It started with a van …

Vanlife is the celebration of life lived in and around vans – vans kitted out for camping and travelling (sometimes working their way back into towns and cities as well).

The venture started with friends Sam Peterson and Jared Melrose converting and fitting out vans into campers at affordable prices for fellow travellers – a world where people are looking to blaze their own trails, most often not with a lot of money, and where hiring commercially built vehicles is a guaranteed way to see fund haemorrhage.

Jonny Dustow, one of Jared’s long-time brothers, came to stay at Jared and Sam’s place in Collingwood. Like most old friends, the pleasantries dissolved rapidly and questions of direction and struggle bubbled to the surface. Jonny had some skills he wanted to bring to the table and over the next four hours they created a team and a project. Vanlife and Vanlife Diaries was born, and a community of outdoor devotees founds its way.

After six months Vanlife Diaries’ Instagram following spiked to 30,000. The friends orchestrated two Vanlife gatherings, fitted out several vans and expanded the Vanlife Diaries network of facilitators to five countries and four continents. This included hiring Kathleen Morton to come on board as an American representative and member of the Vanlife crew.

Vanlife promotes the stories of people and their adventures (in vans); regularly facilitates meet-ups of people in their vans in Australia and the US in places including Byron Bay, Missouri, Cudgen, New Mexico, Bellbrook and Colorado; and is currently working on a Kickstarter funded documentary due for completion and release in late 2018.

Wilderness Wear is happy to be supporting Vanlife as a sponsor and provides a range of outdoor gear for the crew to wear while they are out and about.

Here’s a great example of what Vanlife people are getting up to: