Love this account. I'm selling my car for a van to hopefully have some fun adventures too. Wondering how much money you need to live like this and how you make money on the road. I don't need much but I gotta eat! So what's the secret!
HIGH FIVE - that is rad - make it happen! So listen, first of all, try and leave all your bills behind (make sure you don’t have rent to pay back home). Now you have your monthly rent budget to apply towards gas and food while living on the road. If you aren’t working on the road you will want to save up enough money to have 3 months of independence - simply my recommendation so you can enjoy your adventures with minimal stress.
Figure out how much you spend on food a month but keep in mind you will be eating out of your van. Really figure this out - sit down and make a list of meals/snacks you would eat out of your van for a week then do a detailed cost analysis and adjust accordingly. Now multiple your week’s results by 12 - this will give you a desired food budget for 3 months on the road.
Map out where you want to go and figure out gas money that will be needed. Become detail oriented while on the road - keep a log book of everything (miles driven, mpg per fill up, etc). There is a lot of downtime on the road so write in a journal every night. Keep a random book of statistics - I really wish I had done this. It would be so interesting to know how many nights I’ve slept in a parking lot, slept a tent, number of fish caught, the miles of trails explored or number of boulder problems climbed along the way. All these items will not only be nostalgic years from now but also keep you living with awareness in your present state.
If you end up finding a town along the way that you’d like to spend weeks or even a month around then think about finding part time work while you are there (this is a great opportunity to refuel some cash while still living somewhere new and exciting) - hit up the cafe’s, coffee shops, gear shops etc and ask around for work. Don’t necessarily wait to find work until you are out of cash and stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. Live in your van everywhere - campsites and rent will drain your bank account. You’ll have to learn the dirtbag shower (I prefer Burts Bees baby wipes). If you don’t rock climb already then I’d reckon you should start. Climbers you meet along the way have been living like this for decades and most will be kind enough to offer you a real shower and any advice you may need. Also, most climbing gyms have a shower and if you ask nicely they will probably let you use it.
Finally, and I hate credit cards, but get one for emergency use ONLY. I didn’t do this for years and years but it really took the edge off of my constant worry of WHAT IF I BREAK DOWN AND DON”T HAVE THE MONEY TO FIX MY CAR. This way you essentially have insurance - if your van craps out you’ll be able to get it fixed and assess your next move without the total feeling of desperation. Let me know if you have any other specific questions but that’s my quick ramble of advice.
Not everyone would know this, but I am also an avid rock climber, and will generally take a project with me to work on between bouldering problems.
Occasionally chalk dust is a problem, but it usually washes off, and I don’t generally do delicate projects that can get snagged on my rough hands. Here is the start of a pair of socks I’m doing in Blue Moon Cloud 9 sock weight, in the colorway ‘Metaphysical Angst’ alongside my favorite pair of climbing shoes.
I’ve decided to try to keep track of my progress in bouldering by posting some photos of the routes I climb and other bouldering-related stuff. If I do any more bouldering comics from now on they will also be posted there.
If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, check it out! You can also submit photos of your own routes (gym or outside) and share it with others.