Episode 53: Van Life 101: Your Guide to Life on the Road with Veteran Nomad Katie Larsen

109 shares Want to live life on the road but don’t know where to start?  Our  guest, Katie Larson from So, We Bought a Van,…

Want to live life on the road but don’t know where to start?  Our  guest, Katie Larson from So, We Bought a Van, is here to share her wealth of experiences and insights as a seasoned full-time van lifer. Not only will she guide you through the practical aspects of choosing the right van and finding free campsites, but also the nuances and challenges that come with full-time van life.

Nomadic living isn’t just about choosing a vehicle – it’s about choosing a lifestyle. Katie offers valuable advice on how to adapt to this transformative journey, taking into account your individual needs, safety concerns, and travel style. From camping safety checks to essential gear selection, she’s got you covered. Plus, she shares her personal strategies for balancing a tight budget without compromising on daily necessities – like a hot shower!

Not only does Katie share tons of practical advice, she brings to light the joys and benefits of van life. She talks passionately about the unrivaled freedom, flexibility, and the evolving motivations behind her choice to live this lifestyle. In addition, she shares how having a pet can enrich the van life experience. Embark on this adventure with confidence, inspired by Katie’s journey and empowered with her practical advice. Tune in now to get all the essentials on making the switch to van life!

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What We Discuss in Episode 53 of The Wayward Home Podcast:

  • We hear about Katie’s story transitioning to van life in 2016, her travels solo and with a partner, and the 3 different vehicles she’s lived in during her 7 years as a nomad.
  • How to choose a van. Katie suggests selecting a vehicle based on your goals for traveling. Moving fast and covering a lot of miles? Consider buying something new and reliable. Want to know your vehicle inside and out? Go with an older vehicle that is easier to work on.
  • Know how to drive for your vehicle’s weight and size. Either way, Katie and Kristin both recommend upgrade your tires for better off-road capability. Pay attention to where you drive and park, understand your limits, and know your clearance and where your tow points are.
  • When it comes to choosing camp spots, know where you can park legally, safely, and confidently. Understand the rules for BLM and National Forest land, know how to find local regulations, and use apps like iOverlander. Katie recommends getting to your camp spot during the day so you are not searching for a place to park at night.
  • Katie walks through gear that is helpful for beginners on their nomadic journey – from packing cubes and kitchen utensils that are compact and stackable, to basic tools and safety items like a tire repair kit, headlamp, and good window covers.
  • Overall, Katie talks about the importance of being flexible and staying close to “your why” when it comes to making travel decisions.

About Katie Larsen:

Katie Larsen

Since June of 2017, Katie Larsen has been traveling around North America in her Sprinter, exploring every nook and cranny she can find. You can usually find her in a National or State Park, somewhere deep in the trails with her camera around her neck.

Katie is passionate about outdoor exploration, working remotely, and living a lifestyle of work/travel balance. Living on the road has opened the realm of remote work for Katie, and without the constraints of working 8-5, she is able to spend more time and energy doing the things she loves.

Follow Katie’s journey online as she continues to explore new areas, revisit places she’s fallen in love with, and promote real, honest conversations about her lifestyle. 

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