Archive for the ‘VW Vanagon’ Category

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros followers know I’ve been on the road all summer in my 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL.  It’s ran strong for months straight.  I will do a big summer review blog soon, but here’s a van update shot recently on my travels around the Pacific Northwest.  Scope out the rest area known as Dismal Nitch.  This Washington State Park is a historic location, because The Lewis and Clark Expedition ran into trouble here, and were pinned against the rocks for six grueling days.  Harsh winds, and brutal rain pounded The Corps. of Discovery along the mighty Columbia River over 200 years ago.  

My overnight stay was much more pleasurable.  I was sheltered in my VW bus, protected from the elements.  I took advantage of the facilities by dumping my trash, washing my hands and teeth, and cooking on a covered picnic table in grass.  Dismal Nitch in WA also features a trail, informative maps, plus plaques about Lewis and Clark.  As mentioned in my HD video, you can stay parked for up to 8 hours, but overnight camping, and tenting are not allowed.  So keep a low profile, and pick up after yourself.  This is an excellent destination for car campers, and travelers on a budget, or just wanting to get away from the static of the city.  

I’ve spent the night in my vehicle here maybe six times this summer, and each trip has been a positive experience, and memorable.  So it’s Survival Bros tested, and approved.  Visit, because it’s probably the only rest area you’ll ever want to take a picture at.  Snap a selfie, and post it on Facebook, because I also got great cell phone reception out there.  The view of Astoria, and the bountiful river is astonishing, and extremely relaxing.  The only cons are lots of lighting in the parking lot, possibly affecting sleepers negatively.  The road noise is also noticeable, but luckily the highway is not heavily used.  Thanks for supporting my blog!  Feel free to comment, like, and share on social networks.  Peace and love from the road less traveled.

Lewis and Clark Bronze

Lewis and Clark Bronze Sculpture at Dismal Nitch Park in Washington State

Visit the official website for more info, and history by clicking here!

Recently I camped in a Walmart parking lot on West 11th in Eugene, Oregon.  In this HD video you’ll get the scoop on what it’s like to do some urban stealth camping in my 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL.  It was noisy, and the space is well lit, but in general, I got great rest.  It feels good to be somewhere, and not have to pay for the experience.  This was a fun experiment, and I’d recommend it to any Survival Bros. out there.  Staying at Walmart for free beats dropping hundreds for a night in a hotel.  Would you try this?  Live simple my friends.  More videos about my summer road trip coming soon.  Thanks for visiting my blog!  Peace and love.

funny-walmart-meme-freaks

It’s a joke people!

Have you visited People Of WalMart yet?  Click this.

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros gives you a tour of the 1986 Volkswagon Vanagon, and discusses van dwelling.  I use the Coast Products TX100 LED flashlight to show you how dark the windows are now with tint and black vinyl covering them.  Look at the other gear I use and how, including my Kelty Recluse 2.5 insulated sleeping pad.  You have to have some kind of mat to lay on to be comfortable camping.

I’ve been doing a great job of staying clear of local police.  I continue to camp on private property with permission from the owner, or legally at camp grounds.  Plus, by staying at designated rest areas, the cops can’t charge me with overnight camping.  The police have better things to do anyways, like uphold their oath to The Constitution, and keep the peace.  We know law enforcement is big fans of our emergency preparedness blog, so thanks for visiting!  More adventures from the road soon.  

tx100

By Cameron McKirdy

I’ve had my hippie van for a week, and have burned through tanks of petrol.  I’ve found several spots to crash out for a night or longer that are free places to stay, and I’m willing to share this and more with you today – only on Survival Bros.

The first type of location I scouted out are places open 24 hours to the public.  There aren’t many in small towns, but large grocery stores are a good start.   Be on the look out for other campers, and recreation vehicles at the far end of parking lots.  If you had to spend a night car camping in city limits, this isn’t a bad choice, because you probably won’t be hassled.  Don’t forget you can always post up, and get some ZZZ’s at Rest Stops.  I spent a night this week the parked at one.  You’ll have access to the bathroom at all hours, trash, and potable water (in some cases).  

Camping in a van solo can be lonesome.  So I made an effort to hangout with other preppers, this time way outside of the city.  The VW van, which I’ve named Shaggy, has been mobbing hard, so I felt comfortable driving to BLM land in the Clatsop Country Forest.  I have AAA towing up to 100 miles, so I have no fear going off the grid.  However, I still had cell phone service in the mountains, thanks to a well-placed tower.  Two bros of mine led me to Lost Lake this week for a getaway.  It’s stocked with thousands of trout begging to be plucked from the depths.  I watched my buddies fish for a few hours, while I played with the dog, and poured drinks.  I brought rum, and sparkling cider.  The Martinelli’s was an excellent chaser.

Camping at the lake, or in the parking lot is prohibited, so we made our own spot down another gravel road.  The lookout was spectacular.  Below you can see a valley, and the Nehalem river.  Which you can watch me and my Dad raft by clicking this link to YouTube.  The fish were cooked on a spit for an hour or so, and tasted delicious.  I wanted to take a bite out of the side of a raw fish, but I will save the sushi for when I’m being trendy in town.  Wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger are a must anyways.

Nehalem River viewpoint

I didn’t feel like waiting for food to cook, so I grabbed two bags of Mountain House food, and heated water on my portable butane camp stove.  It took four minutes to get it boiling.  Then I opened the food pouches, and dumped the water right in.  I resealed the grub, and in eight minutes I was ready to chow down.  Now normally I would share, or save some of a feast this size, but I went beast mode, and devoured both bags.  I combined the Mountain House biscuit and gravy meal, with scrambled eggs and bacon.  It was terrific!  I forgot to pack utensils though, so I used a six inch blade to carefully shovel calories into my face.  In case you are wondering, the knife I used is called the COAST F611.  It’s a survival tool I’ve been playing around with a lot lately, and I like it.

Camping food bag

mountain house meals

eating with Coast F611

trout fishing

 Dinner is served!  Even our dog got some fish.

fish on spit

Fire looking cool.

Pabst Beer can cup

Tactical Gypsy made his own coffee cup in the morning from a beer can.

VW Vanagon GL 1986

Shaggy the VW Vanagon is a tank, and handled the gravel roads like a boss. 

Roscoe Dog

In the A.M. my two bros, the mutt, and I went back to the lake.   I was busy getting fishing tips, journaling for fun, and doing basic breathing and stretching techniques.  I love my yoga!   We walked a trail skirting the water, and attempted to hook more gilled vertebrates.  The fish were teasing us.  Jumping out of the water and splashing near us.  We did see one breach the surface and smack into a floating log.  That was funny.  Not amusing was the dog getting all muddy and wet, then coming right up to me to shake off.  Of all the places.  I almost took a swim, but decided to save that for another time.  I didn’t need a bath that bad.  Besides, have you ever seen a clean hippie?  More from the road soon friends.  Best wishes. 

Lost Lake Fishing

 

 

By Cameron McKirdy

I bought myself a dirty hippy van.  Last week I took a gamble on a vintage Volkswagon Vanagon.  I was her knight in shining armor.  Her my companion for the open road.  The adventure is on.

Take a look at how I found her in Hammond, Oregon.  Plopped in a mud puddle.  Unloved.  Covered in bright green duct tape.  My baby started right up, and I went for a test drive.  The seller had to move immediately, so I scored the van for less than it’s worth – just $1,300.

0505142040

Don’t duct tape your car kids.  It sounds cool, but it’s NOT.  I’ve spent four plus hours peeling tape off of the paint, and getting the goo removed with citrus cleaner.  There’s still disgusting residue on it.  Plus, there was some water underneath.

duct tape van

Look at it!  Cleaning this should be a form of torture.  My finger tips hurt. 

van towShe broke down on day two.  Blew a hose and a belt.  It cost $65 cash to get her towed across town to a trusted mechanic.  

Yesterday I had to introduce my baby to Seaside Oregon’s finest surfing destination, The Cove.  I shot this HD video walk around, and filmed the interior.  I have lots of work to do, but at least the VW is clean.  I scrubbed the carpets and upholstery, and they came out fresh, exceeding my expectations.  Thanks to my Dad for helping gut her.  It was a big job, but now the Vanagon is in acceptable camping condition.  What should I name the Volkswagon?  Lots more soon.  Comment if you like.  Best wishes.