Van Life + Coffee + Climbing = Heaven, Right?

My dream has always been to live a life filled with travel, connection and adventure. I started Carabiner Coffee hoping that the business and lifestyle of the company would enable me to sustain and inspire these qualities in myself and others. For almost two years now, I’ve been moving around the country, finding places to open the door of the van and make coffee for people. The goal has never been about making the most money, it’s about spreading as much love and inspiration to those who wander up to the van to buy a cup of coffee. If I can share some stoke and inspire someone on a rainy day, I consider my job successful.

Now, after working multiple jobs in conjunction with Carabiner, I’m feeling really lucky to reach a point where I am ready to hit the road and make Carabiner Coffee my full time “job.” I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come for Ol’ Blue and me: late nights under the stars and official days as the coffee sponsor for Reel Rock Film Tour. No matter what happens, we’re going on an adventure together and we’re going to love every mile and every minute of it. I’ve remodeled Ol’ Blue four times now, and this time I think I nailed it. Here is a look at the most recent remodel of my home and the glorious headquarters of Carabiner Coffee, ready to hit the road!


Hi, I’m Erik, and this is Ol’ Blue my 71 VW bus.

To save weight and be easy on Ol’ Blue, seeing as she’s only rockin about a 65 horse power engine, I travel with the bare essentials to climb, bike, slack line and explore the places I go.


Welcome to the living room… which also doubles as a dining room, bedroom, music room and office.


I guess you could call this the closet? I like to live minimally to begin with, so van life has always been an easy transition for me. I’ve always thought that having a few nice things was better than anything in excess.


As the sun goes down, the lights come on. When you get the chance to hang party lights in your van… you take it.


Right next to the closet is the desk, holding one of the most hipster things in existence today… a glass keyed typewriter. When I’m out in so many beautiful places it’s hard to resist the urge to write, and with my handwriting I’m very glad I have this thing.


Probably one of the best things about living in a van are the places that you get to call your backyard. Watching the sun set over the Olympics, or the moon rise over the Cascades always puts a big smile on my face. Impromptu Ukulele jam sessions with strangers occur on the regular. Life is too fun I tell ya!


This is the humble set up I use to brew coffee for all the adventurers that happen to find me out and about. A few pots of drip coffee, Aero Press and a pour over set are what keep the good vibes going. If you’re looking for a fancy latte, all I can offer is a smile, a high-five and a “good luck out there”. I like to keep Carabiner Coffee simple because it is some of the best coffee you’ll ever find, and to me this business is about more than just coffee. It’s about making a connection with people over coffee and the love of an adventurous life.


Last but not least, the bed set up. When I was creating the layout of the van, I knew I wanted to have a comfy place to get some good sleep every night. That’s why I decided to make all the cushions in the van out of memory foam! Now when it transforms into the master bedroom its already good to go, no sleeping pad needed.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the road takes me in the coming months and years! If you ever see Ol’ Blue rolling through town or at parked at the crag, stop on by. I’d love to exchange a few stories over a cup of coffee. A big thank you to everyone who has supported Carabiner Coffee through out the past few years. You are all part of what makes this business unique and exciting! Cheers to all of you - keep livin’ the dream out there.