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The Modern Caravan

Stay Wild

Story by Brooke Jackson

Photos by Matt Alberts | Caravan Outpost

Historically speaking, a caravan has been a group of people, especially traders or pilgrims, who travel together across wild spaces such as deserts and trails. Modern travelers have transformed the definition into a vehicle equipped for living that is often towed by a car. In reality, the idea of freedom presented by caravan life has not been lost but merely adapted to present day. The Caravan Outpost of Ojai, CA embodies the nomad lifestyle in all aspects of its culture. Opened in July 2016, Caravan Outpost is the modern gathering of adventurers and travelers from all walks of life. An outpost is normally associated with a small camp at some distance from any main force. Ojai is roughly an hour northeast of mighty Los Angeles downtown and is hidden amongst the Topatopa Mountains. Known as the Valley of the Moon, Ojai is a spiritually magical and earthy oasis. However, it isn’t just the funky style or old school fashion that makes the place a paradise; rather it’s the smiles, eyes, genuineness and energy of everyone which makes it wholeheartedly beautiful. 

Created by the chance meeting of several diverse characters, Caravan Outpost has six founders. Originally, the concept was to be a campground yet red tape and political obstacles pushed back. Eventually, the community of connections joined two paths; one with an idea and one with the experiences and connections to make it happen. Nowadays, the concept is still evolving but is designed around being a community for nomads and wanderers who are seeking genuine experiences in the magical Moon Valley. When asked what would be the definition of a successful experience at Caravan Outpost, founder and owner Brad Steward replied “having a magic moment; Whatever that means to you”. Ultimately, the goal of the outpost is to have a little place where you connected whether with your surroundings, the people or with yourself. 

Genuine connection is a beautiful thing that many travelers crave and is something that keeps most of us on the road. Personally, my moment of connection at Caravan Outpost was sitting in my airstream trailer listening to Rod Stewart vinyl. As a child, my family blasted Rod Stewart at our lake cabin while grilling burgers and shooting guns (yes, I am a bit of a backcountry girl). Having not listened to Rod in years, hearing the old school rock music sing songs of my childhood brought me to a special place of comfort and contentedness. Caravan Outpost and its founders pride themselves in creating a brand you can live and building something for everyone. If one was to ask any of the other girls I was on the trip with, I am sure they each would have a different “magic moment” to remember. Perhaps it was hiking in the Topatopa Mountains with rolling lush green hills and trickling creeks soaking through our SmartWool socks, or maybe it was exchanging stories around the bonfire while making s’mores or perhaps it was during the daily morning yoga practices while in downward dog and laughing ourselves silly at each other’s inflexibility. Whatever the moment, everyone has one in Ojai. What will be yours?