October 31, 2017
The two spent their honeymoon exploring some of America's greatest places by way of their van outfitted as a mobile tiny home. Anthony and Kristina spent months updating and furnishing their adventure-mobile with a bed, lighting, hardwood floors, cook top, and plenty of smart storage. They even added an outdoor shower for cleaning up after outings -- a major bonus when spending weeks on the road climbing, biking, and hiking. Here's what Anthony had to say about their van life honeymoon.
Flowfold: What was the best part of the trip? Anthony: For us, the overall best part of the trip was getting a chance to travel around the country and see many of our friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in years. Though the amazing climbing in the Pacific Northwest and open schedule was also really awesome!
How was starting off your marriage in a van together? People often joke that taking a long road trip with someone is the best way to see if you are compatible. For us having a few months to hit the road right after our wedding was ideal. It allowed us to spend tons of quality time together exploring and meeting up with friends in over a dozen states!
Tell me about something cool that wasn’t planned? About three hours west of Salt Lake City traveling along I-80 near Wells, Nevada we took a couple hour detour to check out the ghost town of Metropolis. We were not in a hurry that day and didn’t have any plans. When we saw it come up on google maps we opted to check it out. Although the ghost town from the early 1920s was so intriguing, the remote hot spring a couple of miles down a dirt road to the East was even better!
Favorite place you visited? We were able to visit so many breathtaking spots! It’s almost impossible to pick just one! If we were to pick one though, it would have to be Squamish, British Columbia. The landscape up there is really dramatic with the coast on one side and snowcapped peaks on the other. For climbers, the endless granite domes offer more climbing than one could possibly do in a lifetime! We can’t wait to go back!
What would you tell another couple considering this kind of honeymoon? Go for it! Extended road trips are the best way to travel on a budget, especially when you aren’t paying for a place to sleep and can cook most of your own meals. That said, if you are living out of a vehicle everything has to have a place and a use. Taking a few shorter trips to weed out the things you don’t need isn’t a bad idea!
What kind of gear did you depend on for this trip? My most useful items came down to a combination gear built by Flowfold and Nite Ize. Nite Ize Steelie Mobile Device Holders We spent several months living out of our van during our cross-country honeymoon and Steelie products came in use on a daily basis. The magnetic ball mounts are particularly helpful in a van with steel sidewalls. The endless locations for the Steelie Magnetic Mount means we can move our phones and tablet with us through the van, allowing for easy access to devices no matter if we’re in bed relaxing and wanting to listen to music, charging phones for our next outdoor adventure, referencing an online recipe for cooking, or using GPS while driving. You never truly understand how easily cargo shifts until you’ve taken a sharp turn or made a quick stop. Anything and everything loose or unsecured quickly becomes airborne, traveling from one side of the van to the other! Aside from the obvious inconvenient surprise the deafening crash a flying propane stove or camera creates, it is also rather dangerous. For us, a series of bungee cords, carabiners, and Gear Tie reusable rubber twist ties have proven to be a perfect solution. Bungee cords keep the bags under our bed from sliding forwards and our kitchen from shifting around every turn. The kitchen bungee also doubles as a tie-in point that we clip our small backpacks to while driving. Nite Ize S-Biners work great for this! Along our back shelve above the bed we keep clothing and light stuff sacks secured with a Nite Ize GearLine, rubber bungee cord and a series of S-Biners to create a simple cargo net of sorts. Nite Ize Rechargeable Lanterns and Headlamps Rather than using an assortment of disposable batteries, we have converted most of our light systems to rechargeable batteries. Our base power supply is a Goal Zero Yeti 400, which is charged off of the van while driving or a solar panel if we are parked for an extended period of time. The Yeti 400 is more than large enough to power our in-cabin lighting and to keep all of our rechargeable devices fully charged. We use two Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable Lanterns for all our basecamp needs outside of the van, these little lanterns put out a substantial amount of light and run for hours! Additionally, we made use of rechargeable lighting for our headlamps. The Radiant 250 lumen headlamps work perfectly for those late night hikes down from the climbing crag or midnight walks to the outhouse. Using rechargeable systems takes a little more forethought in remembering to occasional plug in your lights, but sure beats burning through disposable batteries! Flowfold Conductor 40L Carry On Size Duffle Flowfold duffel are the work-horse storage solutions in our van. They are extremely durable, but pack down to almost nothing when not being used. We use them for everything from clothing to climbing gear storage. Grab two in different colors - it makes identifying bags and their contents that much easier. Flowfold Tote Bags Like the Flowfold Conductor duffle but smaller, the Flowfold Zip Porter tote bags have countless uses throughout the van. We use them most often to carry towels, sandals, and snacks when walking down to a river or hot spring. They are also ideal for shopping -- more than sturdy enough to load them up with groceries. Flowfold Wallets Flowfold makes a wallet for nearly every situation. Whether it’s a sleeve for business cards, bi-fold for everyday use, or something a little larger to store your passport and cards -- they have you covered. We’ve both used these wallets for a couple years. They have literally thousands of miles on them and are still going strong. We also get compliments on them all the time.
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