a place where daytime temps are triple digits and water is scarce. I remember being absolutely fascinated by all the woody little desert shrubs, all the cacti – for them to survive and thrive in a place like that takes such grit and

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Roaming with Loki the Wolfdog

Loki the Wolfdog, Bailey the dog dog, and Kelly and Ally, are a pack of road roamers and snack enthusiasts. There’s a lot of love in this group so it’s no surprise that they have gained a giant following on social media.  Loki’s anchored Kelly, inspired him, and brings a level of companionship only a dog can bring. “Having that consistency of a faithful friend is irreplaceable. I brought Loki home as a pup, and just made it a point to never leave him behind. I had dogs throughout my life, but bringing home a low content wolfdog, I took it more seriously. Over time my life changed to look a lot different. My priorities changed,” says Kelly. ““I just

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Home on Wheels – Tips for Van Life

Jace, Giddi, little Juniper, and Lotus the Dog live in a van – and it’s a nice one. After selling their first van in March of 2016, they purchased another and did a complete new build. They put a ton of work into it, but its floors and cabinets don’t define their Home on Wheels. “For us, its not what you put inside, or how you decorate,” says Jace. “Sure, these things help create a more ‘at home’ feel as you travel around, but what really makes it a home is the experiences you have in it.” Ready for the van life? Read below and snag some tips from these seasoned pros. Pack smart Space is tight, so Giddi and

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Henry and Baloo Yakima RackPack

Meet Henry & Baloo

An unlikely pair that can adventure anywhere Furry Adventure Henry is a dog. Baloo is a cat. Cynthia Bennett is a human. All of them love to pile into their 2007 Toyota 4Runner, hit the road, and adventure outdoors. Cynthia loves to be out in nature – hiking, camping, backpacking – and she loves her fur babies. Only natural they should all travel together. But how does she pull it off so everyone is safe and happy? “Traveling with Henry and Baloo is like traveling with kids,” she says. “There is a lot to pack and think about before hitting the road!” Cynthia, Andre, Henry, and Baloo! Part of the Yakima RackPack TRAVEL COMFY. TRAVEL SAFE. Having the right gear

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Hit the Road with WildRoots

SHARING THE ROAD Nate and Candice are the adult portion of WildRoots, an outdoor-loving, Utah-based family with jobs, school, and four boys – Zev who just turned 10, seven year old Kai, five year old Liam, and Shem. He’s three. Before Candice and Nate got married, the outdoors was a big part of their lives. Now it’s part of the kids’ lives, too.  “It’s pretty natural to enjoy sharing things you love with the people you care about,” says Nate. “I find on the rare occasions when I go out on a solo fly fishing trip, I end up seeing rad stuff that I can’t wait to get back and tell my family about. We get pumped about the same types of

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Brianna’s Road Trip Tips

Brianna’s Road Tips for Road Trips Getting there is half the journey. That’s what they say, right? But, if you end up laid out on the side of the freeway with smoke pouring from the hood of your car, getting there can end up being the whole journey. Take it from me, a woman who should have earned a college degree in laying on the hot pavement beneath a 28-year-old vehicle playing, “what’s that burning smell?” Now you might be thinking, “Brianna, I don’t drive a vehicle that’s been around for both Bush presidencies, so I’ll be fine.” Maybe so! But a well-maintained vehicle is a happy vehicle, no matter the age. Here’s some quick and easy tips for making

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Life in the SkyRise

FEELS LIKE HOME Randy Propster, Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Guru, practically lives in our SkyRise rooftop tent. In just about a year, he’s logged over 150 nights in his SkyRise. That’s more than anyone we know of. “It feels like home,” says Randy. “It better. I’m on the road for over 32 straight weeks right now. This year I have my SkyRise on top of my Turtleback Trailer and I’m pulling the whole kit around with a Ford Transit Connect van. I have a home everywhere I go.”   The van his living room and garage (“I travel with 1000 pounds of ultralight backpacking gear”), the Turtleback his kitchen, and the SkyRise is the bedroom. “I climb that ladder,

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Unracked: SkyRise Tent Tips & Tricks

Ian Betteridge : Product Integrity Lead No one has spent more time with our SkyRise rooftop tent than Ian. Ironing out bugs and refining new products – it’s a reality of a business, and Ian is the guy to do it. “I’m basically a problem solver, he says. Adding, with a laugh, “I am The Wolf. Like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction – ‘It takes thirty minutes to get there in traffic? I’ll be there in ten.’ When we are met with challenges from dealers or consumers, they come to me as the first attempt to find a solution.” He cites the SkyRise as an example. ““We take feedback from the market – if there’s a way we need to

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Our Home on Wheels

Hey there! We are Our Home On Wheels, also known as Jace, Giddi, and baby Juniper. We are a full-time traveling family living in a 2005 self-converted Sprinter van with our pup, Lotus. We often get asked why we decided to sell everything and move into such a small space. To put it simply, this is what we needed. Flashback two years ago and Jace and I were working the typical 9-5 schedule and feeling as if our dreams were slipping away from us. There’s nothing abnormal about working 5 days a week. Millions of people do it — even many van dwellers continue to happily work a day job. For us though, this wasn’t working. We felt something was

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The Bus and Us

We are @TheBusAndUs, which consists of Dillon, Tessa and our 1975 Volkswagen Bus, Rita. It was 2014, while we were two young working professionals making a life for ourselves in Alaska when the travel bug burrowed deep into us. Tessa was happily in a special education teaching career in Anchorage, spending her free time camping, skiing, fishing and exploring the large state she calls home. Dillon was working in supply chain management and with what little time off he had he could be found weekend warrior-ing to the max, trying to snowboard, surf, and camp as far from town as possible. It was then that we realized that we would rather be road tripping, camping, and adventuring full time rather

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5 Amazing National Parks for Camping

Nothing is as memorable as camping in the breathtaking wilderness of America’s national parks, where lifelong memories of sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and gazing at the gazillion stars above are forged. The memories are so strong, in fact, that even just the smell of burning wood will transport you back to the campsite where you last spent the night. Whether you are in a tent, a hammock, or sleeping out in the wilderness, camping in the national parks helps reconnect you with a way of life mostly forgotten in the daily hustle and bustle. There are 59 national parks for you to find that one-of-a-kind bedroom under the stars. Here are the five best for incredible camping. Many

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 6

The last episode of Life In The Bus Lane took us to Valdez, AK where we set up camp in the Tailgate Alaska parking lot. As with any Alaska snowboarding there were the cloudy days and the waiting (or drinking) game but when it went “code blue” we made the most of our time and got after it. We pushed further onto the Tonsina, Tasnuna and Deserted glaciers and found some new and unique lines. We witnessed Kaelin Bamford and Mike Hood descend on a burly line that ripped out into an avalanche right in front of Kaelin. He recaps the experience in an interview while sitting in the outhouse at 19 mile. Alaska is no joke and we learn

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 5

After the long drive to Alaska and waiting in the grey clouds for almost 9 days we were finally able to hike lines and ride some beastly terrain in Haines, AK. Glacier travel and crevasse crossing was a must to reach these areas but the pay off was worth is as we tilted the noses of our snowboards into steep, deep and technical lines. More snow came in as we were just getting started but an uneasy snowpack made us think twice about spending more time in Haines. Colin Spencer gives insight to his first time in Alaska choosing and riding big lines. Our two biggest tools to get to the lines were our snowmobiles and Verts. The biggest and

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 4

It’s 2,500 miles from Salt Lake City, UT to Valdez, AK and the Alaskan Highway while stunning can also be treacherous if weather is present. We were lucky on our drive up to only hit a little weather and enjoy the landscape. Before we hit the Yukon we were able to camp out each night in Wal-Mart parking lots and took full dumping advantage in their restrooms in the mornings. A little hiccup at the border crossing with emigration for our cinematographer Brian but once we got into Canada we put the petal to the metal and kept the rubber side down. Gas station junk food such as Cheezies kept us going while we averaged 13-16 hour days to make

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 3

Episode three of Life In The Bus Lane takes Brock Butterfield, Jacob Carey, Sam King, Adam Chuntz and Claudia Avon to southern Colorado where a predicted seven foot storm total was expected to hit. The first night sleeping on a mountain pass Brock, Jacob and their cinematographer woke up to snow higher than the hood of the bus. With avalanche danger on high alert the Bus Life Adventure crew found themselves staying in The Respect Hut just outside Silverton, CO where they found some deep and safe snow on low angle slopes and in the trees. As snow began to settle they make their way into different zones outside Silverton in hopes of riding some bigger and more technical lines.

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 2

    Episode 2 of Life In The Bus Lane features the beginning of last winter when we met up with Mike Hood on Vail Pass and tested out the snowpack. It wasn’t as deep as we would have liked it but we did find some good snow and were able to get some filming in before chasing a storm that just hit Jackson Hole. In Jackson we were joined by Colin Spencer, Byron Bagwell and Rajat Bhayani and we ventured into a zone deep in the Wind Rivers where a lake surrounded in natural features greeted us. We played the weather game but were finally able to get a couple blue bird days were we rode some pristine Wyoming

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Bus Life Adventure – Episode 1

Life In The Bus Lane – Episode 1 from Bus Life Adventure on Vimeo.   The sound of avalanche bombs wake me up as I lay in the bed of my truck. It’s below freezing and I have very little free space. The thought of getting out of my sleeping bag to put on my cold boots is painful, yet I know the reward will be worth it. I catch first tram, and try not to think about drying out my wet gear in my cold, cramped truck after a full day of shredding. At the time, I remember thinking, “there must be a better way to chase snow.” After many hours of research, I was able to find a

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