Taos Vanlife Gathering
for a summertime van gathering
in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.
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Join us for
a weekend of fun.
About the Gathering
Join us for a weekend-long campout in the high desert mesa of Hotel Luna Mystica, a private venue with plenty of stars and space. Under the open sky, we’ll enjoy workshops and music, community and natural beauty.
This weekend is a welcoming, friendly space where vanlifers can gather to share, learn, and deepen our community. Today, much of our interaction happens online, but this weekend in Taos, we’ll circle our modern-day covered wagons to share our skills and stories face-to-face, while doing what we love in the outdoors—and checking out each other’s rigs, of course!
There will be live music and a potluck, van-related workshops and time for informal chatting. Between the natural beauty of Hotel Luna Mystica and all of the qualified, passionate presenters we have lined up, we’re all in for a weekend to remember.
At the beautiful
Hotel Luna Mystica
The Venue: Hotel Luna Mystica
Somehow everything seems closer at the Mystica. 12-plus acres of mesa, 10 vintage trailers, 60 campsites, one planet, one moon, a gazillion stars. Head out of Taos and aim for the Rio Grande, turn right at the friendly lights over the Taos Mesa Brewery. The adventure awaits. Disconnect, and reconnect with your natural self. Restore your balance. This is a place of opportunity and tranquility. Community and solitude. Outer space and inner peace. Test yourself. Rest yourself. Reclaim yourself. Experience nature without the hassle.
With Kit Whistler & J.R. Switch
of Idle Theory Bus
Kit Whistler and JR Switchgrass of have been traveling the backroads of America full time for 7 years in their VW bus named Sunshine. They have loved watching the Vanlife community grow from a tiny, separate group of individuals to a robust community of radicals out to change the world. Kit is a writer, JR a photographer and videographer, and together they create art about what they find out there down the nowhere roads they love so well. You can follow their work on Idle Theory Bus and check out the book they published. They cannot wait to meet you all in Taos this August!
Your Ticket Gives Back
Giving Back to Our Public Lands...and Learning in the Process
10% of proceeds from the event will be donated to the Conservation Lands Association—but that’s not all. We are thrilled to announce that the Conservation Lands team will be presenting workshops at our gathering. We hope to cover a variety of pertinent topics, including tips on how to navigate the complex world of Public Land designations as well as tactical advice for how we, as lovers and users of these wild places, can become involved in protecting them for future generations. Conservation Lands Foundation is grassroots-run, and they believe that our vanlife community can truly make a difference in the world of public lands.
All Are Welcome
This is an all-inclusive event and we invite everyone to attend. Vans, buses, trucks, cars, motorbikes, swags, RVs, and bikes are welcome! Bring what ya got, and be prepared for three days of fun! The only requirement is that you pack a wide-open mind, a burning passion for alternative ways of living, and a desire to meet a whole lot of interesting people.
The Vanlife Community
We are part of a growing community that is passionate about van travel in wild places. Some “Vanlifers,” as we’re called, live in their vans full time. Some of us weekend warriors who venture out to climb or snowboard on weekends. Others take a seasonal approach, taking an extended road trip or vacation centered around vehicle travel, instead of flying to some far-off destination seeking adventure.
At the heart of our vanlife community is a commitment to simplicity and a love of nature, a commitment to camping and a welcoming environment.
Our hope is that, throughout the weekend, we can take our online conversations into a physical space. Each of us has unique talents to offer, and we’ll gather together to share them freely, along with conversation, art, laughter, and stories. There’ll be campfires for warming our fingers and early mornings for visiting and learning about each other’s rigs. Here’s to friends, both new and old.
Live Music by Ira Wolf
Meet Ira: Singer, Songwriter, Vanlifer
Hailing from the mountains of Montana, and making a home in Nashville, TN, Ira Wolf's music and writing is vulnerable and honest. With three studio albums to share, Ira has performed on stages across the US, the UK, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia since she began touring in 2014. She draws from personal experience, and connects on an intimate level with her audience through her honest lyrics and melancholy vocals. With roots in folk, Americana and bluegrass genres, Ira has found a unique sound that resonates with an eclectic listening crowd.
Although Ira continues to make Nashville her home-base, she maintains a life on the road when she's not recording and has been a part of the growing 'vanlife' community since 2016. She released her highly anticipated third album 'The Closest Thing To Home' in 2017 and spent the majority of 2018 touring the U.S. Ira has no plans to slow down anytime soon and continues writing and performing both inside the states and overseas. She recently partnered with GoWesty for the second time and continues traveling in her beloved 1988 VW Westfalia (Ruby) full-time.
Workshops, Seminars and Panels
We are proud to partner with gifted teachers and specialists to offer a wide variety of talks, seminars, and discussions throughout the weekend. We hope that they enhance deep, thoughtful mindfulness within our community, as well as new fodder to take home. All of us benefit from each other’s specialties, and we are beyond excited to welcome the following presenters to our schedule:
*Stay Tuned: More Workshops will be confirmed in the coming months*
The Meaning of Vanlife
The vanlife movement has grown exponentially across the past 5 years, from a small group of underground individuals to a huge uprising against modern conventional life. But what does it mean? And by that—what are we all doing here? Not on earth, but camped out in our vehicles? What are we seeking? What are the values our rambling community strive to uphold? Let’s all show up with an open mind, and our individual insights, to give clear definition to Vanlife as a whole. . .
No-Impact Van Camping
Led by Noami and Dustin Grevemberg of Irie to Aurora
This one hour interactive presentation led by two Leave No Trace Master Educators, who will emphasize skills + techniques essential for Leave to Trace Ethics in the day-to-day of Vanlife.
Dustin and Noami will also engage in a fun group activity to challenge the skills we’ve learned. By the end of this workshop, participants will understand the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace, along with how to implement and share their new knowledge with others. This workshop is open to adults & children of all ages. Everyone who attends will receive a certificate to show the world that you do indeed Vanlife responsibly.
About Dustin and Noami
Noami and Dustin are Certified Leave No Trace Instructors who have spent their last 3 years on the road. They are also the founders of Cacti to Coconuts, a blog and initiative dedicated to plastic-free living and sustainability. You can see more of their travels on their Instagram account: @irietoaurora
Workshop: How to Handle a Breakdown on the Road
Led by Colin Kellogg
If you travel often, it’s bound to happen: you’ll find yourself in the midst of a mechanical quandary, stranded in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, there is a way to manage such a situation, and Colin Kellogg, as full-time mechanic and traveler, will share his best tips and techniques for doing just that. Be prepared to join a robust Q+A about engine maintenance, preparation for a major road trip, and how to quiz a potential mechanic for their
Colin Kellogg is the founder of Itinerant Aircooled, an internet hub on all things aircooled VW. He has enjoyed a unique career of traveling the country to teach vehicle owners how to maintain and repair and drive their old air-cooled Volkswagens. This makes him not only a pre-vanlife vanlifer, but also one of the most skilled mechanics out there.
He has been at it for 17 years now, and has seen it all. Come and learn from this engine guru!
How to Do Nothing, All by Yourself (Cultivating Solitude in Nature)
Led by Kit Whistler
Join Kit for an introduction to her philosophical premise of Idle Theory, a query to which she’s devoted her life. Kit argues that modern humans desperately need to practice idleness, or time spent doing nothing, in order to live a sane and joyful life. In this talk, Kit will explain the main tenets of Idle Theory, and will give tips for how you can incorporate idleness into your everyday life, especially when traveling and living out of a vehicle.
Kit Whistler is writer, thinker, and full-time traveler who’s currently awaiting printing of the second edition of her novella Orange is Optimism. After years of practicing the fine art of doing nothing, she is an expert at idling in wild places. She hit the road back in 2012 seeking space and time...and she’s triumphant to say she’s found it.
Sunday afternoon, we’ll head next door to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (one of our country’s newest national monuments) to Volunteer our time to the local BLM service. Possible volunteer opportunities include: trail maintenance, invasive plant species removal, trash pickup, and campground upkeep. Please show up prepared to work in appropriate rugged clothing and sturdy closed-toe shoes, because we’re really gonna do this! Let’s give back to Taos’ local public lands and work up a good sweat while we‘re at it.
On Friday night, we’ll commune, meet, and greet around a communal; meal. Come prepped with your favorite recipe and to share with the group. Bring a camp chair or towel if this Please, bring your own plates, napkins, and utensils. In our aim to leave no trace at this event, and disposable dinnerware will NOT be provided. Note: If you have a dietary restriction, please bring a dish that accommodates it!
You heard that right....Sunday is for raffling, and we’re gonna have some sweet prizes up for grabs. Stay tuned for specifics on this one....we’re still pulling it together!
Whew . . . that was a lot of info. We’re stoked. Hope you’re stoked.
Order a ticket today and we’ll see you in Taos.
Love, Kit, J.R. + The Vanlife Diaries Crew