Last Update: 2/28/2017

First Step to Van Life? Trash Your Junk!

Can't start van life till all this junk in this junky garage is trashed!
Every journey starts with a single step. For van life, that step is trashin' all your crap, you fuckin' hoarder. Here's how to do it right!

Vanholio can't take credit for this one. Hashtag Van Life posted it first, and they used the method from some Ted Talk video. Seems sound.

Here's the steps as Hashtag Van Life put 'em:

  1. Pack up all of your belongings as if you were moving (clothes, kitchenware, towels, electronics, toiletries, etc)
  2. Continue to live in your home for 3-4 weeks
  3. Unpack only the items that you need
  4. Donate or sell everything that is still in boxes

Check out the video below, and check out Hash Tag Vanlife for other cool ideas. Their Twitter kicks ass, BTW!


Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Is Van Life for You?
Top 10 Questions About Living in a Van
Hashtag Van Life (website)


Read More »

Last Update: 2/24/2017

All the Whores I Knowed Before

German street hooker bends down to talk to client in car. Photo by Ralfdix, (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Ever wonder what visitin’ a hooker is really like? Vanholio relates his experience with eight prostitutes on three continents. 99 percent true! Only the names been changed. Not exactly van life, but it’s travel and exploration.

It’s all in Vanholio's short new ebook, All the Whores I Knowed Before. You’ll learn how things work on the US streets, Nevada, Austria, Malaysia, and Thailand. I cover the legal and illegal. Plus talk a bit about the touristy parts a them places and what else I were up to.


Chapters include:

Ch. 1 – The Driveby Hooker
Ch. 2 – Doublemint Fun
Ch. 3 – Jawhol, Frau Linkmeyer!
Ch. 4 – Everyone Loves a Happy Ending
Ch. 5 – What's Your Lucky Number?
Ch. 6 – Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Ch. 7 – Scotch on My Rocks

Get All the Whores I Knowed Before at Amazon.com, Smashwords, and other ebook retailers. Most'll show ya a sample.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Trim Pot Harvest to Keep Van Life Rolling
The Honest Courtesan (blog)
Read More »

Last Update: 2/21/2017

5 Chrome Extensions to Accelerate Your Web Browsing

Donut King deliver van shoots down the road at high speed due to flaming jet exhaust out of back
For van life digital nomads and rubbertramps, internet data speed is a problem. Either we’re budgeting data to save money or we’re dealin’ with a shitty slow connection. These five extensions will speed things up.

Vanholio uses all five extensions together, so he can vouch. But they got cousins in the Chrome Web Store that do about the same. I bet there’s similar for Firefox, Safari, and other browsers.

5 Data Saving Chrome Extensions


Adblock – Does just what it says. Supposedly the most popular Chrome extension of all time. It don’t block everythin’, but it blocks most.
Data Saver – This here Google-made extension shrunks, e.g., “optimizes,” the web pages you’re pullin’ on Google servers. Cuts Vanholio’s data 5-10 percent.
Disable HTML Autoplay – I fuckin’ hate it when videos just go off by themselves. This extension cuts that bullshit out.
Ghostery – Ton a sites these days shove extra trackin’ code down your throat. Helps them, not you. Kills privacy. This’ll stop ‘em.
Text Mode – This keeps all images and video from auto-loadin’, leavin’ a box where they was. If you wanna see the image after all, you can click on it to reveal.

All these five extensions have options to turn them off on pages you wanna fully load for one reason or other.


Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

How to Read Your Mail Online Anywhere
How To Make Google Chrome Faster? (QD Tricks)
32 Hidden Chrome Features That Will Make Your Life Easier (PCMag)
Read More »

Last Update: 2/17/2017

Why Work When You Don’t Have To?

Pig sticks his head out of a hole he dug for fun, piggy smile on his face. He enjoys his work and play!
Simple enough damn question. For most, the answer is, I gots bills to pay. But what happens when you’re livin’ van life on the cheap and bills ain’t no issue no more? When you’re living in a van down by the river, what the fuck you gonna do with all that time?

What If You Didn’t Need to Work?


When your van life expenses are down to $500 to $600 a month and the credit monkey’s off your back, what next? That kinda money’s easy to come by. And if you got some passive income going, why it’s even easier. Thanks to luck and plannin’, that’s where Vanholio is now. Strange territory.

Let’s get more philosophical for a second. Let’s say the fuckin’ robots take most a our jobs in the next few decades. It’ll put a lot a people outta work. And this time it’s lookin’ like maybe new bullshit jobs won’t replace ‘em.

One thing bein’ discussed by big shots is givin’ every man, woman, and child a Basic Income. Free money to each’n’every citizen, just for bein’ alive!  I shit you not! Think of it as a dividend on the GDP. Won’t be much, but it’ll keep ya fed. Common number thrown around is $10,000 a year per person. Bet lot’s more would take up van life then!

Even as we speak, the ideal’s bein’ tested smalltime in the USA and around the world.

Aha! you say, People won’t work ‘lessen they have to! Folks’ll get lazy and sink into vice and depredation.

But will they? Do we work just ‘cause the creditor is at the door in wolf’s clothing, huffin’ and puffin’ and ready to blow the house down? And is work just the efforts that’s paid in the market? I ain’t so sure …

8 Reasons We’ll Work Despite Basic Income


Vanholio contends that we work for a whole lotta reasons besides keepin’ food on the table. There’s pleasure in work, paid or not. And if’n we had Basic Income or some kinda financial independence, we’d be doin’ work that gives us pleasure – like a pig diggin’ in shit. Don’t matter whether he’s hungry.

1. Boredom


OK, this don’t exactly sound like a pleasure, but hear me out. Thing is, people like to keep busy. We go plumb crazy if’n we ain’t got nothin’ ta do. So we’ll find somethin’ to do, trust me. Best if we keep busy doin' creative or useful things, though, rather’n sin.

In fact, keepin’ busy is good for our health. Retired folks know that. Thems that keeps busy have a good life. Thems that don’t complain all the time and die earlier.

2. Caring


Did your momma and daddy wipe your ass and teach ya manners ‘cause someone paid 'em? Hell no! In these days, it ain’t even like you was bred for extra farm hands. Nope, it was love, charity in the Christian sense.

The fact is, people need people, and that ain’t gonna change. We might build robots to do some a the domestic gruntwork for thems that need help, but the robots ain’t gonna love ‘em.

And there’s a lot a callin's that are about lovin’ one another: counselors, parents, teachers, preachers, animal rescuers, soldiers, massage therapists … Oh hell, you get the point.

3. Status


Better or worse, humans is hierarchical critters. We always work to better ourselves in the peckin’ order. So whether it’s for money or recognitions, we’re gonna work. Ain’t no one hardly’s gonna be happy bein’ another nobody.

4. Idealism


Saw a general testifyin’ before Congress about recruitin’ more hot IT guys to protect against hackers. Congressman asked the general, “How are we going to recruit more top IT professionals when they can make a lot more money in Silicon Valley?”

The general responded, “We’ll recruit those who are attracted by a sense of mission.”

Lotsa people take on work outta idealism more than a check. I mean, are soldiers really paid enough to risk a bullet? Hell no! Most take on the mission because they believe in American ideals.

5. Luxury


While a few are natural minimalists, most people like their toys. Basic Income ain’t gonna get you an ATV, Buddy! Most don’t think life’s worth livin’ if they can’t have a little somethin’ extra. That could be anythin’ from a chocolate bar to seein’ the goddamn Taj Majal! Whatever extra folks crave, they’ll work for it.

6. Play


Humans is creative. Whether we get paid or not, we’re gonna do what we’ve always done: art, music, storytellin’, sports, clothes, buildin’, workin’ on cars, cookin’, and a million other things. If anything’, people will do more when they’re free of bullshit jobs suckin’ their time up. We’ll all benefit, whether or not cash changes hands.

7. Curiosity


What drives scientists, engineers, and scholars of all stripes? It’s discovery, learnin’ something new. Hell, it’s what drives Vanholio to travel! I gotta see what’s in the next valley. Curiosity'll always drive people to make discoveries and solve problems. And problems that need solvin’ ain’t ever goin’ away neither.

8. Self-Betterment


Who’s 100 percent satisfied with themselves? A few potheads and retards maybe? Not many. People’ll keep busy with learnin’ new languages, new skills, gettin’ fit and strong, buildin’ better relationships, and a million other ways to become better people.

How Would You Keep Busy?


Are you financially independent? Workin’ to get that way? Retired? What do you do or plan to do to keep busy? Will you try to make money off your efforts or not? Comment below!


Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

I Caught the Car, Now What!?
About Basic Income (BIEN)


Read More »

Last Update: 2/14/2017

Stuck Up Where the Tow Trucks' Lights Don't Shine

Aerial photo of Kilbourne Hole by Akanawa, CC BY-SA 3.0
Stuck in the sand. 30 miles from town. Off road in the desert. Up a sand-dune ridge where tow trucks can’t and won’t go. How the hell was I gettin’ outta this one?

This is concluding clusterfuck of “Digging Myself Into a Hole – Literally.”

Roadside Support Ain’t ‘Off Road” Support


It was mid-afternoon on Day 3 of being stuck in the sand atop the high, sand-dune ridge of remote Kilbourne Hole. I’d given up diggin’ myself out andu decided it was high time to call AAA for a tow. So I did.

When the AAA agent looked at the GPS coordinates I gave him, he advised dumbass Vanholio, “Yeah, see, your roadside support is roadside. Umm, we can’t help you offroad.”

Called Tow Company No 1, the AAA contractor. They declined to come extract me from Kilbourne Hole. Said their equipment wouldn’t get up the ridge. Referred me to a company in Las Cruces.

Called Tow Company No. 2. Nope, they couldn’t do it. Even asked me, “How the hell did you even get a front wheel drive van up there!?” Good question.

Called Tow Company No. 3. Strike three. Not lookin' good. Not many options.

Good Lord Protects Idiots


Got a call back from the tow truck driver at Tow Company No. 3. As it turned out, his friend Mike was an offroad junky who was willin’ to come pull me out after work.

After a bit, Mike and I talked. His jeep and gear was up to the job. He knows Kilbourne Hole well. We agreed on a (hefty) price. He said he’d show up about 5:30 pm.

After 3 days of stuckage, Vanholio was gonna be free at last, free at last, Lord have moicy, free at last!

Around and Around and Around


Well, Mike wasn’t gonna get there till after 8 pm, turns out. Boss made him work late. No problem. This time a year, dark is dark at 5:30 or 8. I waited.

At about 8:30, Mike calls and asks if I can see his spotlight. But I can’t see shit. He says to watch out for him, he’s gonna drive around the road at the base of the ridge. I wait a long time. I can’t see shit. He can’t find me.

We agree that I’m gonna walk down to the county road and wait. So I do.

Walkin' Alone in the Desert at Night Is Plain Dumb


Vanholio takes off down the hill toward the road. Now, in the Chihuahuan desert at night, you can’t hardly tell a jeep trail from a bare patch, even with a flashlight. I couldn’t.

So I end up wandering around trying to find the road. It’s in the 30s. I’m underdressed. The flashlight battery is dying. I can’t get a phone signal in the flats.

Thank God I at least had the stars and the lights of El Paso to steer by!

After a good while, I found the road and waited. No Mike. I wait some more. The flashlight is dim. No Mike.

Finally recalling my Boy Scout trying and realizing I’ve put myself in a dangerous position. See, in a search, one person needs to hold still. That shoulda been me, seein' as I was the stuck one. Also, I was riskin' hypothermia had I got lost or injured out there.

I head back toward the van along the jeep trail (which I’ve found again). Once atop the ridge, I get a signal and Mike on the phone. He says he’s been drivin’ around the ridge, around and around, and hasn’t seen me or the van. Well, no shit.

What the fuck is going on? How can this be? It’s nearly 10 pm by this point.

Don’t Know My Asshole From Kilbourne Hole


Well, I get back to the van and have a think. Did I give Mike correct GPS coordinates? Did I send him off just far enough to miss me in the dark at night?

Then Vanholio has a brainstorm: Can he get the GPS coordinates of his new Jitterbug flip phone by calling the 5Star Urgent Response Center?

He calls. 5Star provides. He looks on the Google Map. The coordinates are way off from the ones he gave Mike. Really off. How can this be?

Turns out that Vanholio only thought he was at Kilbourne Hole. Turns out that he was actually at Hunt’s Hole, another crater about 2-3 miles south of Kilbourne. It’s shaped about the same, only smaller.

See, Vanholio had guestimated his GPS coordinates by looking at a Google Map. But where he guestimated he was located was on Kilbourne Hole. Which he wasn’t. Look at the photo, and you’ll see.

Satellite view of Kilbourne Hole and Hunt's Hole, similar in shape and close together


Rescue Mike Almost Bails on Vanholio


“You’re gonna kill me, Mike,” I said. “I gave you the wrong coordinates. I’m on that southeastern corner, but only on Hunt’s Hole.”

Pause. Silence.

“Is this a prank!?” said Mike.

“No. I don’t know what to say to convince you.”

“This is soundin’ kina prankish to me,” said Mike.

Well, it got fuckin’ ugly for a minute there.

Finally, Mike says, “Alright, I’ll drive down to Hunt’s Hole. Be there in 10 minutes. But if this is a prank, I’m gonna seriously hurt you.”

He was not joking. Trust me.

Rescue Arrives – Finally and for Reals


After 15-20 minutes, Mike found me. After me seeing his red tail lights from the distance. He almost gave up, but I waved him in with my flashlight. Phew.

We got to work.

He tried pullin’ me out with strap and chain. First time he got his own jeep stuck in the sand. Second time the strap broke ‘cause dumbass Vanholio had the van in park.

He went afront a me and pulled from there. Van kept getting stuck in the yucca of my brilliant bridge to freedom. Fuck.

But finally, finally, finally, after a few restuckin’ occurrences in the soft sand of that high ridge – at HUNT’S HOLE – we got back down to the road. I followed him into Las Cruces.

We got to Las Cruces T&A Travel Center about 1 am. After I got some ATM cash to pay Mike, he headed out.

And Vanholio headed into a much-appreciated, hot, long, $13 truck stop shower. Then to bed and dreams of better days, right there in the parking lot.

Moral: If you want to off road, get a 4WD. Dumbass.

The End


Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Digging Myself Into a Hole – Literally
Get Help ANYWHERE You Travel 2013 – Jitterbug
Wandering Around the Kilbourne Hole (The Gentle Art of Wandering)


Read More »

Last Update: 2/10/2017

Digging Myself Into a Hole – Literally

Vanholio’s Promaster City van front end wheels dug into a New Mexico sand hole at Hunts Hole  – vanholio.com
Van life ain’t all sunrise vanagon yoga photos. Oh, hell no! Sometimes all goes to shit. Like a couple weeks ago: Got the van sand-trapped at Kilbourne Hole. It’s a dune-rimmed, volcanic crater in south-central New Mexico.

Here’s the 3-day nightmare and how my dumbass attempts at a fix fucked things up more.

Where It All Went Wrong


Vanholio was headin’ from Columbus, New Mexico to Las Cruces. Thought it’d be cool to take the back roads through the southern bit a Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument to see the mountains, the hole, and what else might be out there.

When I got to Kilbourne Hole (after some wrong turns), why, I looked up at that crater rim – up high and out there 30 miles from the nearest town – and I thought it’d be even cooler to spend the night up top.

I cut off the county road, followed the jeep trail to the hole, and started up the rim.

Now, that rim is pretty much a sand dune. Windblown sand has caught up there on the volcanic basalt rock below. And it’s steep. So as I climbed up the soft sand dune, my front wheels dug in and slowed. (The van is a front wheel drive.) Then I came to a stop afore the top a that bit.

As Vanholio was rolling back down the hill, he thought, You know, Vanholio, see that little spot over there? Down here at the bottom? Why don’t you camp there for the night, and maybe hike up the dune to see the crater. No point takin’ a risk.

I shoulda stopped with that thought right there. But did I? NOPE!

The little devil on Vanholio’s shoulder piped in. Vanholio, he said, If you back up and get a running start, you can make it to the top.

Good idea! I thought. And that’s where it all went wrong.

It Worked! (Until It Didn’t)


I backed up the van, gunned it, and ran up that bit a hill, swervin’ the wheel back and forth, plowing sand before me.

At the top, the trail continued upward to my right (eastward) as the rim got higher over that away. I gunned it again and whipped on up at 30 mph, plowing through where the sand was softer.

Until I got almost to the highest point. At a dip in the trail, the sand got … well, whatever the opposite of packed is. I stalled climbin’ outta the dip. Then I tried reversin’ back up out the other way. Just ended up gettin’ stuck at the bottom.

Tryin’ to power out, my front wheels dug down like a pig after kitty shit.

The Extraction Protraction


Day 1

Dried yucca, lumber, sticks, and rocks gathered in a pile
Stage 1: Gathering debris

Seein' the situation, naturally Vanholio did the obvious and shoved some dried yucca and sticks under the tires to get traction. (That's the photo at top.)

Didn’t do shit. Every time I tried to work out, I just dug them front wheels in deeper and deeper.

It were late and gettin’ dark. Plus I was powerful tired and not thinkin’ none too straight. So I said fuckit and went to bed.

Sand leveled out flatter with board in front of van
Stage 2: Leveling sand

Day 2


With some sleep and calm thinkin’, Vanholio realized this was gonna take a full excavation. It was gonna take plannin’ and stages.

Actually had a lotta time to think ‘cause it rained most a the day. Not hard, really a drizzle. But a drizzle with dark clouds and wind and temps in the 40s is kinda miserable. And a hypothermia risk.
Piece of plywood underneath the right front tire for traction
Stage 3: Lumber under tire

No hurry nohow. Had more than a week a food and water packed. Kilbourne Hole is a beautiful campin’ spot. And I had internet. Everythin’ a man could want, besides a willin’ woman.

Later on, a couple hours before sunset, the weather cleared. So I set about Stage 1, collectin’ dead yucca, lumber, sticks, and rocks to build my bridge to freedom.

Day 3

Yucca, sticks, boards, and rocks laid out in two tracks in front of font tires, like a railroad to freedom
Stage 4: Building a bridge

Next morning was clear, sunny, and warmish. Then I set to Stage 2, levelin’ the sand out before the van.

That done, I dug more under the front wheels and put lumber under them for a stronger, more stable footin’. That was Stage 3.

Stage 4 was usin’ the rest a that debri to make a bridge out in front a the van.

Finally, Stage 5 was diggin’ out the sand from under the body, particularly from under the front suspension and engine block.

It was mid-afternoon by this point. Vanholio was filfthy, sore, and tired. But it was worth it. This setup had to work.

He got into the van, turned on the engine, and proceeded to work the gas and gears, rockin’ back and forward to gain his freedom momentum.

But all the dumbass did was dig them front wheels in further and further. Damn near to China. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Callin’ in the Tow Boys


Closeup of sand between front tires, supporting suspension and engine block
Problem: Sand under suspension, engine
This was the situation: As the front tires dug into the sand, that front underbody kept gettin’ rebeached. That’s the big reason I couldn’t get no play.

Now, it’s possible that with jacks, rocks, and a whole lotta diggin’, Vanholio coulda fully excavated the van outta there. Possible.

But I didn’t have no jacks nor rocks. And dammit, I was justly fearful a gettin’ pinned underneath. Then I’d have a real fuckin’ problem, I tell you what!

It was time to call a tow truck, godammit! Which I did.

But that turned out to be a whole other clusterfuck. I’ll relate that shitstorm in the next posted manifesto.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Get Help ANYWHERE You Travel 2013 – Jitterbug
Stuck Up Where the Tow Trucks' Lights Don't Shine
7 Tools to Bring With You Before Getting Stuck in Sand, Snow, or Mud (Popular Mechanics)
How to Get Your Car Unstuck from Mud or Sand (Budget Direct)


Read More »

Last Update: 2/07/2017

Gila Cliff Dwellings – Native Survivalist Fortress

View of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico, from west. They’re a perfect survivalist prepper fortress when SHTF. – vanholio.com
Saw the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument this winter. Archeologists won’t admit, but it’s clearly a 13th century shit-hits-the-fan (SHTF) prepper / survivalist stronghold.

SHTF Mid-13th Century Drought


Follow my thinkin’ here … In the mid-13th century, SHTF in the form of a 24 year drought. Lots a area Native American peoples were on the move. Some Mogollon (muggy-YON) survivalists ended up here, in a canyon at the headwaters of the Gila River. This is in present-day southwest New Mexico.

Why? Why did they choose this place? Think about a SHTF drought situation. Water is scarce. Food is scarcer. Roamin’ bands are hungry, desperate, and ready to do each other in. To survive, you need water, food, and a secure base. Basic prepper rules.

Reliable Water, Food, Climate


First off, you got food and water better here. The Gila River runs true just beyond this little ravine. It’s got lotsa good bottomland for growin’ crops and attractin’ game. This little ravine in the picture also has a small, spring-fed creek, so you got reliable water nearby.

You got timber and firewood close by, too. Also piñon nuts and acorns in the hills. Deer, rabbit, and fish are in the valley. Elk and bear are just a bit higher up in the mountains.

It ain’t so high up that snow’s a big problem, but it ain’t so down low that it’s scorchin’ hot in summer.

The caves also have some natural coolin’ and heatin’. They’re south facin’, so the low winter sun comes in to warm ya. They got a little ledge over ‘em, like a hat brim, so the high summer sun can’t come in. The caves stay shady and cool then.

Defensible Cliff Caves


So with resources settled, you gotta hang on against bandits.

Click image to learn more
Well, if anyone comes up the ravine from east or west, you can throw down rocks on ‘em. If they try to come up the cliff-side trail, it’s uphill to the caves from both directions and only one man wide – easy to defend.

If bandits sit overhead on the clifftop, they can’t get rocks into the caves. All they can do is pin ya down for a while.

From the clifftop opposite, it’d be real hard to get arrows or slung rocks into the cave and over the walls. Can’t quite tell that from the photo, but trust me, the target is small from a distance and at an awkward trajectory. It’d be more luck to lob somethin’ in. Best ya could do is pen 'em in.

Besides, I don’t see that small hunter-gatherer bands could hold up a siege long. How the hell would they keep themselves fed? And the Mogollon inside would have food, fuel, and some water. Limitless water if they could hold the ravine and its spring-fed creek.

I think the only vulnerable time would be when their crops came in down in the river valley. Worst case, they lose a harvest and have to rely on more wild foods. Best case, their band of 40-60 people could hold off a similar-size or larger band in a free-for-all. With such even odds, it’s to everyone’s advantage to trade instead.

And Then the Mogollon Left?


Here’s the weird thing. This group of Mogollon only lived in this survivalist fortress about 40 years, according to the archeologists. Then they moved on. Why? Not sure. But people was on the move like crazy about then, all over North America. Some SHTF for sure! We don’t know what, though.

From stories, we know some Mogollon married into what’s now the Zuni and Hopi tribes. Maybe living in bigger settlements attracted them for even better prepper defense and standard of living. It’s a mystery!

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Stealth – Van Life Tricks to Avoid Hassles
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (US NPS)
The Mysterious Migration: Ancient Puebloans Abandon Their Pueblos (DesertUSA)
Ancient Southwest (summary of A History of the Ancient Southwest by archaeologist Steven Lekson)


Read More »

Last Update: 2/03/2017

Stealth – Van Life Tricks to Avoid Hassles

van life stealth: Van hidden in plain view by trees with use of camouflage netting. Vanholio!
Damn near every wannabe vanwdeller is worried about stealth, stayin' hidden from LEOs and busybodies. Well, avoidin' notice is a van life essential. But not how ya think!

Stealth Is Overrated

You wanna hide 'cause ya feel guilty for breakin' a social taboo. It's like you're a little kid again, worried that you're gonna get in trouble. Truth is, most people don't give a shit that you're living in a van down by the river. They got their own damn worries. Most don't even notice you or your rig, even when they nearly trip over ya.

Stealth Is Avoidin' Notice


On the other hand, it is wise to avoid notice. No notice, no trouble. That's a fact! Pay attention: Vanholio didn't say stayin' hidden. He said avoidin' notice. That can mean flat out bein' hidden or in disguise, but not necessarily. Usually, it just means actin' normal.

3 Van Life Stealth Strategies


Stealth of Actin' Normal


This is the most important stealth strategy. Did you ever hear the old joke 'bout how you can go fuckin' anywhere in a government buildin', so long as you're carryin' a clipboard? That's what Vanholio's talkin' about!

See, most people see what they expect to see. So be what they expect to see!

Got a careworn soccermom minivan? Overnight in hospital, apartment, and store parkin' lots. Ya know, where minivans live. Or if you wanna sleep in a neighborhood, pick a one where lots a them kinda vans could be parked. Don't park in a rich neighborhood where everyone's got Mercedes, and them in a garage. See?

That's just an example. If ya got a cargo van, maybe you park it by worksites, power relays, and industrial areas instead. That's where people expect to see cargo vans. If you see other work vehicles or construction machinery, park right next to 'em, like you're part of the crew. (But get out early mornin' before the real crew shows up.)

And as for yourself, get a fuckin' haircut, Hippie! Look cleaned up and respectable yourself. Keep your clothes and belongins packed up and tidy, if anyone can see into your vehicle. If you look normal and respectable, you'll be treated normal and respectable. But if you insist on some kinda counterculture look, accept that you'll attract attention, some unwanted.

Stealth of Cover


Especially when campin' alone, Vanholio opts for not bein' seen. He don't wanna be a target for anyone, 'specially robbers. So when selectin' a camp, he often looks for natural or manmade obstructions to view. This can be trees, hills, buildins, whatever.

But – and here's a big but – he also don't try to look like he's hidin'. Pick a spot where any Tom, Dick, or Harry would naturally park, but that also has a bit a cover.

Stealth of Disguise


This here is the one van life wannabes focus on. They see folk who get cargo vans and make them look like work vans. Or they'll make them look like delivery vehicles or whatever. They'lll try to make them look like anythin' but a camper.

Question: How do you suppose all those folks livin' in RVs, cars, minivans, and the rest get away with it? As I said up top, stealth is overrated. Sure, you can make a disguise stealth van or whatever, but you really don't need to. (But curtains or blackout windows is always a good idea.)

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See …

5 Hard-Won Lessons of Urban Van Life
50 Stealth Camping Super Tips (Bicycle Touring Pro)


Read More »