Purveyor of Rad | James Barkman

This guy is growing a garden in the passenger seat of a 76 Westy. Enough said, Pretty radical! James Barkman is a true connoisseur of the mountains, the sea, and the open road. 


Tell me about you...

My name is James Barkman. I've been living in my 76 westy for over a year now, and like to consider myself a thrill seeker and life enthusiast.

Where are you from?

Originally from Pennsylvania, but currently living in San Luis Obispo CA, or wherever night catches me. 

What do you do?

I'm a photographer so I try to take kool pics I guess. I've been working with Chris Burkard over the summer, and have been doing different freelance projects. 

Favorite trip/journey you've had?

Earlier this year I drove my van on a coast to coast road trip, stuffed with a bunch of bros and a Honda MR175 dirt bike. There were some good times, to say the least. 

Dream Ride?

Probably a VW Westy syncro, or some kind of rigged out camper van. I have a soft spot in my heart for vans. Any van, haha.

Tell me about the VW..

It takes a lot of effort to keep it alive. I've broken down more times than I can remember, often in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I can fix it, sometimes I can't. Like that time I almost started on fire in the middle of Utah. The rad thing about it is that I have everything I own and need inside, surfboards, snowboard, skateboards, etc. I installed a wood stove during the winter, and currently have a garden in place of my passenger seat. Vans are the coolest. There's not many other vehicles that could you pull that off in.  

Three words that describe you?

Spontaneous, energetic, enthusiastic.

What do you and the buddies do?

I love jumping and flipping off stuff, riding motorcycles, rock climbing, and being outside. I love board sports, so skating, snowboarding, and surfing are what I try to prioritize. Usually something along those lines. 

Favorites: brew, food, story, band, president 

Beer: Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale. Food: Waffles.

Story: Have you ever heard the story of the Endurance by Captain Shackleton? It's a true story of a shipwrecked expedition through the north pole. Those guys were so gnarly.

Band: The Killers I guess. Who has a favorite band though, there's so many good ones.

President: Abe Lincoln. That guy was so dialed me Life would look a lot different without his involvement in history. 

Land or sea?

Probably land. Mountains are the best. I love the sea, but my last name means "mountain man", so I gotta stick to my roots ya know.  

Who is your idol?

Foster Huntington. Really has led the modern day vanlife charge. He's the man. 

You can have a beer with one person, who would it be?

Probably an Irish sailor. That be the greatest beer of my life. 

What's next?

I'm taking a roadtrip up north through the PNW and hopefully BC. Currently working on a hitch for the van to haul my DR350 along. Hoping to continue to gain momentum as a freelance photographer/filmmaker, and of course, spend as much time as possible outdoors, whether in the water or on land. 


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