Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

Pine Pins, Van Lifers | Adventure-gram

Beyond the cliche of scantily-clad Californian road trippers

Words by Sam Haddad

Long before the New Yorker ran this spectacular take down of “the bohemian social-media movement” that is #vanlife, the hashtag and its accompanying images had lost much of their original allure.

Too many “vanlifers” were trying to go pro and it showed. Seeking to make money out of the ultimate anti-profession and trying to commodify a lifestyle whose very essence was a complete rejection of capitalism just doesn’t sit right. Especially when it results in over-pimping feeds with pictures of female vanlifers with their clothes off to maximise likes or promoting side projects such as local meet ups, which are only relevant to a tiny per cent of followers.

“Too many vanlifers were trying to go pro and it showed.”

But it is still refreshing to come across a vanlife account on instagram that is run by folk getting it right. Which in this case is Pine Pins, who describe themselves as “two Germans and their campervan Rudi”.

They are based in the Black Forest, Germany rather than California or Oregon, which already makes it feel fresh. And they just seem like a cool couple, who unless they’re swimming or doing something else that requires swimwear, keep their clothes on. If you’re looking for sultry “I’ve just woken up naked in my van and quickly wrapped myself up in an Aztec print blanket” shots, you’ll need to get your fix elsewhere.

Pinepins’ posts don’t feel inauthentic or forced. As you’d expect from where they live, there are a lot of dreamy pine forest shots; there are babbling brooks, lush green mountain backdrops, traditional stone houses and cute wooden chalets.

We also love the pictures from a winter trip they took to Australia, which includes more forest love, such as them climbing palm trees for coconuts and balancing on fallen trunks. Naturally there are some slick interior shots and we’ll forgive them the odd Aztec print blanket post.

Still, it’s definitely worth following this German couple to escape the tedium of professional vanlifers and remember why you liked the hashtag in the first place.

To follow pinepins on instagram head here

To read the rest of the July ‘Journey’ Issue head here

To read the rest of the Adventure-gram series head here

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