Last Update: 11/17/2017

Map of Walmarts Where Camping Is Allowed or NOT Allowed

screenshot of Dallas area map showing walmarts in green and red, which allow or don't allow camping, respectively.

If you're doin' #vanlife or crossin' cross country, you need this USA nationwide map of Walmarts. It shows which let you park overnight, and which don't.

This ain't Vanholio's map, and he makes no assurances of it's accuracy. It's made and maintained by Walmart Locator – and they do a damn good job, in my experience! (And they sell a print copy, too.)

Vanholio's found the Walmart Locator's site van life lifesaver a number of times, includin' when passin' through Dallas last week.

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

Cover of Walmart Locator print book directory
Print copy!
Now, in general, Walmart has a corporate policy lettin' travelers in vans and RVs – even cars – camp in their parking lots a night or two. But individual stores make exceptions based on local ordinance or area problems. So it's good to check ahead with the map.

It's also a good idea to call the store or visit Customer Service when ya get there, to be sure and as a courtesy.

And for God's sake, People, don't make an ass a yourselves! Don't make a mess. Don't set out your barbecue pit and foldin' chairs in the parkin' lot. Don't shit in the grass. Don't overstay yer welcome. DON'T MESS IT UP FOR THE REST OF US!!!

Also, if you got new intel on a particular store, let the Walmart Locator know, so they can spread the word to all the vanlifers, vandwellers, RVers, and the rest.

Also See ...

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Last Update: 11/14/2017

Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the Van

idiot girl is looking right down the barrel of a pistol!
Top question I get is: "Do you carry a gun?" Why!? Ya think van life is like livin' in Somalia or some shit? No, it ain't. And no, I don't. Here's 3 reasons why ...

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

3 Reasons I Don't Have a Gun for Van Life Self-Defense

1. Most Likely to Shoot Myself

Lookin' at the stats, my chances of dyin' by gunshot suicide are way, way higher than gettin' murdered by a stranger at my van. How much? More than 4500 times more likely!!!

Vanholio has a history of depression. Serious, lifelong depression. As a male, that ups his odds a blowin' his brains out to 1 in 14 (7%).

Flip side, murder by a stranger ain't as common as ya think. Chance of gettin' murdered is 1 in 18,989 (0.53%). But most a the time folks is killed by friends and family. Less than 30% a them murders is by strangers in pursuit of a crime. Reduces my odds a gettin' snuffed ta 1 in 63, 297 (0.16%).

Sure, I recognize that the numbers might boil down differently in my particular case in a particular situation. But 1 to 4500 that I'll blow my own brains out vs. otherwise gettin' murdered is a big, BIG fuckin' margin!!!

2. Probably Can't Shoot a Man Anyways

I seriously doubt my ability to use a gun effectively and wisely under combat stress. In other words, I'll probably either freeze up or miss.

Did you know that most folks can't shoot another human bein'? It ain't that easy. It goes against our nature.

Years a battlefield statistics back this up. It takes training to overcome our innate resistance to killin' and to be good with that gun in a fight.

Now, there's a tiny percent a folks that can kill without blinkin', no trainin' needed. But as Vanholio can't watch a man get kicked in the balls without flinchin', he probably ain't one a them.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman covers a lot a the facts behind this in his now-classic book, "On Killing." Lindsey Beige hits the highlights in the video at bottom.

Vanholio don't have that training to shoot good and shoot to kill. And as he don't like the loudness a guns, nor the expense, that ain't gonna change anytime soon.

3. Prefer Prevention Over Confrontation

Look, whether you carry a gun or not, surely you don't want trouble. You know the old sayin', "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Vanholio does a lot to avoid trouble in the first place. When alone, I park the van in somewhat hidden locations, if I can. I got a dog loud dog with sharp ears. I avoid any peoples and situations that gets my hackles up. I take other measures, too.

The point is: Gun or no gun, in van life there's a lot you can do to avoid ever gettin' to that dangerous, final confrontation. The best way to win a gunfight is never to have a gunfight.
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Last Update: 11/10/2017

#Vanlife Hack – Filling Water Jugs at Bathroom Faucet

Holy shit, I just run into this hack by accident!  It solves a problem plaguing Vanholio! since he went OTR van life – how to fill tall jugs in a bathroom.

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

See, my water jugs are kinda tall. Too tall for fillin' in a bathroom faucet. Sometimes though, a bathroom faucet is the only free water around.

Don't come up too often, but when it does, I've thought of gettin' a funnel with tube to carry around. But that's money and takes up valuable storage room, which I ain't got much of.

What's in that photo is way smarter for van life. Using a plastic water bottle as a faucet extender. Used plastic bottles is almost always around.

Someone else is doin' it with a plastic Coke bottle in the video below. ... Designed by geniuses for idiots, goddammit!

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Last Update: 11/07/2017

Mix Peanut Butter in Your Ramen – No Seriously!

block of dry ramen dipped in peanut butter

Think chocolate and peanut butter are the fuckin' bomb? Then you’ll L-O-V-E hot ramen noodles mixed with PB. It’s cheap, fillin', nutritious, and delicious!

Instant ramen and peanut butter are the perfect combination for the vandweller, or any broke-ass, lazy motherfucker. Sound weird? If you’ve ever had Thai food, you’ll know that peanut butter in a savory dish is fuckin' awesome. Even better spicy!

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

How to Make Peanut Butter Ramen

  1. Boil water. Vanholio uses two 12 volt water boilers.
  2. Put  in your huge bowl or Big Bubba insulated mug:
    1. 2 ramen noodle blocks, broken into pieces to fit
    2. 1 ramen noodle seasoning packet (2 if you like it salty)
    3. Big glob (~3 T) of peanut butter
    4. Optional: add meat, dried veggies, boiled egg, or spices.
  3. Carefully pour in hot water.
  4. Cover with cap and gently shake to mix ingredients.
  5. Wait 3-5 minutes.
  6. Dig in!
This makes a hearty, 1100+ calorie meal that sticks to your ribs and warms your toes. And the cost of the noodles and peanut butter is only about $0.75!

Fuck 'Unhealthy'!

Now, some asshole out there is gonna to tell me that instant ramen ain’t good for you. There’s some pseudoscience bullshit making the rounds about how it don’t break down in your gut like fresh ramen, etc., etc. That’s a bunch of conspiracy crap. Of course it don't! The instant kinds are fried! Fat takes longer to digest.

Cover of book, Prison Ramen
Americans are just paranoid about food, food companies, and The Man. Sometimes that paranoia is misplaced, and this is one a them times.

True, instant ramen is white, enriched flour lightly fried in saturated plant fat (usually palm oil). Too much of that ain't as good for you as, say brown rice or kale (yuck!). Whole foods is always healthier. Duh!

But you can’t tell me that most restaurant or packaged foods – at 10X the price! – are any better than Vanholio’s magic recipe. This combo is a good balance of protein, carbs, and a mainly plant fats. By using one broth packet instead of two, the salt won’t pickle you. Add some veggies to round it out, or drink a V8. Then eat a goddamn apple for dessert. And stop worryin' so fuckin' much.

Instant ramen noodles and peanut butter is Vanholio’s go-to meal – easy to make, easy to clean up, filling, nutritious, tasty, and completely satisfying. Try it. Fall in love again.

Here's a hot chick cooking a fancier version of ramen and peanut butter with soy sauce and Sriracha hot sauce.

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Last Update: 11/03/2017

Vanholio FAILS Big Texan 72 oz Steak Challenge

Big Texan steak challenge t-shirt
Where's the beef? At the Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas. That 72 oz (2 kg) FREE steak challenge been callin' since I were a tot. Read on ta see how far I got ...

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

How the Big Texan Steak Challenge Works

They been runnin' this thing since the 60s. If you eat the 72 oz steak in an hour – plus roll, salad, shrimp, and baked potato! – the meal is free. Fail, and you pay $72.

But they's more rules: You can't leave the table, can't stand up, can't puke, no one can help you cut your food, you gotta sit at the challenge table, and more. Plus, you gotta sign death and publicity release forms before ya begin. THIS SHIT AIN'T NO JOKE!

In 50 years, thousands has won – but many thousands more has failed …

Why the Fuck Do Somethin' This STUPID?

Big Texan 72 oz steak with sides on table
Before ...
YOLO, Dude. Heard about this challenge since I were a tiny Vanholio. Always thought it was dumb. But it always called me, too, like a Siren song.

Then this last summer, I made a decision to live as if I were dying on Jan. 1, 2018. Wrote a post about it. Added some things to the list there, most a them more reasonable. But the Big Texan steak challenge made the cut. Fuck it!!!

How Far Did Vanholio Get in the Big Texan Challenge?

Big Texan steak dinner ... what was left
After ...
Vanholio sat there at that table for near 40 minutes. The crowd was cheerin' and takin' photos. Folks offered their blessins. Vanholio chewed and chewed and chewed …

Did ya know that 72 oz is a lot a fuckin' steak!? Goddammit, it weren't fun chewin' all that. The taste went away. The joy went away. I were sweatin'. I were stressin'. In the end, I came close to chuckin' it all up right there …

In the end, Vanholio ate 54.5 oz (1.5 kg) a steak and ALL the sides. Leavin' 17.5 oz (0.5 kg) a steak on the plate. So close, so close … :-(

Loser Consolation Prizes Awarded

But hey, I tried. Plus got that T-shirt at top and that pink boot cup in the photos! ... PLUS I got to puke my guts out about an hour later, so that was nice … YOLO!!!

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Last Update: 10/27/2017

The Art of (Doing) Nothing

Hazda hunter lying on a towel, taking a nap
Somewhere long ago, our formerly hunter-gatherer ancestors got off track and fucked us up. They got busy and built "civilization," which shackles us today.

Stuff. It's all about the fuckin' stuff. We got the stuff, maintain the stuff, want the stuff, build the stuff, and hanker after the stuff – especially other people's stuff. It's a lotta fuckin' work, Man!

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

But them that stayed hunter gatherers … they did a lotta nothin'. Sat on their asses most a the day, just talkin and fuckin'. The were the original affluent society. Sounds like Vanholio's kinda paradise!

I wanna get back some a that. That's why I vandwell. It's my dream to be lazy and contribute as much nothin' to this Earth-killin', human-crushin' society as I can.

Read this essay, "The Art of Nothing," by primitive skills teacher Thomas J. Elpel. He's addressin' primitive skills preppers, but there's a line a thought we can learn from.

Do' nothin' to save your money, save your life, and save your soul.
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Last Update: 10/24/2017

Finding FREE Public Lands for Boondocking

screen shot of us public lands map

One third of U.S. land is public land — BLM, US Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and the rest. You can vanlife camp on most a it any time for FREE (exceptin' National Parks). But public lands don't always come with signs showin' where it's at. Hell, most of it ain't even on Google Maps! Here's three ways to find them sweet spots.

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

1. Gazetteers

In Vanholio's experience, gazetteers, a type of printed atlas map, are the best tool for van life. First off, they don't require internet, which can be short back in the boonies. Plus, they're well researched and drill down to small scale. I've used the Delorme gazetteers, but there's others out there.

2. Public Lands Interpretive Association Website

If I ain't got a gazetteer yet where I'm goin', backup is, the website of the Public Lands Interpretive Association. Pretty good digital maps, but they only cover the Western states. And they're slow to load.

3. "US Public Lands" App

The app is available on Android and iTunes. Looks like it maps all the public lands. Ain't never used it, though, so Vanholio can't speak to it's quality. Look at the reviews. If you used it before in your van life, comment below.

Also See ...

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