LIVING IN A VAN | PART 5 | “DOES IT EVER GET COLD IN YOUR VAN?”

In short, yes. Fucking cold.

But since my first, extremely naive year of soapbox dwelling, I’ve come a long way.

I hadn’t anticipated the winter of 2012 to be such a savage one, otherwise I probably would have prepared far better than I originally did. One sub-par, synthetic sleeping bag and a tatty wool blanket were the sole contents of my anti-freeze kit. All I can say with 20/20 hindsight is naivety really can be a life saver.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, nor did I know that 2012 would drop to -7 degrees celcius. That meant frozen hair, ice-capped balls and perma-stuck windows. Oh, and zero company because no one is going to sit through that with you just because you’re fun to hang out with.

I stupidly thought I could beat Mother Nature, that somehow I was tougher, more resilient than what she could bring to the british, winter table. Well, she served me and served me good, because I suffered like a bastard that year. Fluid started to build on my lungs, with regular, staccato coughs slipping into my sentences to replace what used to be punctuation. My bottle of olive oil became my thermostat. When that froze, which it has done on numerous occassions, I knew I was in for a tough ride. Silly boy. Nature always wins. Do you recall a time she has ever lost?

It wasn’t a complete thrashing, though. I was working in a rock climbing centre at the time and in their car park, outside the front of their industrial building, they had a large transformer-type unit, presumably owned by the National Grid. You know, the ones that say ‘Danger of Death, Keep Out’ on them.

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LIVING IN A VAN | PART 4 | DON’T YOU EVER THINK, “FUCK THIS, I’M GETTING A HOUSE!”?

Probably the number one question I have received over the last four and a half years, ‘Don’t you ever think, “Fuck this, I’m getting a house!”?’

In short, no. Housing’s for quitters!

Fuck this, I'm getting a house!

Jokes aside, there have been many times where I have contemplated the age-old question What the fuck am I doing?, usually when the van is freezing cold, something crucial breaks or I have a close encounter with some kind of perceived authority. However, I think asking yourself this question from time to time is a healthy type of reflection. If you’re asking yourself weekly, though, then it’s time to take a harder look at yourself, behaviour, environment and situation.

I’ve never thought about packing in my van lifestyle in exchange for a house, though. Ever. Why would I? Let’s look at my two sparkling other options. Again, these are my views. I am not saying these are practical steps for everyone or that everyone should do this. It collapsed my reality and turned me into somewhat of a societal outcast. Imagine what it would do to you!

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LIVING IN A VAN | PART 3 | DISPELLING THE HASHTAG ‘VANLIFE’ MYTH

There’s a lot of hashtag hype going around at the moment regarding #VanLife. I’m not even sure I feel comfortable using that term, considering how it has started to gain momentum within the mainstream, surprise surprise, in a rather deceptive direction.
It’s interesting because when I moved in to a van it was not popular, it definitely didn’t have a hashtag and was not sold to me as being a glamping option; not as a weekend package nor a way of life. Might I add, when I first came across the hashtag hype a couple of years later, it was #homeiswhereyouparkit popularised by the legend, Foster Huntingdon. That was when living in a van wasn’t cool. Now look what’s happened.

Upon first draft, I entitled this post ‘Shitting in a bag is not glamorous’, because that statement is true if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience the process.

Quitting your well paid job to travel continents in your confined, pinewood, rolling conversion, which is barely big enough to spread your supermarket fecal-capturing device, accompanied by your lover who you describe with something flimsy like ‘bohemian’, is not Van Life. It’s a glorified sabbatical with a romantic, edited-by-head-office-twist and I can only wish my dingy, electricity-free existence was half as sexy. Or as shallow.

Read on as I debunk the romance of being one above homeless. Again.

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New Video for LIFT PERFORMANCE APPAREL Portraits feat. Harry Cloudfoot | Episode 1

At least 3 months of hard work, multiple site visits across the UK, and dropping a lot of verbiage in an intimate, #vanlife interview, led to this inspirational piece of footage.
Episode 1 of LIFT’s ‘Portraits’ series takes an in-depth look into why LIFT’s athletes do what they do. You can check the episode below.
Read on and find out more about how we created the video and why I’m so stoked with my involvement with LIFT.

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The Van Life with Free Solo Climber Alex Honnold | The Cloudfoot Diaries #32

Take a tour with crazy free solo climber Alex Honnold, as he shows us his pimped out tranny van that he lives in when he’s on the road climbing super high shit.
I think it’s time I gave my van a bit of a makeover myself…

The video was made by GoalZero – a company specialising in portable power units in the form of batteries and solar panels. I was given a small GZ solar panel last year, but to be honest, using it in both European sunshine (high grade) and UK rays (low grade) was an absolute waste of time! Looks like they might have stepped up their game if they’ve got Honnold on board.

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Water Loading, Backflips and Photoshoots | The Cloudfoot Diaries #1

The sun seems to be returning and the light is in sight to signify the end of winter; a powerful time of year for any van dweller!

This weekend had an action packed itinerary, including : slackline workshops at Boulder Brighton’s anniversary Climbing Competition, the re-introduction of carbohydrates to my body after a week’s depletion, and a creative, athletic photo shoot with photographer Jack Daly.

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Read on to find out more from this first instalment of The Cloudfoot Diaries…

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LIVING IN A VAN | PART 2 | POWER DOWNS AND WARM UPS

Winter is here, and I’m not dead yet. If you read my first post on Living in a Van, ‘The (Un)Examined Life’ you will have had a brief insight into my adventures with living in my van, The Mothership.
Part 2 explores some more, somewhat brutal revelations I’ve had since shifting my existence into 20 square feet of space, and looks at some of the philosophies as why I chose to do so.

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