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.

Traveller Life

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

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

Classic Liquid Fuel Stoves

A look at the origins and evolution of our favorite camp stove... This post was going to be a few words about the Primus stoves we all love and some images I've collected from around the web.  As usual, I found myself rambling all over the topic without a clear direction but here is a … Continue reading Classic Liquid Fuel Stoves

Caravan; life in the little green vardo

After a little over a week traveling across the country in the new and improved vardo I want to share a few unedited and unstaged photos of life in the caravan. I am still pleased with almost every aspect of the Little Green Vardo, even after 29,000 miles. More of my work can be found … Continue reading Caravan; life in the little green vardo

Happiness in Simplicity

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

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

Making a Bucksaw – Retrospective

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

Campsite Life

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

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

Travellers at Home

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

The World is Your Workshop

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

Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?

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?

A Romany Family in Scotland

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

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

Close Call at 65 mph

I decided this was worth a re-post. An incident that could have gone far worse in many ways.

Preindustrial Craftsmanship

I had to wait a while to publish this one but maybe I just need to get it out…

I like to think I’m a safe person.  At least to the point of looking out for others if not always myself.  I don’t drive aggressively, I maintain my vehicles, and don’t take big chances on the road.  That said, I probably stress my truck and the vardo more than most people would.  The truck has spent sixteen years as an archaeologist’s field vehicle and has gone into places I would have never thought I would take it.  I have crept into BLM campsites with the vardo that required it to be tipped up to 45 degrees and I was certain it was going to go over.  I’ve intentionally jack-knifed the whole thing just to push it into place between boulders.

These things are just the nature of travel in the…

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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

Tinker Family in Scotland

Here's a wonderful old photograph of a "Tinker Family in Scotland."  It is believed to be taken sometime in the 1920s but the location was not identified.  The wagon could just about pass for a western American sheep camp.  Even thought they had the wealth to own a wagon it was still a pretty tough … Continue reading Tinker Family in Scotland

A Perfect Vardo

Desert Dream This is a beautiful photo of Travellers in Britain, 1950.  I came across it a while back while searching out vardo images for my own inspiration.  This one has some great details and has a distinctive Scottish feel. There's a flag of the Scottish Caravan Club flying on the roof and some great … Continue reading A Perfect 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

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

House Trucks from the Early 1970s

Rolling homes go back almost as far as rolling vehicles and the modern era of motor driven cars is not an exception.  If you have followed this blog at all you may have seen some great contraptions, especially from the 1920s and 30s.  The counter-culture of the 1960s lead to a generation of rolling home … Continue reading House Trucks from the Early 1970s

Exploring Old Caravan Images

There are quite a few images from the Golden Age of the Gypsy Caravan* floating around the web, many without appellation.  Still, they have much to offer the potential traveler or yearning nomad today. I quite like seeing the nearly universal items one needs for living on the move such as the folding tables, water … Continue reading Exploring Old Caravan Images

A Slow Moving Beauty

I don't really know anything about this beautiful rig but I like what I see.  A converted mower in front as a tow vehicle and it's pulling a little trailer of it's own behind.  If anyone knows any more about this one please let me know!  I found it on Tumblr but was able to … Continue reading A Slow Moving Beauty

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

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