Work Trekking – Working and Camping in One

A new day of work begins

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  Monday was the first day of work at the new job which is 45 minutes from home.  I sure enjoyed it.  Nobody really knows what a position is like until you do the work.  This one has its challenges but it’s easier on the body.  I sit at a desk all day looking over customer records for a certain piece of information and log it.  There will be other assignments as times goes by.  Other than a sore butt and tired eyes, it’s pretty darn easy.  We’re also allowed to stream music at our terminals; I opted to play MP3 songs from my phone via some headphones… It helps relieve any boredom!

Before embarking, I had a problem with the van later last week.  It had developed a nasty clunking noise and scared the heck out of the driver.  It turns out that the front end stabilizer had lost its old rubber bushing on one side.  I replaced the bushings myself at the low, low price of $5 for the pair!  Now the beast drives smoother and quieter… not to mention handling safer!


I am still working out the details about dining while work camping. The company has a terrific cafeteria but spending $6 or $7 for lunch is not always an option.  I’ve started cooking up food at home and storing it in the cooler in the van.  An example might be 4 sandwiches and 3 mini pizzas for entrees and packin fresh fruit such as apples and grapes.  Greens are cheap and I buy those at the cafeteria.

There is a learning curve.  I’ve already ruined fruit by using cube ice in the cooler; water got into the grapes and they may have been made unsanitary.  Now I have blocks of ice made from gallon freezer bags.  There are 8 in the deep freeze at home, allowing the pair in the cooler to be changed at each visit to the homebase.  I also use a blue plastic freezer block to keep my insulin cool at the desk. Before I go home (either home), I refreeze the blue block in the fridge at work.

Clothing is kept in two interlocking milk crates – one for dirty clothes and one for fresh apparel.  I keep the toiletries in a freezer bag with the dirty clothes (in case shaving cream leaks).  Though only shaving every two days, I’m finding places to do it discreetly to look nice and clean.

On Monday I visited my friend Tabi at the Taco Bell where she is working not far from me.   She was one of the bosses at the previous McJob and we both like our new roles.  At the same time, I’ve stayed on good terms with the previous place but don’t think I want to go back into fast food any time soon.  It wore me out!


Before I forget (and run out of battery power), I wanted to share an idea for some tasty sandwiches.  It’s a hopped up egg salad that tasted very well.  I just used about 10 boiled eggs, 1/3 or so of this garlic aioli (like flavored mayonnaise) sauce from Walmart, some onion, and about 6 strips of crumbled bacon.  The mixture made awesome sandwiches that held well for a couple of days.

I’m camping tonight at a rest area with the permission of the staff.  It’s going to be a regular hangout where a person can camp overnight and freshen up in the morning without any problems.  It is even staffed overnight for security reasons.  I’ve already camped at a truck stop with no problems and have a handful of other places to try.

I forgot to mention Jenny.  I went home Tuesday night and played with Jenny.  She is none the wiser that this is anything other than a fishing trip.  She will get some opportunities this fall to ride along with me to work.  But going forward, I probably will not talk much about work camping.  It’s best to keep it low key.  The only person at work who knows once let Serena and I park at his house for a few months.  He knows all too well about the love of sleeping outdoors in a van!

Have van…. will travel. (to work!)

After the paycheck situation corrects itself (money is critically low right now until funds come in), I’ll pick up some goodies and actually cook some fun new recipes on the road just like the vantrekking days.  There will be plenty more adventures to come, for sure!

Take care and thanks for visiting!  Happy and safe travels!

Brad in town and Jenny at the homebase,
Eastern Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

6 Responses to Work Trekking – Working and Camping in One

  1. Jo says:

    Sounds like you have it all figured out and seems to be working pretty good. Another way to freeze water would be in half gallon jugs from juice or milk and of course there are always the water bottles and then you have water to drink also.

    Good luck on your new job Brad.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Thanks for the note. I’m getting it figure oit by bit. The next step is to setup a hotspot with the smartphone and do some wifi from inside the van. It doesn’t cost that much if I’m careful about the data. I like the gallon job idea; one of my bags leaked. There are couple empty 2 liter bottles at home that might get used. Take care Jo! Enjoy the long weekend!

  2. my_vantasy says:

    I have happy memories of when I was working and staying in the truck camper. I was at a campground, so I had electric and access to running water, making it different than what you’re doing. If you run out of ideas, check back in at I have not been there in a long time! Hope you keep enjoying the work and the camping!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! I hear you about camping and living right there. I like our local rest area. It’s clean, staffed 24 x 7, and they have a nice place to sit and using the free wifi. It’s tough without “Jenny bunny” at my side but she will get to ride along in a few weeks when it cools off. I’m enjoying the job at least and it’s easier on the body. Take care and enjoy the weekend!

  3. Onevikinggirl says:

    The van is really provning to be useful, not only for fun. Good luck with the new workplace, boring can be good.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and you are so right – boring is less stressful. I was busy today and the time went by very quickly. Where the work is investigative, I get to look deep into details and it’s intriguing. Now it’s off for three days to get into mischief. 🙂 Take care and thanks for visiting! — VT