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Summer issue

Beautiful vans verthe quirky and classic

Unco

- here’s our top picks

* Chase the sun

Discover the hottestplaces to park up this summer

*

Live simply

Embrace nature and reduce your footprint


Summer 2017 Our top Our top picks picks

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On the road with... Tommi Sikanen

18 40

12 Catching the rays Solar panels for your van

14 Tarifa

The wind capital of Spain

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Beautiful vans

Quirky and the classic – our picks

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36

Explore the Welsh coast of Gower

Cooking with Vanalogue

Little van of sunshine

Thrill seekers

44 46

Meet the couple who are all about green living

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20 Summer products we love and desire... What about... keeping fit on the road?

Choose the right van for you..

The team Hope Brotherton Elliot Hayes Beth Hughes Alexander Jones Luke Meates Harry Ridgewell Alice Salter Elinor Stephens

Short trip vs long stay?

Join the online community!

Vanalogue

Vanaloguemag

@Vanaloguemag


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Summer

et’s face it, it’s time to roll down those windows and prepare for the engine to overheat, because the long summer days have arrived and sunlit adventures are just on the horizon.

In this issue, we explore ways to make the most of summer on the road. So sit back, relax and prepare to be inspired because here at Vanalogue we’ve got you covered.

Photo Tristan Kimmerle


Rolling homes with personality Don’t own a van? Quirky Campers have got you covered

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iving and travelling in a beautifully converted home on wheels is the ultimate van life dream. But not everyone has the time, funds or knowledge to make that dream a reality. Since 2010, partners Lindsay Berresford, 32, and David French, 35, have been working with van owners across the UK to rent out rolling homes. Because they value sharing, not everyone needs to own a converted van in order to enjoy the van life. The first van the couple rented out was their own Mercedes Sprinter named Bella. A courier vehicle and a gardener’s work van in a previous life, Bella now boasts hand-carved cupboards, kitchenette units and even holds a Super King size bed.

“So much creativity and ingenuity goes into each van” Quirky Campers was birthed when Lindsay and David went to Kenya for six months and struggled to find any agency to help them rent out Bella. Lindsay says the next decision was simple. There was space for a van rental company and, “We thought we’d fill that niche!” They now have 22 stunning rental conversions to choose from online. With nationwide connections, their range is constantly expanding. In fact, the business is going so well that Lindsay and David

This is Priscilla decided to make the company their full time focus after the birth of their twins last year and before the birth of their third child. Lindsay and David are passionate about what they call, “Exploring our own backyard” in the UK. Their rental clients largely agree with this. Customers range from the ages of 23 to 73 and include teachers, bankers, musicians and even circus artists. Everyone has a new use for the vans they rent and Quirky Campers have certainly helped create some pretty epic adventures. Converted vans are much better than traditional campers as they have more personality, but are functional and beautiful too, says Lindsay. She adds, “Their owners are designing something personal and rentable.” Large families often build in lots of beds, culinary enthusiasts create perfect

This is Bella

Photos Lindsay Berresford

kitchens with ovens and others make sure there’s room for a hot shower. The couple never feature a van they don’t love, so each one is finished to a high and unique standard. Lindsay’s fantasy, and next plan, is to escape on a romantic trip in their plushest van, Cleopatra.


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ways to make more of the oudoors . . .

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o matter how beautiful a van is, after several months on the road the space inside can begin to seem small. But, it’s important to remember that although exquisite interiors are a large part of living on the road, van life is all about getting out into the world.

Take cover

The best rolling homes are simply bases. Use outdoor space as much as you can, catch every last ray of sunshine and get creative with how you utilise your van’s exterior. Now that it’s summer, this is easier than ever. Here are a few suggestions to get you started . . .

Eat out

Awnings for vans come in all shapes and sizes and are great for creating more space outside of your van. There’s plenty on offer, from a simple tarp-and-post set up to a more sophisticated mechanical pull out. Perfect for providing extra shade on boiling days so you can pull out a chair and enjoy the heat.

Cooking in the open air is perfect for sunny days. Pull out kitchens can be designed to fit away under beds or fold into cupboards inside your home on wheels. This way you can create more kitchen space and enjoy those warm summer days instead of being cooped up inside your van walls.

Start swinging

Scrub up

Get comfy outside your rolling home with a relaxing hammock. These can be strung up between vans if you’re travelling with friends, or even between your van and a tree. Just make sure to fix both ends to something stable! We recommend a ‘Ticket to the Moon’ hammock. Get your hands on a single version from Up and Under for just over £40.

Installing a shower on a back door not only saves valuable space inside your van but offers you a hot shower in the great outdoors. Phil at Campervanbuuren used a Hiendure High Pressure shower head to create a fold away mini washroom at the back of his LDV Minibus. You can get one for £26.99 on Amazon.

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From surfing trips to coastal holidays, Margaux and Tom Doey use their beautiful type 2 Volkswagon for escaping hectic city life

Van Spot


Short trip vs long stay Here at Vanalogue, we’re itching to get on the road this summer. We’ve picked two of our favourite destinations to park up and enjoy the long hours of daylight...

Long stay

Short stay

Bournemouth

One hundred and sixty-one miles away from our base in Cardiff are the sunny shores of the British coastal town, Bournemouth. It’s one of England’s most infamous seaside resorts with its never ending sandy shores, and deservedly so. Follow the route on foot from Alum Chine beach to Bournemouth pier where you’ll find those classic amusements like the arcades, Aruba restaurant and Pier zip wire adventure.

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most diverse locations to park up and is only a 24 hour drive from Cardiff. We recommend a one or two week stay here – simply to make the most of the scenery. Mount Vesuvius stands ominous in the background from every angle. There are plenty of nearby historical sites that you can visit. Pompeii and Herculaneum are spectacular, and the Isle of Ischia and Capri are a must see.

On the road The quickest way to head to this beachside gem is via Swindon on the M4, then follow the M3 down to Winchester. Take the M27 via Southampton, and finally the A31 into Bournemouth.

On the road There’s two recommended stops for this voyage; Strasbourg after ten hours on the road; followed by the Italian lakes after a further four hours. The last stretch is only ten hours until you pull up in Amalfi.

Park up

Park up Useful websites to check out in order to plan your journey include Parkopedia and Bournemouth Council. There’s also plenty of cosy campsites scattered around for weekend van dwellers, like the Ocean Pitch Campsite in Croyde Bay.

Italy is a superb van life destination. It boasts specialist park up destinatons all over the country called ‘Aree di Sosta’ where you can stay overnight for free. Check out our online article for more information about these great van spots.

Want more?9

read the full article online


On the road with We discover the delights of the Finnish summer and i

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eet Tommi Sikanen, a 26 year old IT student from Lapland. Living in the Arctic Circle has made him an avid summer adventurer. He enjoys spending his summer days in Finland’s never ending sunlight, and here’s his latest expedition. Last summer, Tommi took the family Hymer B, 654 SL, 2008 van to the most northern point in Europe, Nordkapp, or North Cape as we’d call it. His own upbringing, and his family’s dream lifestyle of wild camping in Finland made him fall in love with the thrill and comfort of van life. During a period of heavy rain, they felt thoroughly miserable in their inadequate tent while watching

warm and carefree couples across the field taking shelter in a converted van. This experience sparked Tommi, and his family’s, van life aspirations. Tommi’s 3000 km voyage began in Oulu, Finland. From here he drove across Northern Finland to Saariselka with one destination in mind: North Cape. But undertaking this ambitious route needed a lot of research. “I read that the route there is simply mesmerising,” Tommi says with reminiscence. So what makes the North Cape so enticing? Well, here the Atlantic Ocean meets the Arctic Ocean and their icy temperatures mix.

“There’s the possibility to improvise everything. That’s absolutely the best thing about van life” In order to reach this pinnacle in Western Finnmark, Tommi and his passengers drove through a 7 km long tunnel located 200m below sea level. As he thinks back to that moment, he chuckles, “It was fun to drive, to feel how steep the uphill and downhill was - well, especially for me as the driver anyway.”

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They enjoyed watching the glorious midnight sun over the plateau. Bucket lists were ticked off on this expedition, as they had their sights set on Norway’s northernmost campsite, Kirkeporten. The comparison between these two landmarks was apparently unforgettable. Tommi says, “Finnmark’s deep mountain and blue seas were awesome, but the road to North Cape was absolutely amazing.” Tommi’s individualistic sense of character often means he compares his adventures to popular fantasy literature. He says, “This drive in particular was reminiscent of the Iron Islands,” referring to the mythical kingdom in the cult world of Game of Thrones. Although Tommi’s carefree attitude carries him on the road, he’s still had some difficulties. Travelling with companions in a small space means moods can be picked up easily. “During one trip, my travelling companion was


Tommi Sikanen

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ts constant rays of sunshine having a bad day and this reflected my mood too. That night we cooked dinner in separate spaces. She was inside the van and I was outside of it, not speaking to each other,” he says. But, he remembers, after some good food their tensions relaxed and the mood was uplifted. These minor, less positive moments don’t compare to the good life on the road for Tommi. He says a day living in a van is like any other day for any other normal person, except there is an ultimate sense of freedom. “Although you might have a specific plan of where to go next, there is the possibility to improvise everything. That’s absolutely the best thing about van life,” he says. This isn’t Tommi’s first trip in his van by any stretch. He’s also used his van for special occasions such as New Years Eve celebrations. “It started to get crowded as we were all crammed in the van with all our winter gear,” he says, remembering the celebrations foundly.

Tommi still wouldn’t have it any other way, despite the space being sometimes a little too crowded. His final sentiment to Vanalogue summarises his van life adventures: “If you find a beautiful place to stay the night, you can just stay there.” Tommi will be on his next summer adventure very soon and we wish him all the best with his future travels.

Photos Tommi Sikanen

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Catch some rays In this issue we’re all about being eco-friendly and this means finding inventive ways to power your van. Solar panels are a simple way of doing that

“Q& A

Vanners, and Tiny House Tiny Footprint bloggers, Kathleen and Greg offer some advice...

What you need to know...

Q: How did you install your solar panels?

Before you take the plunge and decide to install a solar panel on the roof of your rolling home, it’s a good idea to work out how much energy you actually use. If you run a fridge inside your van, look up the wattage and average energy consumption online. The same can be done for any electrical appliances you have plugged in. Be wary that if you use a hairdryer every day or are constantly charging more than one device, you will use up a lot more power.

A: “We installed our solar panels with industrial strength glue called Liquid Nails. We purposely chose solar panels that were flexible and could easly fit on top of our thule box.” Q: How can someone estimate the amount of energy their van will need? A: “We would advocate for people to narrow down what electrical needs they have. You can purchase an energy meter on Amazon that will track your energy use. Having a meter will get you familiar with what energy sources you will need and how much you use.”

What should I buy?

Q: How much energy do your solar panels generate for your van?

The amount of energy you use will dictate what kind of solar panel you need to buy. Guides to help you pick the perfect solar panel for your needs can be easily found online. We would advise that you choose one which is not static. If you can fix it to the roof of your van in a way that allows it to be positioned with the sun, you will produce a lot more energy. The little extra effort to do this is well worth it!

A: “We don’t receive a lot of energy from our solar panels. We get most of our electricity from our alternator while we’re driving. However, we get a little bit from our solar panels which comes in handy after the van’s been out a while in the sun.” Want more? Meet Kathleen and Greg on page 20

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Image courtesy of Lisa-Jane Meates


Tarifa

The wind capital of Spain

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here the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic is the tiny village of Tarifa. Look no further than Gibraltar for this Spanish coastal haven where some of the country’s best beaches lie. This tiny village became popular among people chasing the wind in the early 1990’s when Tarifa’s beaches were covered with wind surfers.


Since the 1990’s, this Spanish fishing village has thrived and attracted people from all over the world. In more recent years it has been dubbed as the adventure capital of Europe, with over 40 activities to try. But, more importantly for us, Tarifa caters to van life. The extensive beaches and the abundance of fields in and around the village make a great atmosphere for vanner’s willing to spend a few weeks exploring, kitesurfing and cycling in the picturesque area.


Photos Tori Zoe Henry

The technology behind kitesurfing improved immensely in the early 2000’s and due to its increasing popularity, shops and workshops started popping up all over Tarifa which cater to the demand. Still a tiny village and pretty unknown outside of kitesurfing circles and locals, it’s the ideal place to take your van while wandering around the south of Spain. Van dweller Mike Hudson, who has been travelling all over Europe, says, “I randomly stopped in Tarifa after getting off the boat from Morocco and stayed for a few weeks I met a load of other vanners, and I loved it”. If you’re not into paying for a camp, Tarifa offers plenty of places to park up in car parks and laybys, mostly around the village and west along the main road leading to the beaches of Bolonia.

“I randomly stopped in Tarifa after getting off the boat from Morocco and stayed for a few weeks, I met a load of other vanners, and I loved it” Photos Jose Maria Caballero


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What to do when there is no wind? About a 20 minute drive west along the motorway from Tarifa town centre is one of the last virgin beaches in Spain. In 2001, the sand dunes on these beaches were declared nationally protected and of great ecological importance. Unlike many in the surrounding areas, the area has been well preserved and conserved as very few people live in this region. Tarifa local and kitesurf instructor, Juan Cantos says, “Being the furthest spot from Tarifa town centre, it’s the least populated with kiters but despite this it has some of the best cross shore winds in late summer”. If you’re not convinced by the sheer thrill of kitesurfing, the locals are beyond friendly and the food is amazing. There are some great restaurants and bars along the beach. We recommend Bar Tumbao, which does tend to fill up in the early evening, so it’s best to book in advance. Sip on mojitos and chill out on bean bags in a converted bus, just a stone’s throw away from the beach. Tarifa is a stunning place to spend the summer in your van.

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Spearfishing By Spanish legislation you can do any kind of fishing with a simple fishing license. Punta Paloma and Bolonia are ideal when the currents aren’t too strong, ideal for a day with no wind!

Stand up paddle boarding Paddle surfing also is standing on an oversized surfboard using a long paddle to move along the sea. Pretty easy to learn but hard to master, paddle surfing is ideal for a relaxed day catching a few small waves.

Whale and Dolphin watching Striped bottlenose Dolphins and pilot Whales inhabit the straits of Gibraltar. Tarifa offers many boat trips and are quite well priced. We recommend Tumares situated in Tarifa town centre.


Coastering, White Rocks Located near Portrush in Northern Ireland, the beach offers some of the most stunning coastline views in Northern Ireland. The area enjoys a stunning natural coastal location, with the limestone cliffs of the White Rocks stretching from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle. On a clear day visitors can see the coast of Scotland. A highly accessible beach, located just off the Causeway Coastal Route, there is no charge to visit the beach, although parking charges may apply. Ideal for those on a budget.

Photo Lisa-Jane Meates

Sun’s out, get active! Slacklining, Northwich Northwest festival is one of the UK’s few slacklining events which runs for over two days and hosts workshops for people of all experience levels in slacklining. Marbury Country Park hosts the event and there is space to camp and plenty of food and drink. The park itself has a cark park which is open for 11 hours in the summer (9:00am to 8:00pm). The ticket is costly at £30, but is made accessible by the network of paths from the city centre so can be easily reached on foot.

Photo Ashley Heydon

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Trail running, Ashdown Forest Originally used for deer hunting the forest is now one of the largest free public spaces in the south west. Ashdown forest is located in East Sussex and is surrounded by trees and heather. A perfect place for trail running, the forest is made up of a number of trails for anyone to use. You can access Ashdown via the A22 and it offers 48-hour unobtrusive parking, and because it’s a public place, there’s no need to pay!

Check out these adrenaline-fuelled adventures when you’re on the road... Surfing, Snowdonia In the heart of the Conwy Valley in North Wales is Surf Snowdonia, the world’s first in-land surf lagoon. The freshwater stretches for over 300m with a head height wave reaching 150 metres. Situated just seven miles from the A55, surf Snowdonia is roughly an hour and a half away from Manchester and Liverpool. It’s open from 8:00am to 11:00pm. Prices range from £20 up to a couple of hundred for whole day sessions on the water. Photo Surf Snowdonia

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Tiny house, big adventure

For this couple, van life is all about connecting with nature and exploring wild landscapes. We caught up with them just before they take the leap into full time van living...

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ike many modern couples, Kathleen Morton, 30, and Greg Laudensagler, 31, met online. They both swiped right and that was that. Kathleen admits that neither of them were really sure what to expect from meeting someone through a phone screen, but they chatted anyway and eventually continued the conversation offline. Unlike most modern couples, however, they did not hastily set up home in a house or flat in their native Colorado. For them, home was a camper trailer stationed in a family’s backyard. Greg says, “I met her on Tinder, but got to know her in a camper trailer.” Living in this 140sqft space for more than a year, they both managed to work full time jobs without being confined to a city apartment. According to Kathleen it was a very deliberate move to get back in touch with nature. She says, “We wanted to live intentionally, have a connection to our surroundings and value the space and resources we were using.”

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Now in possession of a 1987 Toyota van, they hope to take this ethos on the road along with their two dogs, Blaize, nine, and Peaches, one. The Toyota was a parting gift from the owners of the land they had been living on for a long time, so the couple promised to keep the van in working order. But they have done much more than that. Over the past few months they have spent many hours converting the van, which they currently use as their “adventure mobile.” Planning to hit the road from 1 April work on their new moving home is reaching its end. The space inside is significantly smaller than their previous tiny house but Kathleen says, “Because it is only 30sqft on the inside, we are learning how to be creative with a small space.” If anyone can do it, it’s them. Greg currently works as a landscape architect consultant, and has an interest in sustainable architecture which stems from a childhood building treehouses. Kathleen writes for a number of adventure blogs and magazines including their own blog, ‘Tiny House, Tiny Footprint.’ This blog


shares stories of those choosing alternative lifestyles, living more environmentally conscious and spending more time with nature. As a result, they are certainly not short of inspiration for their own van. For the environmentally friendly couple, the design of their rolling home is all about practicality. Neither Kathleen or Greg believe in converting their van according to what might look best on Instagram, though they have amassed 75,800 followers on the app. They design their space according to their needs and future travels. Kathleen adds, “Our adventure rigs give us the freedom to live out of them. We want to utilise our outdoor space and have our indoor space available only when we need it.” Nature is absolutely at the centre of their lives. They both hope that this will only become more true once they are on the road with the freedom to roam wherever they like. So far Kathleen and Greg’s favourite trip in the Toyota has been visiting Canada’s national parks with Blaize and Peaches. As a group of four they explored the countryside, went backpacking and even got the dogs into kayaks. Though travelling in such a small space with two dogs is not always easy, Kathleen says she wouldn’t have it any other way. She exclaims, “They make every day exciting!”

“I met her on Tinder, but got to know her in a camper trailer” Both Kathleen and Greg are now eager to get on the road and already have some exciting plans for their few first months living the van life. Partnering with bloggers ‘Vanlife Diaries’, the couple will be hosting a van gathering in Colorado this July where they are hoping to see some old faces and cross paths with new adventurers. For the couple, van life is a great opportunity to make more out of their natural surroundings and live a less constrained life. Kathleen sums up their reasons for making the final move, saying, “Life on the road is freeing. I think we can all learn something about ourselves by leaving our homes and discovering ourselves on the road.”


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Photos Kathleen Morton and Greg Laudensagler

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Beautiful Vans

Our readers share some of the sweetest vans this summer!

Photos Sandro Alvarez

This 1988 Volkswagen T3 Syncro belongs to Gabriella and Sandro. Originally from Switzerland, the couple have set out to explore the American Continent from the comfort of their van, lovingly named Luz. They have been on the road for eight months and have now been in Mexico for five. They plan to make it all the way to Argentina.

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Jack and Lucy took inspiration from boats to design the interior of their 2012 Mercedes Sprinter. For them the biggest question to be answered in their layout was, “Can you spend a whole week in this van with two kids and not want to kill each other?� The answer is a resounding yes. Their story has taken social media by storm and you can read more about the couple, and their van, on our site. Photos Jack Richens


Mike Hudson bought his LDV Convoy on eBay in 2013. He has since written an ebook about the conversion process and has tons of van life tips on his website, vandogtraveller.com


Photos Mike Hudson


Photos Deena Currie


Photos Denise Elbel

Denise and Tim, pictured above, spent all of last summer exploring the Pyrenees from the back of a van, which Tim spent just two weeks kitting out. A converted Peugeot Expert, the van earned itself the nicknname ‘The Jumpy’ over the course of their trip.

Photos Juliet Thompson


Photo Amy Harris

Amy bought this former Post Office Van, a 2006 T260 Ford Transit, and has been living the van life for the past 3 months.

Photos Juliet Thompson


Discover more beautiful vans online!

VanalogueMag

Photos Chris Ruiter

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Summer products we love... Some products we love are required, but all are desired

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5 3 . Pocket knife

1 . Bottle Where: Goodhood London What: Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated Price: £27.00

This flask comes in a range of colours. Made from 100% stainless steel, it comes with a lifetime warranty and has an electropolished interior. This is fancy, and means previous drinks and meal tastes won’t linger!

4 . Bamboo chair Where: Goodhood London What: Snow Peak Take! Bamboo Chair Price: £166.00 This classy chair only weighs 3kg and is easily compatible. Get it and feel like a director in the woods.

2. Surf bag

Where: Surfdome What: Double Travel Shortboard bag Price: £134.99 Essential for surfers, this surfboard bag fits up to two boards and is available in 3 sizes – 6’3”, 6’7”, 7’0”. With handles and a longer strap, it’s easy to carry. The 10mm cushioning keeps everything inside well protected.

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Where: Goodhood London, Laguiole Attitudem What: 16cm rosewood pocket knife Price: £11.26

An item with a multitude of uses. This small pocket knife is ideal for taking with you wherever you go. The rosewood handle adds a touch of beauty and quality is guaranteed. 5 . Pack away BBQ

Where: Goodhood London What: Mii Pack Away BBQ Price: £13.13 The little pack-away BBQ takes no space to store, as the legs fold around the frame and the ash pan folds flat. It’s so simple, it can be set up in seconds.


This picture was sent to us by our friends Hari and Oscar who are currently on the road in their converted Transit van in the French Alps

Van Spot Want more? read the full article online

Photo Hari Carter


What about. . .

Working out on the road

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f you’re constantly on the move working out can be hard unless you’re a member of 12 different gyms. You will probably be travelling a lot, but from the comfort of your own van, so it’s important to get some exercise in. How? There are several options. Always bring two tennis racquets with you since most towns have at least one free, public court. Or, if golf is your thing, make some space for a small golfing bag so you are ready to putt. Alternatively, personal trainer, Daniel Hough, 26, recommends that, “If you don’t have space for sports equipment in your van, go to the park! You may think it’s childish but you would be surprised by the amount of professional athletes who do it.” If you’re new to exercising he says to try grabbing the chains of a swing, lean back and pull yourself up and then slowly back down. Repeat 10 times. If you’re looking for something more advanced, find a bar that’s low enough, like underneath a table or a ladder rung. Make your body into a plank, and use your arms to pull yourself up. Daniel says this is, “Tough but really rewarding and gets the endorphins flowing.” If you don’t have time to do activities, here’s some exercises he recommends you can do while in your van.

For passengers •Commuter crunches: Put your feet a hip width apart and contract your lower abdominal muscles. Then, hold this position for eight to ten seconds, and repeat this technique until your muscles are tired. •Chest boosters: For this execise, sit upright, place your hands on your lap and interlink your fingers. Then try and bring your elbows together, holding this position. Repeat this exercise until your muscles tremble.

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For drivers •Brace position: Suck in your stomach, breathe deeply, and sit as straight as possible. Daniel says, “If you do it correctly your stomach should ache.” It is proven to thicken the abdominal muscles. You’ll truly feel the burn. •Roof buster: While in a traffic jam try this simple exercise. Push your hands against the roof and squeeze your abs at the same time. Hold for 10 seconds and release. If you really want to push yourself lift one or both of your legs.


Gower

Here at Vanalogue, we’re firm believers you don’t have to travel far to reach those exotic sites on the European continent. Welcome to our top picks which are situated on the Welsh coast

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he Gower Peninsula is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and has a plethora of idyllic natural features including castles, medieval churches, golden beaches and sandy dunes. This coastline is popular with walkers, outdoor enthusiasts and surfers, which makes it the perfect place for any van dweller to park up. We have picked out our favourite spots and activities around Gower for you to explore this summer.


Photos Sarah Stephens


Rhossili Bay

Where to start yo We recommend starting your adventure in Llangennith, the Gower’s most desired surfing location. It’s only a short 200m walk from the car park. This dog-friendly location is ideal for all those vanners who take their pets along for the ride. But there’s much more to Llangennith than its petfriendly atmosphere. Many visitors opt to spend a long weekend here as the waters are ideal for both beginners and experts. However, be wary when the swell gets bigger as the paddle out becomes more difficult. To keep yourself safe, consider a lesson or two from one of the many Llangennith surf schools. From there, head to another surfing haven which is notorious for benefitting from the Atlantic’s swell. Just a 20 minute drive away is Rhossili Bay which is an area dedicated to adventure sports such as rock climbing. It has recently been voted as Wales’s Best Beach for 2017, so this should be a spot on every traveller’s list. At this impressive bay, you’ll find three miles of shoreline which are occupied by fine golden sand. To get to the beach, park up roughly 400m away from the site and head down the small steps which are situated in the village of Rhossili. The village itself has a unique and proud history.

Llangennith is the best spot for surfing on the Gower. Gower Surfing is a British surf school that offers lessons for people of all abilities and provides all the equipment! Visit www.gowersurfing.com to find out more

Llangennith’s surf haven


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ur journey...

Photos Sarah Stephens

Three Cliffs Bay

The arch of the church dates back to the 12th century, perfect for those who want to explore cultural sites as well as the outdoors. Down the road from Rhossili and only an eightminutes drive away is the peninsula of Worms Head, historically named Wurm (Viking for ‘dragon.’) This small island is joined to the mainland by a rocky causeway which is only exposed from the water for two and a half hours (be sure to check the tide times before planning an excursion). When you’re crossing over, make sure you’re aware of the tide and report to the Coastwatch Centre before setting off on your journey. 11 minutes further down the coast is Port Eynon, which is the most southerly point on the Gower. Port Eynon has a long and colourful history dating back to the 11th century and is home to a booming oyster trade industry, (remnants of which remain today). Our final location on this tour of the Gower is Three Cliffs Bay. It offers one of the more wild experiences in the Gower; sand dunes, saltmarshes and limestone cliffs await. The car park is approximately 400m away from the bay, across rough terrain. This whistle stop tour of the Gower doesn’t do the treasure justice, so it’s time to pack up and park up on the Welsh coast this summer.

Three Cliffs Bay is an award-winning campsite in the heart of Gower with the most stunning view, overlooking the bay. Dog-friendly, it’s situated within walking distance to the beach. For further information on rates for vans visit info@threecliffsbay.com

Where to park up? Cost of parking The cost of parking in the Gower can range from site to site, but on average it’s £1 an hour, £3 for a few hours and £5 for all day parking.

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t u ck i n Watch us have a go!

Summer stew with tomato and mackerel

You will need: Method:

1 Chop up the vegetables and fry them on a stove with oil. 2 Add salt and pepper to season the vegetables. 3 Gut and fillet the mackerel and divide it into two fillets. 4 Add tinned tomatoes to vegetable mix and place the fish on stove. 5 Leave the juicy fillets to cook and soak in sauces for 15 minutes. 6 Once the stew has cooked through, serve the dish and tuck in!

1 whole mackerel 1 tin of tomatoes 1 pepper 1 courgette 1 large onion Salt and pepper Oil for frying

Cooking with Vanalogue Sink your teeth in these sizzling summer dishes Mozzarella and veg lettuce wraps

You will need: 1 large letuce 2 spring onions 1 grated carrot 100g cashew nuts 1 diced cucumber 100g mozzarella Olive oil 1/2 lemon 1 diced chilli

Method:

1 Separate and prepare the lettuce leaves. 2 Sprinkle the shredded carrots, onions and cucumber onto the centre of your lettuce leaf. 3 Continue by sprinkling cashew nuts into the leaf. 4 Slice the mozarella and place on top of the mixture. 5 Create the dressing by mixing olive oil, lemon juice and chilli in a bowl. 6 Brush or pour the mixture over your filled leaf. 7 Roll the leaf into a wrap, pin it with a cocktail stick, and enjoy!

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Kit out your kitchen Essential cooking equipment to get you through the summer months

Price: £160

Price: £35

Two propane stoves are handy because of their portability, compactness and their ability to be hooked up to a gas canister.

A small refrigerator can be useful for keeping your food and drinks fresh and cool, especially in the summer months.

We recommend the Coleman Propane Stove. When closed, the unit measures 53cm across x 30cm deep x 9cm high and weighs less than half a kilogram.

We recommend the Wagan’s 7 Liter 12v Personal Fridge and Warmer which proves itself sturdy and well priced.

Cooking in your van can be difficult at times. With so many fast food and restaurant options, preparing your own food from scratch can seem like a pain. But, with the right equipment this can be made an easy task. Your kitchen should consist of the right tools – multifunctional, small and sturdy are the key elements that you should look for when buying kitchen materials. Don’t forget, a hob is fundamental for hot food!

Price: £20

Price: £25

Chopping boards, sauce pans and strainers are important and can be found in most camping shops. Sauce pans that double up as strainers are a really good idea to save on space.

Cutlery and plate sets are really good at saving space, especially in vans with less people. Most outdoors sets have multi-function capabilities too, making cooking on the road that much easier.

We recommend the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Frypan, which is light-weight and big enough to cook for two people.

Open Country Backpacker II Two Person Cook Set is great as it all folds into one pot and includes a kettle.

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How to keep food fresh in your van

Top 5 Tips... Bag your onions . . .

1

Keep onions in paper bags: Make a few holes into several paper bags, separating the different types of onion you have, such as white and red. As an additional tip, if you have any leftover avocado, place it in any of the bags with the onion and it will stop it from going off.

Apples and spuds . . .

2

Store apples and potatoes together. Normally, storing anything with apples speeds up the ripening process. However, with potatoes, the ethylene gas apples emit stops potatoes from sprouting.

Stay dehydrated . . .

3

Drying food – Before refrigerators this was one of the ways people used to make food last. Bacteria thrives in moisture, so drying food out stops mould from growing. You can buy a food dehydrator and then rehydrate food when you need it by soaking it in water for several hours.

Stone-cold chillin’ . . .

4

Get a refrigerator which doesn’t use electricity - The MittiCool refrigerator is made of clay and keeps food cool using evaporation. The water which is evaporated can then be drank by installing a tap on top.

Sandy drawers . . .

5 42

Long term storage for veg – fill a draw with sand and place any vegetables in. The sand prevents moisture from rotting your veg, making them last for months.

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Photos Brianna and Keith Madia

Brianna and Keith, along with their two dogs Bucket and Dawgwood, live and travel all over Utah. Meet their modified 1990 Ford E350, lovingly named Bertha

Van Spot


Little van of sunshine This classic French van proves that rolling homes come in all shapes and sizes...

S

tylist, author and owner of London boutique Caravan Style Emily Chalmers has had a passion for interiors for as long as she can remember. She admits, “I love how any space can become a home.” For her, converted vans and campers are simply homes on a smaller scale. This is something very special. Through reducing the amount of space you have to work with, the design of van interiors becomes far more creative than anything you would see in most houses. Personal style shines out of these spaces and that’s certainly true for Emily’s sunshine yellow van.

The French produced Citroen H-van was always something of an obsession for Emily. She says, “People tend to either love them or hate them and I adore the design of the Citroen H. There’s nothing quite like it!”

As an interior stylist I “ am really interested in my

surrounding environment. I like to decorate

Upon meeting her now husband, Chris, they discovered a shared love of these vehicles and eventually bought one with money given to them as a wedding gift.

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Despite their shared passion for the obscure van, the decision to purchase one was made on a whim. Emily recalls the day, saying, “Chris called me while I was at an antiques market and he said he’d seen a van for sale. I flippantly said “Let’s buy it,” and it became my first ever purchase on eBay.” Since then, the Citroen has become a real talking point. Although some of these vans make their way to the UK and are converted for selling food or serving coffee, very few are re-purposed as places to call home. Emily has used her van for all sorts of things including market trips to buy items for her shop, travelling, holidays and weekends away. One summer it was used as a cocktail bar outside her boutique and the following year it accompanied the couple all the way down to the south of


van t i d y

Though Emily’s focus is definitely on style, functionality has not been forgotten in this moving home. Hooks for cups and boxed in shelves mean that nothing can go rolling away while you are on the road!

France. It has even become their regular - and rather luxurious - base at Glastonbury Festival, where Emily and Chris first met back in 2000. The design of the van was naturally very important to Emily. She explains, “As an interior stylist I am really interested in my surrounding environment. I like to decorate!” The van is therefore immaculately styled to suit her tastes. The first thing she began to work on were the seat and cushion covers, made from collected vintage fabric. Next, the walls were painted and lace curtains were made for the small windows. Very quickly the whole design came together with everything sourced from markets and her own shop. She says, “I created another little home in there!”

Want to find out

more?

If you would like to know more about Emily’s style, visit her shop, Caravan Style, online or grab one of her many books on design. This year she has published another, Modern Vintage Style, which you can find through her own site, emilychalmers.com Photos Emily Chalmers

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Choose the right van for you! Picking your first van can seem like a daunting task, but here at Vanalogue we are determined to see you make the correct choice...

Ford Transit T he Ford Transit is a popular choice when it comes to the van life adventure. New models come in three body lengths and there is the choice of two roof heights. This means that most people can stand up straight in a Transit van. Bigger models can be up to 4.2 metres long and therefore there’s enough room for full length beds and comfortable living space inside. Plus, they tend to stand a little higher off

the ground than other models, meaning they can be more easily manoeuvrable off the beaten track. In the UK, Ford replacement parts are also relatively cheap and readily available, so making repairs on the road need not be a worry. You can find a brand new Ford Transit from around £15,000. However, if you are willing to buy second-hand, we found several for sale from around the £600 mark for ex-trade vans which are about 10 years old.

VW Camper van I f you’re looking for timeless style, a classic Volkswagen Camper is certainly the way to go. Unprodued in their native Germany since 1979, the van has gathered a cult following. Though they are often referred to as microbuses rather than vans, nothing can stop this charming vehicle from going on an adventure. However, it’s a fair investment if you are looking to buy a second-hand classic VW camper. After a little bit

of searching we managed to find a running 1977 model online for £13,000 but below this price there is very little available. A recently renovated model could set you back anything from around £40,000 so this option is definitely not for everyone! In addition to this, parts are increasingly difficult to find and often have to be sourced through specialist dealers. This means quick fixes on the road are almost impossible.

Mercedes Sprinter S printers are the largest vans produced by Mercedes-Benz and have been proudly on sale since 1995. They say this van is consistently ahead of its competitors. With four different lengths and three roof heights to choose from, new Sprinters offer owners 108 different possible combinations from which to select the perfect rolling home. Like the Transit, this means that most Sprinters are high enough to

46

stand in and long enough to fit full size beds. However, spare parts are considerably more expensive. The van itself can also be quite pricey with new medium sized models costing upwards of £29,000 and second-hand vans, again around 10 years old, costing upwards of £1,200. On the other hand, according to Mercedes, the Sprinter is more fuel efficient than its closest Ford competitor.


adve r t i sement s

Our Supporters . . . V

analogue would not exist if it weren’t for the unwavering support of our likeminded friends. These companies share our philosophy of producing high quality, ethical and sustainable products for the benefit of both our consumers and our planet.

Up and Under are a specialist independent outdoor retailer based in Cardiff. Whether you’re into surfing, climbing or hiking, these guys can sort you out. upandunder.co.uk

Finisterre design ethical active clothing that’s meant to last. Along side making durable wear, they have also been running an in house repair service for over 10 years. finisterre.com

These guys take new and used vans and turn them into campers. Ecowagon is an awardwinning camper conversion company based near Redruth in Cornwall. ecowagon.co.uk

Knit with attitude is a bespoke independent knitting shop specialising in eco-friendly yarn. Their hope is to inspire new people to ethically embrace this age-old practice. knitwithattitude.com

Sunstore supply all the eco energy products you might need whilst travelling on the road, whether you’re looking to recharge your batteries or live completely off the grid. sunstore.co.uk

Situated in Cardiff, Boulders is a favourite place for climbers of all abilities. Be sure to stop at the friendly cafe and say hello to the friendly staff before you leave. bouldersuk.com

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“ There’s the possibility to improvise everything. That’s absolutely the best thing about van life

Issue

2

Vanalogue Summer Issue  

A magazine for those who love all things van and van culture. Created by MA Magazine journalism students at Cardiff University.

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