Words by Ben Gavelda


It may be the middle of the summer, but that’s only one more reason to pack up the rig and hit the road. Recently we brought you, 10 Products Guaranteed to Improve Your Road Trip, so now it only made sense to look back at some of our favorites from the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom this past winter.


It all starts with that one friend who has some sweet camper rig. Or that one photo you see of a camper in some crazy foreign place like driving through a field of fucking tulips or in front of the northern lights. Or all those millions of photos where everybody always seems to be standing on top of their van or sleeping naked with the doors open—like that's what makes #vanlife cool is standing on top of your van, more often than not, in a swimsuit. Then you start following van lifers on Instagram, googling different campers, looking at articles like this and rubbernecking constantly on the road when you see something new and foreign drive by. You start checking out campers more than you check out chicks and ask for tours.

The crossroads of vintage camper and modern wheels. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

This is when you know you have the itch. But then the itch ends in a terrible and sad realization—unless you have an extra hundred grand just lying around or you are willing to sell your body to make it—there isn't a great option for the average shred bum. The rig you're eyeing up may not be four-wheel drive, nor winter ready, or have storage for all of the toys or be capable for weeks off the grid. But you know what, anyone can rough it for a few days in just about any style or budget. The parking lot during the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom is proof as it was littered with everything from Class A motorhomes to tents on the ground and everything in between.


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