Advanture journal issue seven finds us at a fresh, exciting point for the publication’s history. A fully re-designed look and feel, Advanture has a brand new logo, art direction, paper (offset) and even size. The content is still driven (sorry, bad pun) by the endless curiosity, execution and passion for living a nomadic lifestyle in a van. In this latest issue we meet sets of people who have taken the leap into this lifestyle, tweakers and customisers – those who are building a new van, but also those who offer perspectives on the best set-ups for the vehicles they call home. It includes discussions about time on the road (and off) but also a feature about a couple who started their journey in 1976, who deliver a retrospective on how life has changed for them.
The start of issue seven sees us exploring the idea of solar panelling vans to help become more self-sufficient in terms of energy consumption and of course financially. Handy tips such as, “you should consider sizing your battery pack larger than your estimated needs, to ensure you never completely run out of power,” provides practical reminders to help you on your way. Simple notes such as this can be forgotten in the heat of the moment, especially when travelling long distances. However with the right equipment, will power, knowledge and vehicle – the world is your oyster.
Advanture opens up this world to us, creating a haven for like-minded explorers, seasoned professionals and newbies to co-exist within the pages. The cover image by Kim Öhman sees a van travel through dense forest with only a single beam of light lighting their way. This aerial shot gives their plight a solitary feel, which is hauntingly beautiful. No doubt starting out on this nomadic journey can be a lonely experience, but that’s where Advanture comes into its own. Noted as an, ‘adventure vanlife journal,’ on the website, the journal catalogues an array of ideas for the vanlife lifestyle – from installing a heater in a Volksvagen (demonstrated by the founder Alex Brown), to group adventures in the Icelandic wilderness.
Advanture treats its readers to comprehensive features covering technical aspects of a vanlifer’s set-up, including a piece where we meet Funwagen’s 4WD Doka (page 37). The article breaks down the vehicle’s features, but also the reasoning why owner Ben Quesnel decided to persevere with the 31 year old vehicle. There was, “some restoration,” required, David, the article’s writer notes. “There is also enough space to provide storage beside a longitudinal bed,” he adds. The designed Doka is explained in a series of photos by Ben that details the designs and restorations of some of the crucial parts of the vehicle. It’s a real eye-opener into the level of detail and commitment that Ben has into making it a home. However, you don’t have to be a technical wizard to learn about the in’s and out’s of the lifestyle of living in a van, but it certainly helps. The issue covers a wide range of vehicles that contributors own, be it a Mercedes Sprinter, the Doka or a VW California. The choice can be based on a lot of variables, as realised by the journal – but it can also be highly customised to create something special and comfortable.
The comfortability factor is a strong theme within the journal, which notes upgrades and design as core factors into customising your experience in this nomadic world. Building a life designed for travel can be a daunting experience, but Advanture’s piece on Iceland (page 84) is a pivotal insight into communities and groups that are introducing the lifestyle to many. With breathtaking photography, the ‘Spotlight on Iceland’ article delves into ‘Vanlife Iceland,’ a guided tour through the country’s stunning landscapes in a 7-day road trip. Perfect for first timers, the group of 15 vans covers 1,400km across this vast landscape, forming a temporary community of like-minded people for a trip of a lifetime. “There is an emphasis on bonding as a group,” the piece reads. “But the day is left open for you to stare out at the scenery taking all the time you need to absorb the ambiance.” Driving the open road with friends is an exciting prospect, never mind the photos for your feed.
Alex Brown, the owner and Editor of the journal, notes in the opening letter that this issue is the, “first full production issue,” and it’s clear to see how proud he is about how far it has come. Stepping into this world for the first time was an adventure in itself as a reader. It’s hard to overcome my personal feeling of not being able to have too many material items – especially as a collector of print. But Advanture opens its metaphoric arms to everyone; its expansive insight into the world of the vanlifer is an ode to the nomads in the world. The lifestyle also bends its ears to the current state of affairs. With issues such as the rising living costs driving people out of cities, the pandemic pushing many to purchase in the countryside and of course the housing crisis, vanlife has found its place within the ecosystem of survival – but also a clear way to thrive. It’s easy to see that the journal offers perspective into a different way of life, one that can be potentially freeing but also life-changing.