The #yourlead van is officially on the road for the summer! After the TETON crew took it for a test drive in early May, Kam took over + broke it in for a week of exploring in the Grand Tetons + Yellowstone. So far, this puppy has 5,497 miles on it + the fun has only just begun. For the next 12 weeks we’re going to document to miles + adventures of the #yourlead van, one Tuesday Travels post at a time.
You may have seen me around #hikerchat + the Adventure Hub but my first impressions aren’t always that stellar, so let’s do a quick intro!
My name is Heidi + I’ll be living in the #yourlead van for the better part of the summer. I have spent the last year living a rather nomadic life without a home address. It’s not the life I ever imagined for myself but it kind of fits me, so I’m sticking with it. The #yourlead van is the reason I’ve started believing in happy accidents. Everything with the timing, logistics + life plans just fell into place once the conversation with TETON Sports got started…probably because two fairly cool dudes dominate at TETON’s marketing + social media!
Now, I just picked up the van on Sunday night [after a 15 hour day of flights from Mexico to Utah] + we’ve already bonded. We’re basically besties as we’re already keeping secrets for Shawn + Landon [the van’s dads, if you will]…no one needs to know about those latte stains, there’s no use crying over spilled caffeine! I’m sure we’ll fight a few times over the summer but those moments will lead to good stories for y’all.
As for the time I’ll be spending in the van…I’ll be on the move, a lot. I’m bouncing around the country visiting Sportsman Warehouse stores, hosting group trail-ventures + attempting to train for two big ultra races. I’m also keeping my remote job for a company based out of Denver. I’ll be busy…but I’m excited about it.
While this trek around the Western US in the #yourlead van started out as a solo endeavor I have managed to bribe, coerce + enable a few of my favorite people along for the ride. I’ll save their intros for the weeks they’re roaming the country with me, but it’s safe to say…ice cream will be consumed, trails will be run, abs will hurt from laughter + shenanigans will go down!
Enough about me…let’s talk about the van that will be my home for the summer. First off, Shawn + Landon dominated at this build out of this van. It is insane. It doesn’t feel at all like a hobbled together, make-shift home that “will do for now”, because it’s none of those things. These guys put a ton of work into this black beauty + I’m fairly certain I haven’t even discovered all the gadgets + cubbies yet! Keep an eye on Snapchat [follow “heidikumm” + “tetonsports”] for actual video snippets as photos just don’t do it justice.
Lastly, packing. Since we don’t have a lot of adventurous stories to share with just a few hours on the road why not talk a bit about the packing process + how the heck one prepares to move into a van that some people would consider the size of a walk-in closet. More so, how does someone who wants to do all the things figure out what needs to come along for the ride?
I made a list. Okay, a few lists. Knowing I’ll be meeting new people + exploring new trails I want to be sure I have the basic essentials for just about any adventures. Trail running. Rock climbing. Backpacking. Camping. Rafting. Mountaineering. All of it. So, I made a list of what I wanted to do + what each activity needed. Then I stared at those lists for a while + got a creative as possible.
Nearly everything I’ve packed can be used in multiple scenarios, especially in the clothing department. Leggings as pants is a given, but did you know a running skirt most definitely counts as a cute dinner out skirt if you pair it with the right top? Not that I plan on having many dinners out, but you never know…someone might fall in love with my trail dirt + who am I to judge their life choices?! I like to be prepared. For everything…except that one thing I forgot about.
Beyond packing for all the adventures I lucked out + really didn’t need to do much work to get ready for life in the van. I already tied up all my life’s loose ends in April when I sold my car, forwarded all my mail to my mom’s house + headed down to Mexico for six weeks. The only pressing adult task I had when I got back from Mexico was laundry…lots of laundry!
As far as prepping the van itself — the TETON crew did a fantastic job of filling the kitchen with roadtrip food + the bunk beds are all decked out with TETON Sports sleeping bags + sleeping pads [which can easily be moved into the tent should we find the perfect camping spot].
So, there you have it…the very first Tuesday Travels post, albeit a very wordy post [the whole “talks a lot” part of my first impression is very accurate #sorrynotsorry]. In the coming weeks I hope to share photos from our trail-ventures, tidbits on the cities + mountains we visited, random stories + what trails you can find us on in the coming week.
Is there anything else you’d like to hear about? Random stats like miles traveled, lattes drank, roadside bio breaks taken? Stories about the stray cat we adopt? Tell me…I’ll see what I can come up with!