Stand Up Paddleboarding and Van Life – the perfect match

Since buying our camper van Harmony we have discovered that Stand Up Paddleboarding and van life are a perfect combination. We really love the spontaneity that camper vans brings back to travel. When we travel with our Jeep and tent we found that quite often you really need to book campsites. Also we were having to plan ahead and get to the campsite early enough that they would still be open. We’re still not used to the long summer days and would end up thinking it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we had plenty of time when in reality it was closer to 8! Camping in a tent also meant longer set up times and we found ourselves back tracking a lot after each days adventuring to get back to the camp.

In the short trips that we were able to do last summer we found that camper vans resolved many of these issues. There are a lot of places that you can stay in a camper van that you can’t stay in a tent. This also seemed the case throughout Europe.

Many of the places that we wanted to go Stand Up Paddleboarding had places nearby that we could stay in our camper van. This meant saving a lot of time and being able to spend more time paddling. We also discovered that we could (at a pinch) put our boards into the camper fully inflated which meant we could do two paddle sessions a day and only have to inflate them once! BONUS!!

campervan parked by trees

How did we end up with a Camper Van?

Last summer we were planning a Stand Up Paddleboarding roadtrip to Europe in our Jeep to live the van life dream. For us it was a challenging task. How long is long enough to explore Europe? It started with a month as that’s all we figured we could be away from work. The idea then progressed to taking a year out before our visas end and we move home to Australia.

We soon realised that the Jeep and a tent would probably not be very comfortable for that period of time. in the meantime we started watching a lot of ‘Vanlife’ videos on YouTube. It wasn’t long before we discovered that we could afford a cute wee old retro camper. A new plan was hatched!

Stand Up Paddleboarding at Slugan Dubh

The idea was to spend a month travelling around Scotland then go over to Scandinavia, down through eastern Europe through the Balkans and back to Croatia. From there we hoped to explore Greece and Turkey then head back through Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal.

Of course current world events have pushed the pause button on that plan. However we are hoping at the very least we will be able to spend the summer in our camper van exploring Scotland and Stand Up Paddleboarding along the way.


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