Benefits and Drawbacks: Road Life (Being a Nomad)

Living in a car, van, motorhome or trailer and travelling around all the time can be seen as romantic and freeing.  However, there are both benefits and drawbacks to a lifestyle of this nature.

Benefits:  Freedom to travel around when and where you choose.  No bills (or very few).  Not much stuff to deal with.  Being able to go somewhere else at the drop of a hat.  Seeing the country.  Living on a smaller budget than an apartment or house.

Drawbacks: Possible problems with police or security.  Knowing where to park… and where not to.  Knowing what type of rig you need for the lifestyle you want.  Knowing exactly what equipment (and how much) you need for the lifestyle you want.  Dealing with weather (example Hurricane Harvey or Irene).  Staying safe.


How much equipment and what type you need depends on exactly what type of lifestyle you want.  Someone backpacking will need (and be able to carry) a lot less equipment than someone living out of a car, van or pickup, and the vehicle people will need less equipment than someone living out of say a class A motorhome will.

I have noticed no two nomads ever have the exact same equipment, though everybody had the same basics.  Basics being, shelter, food, clothes, restroom use, staying clean.

When I lived out of a backpack on the road with shows, I always carried a certain minimum of equipment.  A tarp, in case it rained.  A nylon sleeping bag.  At least one bottle of water.  Granola bars for emergency food supply.  A spare set of clothes.  Sewing box, with several different colors of thread, a packet of needles and a small pair of scissors.  A small first aid kit, with several different types of band aids, Ace bandages, sterile gloves, white bandage tape, scissors just for the first aid box, OTC remedies like asprin, Tylenol and ibuprofen.  A mess kit and mess kit silverware.

Due to space and weight issues I didn’t bother carrying cooking pots or pans, or a stove of any type.  I also didn’t travel alone, but was always in a group.  More than once I ended up sleeping under the boss’s trailers, though I did try to stay hidden from anyone outside the group.  Eating was expensive, since it was always in a restaurant or something.  I think my biggest expense back then, bar none, was food.

One year I was running with a show, I think it was my third season out.  The crew was making a four hour jump from one spot in northern Nevada to another in central California.  I’d brought all my gear (I didn’t have a bunk room, being on a different crew); it fit on a 50lb max carry luggage cart.  I actually had an extra item that year, a folding chair.  The crew member who got dropped off with me didn’t have any of his gear, it was all in his bunk room.  Reasonable, until you figure that the bunk house was not being pulled by the truck we were on.

So here Jeff (if I ever knew his last name I don’t remember it now) and I were, left in Anaheim with the Extreme and the generator, while the truck went back for another load.  It was getting dark, and even in September in central California it starts getting cold outside at night.  So I laid out my sleeping bag, rolled up in my tarp, under the 5th wheel of the Extreme and went to sleep.  Poor Jeff ended up sitting in my chair freezing his keister off in his overalls and t-shirt trying to sleep as well.  I was so grateful I had all my gear, and didn’t have so much that I couldn’t carry it all.

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Fall is here… Happy Halloween!

Fall is here, which means harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween.  Kids have been back to school now for awhile, and they’re likely getting anxious for a break.  I know I did, at this time of year.  Though we didn’t get a break until Christmas, where we had 2 weeks solid off.

Trick or treat, pumpkins on porches, candy in bowls at the door.  Adults answering in costumes, children going through neighborhoods with parents in tow.  Scary decorations festooning the walls… usually indoors these days, I’ve noticed.

Chilly, blustery days, golden leaves falling from trees, Jack Frost nipping at the windows, snow’s just around the corner.  Make sure that snow blower’s maintained, and fuel it up so its ready to go as soon as that first snow falls.  Chains on the tires, tools in the trunk, just in case you happen to get stuck.  Or if you’re like me, have a snow shovel or two handy, as well as an extra pair of hands to help with the shoveling.

Happy Halloween!

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Back to School…

Traditionally, in late July and August people started thinking about the kids going back to school.  Whether its elementary school, high school or college makes no difference, the first Tuesday in September after Labor Day was the first day of school.

Weather cooling off, crops from summer gardens are in, school supplies and clothes being chosen and bought.  Teachers waiting to instruct kids who might only be there because they’re told to be… or not knowing how important an education is to whatever they choose to do later on in life.

Once in awhile, though, there comes along a special kid, one who’s determined to get out of whatever situation they’re currently in, who has distinct goals in life and a path to get there.  Sometimes said path takes detours, but that’s life.  Things don’t work out one way, try another, until there is success.

Success… slippery word, that.  Just what is success?  That depends on who is asking, since success means different things to everyone.  Also each person takes a different road to get to their own success.

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Happy Independence Day!

4th of July feasting, nice and hot… swimming, boating, lots of fun.  Just don’t drink alcohol and drive home; we don’t want fatalities!

River walk, boat landing, riding down rapids on an inner tube… don’t forget the sunscreen so the sun doesn’t make you look like a lobster.

Happy Independence Day USA!

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Heat Wave!

There’s some pretty hot weather going around… 102F where I’m at yesterday, with a low of 67F.

Maybe if we pray we can have some rain?  How about a rain dance?  No thunder, though; as dry as it is we don’t need wildfires going on.

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Mother’s Day Mayhem

Its the time of year that we normally honor our mothers… all the mayhem we put them through over the years not withstanding.  In this lifetime we only get one mother… care for her and keep her in your hearts and minds always, because she does the same for you.

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Hippity Hop, the Easter Bunny’s on his way!

Where’s that dang rabbit hiding out, anyway?  Isn’t he supposed to be around on April 16th?  Chocolates, eggs, chicks… I personally dislike Peeps intensely…

Flowers popping up… tulips, roses, iris’s… It’d be neat if they made chocolate in shapes of flowers that wouldn’t collapse from their own weight…

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Downtown Reno no doubt has green beer flowing like water… and bus rides are free between 4pm and midnight local time.  Hopefully all the drunks make it home in one piece, leaving their vehicles parked safely in casino parking lots and garages, and nobody gets hurt.

Stay safe everyone!

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A New Year, Another Holiday

Valentine’s Day is on its way… the 14th of February.  Gifts for this generally include flowers, chocolates, and plush toys.  At least as far as I’ve seen the last few years, anyway.

What events happen on Valentine’s Day?  Dinner and a movie?  Private time between couples?  Maybe somebody has to work, someone else is taking care of children, and the meaning of the day gets lost in the routine of daily life.

Whatever people decide to do on and for the holiday, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Christmas is Coming…

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, won’t you please put a penny in the old man’s hat?  If you haven’t got a penny a h’penny will do, if you haven’t got a h’penny God bless you!


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