Although the lifestyle began decades ago, the modern vanlifer has become part of a tight-knit community. We work together for common goals and help each other when someone needs support. I have been a vanlifer for nearly a year now and am so proud to be part of such an incredible community focused on adventure, nature and sustainability. The sheer passion of this lifestyle and my love of the forests inspired me to raise awareness for our U.S. public lands that are currently in need of help.

As vanlifers we often look to utilize the free campsites available for public use. My wife and I personally prefer National Forests, similarly to many other nomads living on the road. These lands offer beautiful scenic hikes, plenty of space for privacy, and safe camping to call home for a night. However, this is not the case when the lands aren’t properly cared for. After nearly a year of full-time travel, it became apparent to us that our lush forests, which should be valued and treated with care, are often littered and damaged by users who take for granted a free-to-use recreation area. As we began to notice a pattern of misused resources, we knew we had to do something, which is why we created VansforLands.

Our goal for VansforLands is to set up clean-ups and other projects throughout the country in areas that are most in need. We want clean-ups to be fun camping style meet ups where we will have the opportunity to improve public lands while connecting within the community. We also hope to become a valued source for educational and advocational content through our blog and social channels, and we’d love to collaborate with other organizations in the outdoor community to increase involvement and expand our reach. If we can make even the smallest difference it will have been worth it.

Vanlifers tend to get grouped in with the people responsible for musing public lands, which is so far from the truth – we’re often the ones cleaning up and trying to make it better. But our community does benefit from the land, so we wanted to figure out a way to give back and help educate other users to hopefully put a stop to the cycle. Our goal is to gather donations through advocation and education to fund cleanups and other community-based projects. We’re not asking the vanlife community to give us money, unless of course, they want to. We’re asking them to share the cause, raise awareness, and to get involved with our future projects.

We are calling on the vanlife community because we are all avid users of public lands. They have amplified our personal experience as travelers and we want to use the very experiences that they have given us to in turn raise funds for their maintenance and care, so that many generations can enjoy them for years to come. If you’d like to get involved please go to our website www.vansforlands.com, connect with us on social media, or email us at [email protected]

This article was written by Dave, creator of VansforLands.