Some of the most sage advice is born out of stark reality.
While we’d all love to exist in the non-stop sunshine and ocean front views portrayed in so many Instagram accounts, life often has other plans.
This is a guest post from our vanlife friend, Vanholio!, who’s not afraid to speak the truth while the rest of us gaze timidly from behind rose colored windshields.
And that’s exactly why we invited him to guest post here; for a little balance, honesty and brevity.
He asked if we’d prefer his “standard American English, Texan with cusswords”, or a more subdued voice.
“Bring on the Texan!” spaketh the Sage.
So here you go, 5 stand out camper tips from a fella who’s seen the good, the bad and the… well, most everything the van life has to offer. Take it, Vanholio!
Vanholio’s! 5 primo “Stand out” camper tips
You didn’t invest buku bucks in a rebuilt vanagon and artisanal kombucha jar to blend in. Oh, no, no, no! You’re out to be noticed in that van a yours.
So *be* noticed. Be the most talked about camper in the campground. Follow Vanholio’s 5 Primo Tips to stick out like a sore, festering thumb.
1. Be Proud, Be Loud
Everyone wants to hear what’s on your mind. So shout it out! Raise your words way past 1 a.m. Let everyone know just what you think. Bray like a donkey while you’re at it.
Oh, and music? You know your bands and your tastes are the best. Blast out them tunes!
And don’t worry none ’bout runnin’ that old generator late at night neither. No, Siree! Crank it up all night to juice your mondo stereo system, string a Chinese lanterns, and sodium floodlights.
“Plastic wrappers, beer cans, and bottle caps is what sets us apart from the animals.”
2. Spread Your Shit Around
And by “your shit,” I mean your actual shit. There ain’t hardly anythin’ else that’s so *you*.
If you’re at a campground with a vault toilet, composting toilet, or port-a-potty, smear your crap on the walls or on the floor.
Don’t clean that gross shit up, neither! Don’t even try. Cleanin’ toilets is for the little people, the volunteer camp hosts. (Oh, and Guys, “miss” like usual when ya pee.)
But – and this is the most important part – throw some trash down the toilet hole. You know some bastard’s gonna have to fish that out, right? You’re a job creator!
“What,” you ask yourself, “What if no one notices? What if they don’t even go in the toilet? All my creative efforts would be wasted!”
Worry not, fair vanner. Share the stink. Keep the toilet lid up and the door open.
That way the exhaust chimney won’t work like it’s design. And your perfume will drift around the campground where others can enjoy it.
Oh, and if you’re boondocking it somewhere, be sure to crap out atop ground. Don’t bury it. Leave your used toilet paper out where everyone can see it, too.
That way others’ll know this is a great camping spot. It might even be a treat for someone’s dog!
3. Fuel That Fire
Campin’s all about the fire, right? Make yours big! HUGE! Pile up whole tree trunk logs. Make sure they’re green, too, so they pop and smoke big. Bonus if the smoke blows towards your neighbors.
Know what else goes great in a fire? Trash! Throw it all in there! Even cans and bottles and such as don’t burn nohow. Plastic is primo, though. That stinky black smoke is beloved by all.
If ya need extra wood, make sure to cut down right there at the campsite. You payed to camp, so it’s yours.
Extra tip: hack bark off the trees. That shit burns real good, and after the tree slowly dies, it’ll be firewood for when you come back in a few years.
When you leave, make sure the coals is still hot’n smokin’. And leave all them unburnable cans and cracked bottles right there in the fire pit for the next folks to clean out. Idle hands, etc.
4. Show Off Your Belongings
While your showin’ off your van is important, showin’ off what’s *inside* your van is nearly so. Take out everythin’ and spread it around your camp.
Every bit a food and cookin’ gear you have goes on the picnic table, if ya got one. Coolers’n all. Stack your beer boxes down at the end.
Spread your toys, chairs, and games out liberally. I mean everywhere you can think of. Leave them out, even when you’re gone.
Make the place look like you’ve lived there for years, through tornadoes and all.
And trash? Let it drop where it may. Think of it as Christmas confetti. Leave it behind, too. At least some. Plastic wrappers, beer cans, and bottle caps is what sets us apart from the animals.
5. Let the Dogs Out
Brung your dogs with ya? Don’t ever, ever keep them on the leash. It ain’t fair to ’em. They got a right ta roam and shit where they want. And that shit’s just good fertilizer anyhow.
Besides, think a the joy your dogs’ll bring to other people and *their* dogs. They’re like your goodwill ambassadors.
You know your dogs are nice. They won’t hurt anyone. Couldn’t happen.
But if, by some slim chance, they bite someone’s toddler or kill some little old lady’s Chihuahua …? Why, any apology is easy as pie!
Did Vanholio Forget Somethin’?
Everythin’ above I witnessed at one time or other. Definitely made an impression. I recall each and every person who took the time to stand out. Most important, I remember their sweet vans, RVs, trailers and, in one case, bicycles. It’s a system that really works!
But maybe that didn’t cover all. Anythin’ Vanholio shoulda included for other wannabes? Comment below. Sharing is how we all learn.