When I was in high school, I got the opportunity to live abroad for a year. I lived in Madrid, Spain, and it changed my life. I fell in love with the land, the culture, the people, the food, the music, everything. I took Spanish and Spanish History, and was fascinated by the fact that people still take the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage across Northern Spain. It went down on my bucket list and even though I don’t live in Spain anymore, it’s still my dream to travel along the same road that thousands of people have taken to express their faith and hope in something bigger than themselves. My dad spent some time on the trail but wasn’t able to complete it on the first try (he had someone with him who couldn’t make it). He’s thought about biking the trail, and though I am not overly fond of biking, I would be more than alright with doing so if it included having a micro camper like this one that Paul Elkins built for $150.00.
“It’s all here. This is a regular camper. But you tow it with your bicycle.” Paul Elkins used new materials as well as repurposed materials for this project, including pine boards, old campaign signs, a used bike, zip ties, duct tape, and screws. The camper, though small, is roomy enough for a small stove, food storage, a bed, and regular storage for clothing and camping equipment (and yes, there’s a pee jug). It also has windows, including a skylight, as well as insulation to retain heat. You can add a tiny TV, stereo system, and other gadgets if you like, as the entire thing weighs only sixty pounds, about the weight of a medium-size dog (If you have a calm animal who likes trips, you could put their kennel inside while they run or walk alongside the bike. This would probably be best for smaller animals, however, as their storage needs wouldn’t be much).
This type of vehicle would be ideal for those who want to travel without leaving a large carbon footprint but won’t necessarily want to bike long distances. Think getting away for the weekend at your favorite campground, or biking rural back roads and enjoying stargazing through the skylight while the rain falls and the leaves change. If you have friends with farms or any sort of rural property, you can visit and not feel like you’re imposing as much (though you’ll definitely want to use their bathroom facilities). For those of you who love solo adventures, this is the perfect way to get some alone time and become one with nature.
For a little money, put something together and travel around the country, like Paul Elkins.
You can download the plans for this camper from a link below the YouTube video that shows off this incredibly affordable, comfy micro camper. See the full video on Kirsten Dirkson’s YouTube channel.