Gotta move

One of the first things that strikes many people when they meet Daniel E. Carpenter for the first time is his charm, he exudes a kind of charisma that could have won over the Kings and Queens of the not-too-distant past. Some say this comes from his genetics or his upbringing, but I believe it’s due to the fact that he’s a nomad through and through.

“The nomadic lifestyle doesn’t suit everybody!”, Daniel warns, as his tales spark interest from the people around him. He believes there are some key things to remember before selling everything you own and living out of a caravan or campervan, and he shared them with me to share with you.

Always Have Excess of the Bare Necessities

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but Dan told me multiple tales of being in the extreme wilderness without water to drink or food to eat.

“When you’re going deep you gotta pack like the apocalypse is coming”, he told me, explaining how he’d stash cans of lentils, beans, and tuna in every nook and cranny his camper would permit.

Investing in some books on foraging and water filters can also ensure that the worst-case scenario stays at bay, Daniel was given multiple books on foraging from encouraging friends over the years, but stated that they should be specific to the area you’re planning on traveling to.

Never Rely Solely on Technology

Google Maps has completely changed the way we travel, undeniably for the better, although access to electricity and signal is limited when you’re living on the road.

“Get a map big enough to see every little side street from where you are to where you’re goin’”, Dan stated, he’d been misled by both Google Maps and a Tomtom which had cost him precious gas and time.

If for whatever reason you do need consistent electricity, investing in a solar panel and battery is your best bet, whether it’s small and can charge your cell phone, or big enough to power your appliances; but also accept the fact you simply may have to go without sometimes too.

Introduce Yourself to the Locals

Whenever you pull into a new town, flash a big smile at the people you see and greet everyone you cross as you would acquaintances at your job. 

“Small-town folk are usually a tight-knit community and can save your life if you treat ‘em right”, this nugget of wisdom came with a story of Daniel being trapped in his camper by a bear, after around 10 minutes of honking his horn and flashing his lights some locals he’d met the day prior quickly came up and scared the hungry bear off.

It’s important for small towns that tourists spend a little money while staying, and often you will see that many of the shops are family-run and depend on a minute profit margin to stay open and provide for their community.

Take Only Photos, Leave Only Footprints

This is a travelers code throughout the world, and can be seen in guesthouses in Thailand, as well as National Parks in the mid-west.

“It sounds cliche but it’s about respect for the land you occupy and the people who live around it”, Dan reckoned this was one of the most important things people should try and uphold, citing the pain and fury he’s felt when he’s come across a trashed campsite in the middle of the woods.

Taking small momentos or souvenirs from places you’ve stayed is an age-old tradition, especially for those who whittle, although it’s best to do your research and know that the things you’re taking aren’t part of the ecology of the area.

Make Sure People Know Where You Go

Nothing is worse for friends or family to have no idea where one of their own has gone, informing people of your plans can also save your life if you end up going hiking or a natural disaster hits.

“Call two family members and a friend to brag about your plans to travel, it don’t matter if you piss them off that’ll mean they’ll remember better”, Dan chuckled sharing this with me, he explained how an irate cousin once drove deep into the woods to jump start his engine for him, the story quickly became a classic at Xmas and Easter for the Carpenter family.

Ideally you wouldn’t want to travel like this alone, but if you are this tip is especially important as you may need help like Dan did, or people might need to contact you urgently.


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“Get a map big enough to see every little side street from where you are to where you’re goin’”, Dan stated, he’d been misled by both Google Maps and a Tomtom which had cost him precious gas and time.