Last Update: 10/20/2017

Eatin' Roadkill Rabbit – Yum, Yum!

roadkill rabbit in the road, right on top of the white stripe
You'll be eating plenty of roadkill rabbit when you’re living in a van down by the river. Vanholio knows: I am, I do.

OK, I’m a fuckin' liar. I’m actually camped by a small lake. And I just ate roadkill rabbit for the first time last night.* Better'n pussy! Tasted like turkey!

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

Here’s the thing: Vanholio needs to save dinero on dinners. And he wants to help out the earth. You know, that whole Global Warming thing. Foraging kills two birds with one stone.

Now, another vandweller might start by pussyfootin' around. Say, start by pickin' wild berries. But Vanholio always dives in dick first!

I been seeing lots of roadkill in Colorado this last week. So I looked up some basics on how to eat roadkill. There’s some laws to know about roadkill cuisine, too.

What I cook with these days
Then yesterday morning, picked up my first roadkill rabbit. He was barely stiff, a bit warm, had clear eyes and fleas, and looked to have been killed by a head injury. He weren’t pulped neither.

After butchering, I spiced and wrapped him in foil with potato and onion pieces. Then I baked him about three hours in my RoadPro Stove.** Perfection!

Las Chihuahuas – Ms. Barkley and The Gimp*** – loved that baked rabbit, too! Yum, yum, yum!

Oh, yeah. While the rabbit was cookin', I called the local Colorado game warden. Turns out I shoulda called him first to inspect the rabbit and issue me a tag. But the warden didn’t hassle me, decided I was working in good faith. Next time I’ll do it right.

I’m hoping to find a damn deer or elk soon. Then I’ll be making enough jerky to last months!

Eaten Roadkill Since That First Rabbit?

Nope. I tried once with a porcupine, but ruined the meat in the butcherin' process.

Turns out it's actually hard to find good roadkill. If the weather's gettin' warm, ya gotta find it early in the mornin'. And it's gotta be killt right, without the guts explodin'. And ya gotta be in the position to make use pretty damn quick.

I swear on a stack a Bibles, I run inta three good deer. But they was always at a time I couldn't pick 'em up for one reason or other.

I've concluded that with roadkill, like anythin' else, TANSTAAFL applies. For regular supply, ya gotta work a mornin' route, payin' especially close attention to where the game tends to cross. As a van life nomad who goes all over all the time, that ain't easy. Maybe work better if I settle in an area for a bit.

* Actually, this Road Tale is from March 2016. Except that bottom section under the subhead.
** These days I'm usin' a Max Burton Digital Stove to Go.
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Last Update: 10/17/2017

#Vanlife Is Totally Boring!

bored kid looking out the window when it's raining
Don't know what the hell you expected! Van life ain't nothin' but LIFE. Most a the time it's boring as hell. Or at least, it's as boring as you make it.

See, Vanholio's low key, just a quiet guy who likes his quiet. He ain't got no sexy yoga momma ridin' shotgun. He don't hang glide, rock climb, surf, cook gourmet camp meals, meet cool people, or discover amazing restaurants. Mostly, he just keeps ta hisself in the woods and desert, a hermit, if you will.

And that's just how Vanholio likes it!!!

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

Take Last Weekend …

Saturday — I got up late, ate some breakfast, cleaned up, journaled, called a buddy about some business we got, drove inta Silver City, N.M. for a Wendy's burger, dropped by Walmart ta take a shit and buy some coffee, came back ta camp, called another buddy, ate dinner, took Ms. Barkley on a walk, and otherwise wasted time Facebookin' and net surfin'.

Sunday — Got up, ate breakfast; cleaned up; drove into town ta get water, ice, and burritos at the grocery store; drove a big circle through Lordsburg, Hachita, and inta Columbus, N.M. (just for the hell of it, to see what's there, and I took a walk north a Lordsburg along the way); grabbed a site at the Pancho Villa State Park; cooked a one-pot rice dinner while surfin' the net; and took Ms. Barkley for a long walk round the park.

Excitin', huh!? Thrillin'!? Shit, coulda done mosta that crap livin' in a house or apartment somewheres.

So What's the Thrill a #Vanlife?

For Vanholio, it's campin' and walkin' in the quiet a the woods, livin' cheap so I don't have to work too hard none, and occasionally drivin' down a strange road ta see what's there (hopefully something beautiful or weird!). Oh, an' readin', writin', and web surfin'. That's all.

It's a simple life, but I likes it. Ta some, maybe it's boring. But then, it ain't boring if ya ain't bored.

And if ya wanna do hang glidin', rock climbin', surfin', and all the rest, ya can. Vanholio ain't stoppin' ya!

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Last Update: 10/13/2017

How to Get By With No Fridge or Cooler in the Van

ice cream truck made of ice cream is melted all over the sidewalk

I ain't never found no need to keep food cool on the road. So, yeah, my van life ain't got no refrigeration or ice chest. Tell you why, and how I gets by ...

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

10 Reasons My Van Don't Need No Fridge

  1. Cost – Your propane fridges cost propane money. Your electric fridges cost power budget, especially on solar. Your ice chests cost ice money.

  2. Space – Vanholio's got a tiny van, so anything bulky better be worth it. A chiller ain't.

  3. Simple Food – Don't cook much on the road. Mostly, I eat trail mix, Soylent, cheese sticks, fruit, peanut butter, tortillas, shit like that. Don't need a cold pantry.

  4. Many Store Trips – I'm in and outta grocery and convenience stores every few days. Don't need keep a big stock cool.

  5. Immediate Cooking – When I get somethin' real perishable, like meat, I cook it right away. Hell, I might get a pot goin' in my Max Burton Digital Stove to Go right in the parking lot!

  6. Dry Goods – Vanholio never knows when the mood to cook is gonna strike. So most food I keep around is dry goods, like rice, dried veggies, and canned soup.

  7. Refrigeration Overrated – Lots a "perishables," like fruit, vegetables, eggs, butter, and cheese, don't necessarily need to be kept all that cool. Fresh eggs'll last a week or so! I buy cheese sticks, and they do fine without chillin' for a week or more, too.

  8. Lazy Cooling – Know what I do with those cheese sticks when it's hot weather? I wrap them in a wet towel, and tuck the bunch under my bed by the water jugs. That keeps them from gettin' that greasy sweat.

  9. Condiment Packets – Your laziest bachelor uses his fridge mainly for beer and condiments. But Vanholio uses packets of condiments – including mayo! – that he swipes from convenience stores.

  10. No Cold Beer – The No. 1 argument for havin' a chiller in the van is cold beer on hand. But Vanholio ain't a daily drinker. And when he does beer, a chilled 6 pack from the store don't last long enough to get warm.

Any Downsides to Van Life With No Fridge or Cooler?

Yeah, Vanholio does have one regret about not havin' a cooler or whatever in the van. That's not havin' ice on hand. See, he likes a huge jug a ice coffee to sip from all day. Mostly, I just get free ice from a convenience store. But when I'm boondockin' for a couple days or more, then it's ice-less van life sufferin'. May get a compact ice maker soon, just for the drinks.

Also See ...

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Last Update: 10/10/2017

How to Escape Autonomous Killer Robots

drone carrying chain saw
An admirer of these manifestos emailed with an important question: "What are yer plans fer escapin' certain death by autonomous killer robots built by Google?" Here's my response ...

Reader's Original Email

Dear Vanholio,

What are yer plans fer escapin' certain death by autonomous killer robots built by Google?

As you know, the Earth has begun a new Maunder Minimum. In the coming decade, we will see progressively colder climate throughout the world. Food prices will rise so high the common folk won't be able to afford it. The Facebook and iPhones that have made them incapable of individual thought and/or critical thinking and problem solving skills leaves the common chattel unable to survive without handouts from big pharma, big credit, big welfare, and big gubament.

As the world starves and eradicates itself through violent ass-burgers SJW eruptions of Orweillian-style hate, I expect the Vanholio to be hidin' in his van, of course.... But what about those gosh damn robots? Ya got yer lasers ready? They better be charged and ready, because aint no way a Vanholio would be able to survive in the megacities - under strict carbon taxation and control - stripped of individual thought and completely animated by the corporate overlords... Amazon, Google, Walmart, DowDuPont, Goldman Sachs, and the list goes on.

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

Vanholio's Original Response

Sasquatch drawing with Vanholio's face
Vanholio last seen headin' to the hills
Hi, [name retracted],

Never had a plan, but these are my general ideas, in order. (Vanholio is a sneak, not a fighter.)

  1. Leave the USA. But that might not be enough if it's a worldwide crackdown.

  2. Head to the southerly hills. Abandon the van if needed. Live like a coyote foraging in nature, scavenge dumps, and theft as needed.

  3. Play along, act respectable, and engage in subversion from the inside. But seein' as I can't stomach that now, this would be a desperate move.

Expanded Thoughts on Keepin' Your Freedom

Since gettin' that original letter some weeks ago, I been thinkin' and readin' on this topic.

The comin' problems ain't really about autonomous killer robots, Global Warming (or another Ice Age), or today's dominant multinational corporations – though they could be. We don't know exactly who's gonna try and pen us in or how. But you can guaran-damn-tee someone or somethin' is.

Hell, they're doin' it today! Think how unelected credit agencies, like Equifax, got ya by the nuts. Most a us have had some bullshit on our credit reports. And if ya tried, you know what a pain in the ass it is to fix it. Then think how the bastards who hacked Equifax got ya by the balls, too. If they run up bills with your identity, it's gonna suck worse.

Civilization Has Always Oppressed the Common People

Look at your history, though. Ain't states, warlords, big companies, religions, and the like always had the common man by the balls?

The big players have always been forcin' folks to fight in their wars, work themselves to death as slaves or serfs, pay taxes that don't ever quite pay back fair, and generally forget they're born free and as good as anyone.

And the Common People Have Always Resisted

Cover of The Art of Not Being Governed by James C. Scott

But historically, people have always resisted their rulers. Either they cheat or they run. As a lazy anarchist, Vanholio proudly identifies himself with this tradition.

The common people cheat on their taxes, smuggle goods, poach, steal shit from work, grow weed in their homes, avoid the draft, and desert the army. To put it simple, they do what they need to do to survive.

And if that ain't enough to get by, they vote with their feet. Either they move to another country, or they head to the hills, mountains, swamps, marshes, desert, sea, or wherever The Man don't have power and/or don't care to look.

Sure, they sometimes fight back direct. But that's more rare as the powerful usually got things stacked to their advantage.

Remember You're Free – And Act Like It

Gandhi quote on slaves thinking they're free No, Vanholio don't know exactly how THEY are gonna try and fuck with him in future. But he keeps his heart free and his eyes open. As troubles present, he's gonna do what he needs to do, whether that's run or cheat. He might even rebel directly if needs be.

And if Google sends out actual, real autonomous killer robots? Vanholio'll hide in a cave. And if I gotta, I'll shoot some down with an EMP gun!

Also See ...

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Last Update: 10/06/2017

Clean Ass No. 1 Top Priority for Vandwellers

Damn! That ass fine! Even covered in dirty sand! Wanna put my tongue right up in there!

No one wants to smell your stanky damn ass. Not even you. Keepin' your butt crack clean is Priority Number One. Especially when you live in a van, down by the river.

In fact, a spit-polished taint is more important for vandwellers because we don’t always get a shower every day. Do you want your van to smell like shit? Do you want to butt stink to disgust every fuckin' time you get out of the driver’s seat? No!

Not unless you or your S.O. are goddamned coprophiliacs. In which case, save it for special occasions, Perv.

Plus, a fresh-washed crack and fresh underwear are the key to not smelling like a fuckin' bum. That helps when the cops ask questions. Trust me.

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

How to Keep Your Ass Clean in a Van

  1. Do Post-crap Cleaning — After takin' a dump, I wipe as well as I can with toilet paper. I really dig into that bunghole. Then I wipe my crack and dingleberry with one or two baby wipes. (BTW, don’t flush them wipes or dump them in a vault toilet; throw them in the trash.)

  2. Change Underwear Daily — Briefs, boxers, and panties are there to capture loose poop, pee, or odors. In the old days, it saved washin' woolen pants til spring. In modern times, you probably change your pants more than once a year. Maybe every day. No matter, change that underwear daily and the stink won’t follow you around.

  3. Ass-Wipe After Fart-a-thons — The odd fart or two isn’t a problem. But we all get a run on gas once in awhile, usually after eating too damned much at the Chinese buffet. Things back there get moist and pungent. So clean your crack with a baby wipe and/or TP, and return your trunk to it’s factory smell.

If you’re a vandweller, trucker, or anyone who spends a lot of time in a vehicle – Or really, if you’re not fucking disgusting – keep your ass clean. It should be your fuckin' No. 1 top priority!

Also See ...

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Last Update: 10/03/2017

Best Tips for Cheap Van Life Cellular Internet

top of cellular internet tower, the van life special
Most a your van life types want cellular internet to stay connected. And they want it cheap, too! Guy in the video below is THE EXPERT on how to do it! Watch'n learn.

BTW, Vanholio uses the flashed Verizon 3G he talks about. Only $5 per month! Works great! But even though video guy says its legal, I'm pretty sure it's a violation of the Verizon's terms. It's in the gray zone.

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

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/29/2017

Mud Bogging on Mesa de Cuba

Boggy mud puddle on Cuba Mesa, FR 88
Ol’ Vanholio got stuck twice atop a mesa in Cuba, N.M. This time his troubles was more ignorance than poor decision-makin’. At least, that’s what I tells myself!

A friend, seein’ that photo at top, had another view. He said, "Ya just keep tempting the gods of getting stuck, don't ya?" Maybe I do, maybe I do …

Well, here's what happened ...

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

Cuba Mesa Is a Great Camping Spot

This was my second time up at Cuba Mesa (aka Mesa de Cuba), a nice little hill outside, you guessed it, Cuba, N.M.

I like it 'cause ya got a little tree shade. It's 7,000 ft. altitude, so not too hot. It's also 15 minutes inta town for supplies, and ya got full bars on Verizon 3G and 4G. Oh, and this time a year, not too many weekend campers or hunters, so it's kinda quiet.

The dirt forest road in ain't too bad neither. Not even for my front-wheel drive, stree tired, low clearance Promaster City.  At least, not when it's dry …

Now, I did notice big ruts here'n there. But as the road was so firm and Vanholio read the soil as sandy, I figured they was leftovers from spring melt. But Vanholio was wrong – R-O-N-G wrong!

But Rain Turns Cuba Mesa Roads Into Slick Clay Mud

Tuesday night, a thunderstorm rolled it. It were a biggun, rained all night.

Wednesday mornin', Vanholio set out on his way. Didn't notice no problem drivin'. Then he came to that bog ya see in the top photo.

Them clay ruts is bigger'n ya think!
Why, I figured it'd be OK, so long as I hooked sideways ta make sure one a my tires had grab outside a puddle. But that's when I discovered the "sandy" soild up there actually is good part clay.

The van slipped, and the tires slid right down inta puddly tracks of them that went before.

I made it a ways, then lost momentum and traction. Wasn't lookin' good.

But did Vanholio panic? No, no, no! He tried doin' the forward-reverse rock. Almost made it out. But as I didn't, I didn't push the trick too far. That just digs your tires in.

Unlike the time I got stuck for three days on the big sand dune, there's was lots a good sticks around. So I took 20-30 minutes and made myself a traction bridge. That got my outta that puddle.

Then I Got Stuck Again – Taking That Top Photo!

Well, bein' a man who must tell his tale, I stopped the van to take that photo of the bog. The one at top a this post.

When I got back in the van – it's street tire tread full a clay – I couldn't make no purchase on forward. Just started diggin' myself a new hole, until the van's front bumper was hittin' straight mud!

So I got out AGAIN, dug the mud outta my way with my hand-pick. Then shoved some more sticks under the front tire. That got me goin' again.

Thankfully, I was pointin' downhill! Otherwise, I doubt it woulda worked!

Fishtailed My Way Off That Mesa – Like a Pro

Once I got movin', damnit, I sure as fuck didn't stop again. No sireee!  Nah, instead, I took it fast and slippery down the rest of the mesa, fishtailin' the whole way.

I kid you not, that damn van's back end was slippin' out near 30 degrees at times! Near as bad as drivin' on ice. And the whole fuckin' time, I was workin' to keep slippin' back inta others' ruts and the drainage ditches.

Made it off with no more problems. But I tell you what, it was a close fuckin' shave! Vanholio deserves some kinda performance drivin' award!

Bottom Line on Boondocking Mesa de Cuba?

Great place to camp. But if there's rain, stay down by the highway! Unless ya gotta 4WD and like mud boggin', that is.

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/26/2017

#Vanlife – The Song

Two dirty hippies sitting in their fucking vw bus!
Just found this song, "#Vanlife" by Guilty Subconscious, posted in the Promaster Forum. Vanholio is speechless. Must watch!

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

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/22/2017

Work Less and Save the World!

chimpanzee lounging on his back, his tongue stuck out

Today, I ain’t doing shit but sleepin' in my van and writing. It’s my solution to nearly everything – all the big problems. Why? ‘Cause busybodies fucked us up!

We need to go to a four-hour work day OR LESS. How would that help? Look at our fucking problems in this country and on this Earth …

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

Unemployment and underemployment? — Job sharing lets more people have jobs, good jobs, not bullshit jobs.

Poor physical and mental health? — Less work per person means more time to sleep, chill, enjoy hobbies, socialize, and build strong families.

Pollution and habitat loss? — Valuing leisure and others over money and things means each person will buy less shit. Everything you buy, even services, takes resources out of the Earth.

Political tyranny? — Folks with more time on their hands can organize to fuck The Man!

Overworked moms? — Woman now get behind because they end up balancing jobs with family. With a four-hour workday, they’re not handicapped. And men can damned well do more at home!

The list goes on. I should start a global campaign for the four-hour workday!

But you see, Children, that would be counter-fucking-productive. I heard tell that the Japanese government put together a board in the ‘80s to get their people to use more leisure time. It worked 90+ hours a damned week to find a solution! … That might just be an urban legend, but it points out the problem of busybody solutions.

So I live in a van. My costs of living are tiny, so I don’t have to work all the damn time. This very day, I'm up on a mountain, waitin' for the rain to com in. Got no where to be, and nothin' pressin. So fuck it!

What Am I NOT Doing Today?

I’m not burnin' gas. I’m not using energy to heat or cool a house I don’t have. I’m not goin' out to eat or to the movies. I’m wearin' old clothes. I ain’t doing shit but sleepin', eating cheap, and writin' this post.

I’m a failure as an American consumer. But that means I am cuttin' down my carbon footprint and not sucking hard at Earth’s teat. Don’t even need to invade an oil-rich country today!

We could all live the life of fuckin' leisure if we just worked less.

And with all our automation, we should be able to work on average four hours a day (20 hours per week). Economists predicted it a century ago.

So what happened? Who stole the four-hour workday? Read this VICE article to find out. Then watch the video below about how exactly the four-hour workday is going to pull our collective asses out of the fire.

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/19/2017

Bathing in Creeks, Rivers, and Lakes – #Vanlife Bonus!

Gunnison River Water Park, where Vanholio took a bath in the cold, cold Gunnison River — No SOAP!
Vanholio loves natural bathing in natural water. It’s free, for one thing. For another, it’s fun. It’s one a his favorite parts of the van nomad lifestyle – least in warmish weather.

Don’t matter to me none if the water is cold. Breath deep, relax, and you get used to it. Pumps up your metabolism, too, keepin’ warm!

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

Skip the Soap and Shampoo!

Not much advice on the subject, ‘cept don’t use soap and shampoo. Ya don’t need it, and it fucks up the water. Believe me, swim a bit, an’ you’ll come out fresh as rain. Even if that water looks a bit dirty.

(Vanholio’s momma always used ta make him shower after swimmin’ in the creek. Don’t know what that shit was all about. Think she was just a clean freak.)

What?, you say, But my soap is "biodegradable"! Yeah, well it’s a poison to water critters and plants until it does biodegrade. That shit just don’t belong there. Besides, humans lived millions a years without no soap. Fuck Johnson & Johnson!

Swimsuit or Nekkid Is Fine

Vanholio usually jumps in with swim trunks. But au naturale certainly adds a certain somethin’ ta the experience. ‘Specially if ya got that special someone (or someones) with ya. If ya wanna skinny dip and have a hippie orgie, Vanholio supports you 110%!

Worst case, some kids see ya nekkid. Good for them! Brats oughta learn that homely folks get sexy too! It’s their future. TV and movies lie!
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Last Update: 9/15/2017

Buying a Used Van When You Don't Know Shit 'Bout Cars

ink-drawing style photo of the back of a used van for sale
You're ready to launch into van life, but ya gotta go cheap and used. If ya ain't a mechanic, how you find a good deal on a reliable used van? Here's how!

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

Al Christensen at The Rolling Steel Tent wrote the best damn advice for regular folks buyin' used that Vanholio ever read! "Are You About to Buy a Gem or Junk?" You need to read it. I mean NEED.

He don't try to make you a mechanic. His approach is all about usin' your current knowledge as a driver, car owner, and human being. It's intuitive: If the seller, the situation, or the drive experience don't feel write, don't buy.

I'd also add that you should Google for the common problems of the particular model you're lookin' at. Owner forums are great. That'll help you with one or all of the followin':

  1. Keep an eye out for those particular problems when you look at the van.
  2. Make sure the mechanic looks for those particular problems.
  3. Add to the pros and cons on decidin' whether to buy.
  4. If you buy, help you notice the problems quick if they come up.

Again, check out Al's article!

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/12/2017

21 Cheap and Cash-Free Food Sources

guy dumpster diving, but you can only see his legs sticking out of the dumpster
How can a vandweller stretch their food budget? By exploiting ALL the fuckin' resources in their damn environment, like a nomad. Here are 21 alternative food sources (in no particular order.)

1. Gleaning – Farmers will sometimes let you forage after the harvest for food left in the field.

2. Hunting/Fishing/Trapping
– Many states have free or cheap education programs to teach you how. Licenses are usually much goddamn cheaper for state residents.

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

3. Wild Foraging – Learn to gather wild plant and non-game animal foods. Check local laws. National forests rock for this! (See

4. Urban Foraging – Produce from domesticated plants in yards are often let to rot, e.g., apples, mulberries, and pecans. This happens everywhere from the inner cities to abandoned farmlands. Don’t let that food rot like every other dipwad!

5. Roadkill – Gatherin' roadkill is legal in most states, and there’s lots of info online about how to do this smart'n safe. Vanholio's done eaten roadkill hisself!

6. Charity/Entitlements – If you’re truly hard up, try soup kitchens, food pantries, food stamps (EBT), even beggin'. Fuck pride!

7. Events – Some organizations, especially churches, will give you free food to hear their pitch. You don’t need to come to Jeezus after!

8. Gardening – Can you participate in a community garden? Do you have friends or relatives who’ll let you garden in their yard? Grow your own!

9. Guerrilla Gardening – Why not garden on a vacant lot? In that bit of grass behind a warehouse? On the sly, you can also care for already growing trees and plants, domesticated and wild, to produce a better harvest.

10. Intentional Communities – Many intentional communities farm. See if you can help with the harvest for room and board, and for some food to take with you. If you want to garden or farm yourself, this is a great way to learn. You might even make friends.

11. Dumpster Diving
– Business and households all over the country throw out megatons of food. It's fucking shameful. But their asswipery is your gold. Lots of info on the web.

12. Surplus Food – Ask restaurants, bakeries, donut shops, grocery stores, etc. for food they’re going to throw out. Get it before the dumpster does.

13. Party Leftovers – Don’t be shy about taking leftovers from parties and other events at work, friends’ houses, church, wherever.

14. Grocery Stores – Default option. Look for generics, sales, and clearances.

15. Big Box Stores – Stock up on bulk staples, if you have room to carry them.

16. Ethnic Grocers – Indian and East Asian grocery stores often have amazing deals and cheap, fresh vegetables.

17. Farmers’ Markets – These aren’t always cheaper, and sometimes the “local” produce is really off the wholesale truck. But it’s worth looking. Some states have programs for SNAP to get 2-for-1 on fresh produce at farmers' markets!

18. Farmer Direct
– Buy fresh eggs and produce from side of the road. Consider buying meat, even a whole animals direct; you can always dry excess meat into jerky over a campfire.

19. Samples
– Visit food stores on the days they have free samples, then fill up!

20. Scamming – Lots of info online about how to scam restaurants into giving you free meals. Just saying …

21. Mooching – You *can* always mooch meals off your friends and family. At least till they get tired of you.

How’s that for a goddamn list of alternative food sources?! Vanholio miss any?

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/08/2017

Close That Vault Toilet Lid, Dammit!

typical forest service vault toilet
This is a Public Service Announcement: When you leave up seat in a vault toilet and open the door, you're doing the opposite of helpin'. Close them up! Here's why ...

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

See, your vault toilets – the kind ya find these days in U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, rec sites, etc. – is much more than your ol' stinky latrine. That's good to know, 'cause in van life, you're gonna be usin' these a bunch!

3 Ways Vault Toilets Stink Less

  1. The concrete vault (the shit pit) keeps out varmints. Plus bio-hazardous shit don't leach into the groundwater.
  2. The vent chimney uses passing breezes and the sun's heat ta vent the stink out up high'n away.
  3. The vault and chimney are screened off from flies (except for the shitter seat hole).

Now, all them three factors depend on you puttin' down the toilet seat when you're done. And closing the door helps too, plus keeps out the bigger varmints from makin' a mess in there.

If you even *think* that leavin' the seat up and openin' the door is gonna freshen things out, you're just plain wrong. You're invitin' more flies and suckin' that stink up into the throne room. Plus, you're an asshole.

Also See ...

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Last Update: 9/06/2017

Need 4WD for Van Life Backwoods Boondocking?

Old orange VW bus with huge suspension lift and offroad tires
Americans love big trucks and 4WD offroad rigs. But do you need all that shit just to camp off the dirt roads in public lands? Vanholio gives a qualified "no."

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

Regular Vehicles Handle Most Dirt, Gravel Roads

For the last couple years, I been goin' all over the national forests and BLM lands in a Promaster City, a mini-cargo-van with street tires, front-wheel drive, and only 5.1 inches a clearance. That's the same clearance as a fuckin' Prius!

I'd say that with that low-slung van a mine, I been able to get into 80% or more a the places I wanted to go. No problem. #vanlife

That said, I gotta be careful and pick my way. Dirt and gravel forest roads are smooth for the most part. But in some places, usually on steep parts where they get washed out, they ain't. You can drive 15 miles back in smoothness, then come to a rough patch. That's when ya put your tires atop the rocks and straddle the gullies.

Offroad Tires and True Spare Help Van Life Bunches

Vanholio's only been stuck three times, once each in snow, mud, and sand. That last was 'cause he was a fuckin' idiot. He also caused some under-damage the first year, but experience has tempered him a bit. Ain't been fuckin' that up lately.

No, biggest problem I faced was punctured tires. In the last two years, I gone through 6-7 tires that couldn't be fixed. Either the gash was too big to patch, or the puncture was in the sidewall. Rough rocks'll do that! Expensive and a pain in the ass!

The Promaster City come with a Slime and pump kit, but now I got me a true spare. And next month, I'm gettin' a lift and offroad tires. The lift ain't high, 1.25 inch (though every bit helps), but the offroad tires'll be a longterm savings – money and hassles.

Tire traction mats and a somethin' ta dig with is probably a smart idea, too. Don't know that a winch is all that. Maybe a tow rope or strap, though. (See video and links at bottom for more tips.)

Exceptions to This Backroad Van Life Advice?

Sure! If ya wanna get up that other 20% a roads, or even go offroad, you'd be better off with high clearance an' a 4WD or AWD.

That don't need to be fancy none, though. Some's out there got old Astro AWD Astro vans with lifts and good tires. Also look at the Subaru Outback with AWD and 8.7 inches clearance! Or maybe a Ford F150 with camper top. (Thanks ihatemybike and Al Christensen for the Astro and Outback recommends!)

And if you're gonna frequent areas with a lot a mud and/or snow and ice, yeah, 4WD and more clearance is best. Plus that winch!

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Last Update: 9/01/2017

Lady Luck Favored Vanholio! This Week!

Top of New Mexico Lottery MegaMillions ticket
Can’t believe my good fortune last Tuesday! Nothin’ like this ever happened to ol’ Vanholio before. It was if Loki hisself kissed my unworthy ass!

This is a tale of shipments misdirected and redeemed. An all too frequent hassle in van life.

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

Vanholio’s been tryin’ out Soylent again. Generally, they deliver via FedEx Ground, which presents some challenges to a nomadic vandweller. What I tried to do was have it sent to me ℅ the FedEx Ship Center in Las Cruces, N.M., where I had some biz this week.

About 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, FedEx showed the package as out for delivery on a truck from Santa Teresa, N.M., a suburb of El Paso, Texas. But I stopped by the FedEx Ship Center in Las Cruces anyway, hopin’ it was bangin’ around the warehouse somewhere, waitin’ to get signed in.

It wasn’t. Worse, turns out that the Ship Centers won’t accept a FedEx Ground package at all ‘cause they don’t have a way for recipients to sign for delivery. Shit. Woman there said I’d probably have to pick it up in Santa Teresa next day. Goddamit!

First off, I wanted to get the hell out of hellish hot Las Cruces and up to the cool mountains. Second, I didn’t wanna drive down to Santa Teresa next day. It ain’t far, but stayin’ overnight, then drivin’ there and back’d be just a waste a my fuckin’ time. Which Vanholio got lots of, true, but he still cares how he spends it.

I left the FedEx Ship Center and pulled into the TA Travel Stop around the corner to gas up, pee, and get a drink. Whole time, I was consternatin’ on where to spend the night, whether to just leave the Soylent an’ let it go back to the company, etc., etc.

But as I were pullin’ outta the TA Travel Stop, I saw a FedEx Ground delivery truck headin’ down Motel Blvd. "Vanholio," I says to myself, "Whattya wanna bet this truck came from the Ship Center or is headin’ there in a bit? Whattya wanna bet it’s got your Soylent on board?"

So I followed that delivery truck up to some government buildin’, where it pulled up to the dock. Parked and walked up to the dock, waitin’ outside till the driver come back out.

"Say," I said, "This is gonna sound weird, but see, I don’t suppose you have my package …" And I quickly told him the whole sorted tale.

And wouldn’t ya know it, he knew just the package! Handed it to me, and I signed for it right there! Then got the hell outta Dodge up to them mountains ASAP! Damn! Even a blind hog gets an acorn once in awhile!

Now, what’s all this got ta do with the MegaMillions ticket in the photo? Well, I felt so lucky after gettin’ my package that I bought a lottery ticket. And guess what? Vanholio didn’t win shit. ‘Cause there ain’t really no such thing as luck.
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Last Update: 8/29/2017

Finding Purpose After the Bots Make You Redundant

Motomon android robot cooks up a burger and hash browns
AI and robots are comin' for at least half our jobs eventually. What will you do then? How will you find a reason to get up every day? What's gonna fill up your pride and keep ya outta the bottle?

Could be you'll be one of the high rollers with a job. But don't bet on it. What's your Plan B?

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

Vanholio ain't got no answers, just somethin' I'm codgertatin' on.

Sure, I'm like many who think a Basic Income will be needed to move money from the bot owners to the rest. That'll keep ya in tortillas and peanut butter. But just existin' ain't enough. Just existin' don't make ya happy.

Now, some of ya'll say, "But Vanholio, new jobs we can't imagine will be created." Or, "Vanholio, this is pointless. There'll never be a Basic Income." Maybe you're right, but let's just go on as if …

Say you're in the 50%+ whose labor ain't needed no more to drive the market. Say there ain't really no jobs to retrain for or them jobs got 1,000 applicants for each slot?What then?

Maybe retirees, trust fund babies, and those on disability got the answers. Surely some a them find purpose, even though they can't or don't need to earn. Since forever, Moms've taken pride in raisin' good kids.

If you're religious, will you devote yourself to prayer and good works? If you're creative, will you find purpose in art or scientific study? Maybe you'll work on cleanin' up the environment, one piece a trash at a time? Maybe you'll start a business to earn the extras?

Maybe another thing that'll help is if more people in unpaid occupations join into groups for recognition. It could be kinda like in the military, where part a pride comes from medals and patches. Money ain't the only kinda recognition to boost someone up.

I don't know. This is really a kinda speculation. But the day's comin' fast. Best to not be caught with your pants down.

What's your ideas? What would you do?

This article was originally posted at
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Last Update: 8/25/2017

Shaving Without Water in the Van

negative image of man dry shaving with old-fashioned straight razor
Water’s at a premium in van life boondocking. That’s why Vanholio dry shaves in the field. Plus it beats playin' with water on a cold mornin'! But it ain’t harsh like it sounds. Let me tell ya how this works.

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

4 Steps to Dry Shaving

1. Slather on Aloe Vera Gel

That's my van life secret to dry shavin' – aloe vera gel. You could use just about any kinda lotion, but I like the aloe vera. That's because it don't plug up the pores, ya can get it without scents, and it moisturizes and relieves scrapes. Oh, and it’s great to have around if you get sunburn or windburn.

2. Use a Single Blade Razor

The aloe vera gel, or whatever other lotion, goops up in the razor. And ya ain't got no runnin' hot water ta flush it out! Your fancy 4 and 5-blade razors're gonna be useless.

Good news is that single-blade disposable razors is cheap, ‘specially at Walmart! I like the BIC Sensitive Shaver 12 pack. Usually get 4 or so shaves per razor.

If ya wanna, you could likely save more money with an old-fashioned safety razor.

3. Wipe Your Face With a Dry Towel

The aloe vera gel don't stick around too bad. You can wipe it off easy with a paper towel, napkin, towel, or dirty t-shirt. The cut hairs come off with the excess gel. And your face feels nice clean and soft afterwards.

4. Clean the Razor for Reuse

If the razor ain't shot, you'll wanna clean it up for reuse. I can usually wipe out the gel OK with a paper towel and a toothbrush. Sometimes I'll soak the blade in 1/4 C of water to soften the gel, if I've let it dry up.

Alternatives Van Life Shaving Methods?

Obviously, you can use an electric razor dry. And some vandwellers don't mind using a little bowl of water, whatever Vanholio says.

Another thing I do is just wait till I'm at a restroom. I done shaved in many a gas station, Walmart, and grocery store. I just use the hand soap for lotion. Don't feel self-conscious 'bout shavin’ at such places no more.

And a course, you could always grow a beard ...

Not Dry Shaving, But Check Out These Videos!

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Last Update: 8/22/2017

Take Down, Replace ALL Civil War Statues!

Lately, every asshole’s got a fuckin’ opinion on takin’ down Civil War statues. Specifically Confederate statues. Vanholio says take ‘em all down, Confederate AND Union. Here’s why …

It's my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. — Mal, Firefly

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

Vanholio says Mal called it right. Fuck all them generals and politicians. They didn’t do the dyin’ and bleedin’! They caused the war! They don’t deserve no fuckin’ statues of ‘em!

The Civil War Was a Leadership Fuckup

Accordin’ to the Civil War Trust, “Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War.” That don’t even count the civilians dead or starvin’, or the horses, dogs, and other critters killed.

Why!? What was that fuckin’ war about? I know, I know — endin’ slavery, states rights, preservin’ the Union — take your pick. All worthy on paper, for both sides. But fact is, they shoulda worked all that out through talk, not murder.

And after all them dead, was it worth it!? Blacks got free, sorta. Until Jim Crow. Still an improvement, no doubt. (I sure as hell wouldn’t wanna be no chattel slave!) Overall, though, poor folk, the ones who did the bleedin’, Black and White, didn’t get no richer nor more powerful.

But the bigshot politicians and generals who pushed the whole fuckin’ thing stayed in charge mostly — on both sides. Some a them made fortunes!

Replace the Civil War Statues With Somethin’ Worthy

So here’s what Vanholio proposes: Take all them statues down, Northern and Southern. Yes, even Lincoln! And put them in a new DC museum, The National Museum of Will and Folly.

Then if towns need somethin’ in their places, how about this:

A statue with two brothers, one Confederate and one Union, dead and embracing. The artist should make it unclear whether they’re huggin' or if they killed each other fightin’ hand-to-hand and died that way. And kneeling beside them is their mother, her hands coverin' her face in sorrow and shame.

That’s the only fuckin’ statue worthy of the Civil War. If God is just and loving, it’d be the only statue not an idolatrous abomination to Him. Unlike the shit worship of warmongerin', murderous sommbitches we got now. Might as well be statues of Cain!

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Last Update: 8/18/2017

'Nomadland' – Book on the Dark Side of Vandwelling and US Capitalism

vans and rvs lined up in Quartzsite, AZ, mountains in back. Men in foreground getting water from public spigots.
Journalist Jessica Bruder's new book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," is all about the ugly side of van life. She gets into how people takes to it 'cause they're strugglin' to get by.

Now, Vanholio loves van life. But if ya think it's about sexy yoga poses afront of your pimped out classic vanagon, think again. It ain't that way for most. Lots a nomads take up the life 'cause the system fucked them over. Worst stories is retirees who can't get by on Social Security. That shit just ain't fair!

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

Some a them same people love van life. I met 'em, an' they told me. Life gave 'em lemons, and they made some fuckin' sweet lemonade. But that don't change the fact that folks is gettin' lemons while the 1% is gettin' fatter'n prize hogs.

book cover of Nomadland
Click to buy at
Vanholio ain't read "Nomadland" yet. But van life blogger Alan Christensen at The Rolling Steel Tent has. Al has high praise for Bruder and her book.

I did read Bruder's article on Harper's, "The End of Retirement: When You Can’t Afford to Stop Working." Damn good shit! The book's an expansion of the article. I'm gonna read that book soon as I get my hands on it!

'Nomadland' Blurb Off

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” 
On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.
In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.  

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Last Update: 8/15/2017

5 Ways Your Job Don't Pay Good as You Think

Dollar bill with George Washington bug-eyed surprised and his hands on his forehead
Ain't nothin' costs ya more than strugglin' to make a buck. Drains your wallet in a bunch a ways, too. Gotta ask yourself: Is your job worth it? Would van life be better?

Here's part a what I learned long time ago from "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It totally change Vanholio's direction and got him into van life – eventually.

This here is part of one of the nine steps in the book. It'll get ya thinkin' ...

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

Real Wage = Gross Wage – Taxes – Work-Related Expenses

Most folks think their wage is what they earn. Well, maybe their wage after taxes. If they're real sophisticates, then they add in their fringe benefits. But that ain't enough. Ya gotta calculate in ALL the work-related expenses. Only then will ya get the real picture.

5 Work Expenses to Subtract From Your Wages

1. Showing Up and Suiting Up

For most jobs, ya got work clothes, commutin', lunches, trainin' (especially if college is involved!), dry cleanin' maybe, mobile phone service, and a host a things your expected to have. In some jobs ya got to keep up an image, and that makes it worse!

Ask yourself: Would I spend money on X, Y, and Z if I didn't have a job? For anything where the answer is "yes," subtract that expense from your wages.

2. Little Compensations

Hard work has whole lot a other tiny expenses. The harder I work, for example, the more I spend on eatin' out, coffee, beer, full-price books and movies, conveniences, and a whole lotta other services. 'Cause I deserve it!

But damn, them small luxuries can add up. And some a them ain't too good for ya in bunches, neither.

Subtract your "compensations," the ones you don't spend on when you're chill. They cuts outta your real wages.

3. Pay for Play

And of course, when you work hard, ya gotta play hard. Yep, need your downtime from all that killin' yourself for The Man.

Vacations cost big money. Hobbies and sports cost big money. All the fun that gets you away from your life costs big money. And it seems like ya got it to spend, too.

But don't forget to add it into the expenses of your job. Like the little compensations, it cuts into your real wages.

On the flip side, the more ya can make your life like a vacation, the less ya need to spend extra on all this stuff. Maybe that means workin' less. Or maybe that means makin' a livin' doin' what ya love or bein' where you love.

4. Escape Schemes

When your job sucks, you're lookin' for a way out. Often, you blow money on them schemes, too: risky stocks, lottery tickets, get-rich books, multilevel marketing programs, etc., etc.

If your gettin' soaked for dreamin', take that off your wages, too.

5. Poor Health

Lots a folks, 'specially if they're older, kiss The Man's ass for health insurance. But what's all that stress and humiliation costin' your body and mind?

Americans are drugged up on antidepressants, opiods, liquor, sleep pills, and all kinds a other shit 'cause work stress is fritzin' them out. Even things like cholesterol medication and such is sometimes 'cause folks don't got time to cook and eat right. And who has time to exercise?

If you're spendin' on medications and doctors and coaches 'cause your job keeps you wired up, stressed out, sittin' on your ass, and eatin' junk all the time, start subtractin' them costs from your wages, too.

Is Your Job Worth It? Can Ya Relate?

If ya done all that above, maybe it's got ya depressed. It gets worse. The second part is to divide your net profit into the total hours your job sucks up. That's your 40 hours plus commutin' plus doin' extra laundry plus drivin' to get your kids from the sitter plus all the other shit ya wouldn't do without that job.

So did ya start the math? Is your job lookin' like it pays pitiful? Does quittin' and movin' into a van look more attractive ... ? Comment below.

And check out "Your Money or Your Life." I promise: After the harsh steps, you'll start seein' the way out to financial freedom. No gimmicks. Just sensible progress.

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