Professional athletes are just like normal people, except for, you know, being faster and stronger. So, just like for everyone else, this year has been strange and challenging for those whose lives and livelihoods revolve around getting outside and getting after it.
Usually, home for us is wherever we park our Slacker Van—a 1988 Mitsubishi Delica that we purchased in 2017. Before the Slacker Van, we lived in a 1988 Ford Festiva. Together, we have been living nomadically for over seven years. Sam is holding strong at 10 years and counting! But, can we truly still call ourselves nomads much longer?
Growing up with a motorcycle racing dad, Rachel Strait didn’t have to go far to discover a love of two-wheeled speed. When she was young, her family followed the race calendar and all participated. After each race, dad would pin their number plates on their travel trailer door and have the kids write down their place, how they did, and their goals for the next race.
As the global pandemic continues to unfold, all our lives have been affected in some way or another. Outdoor lovers everywhere have been forced to rethink how they can work, play, and otherwise safely embrace the activities they normally seek out. It’s especially hard for parents, with many states officially closing schools for the rest of the academic year, forcing families to embrace new routines and adjust plans.
The easier the recipe the better. Brianna enjoys taking simple recipes and switching it up with various add-ins. One of her favorite holiday season dishes is Skillet Chili Mac. The best part of this recipe is it can be made vegetarian, vegan, or carnivorous and it can be cooked over a fire all romantic-like or just on your camp stove or stove/oven at home.
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
Jordan Lee has competed in four Bassmaster Classics. He won two of them. “Winning the Classic twice has been special. The stars have really aligned for me and things fell into place,” says Jordan. But the reality is more than stars aligning – Jordan works hard, travels a ton, and has to pour a lot of concentration into what he does. So, when he gets some free time, how does he like to spend it? He goes fun-fishing. “Pretty much the difference is I pick up a buddy and go out and just fish. I can bring a friend or my fiancé. Also, I can bring my dog, Sage. She likes fishing too. I just like fishing with people and
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
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
Never leave the dogs behind Tips for Traveling with Your Beloved Best Friends For the last two years, I have lived in an old van with my husband and our two dogs. From 31-inch snowstorms and 116-degree Moab desert days, to 17-hour drives across international borders and nights attempting sleep in crowded parking lots…my dogs have seen it all when it comes to life on the road. Traveling with dogs is not unlike traveling with small children…it’s a little exhausting, a lot rewarding, and you might end up with poop in your car. Here are a few of my top tips for traveling and adventuring with your furry friends. Start Slow. The first time you went for a run, was
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
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
Diego Huerta: Photographing the World, Living the Stories Diego Huerta writes stories with a camera. “To tell a story you have to live the story,” explains Diego. “You have to be in front of it, able to feel it, smell it. You have to find that universal language that does not need the word, that just by seeing the image the person understands what you were seeing and feeling at that precise moment. There are stories that are in front of you, but there are others where you have to travel long roads, cross rivers and mountains to reach them, and discover new stories along the way.” To Be A Nomad Finding stories has inspired Diego’s wanderlust. Early in his
Growing up in a cycling family meant Rachel Strait was born to ride. Biking was consistently Rachel’s childhood family activity because her father, Jeff, was racing motocross growing up. “He really wanted his children to be outdoors rather than indoors glued to the TV,” says Rachel. “I began riding cross-country when I was nine years old and entered my first competition at age ten.” She won and has been taking names ever since. A few years later, in 2006, she was titled the Junior Expert National XC Champion, landing her a spot representing the USA in the World Championships in Rotorua, NZ. She was 16 years old. She placed 14th, and she’s had a bunch of impressive competitive achievements over
A 1988 Ford Festiva is a small car. Super small. At 28 square feet, it’s efficient and easy to park, but not much of a living space. But the YogaSlackers made it a mini mobile home – and office, and gear hauler, and spreader of good vibes. For ten years, Sam Salwei – one of the original YogaSlackers – has made it his adventure mobile. For the last five of the years, he’s shared the 28 square feet with fellow YogaSlacker, Raquel Hernández-Cruz. YogaSlackers is a group of folks – almost 150 of them – all over the world who teach yoga, slacklining, acro-yoga, conditioning, and various combos of all of it. It started with Sam Salwei and Jason Magness,
Here at Yakima, a lot of us are traveling “home” for the holidays. To some that means a ten minute drive, or a plane ride to Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Indiana. For one of our favorite van lifers, Brianna Madia, “Home for the holidays” means snuggling down with her husband and two pups in their home, Bertha. I press my nose to the frozen glass of the passenger window. The humming of our van’s engine slows as we meander aimlessly through dark suburban streets. We peer in through passing windows just beyond porches and lawns lit up with lights and inflatable Santas and white wire reindeer to see families gathered around tables and fires roaring up chimneys…children in matching pajamas
I think a lot of folks hear that we live in our van and assume we’re on some sort of trip. But there is no Point B to our Point A. While we do live “on the road” by technicality, we very much call Utah home. We came here from the East Coast nearly 5 years ago, drawn in by the lure of the mountains and the freedom of the American West…but it was the deserts that kept us here. We felt an indescribable pull to that undeveloped wilderness. And while Utah has an abundance of National and State parks, we much prefer the complete solitude of the rugged BLM lands of the desert backcountry. We learned early on in