“About going where he likes, for instance? Are there not certain laws of the road that forbid the tarrying by the way of caravan folks, for a longer period than that necessary to water and feed a horse or look at his feet? By night, again, he may spy a delightfully retired common, with nothing … Continue reading Ode to the Wanderer, the First Land Yacht
I began version one of my Vardo Caravan eleven years ago this month. As I published updates and details along the way people have for a detailed "how to" for building a vardo. Since everyone's needs, skills, and resources are different, I will leave the task to others. My suggestions are this. Decide on your … Continue reading Building Your Own Vardo
It just seems right. The timing, the monetary investment, the effort. This is a requested repost of a series I did almost five years ago when I took my eight foot single-axle vardo caravan and reconstructed it into a 12 foot body on a robust tandem trailer. After adding up the mileage from the log … Continue reading Remodel and Rebirth of the Little Green Vardo
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.
Every traveler has a campfire has the center of daily life. The hearth has been our home for 1.5 - 2 million years now. No wonder it fascinates us and brings so much comfort. Nomads in a stationary culture are often tolerated at best and left only marginal space to congregate. This will probably never … Continue reading Traveller Life
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
Enjoy this beautiful Showman's Wagon ca. 1900. This would be a wonderful way to travel.
A LITTLE CARAVANNING HISTORY At the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the young artist Frances Jennings became a semi-invalid and was advised by her doctor to spend as much time as she could in the open air. Being a Victorian lady at loose ends, the obvious choice was to take to … Continue reading Happiness in Simplicity
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
In the heady days of 1918 while the German threat was being finished off in Europe Americans began to take leisure time in a new direction. Automobiles were almost commonplace and Yankee ingenuity was applying itself to this new platform of creativity. Patents were being filed to sell improvements on the original designs while pioneer … Continue reading Early Car Campers
This is the prototype saw I used for teaching a bushcraft class at Echoes in Time in 2014. Unfortunately, a split in the original wood spread last winter and I had to rebuild it. Actually though, that is a beautiful thing when you can make your own tools. I didn't spend any abstract money for … Continue reading Making a Bucksaw – Retrospective
Peter van Beek has documented the difficult life of nomads in a modernizing Europe. Fear, stereotypes, and unfamiliarity dominate their way of life and place them into a partially self-imposed, marginalized portion of society. Although there is terrible poverty, he documents family life and survival of these remarkable people. But it isn't all oppressive … Continue reading Romanian Gypsies
Scenes of life on the road and around the campsites. This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish, and Scottish Travellers collected from around the internet. Many of these historic images found on the web are without citation. When a clear link to a source is found, I try to include it. … Continue reading Campsite Life
This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around the internet. Many of these historic images found on the web are without citation. When a clear link to a source is found, I try to include it. If a source is known, please pass it on and … Continue reading Travellers at Home
This is an excellent idea, especially for a skilled willow weaver. If you need a bicycle wagon and can get a lightweight frame built, this seems to be a great, eye-catching option. I suggest watching the short videos on their site as well. I find their site somewhat difficult to navigate, but who am I … Continue reading Weaving Wagon
The Lady Go Lightly... Images from:
A somewhat dilapidated or damaged vardo in France 1920s - 1930s. People with no fixed address have always drawn suspicion while simultaneously their lifestyle is romanticized.
In Britain and Ireland, the Romany Gypsys and the Traveller community are often associated with low-skilled work such as scrap dealers, horse traders, musical entertainers, or more nefarious activities outside the societal norms. However, there were plenty of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen providing goods and services to people around the country. Below is an image … Continue reading The World is Your Workshop
Travellers in Europe and Britain have always been associated with a style tent called a bender. This comes from the construction technique of cutting saplings and bending them into a dome, elongated dome, or half cylinder shape, These frameworks were then covered with tarps and made watertight in the temperate damp. The origins of this … Continue reading Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?
I really like everything about the image above. We see three very different types of wagon-home-conveyances and a family, wearing clothing of the time. Travellers on the margin of mainstream society have been shunned, persecuted, and culturally dismissed while at the same time romanticized for their freedom and seeming lack of attachment to a more … Continue reading A Romany Family in Scotland