Caravan Family

During the heyday of Caravan living it is important to remember that these were rarely the dwelling of a loner. The Caravan was the hub of the nuclear family and groups of wagons represented larger, extended family groups and allies. We are social creatures that thrive in community.

Interview Time

Well this is exciting. I got interviewed at winter count near Florence, Arizona back in February. It's heavily edited from a much longer discussion but I don't think I sound too stupid here talking about the Vardo.  The interview is very close-up and tight but you can get a feel for the interior layout. There … Continue reading Interview Time

ProtoStoga

I want to re-share this camper I posted about back in 2010.  I would still like to know more about it but love what I've seen so far. I see some definite similarities to my own concept of a vardo but I really like to metal sheathing as a modern, low maintenance exterior.  Also, the … Continue reading ProtoStoga

Paris Travellers

A tiny accommodation, side entry single horse style.  It is documented that the adults with this style wagon generally slept outdoors except in very bad weather.  It was a good way to confine the children and the valuables. This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around … Continue reading Paris Travellers

Caravans

Here's another excellent photo of a pack of vardos (caravans) in the wild.  It looks like everyone came out and maybe even spruced themselves up for the photo.  I couldn't find any metadata on this one but it looks fairly early, probably late nineteenth century.  These appear to be high-end models in great condition still. … Continue reading Caravans

Community of Wanderers

Nomads are not loners.  In fact, humans do not do well alone in any setting.  We have always been communal people, depending upon one another for help and support.  Many hands make light work and it is essential to be near others you can depend on. I have been collecting images of Traveller communities for … Continue reading Community of Wanderers

A Dog and Her Vardo

So, a vardo is a small space, especially when living with a dog.  The old dog loved sleeping under the rig as she took her guard duties seriously but unfortunately, she is no longer with us.  The youngster, on the other hand, has no interest in that sort of nonsense and only wants to be … Continue reading A Dog and Her Vardo

Dugald Semple and a Simple Life

I would like to re-share this older post I wrote about a caravaner, scholar, and philosopher I am quite intrigued by - Dugald Semple Dugald Semple was a Scottish philosopher of the early 20th Century and an advocate for simple living.  After becoming and engineer he took to the woods and, for a period, a … Continue reading Dugald Semple and a Simple Life

Ice Cream Cart

Looking for an attention-getting color scheme for your vardo or caravan?  Look no further than this fine little burro-powered wagon from Pakistan. A most cherished traditional dessert from Lahore, Pakistan, known as Kulfi, which is made with condensed milk, almonds, cardamom, and sugar is served from these little hand-built carts. The ice cream is then … Continue reading Ice Cream Cart

A View from the Vardo

Working away on a weekend day a little while back.  Enjoying time on the prairie in my little rolling home; coffee, a banjo, and connection to a HotSpot so I can get some work done.  The best of all worlds. I don't remember for sure but I suspect there is a dog or two laying … Continue reading A View from the Vardo

Wyoming Sheepherders

Today, it's sheep camps from Wyoming from the Wyoming Tales and Trails webpage.  Great photos and some good information about Western history. Note the important things; wood stove, wash pan hanging on the door, the big tub sitting outside, and a fiddle for company.  I could spend a good chunk of my life like this! Another … Continue reading Wyoming Sheepherders

A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon

I love these the old sheepherder camps.  I've seen quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho and even a few in Arizona.  I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists who have access to land.  Far better than a housing complex … Continue reading A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon

Novel Camping Trailer from 1929

From the ingenuity of the Roaring 20s.  Pack up with your favorite Flapper and head to the wide-open spaces! Novel Camping Trailer Opens Into Comfortable Quarters A NOVEL camping trailer has been produced in London which is hailed with delight by lovers of the outdoors because of the comfort it provides. The trailer, compact when … Continue reading Novel Camping Trailer from 1929

Who Says Bigger is Better?

Okay, in some cases maybe.  This cute little combo caught my attention a couple years ago and I'm just getting around to posting it.  A truly minimal teardrop trailer that I suspect can just sleep two with about one suitcase each. I found it labelled “The 1941 Kozy Coach Travel Trailer ” but a search … Continue reading Who Says Bigger is Better?

Back in Business

Greetings from the great middle west of the United States, where I currently reside.  The vardo is in the outbuilding awaiting some much anticipated upgrades and paint.  I have projects and side-projects and unfinished work to complete in every direction I turn; not to mention the fun little things set aside to try on a … Continue reading Back in Business

Kevin’s Vardo

I always enjoy hearing from others who have built their own caravans, especially when accompanied by photos and descriptions.  If you follow this blog you probably saw Kevin's original photos here recently with a short post about his build.  If not, you can read about it HERE. The promised follow-up is finally here as I … Continue reading Kevin’s Vardo

Yet Another Sheepherder…

(from the Paleotool vault) I love these things.  I saw quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho last week.  I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists.  Way better than a housing complex or apartment for sure.  The photos link to … Continue reading Yet Another Sheepherder…

A Guest Vardo

I always appreciate getting mail and comments on the blog; especially when someone is able to take information away and create something of their own.  I recently received some fine photos from Kevin with his own Vardo build.  I emailed back for more information but haven't heard anything yet. The wagon is a lovely and … Continue reading A Guest Vardo

Growing Up on the Range…

(from the Paleotool vault) Here's a great story I read years ago about being raised in a family of six in a sheep camp measuring about 7 x 8'! (I think that's the floor space).  I recently relocated the article in Mother Earth News. Here's an excerpt: "The canvas-covered sheep wagon was roughly about seven … Continue reading Growing Up on the Range…

Wyoming Sheepherders Again

 (from the Paleotool vault) Sheep camps from Wyoming from the Wyoming Tales and Trails webpage.  Great photos and some good information concerning everything "western." A self-contained base camp in a sheep wagon provides a cozy home on the prairie. A beautiful culmination of cultures a innovations created this iconic American living arrangement.  We can learn a … Continue reading Wyoming Sheepherders Again

More of The Beautiful Japanese Vardo

This is a follow-up to the previous post. I say Vardo because that's really what it is.  You can sense that the presenter of this show isn't too familiar with true rolling homes, caravans, vardos, or whatever you want to label them but his enthusiasm is real.  I like this home a lot but there … Continue reading More of The Beautiful Japanese Vardo

Fitting Out and Fixing Problems, Vardo Remodel Part 9

Sink, seating, and storage galore - I'm finally moving onto the luxuries that make this addition what it is meant to be; essentially moving some outdoor activities and living indoors with more amenities and easier foul-weather living. Beginning with a little sink re-purposed from an old copper mixing bowl set -  This one was the … Continue reading Fitting Out and Fixing Problems, Vardo Remodel Part 9

Door and Frame, Vardo Remodel Part 8

Every home needs a door.  It's a tricky bit that must fit well, open and close easily, provide some security, and hopefully, look good doing it.   We found a mahogany, two-panel door at the Habitat Re-Store in Lubbock a couple months ago and since the price was right ($10), we bought it.  It was … Continue reading Door and Frame, Vardo Remodel Part 8

More Historic Caravans in Art

Here are a couple final Alfred Munnings images of Romani caravans in an English countryside.  As a keen observer, he definitely caught the important details of each type of caravan and the essentials of camp life.  The watercolor above is somewhat unusual for Munnings as it shows no animals, people, or campfire. Above is a … Continue reading More Historic Caravans in Art

Historic Romani Caravan Paintings

These images might whet the appetite for summer days, picnics, an caravanning off into the great unknown; or it might just be a bunch of pretty pictures if the former isn't your cup of tea.  Anyway, these are generally labelled and classed as Gypsy images although we know that this is often seen as an … Continue reading Historic Romani Caravan Paintings

Progress is slow but steady, Vardo Remodel Part 7

The weekend was cold, I was tired (read lazy), and other things had to be attended to so this update is just baby steps in the big scheme. Although mine is a purely pragmatic build, I wanted an homage to the classic Dunton Reading wagon. Taking a plain profile and giving it simple compass curves … Continue reading Progress is slow but steady, Vardo Remodel Part 7