Written by: Timothy Fitzgerald
06/11/2010 11:35 AM
For Brian Brawdy, what began as a personal challenge ballooned into something bigger than he could have ever imagined.
After having retired from a long career as a New York undercover cop Brawdy was at a crossroads in his life. What to do next? He found inspiration in outdoor travel and created a personal challenge for himself: fashion an RV that runs off solar and wind power. Since then Brawdy has repeatedly appeared on some of the largest national television networks as an expert on self-reliance, survival, and emergency preparedness and his Eco RV has become a nationally recognized symbol of environmental responsibility.
We caught up with Brawdy to find out about his inspirations, aspirations, and his predictions of what the future has in store for Eco RVing.
CampingRoadTrip.com: What drew you to RVing and how did you first become involved in eco RVing?
BRIAN BAWDY: The sense of adventure. When bringing the far away to my own front door reached a pitch that I could no longer ignore, I became involved.
What is it about the adventure that draws you in?
Honestly, after 1.5 years living on the road full time it is the people. At first it was the places, but I realized that I am more moved by the people I meet than the places I've been.
Why do you feel so passionate about the eco message?
It's a matter of math. We only have one planet, a planet that gave birth to us. Though many will complain about a planet in peril, I'm more interested these days in a people in peril.
A few years ago I went on a 48 states tour. In traveling throughout those 48 states it has always been the people I've met that have made the most significant impact on me, no two ways about it.
And to that end, when I started out thinking about eco rving, I started out with a healthy sense of understanding that the planet was in peril. Coming back off that 48 state tour I realized is that it's also the people that are in peril.
It's a dual message; planet in peril, people in peril.
On my tour I saw people standing in the unemployment lines, people who haven't had a job in a year and people who lost everything, and it makes you wake up a little bit.
During Hurricane Katrina I was prepared to see houses demolished and obliterated, cars flipped upside down, and buildings on fire. What I wasn't anticipating was what that 35 foot wall of water would do to humanity. I wasn't prepared for the dearth of any type of sustenance in the local grocery stores. I wasn't prepared to talk to a man who had to sleep with a shotgun to protect himself. It continues to haunt me.
As I started to travel the country I began to hear what people were saying, and the message of people in peril grew. We have people that haven't eaten for a week in this country. We have people who haven't had electricity for weeks after a natural disaster.
And now for me I can't clearly separate or differentiate the two (planet in peril, people in peril). There's that symbiotic relationship. And that's where I've been heading, in a sense of preparedness.
What do you want to change?
Awareness. Spreading the awareness that RV'ers are our true explorers, as the final nomads on our planet as well as survival experts in the making. I hope to make folks, for their own good or for the good of the planet, pay attention to the impact we have.
Why is emergency preparedness so important?
For me, it used to be about adventure, now it's about emergency preparedness. It's important because you must be able to call on yourself if you can't call on anyone else.
Right now I'm in a city of 30,000 people. There are 10 paramedics in this city. If an emergency such as a tornado or terrorist attack happens, how do I know one of the paramedics will come to get me, even if I get the call through? What do you do if they don't get to you?
You need to be self reliant. During an emergency your family, friends and neighbors will be looking to you.
What are your current pursuits?
I'm focusing on the natural, inherently powerful ability of the individual to chart his or her own course. I've also begun focusing on self-reliance and survival and how an RV can be your "Just in Case Place". For me my RV is my "72 hour bag".
What do you see as the future of eco RVing?
Boon docking is the only future. They seem to be the renegades, the ones pushing the envelope in the eco RVing industry.
What do you think of Hybrid RVs, and when do you think it will become a reality?
Any hybrid advancement is a bonus. Constantly looking forward, dreaming, plotting, experimenting, failing and trying again is the true "call of the wild" that I believe eco RV'ers manifest.
How can RVers help preserve and protect the land they explore?
Tell people about your adventures, the experience, brag a bit. If we can encourage folks to get in an RV and out into nature, she'll take care of the rest. I trust that!! Live by example; show others how to enjoy life full on and how to prepare for when it throws you a few curves.
If there were one message you'd want to get across to people, what would it be?
I would want to spread the Green message, which is a dual message now. Be a conservationist for the planet and for yourself. They're equally as important.
To learn more about Brian and his RV visit http://www.BrianBrawdy.com.
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