Outdoor Diary: The Most Exciting Buy In a Long Time, Plus a Contest

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On this week’s Outdoor Diary, find out what Amy’s big purchase of the week was – and how it is going to be a major game changer for her outdoor time this winter!

Some of the good stuff:

[:28] What can happen when you shop online

[:45] How Amy decided she wanted a conversion van

[2:08] The big purchase

[2:24] All about the van

[3:10] Updates to the van

[3:27] A contest

Connect with this episode:

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary on The Humans Outside Podcast. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. 


Here’s the thing about getting surgery and then sitting on the couch a lot while a little drugged with several days off from work — you suddenly have a lot of time to online shop. And sometimes, when you online shop, you find just the thing you were looking for. 


Now, first we need to rewind. Remember a few weeks ago when I went on a pre-surgery adventure with my so-called running wives in Clare’s new-to-her Volkswagen camper van name Roxanne? Other than the incredible time had playing outside and experiencing the amazing season that is fall in Alaska, I had one major takeaway: I absolutely, positively needed my own conversion van.


Buying a van has been something we’ve talked about for a long time. But there’s always been reasons not to do it. We wondered if we would rather have a simple cabin somewhere that we could visit on repeat instead of investing in a van. Having a van, though, would extended our comfortable adventure season pretty far. Note I say “comfortable.” Many people here camp year round — but I’m not that interested in being cold. For me, I don’t want to tent camp when it’s colder than, say, 45 degrees. That gives me from May-ish to early September in the tent. But that doesn’t seem like enough, honestly. I want more camping weeks. 


So over time we’ve looked at vans and realized that they tend to be super expensive and hard to find here in Alaska, especially ones with more than 2 seatbelts. Volkswagen tend to be plentiful, but they also tend to be pricey and have mechanical issues.


But with all of that couch time and the memory of our van-based adventure fresh in my mind, I stepped up the search. And that’s why when a legitimately a steal of a deal came up, I was one of the first people who inquired.


A week later — the van was in our driveway. 


That’s right, we bought a camper van. The adventures are about to get next level, friends. And I’m so stoked.


The van isn’t exactly a looker — but it’s perfect for a us. It’s a 1997 Coachman Ford E250 with just under 100,000 miles and more bells and whistles than we actually want or need. It’s got a propane generator, an outdoor shower, a sink and stove inside. It sleeps at least four and has seatbelts for seven. It has a heater and A/C. And it has a toilet that we’ll be removing because the van isn’t THAT big, and the toilet is weird.  


Luke has visions of adventures far and wide year round, but especially in the winter. I have visions of overnight adventures at running events around Alaska. It’s going to be so incredibly fun.


The van is going to get some updates — we’re going to get it deep cleaned before anything else, and update the curtains, and probably do some cabinet and vinyl painting. You could see a complete tour of the van in the show notes or on our Instagram or Facebook pages. 


YouTube video



But what the van really needs is a name. Yes, a name. People name their vans and we not ones to buck a standard. And that’s where you come in. I am but one human, and I cannot think of all the possible names. We’ll be announcing our van name pick on Oct. 5 – and in next week’s outdoor diary. If you’re the first person to suggest the name we pick, I’ll send you not one but TWO Humans Outside decals. I love word play, irony and inside jokes. Keep that in mind with your suggestions. 


You can submit your suggestion as a comment on our Instagram post, on Facebook or to [email protected]

Now, you want to know how I’ve been spending time outside recently? Well, it’s fall here in Alaska, so my time has been spent out enjoying the rapidly changing colors both from my porch, with just my feet soaking in the hot tub. And once even during a short crutch-walk on a trail. I’m looking forward to ditching the crutches eventually and really enjoying my hot tub fully this coming week. 


I’m going to skip the outdoor hero this week, because all I can think about is the van. And,  frankly, it’s too early to call the van my outdoor hero, because do we know it’s a hero until we actually use it? No we do not. 


You know I want to see how you’ve been spending your outdoor time. That’s why I think you should share with me by tagging it on Instagram with #HumansOutside365. And you’ll find all of our outdoor time there as well.


Until next time, we’ll see you out there!

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