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High desert life: pro snowboarder’s converted 50s fire truck

Since he was a teen Austin Smith has been paid to chase the snow around the world, but after a decade on the road, he wanted to slow things down.

His brother had bought a 1953 GMC fire truck on eBay for $5000 that his parents wanted out of their yard, so Smith converted it into a tiny home and drove it to his local mountain to live, and snowboard, for the winter (Mt Bachelor, like some other ski resorts, allow camping in their parking lot).

With 180 watts of photovoltaics and a mini wood-burning stove, Smith lived completely off the grid for the season (The mountain allowed access to their bathrooms and showers) in his 90-something-square-meter “micro dojo” (he doesn’t like the trendiness of the term “tiny home”).

After a very snowy season at the bottom of the mountain, Smith moved his truck to his parents’ home nearby where he began an experiment in summer living (when he’s not traveling for snowboarding).

For his next move, he’s having the truck reworked with four wheel drive and a rooftop deck, perhaps with a tent as a guest bedroom or with more of a “dance party” vibe.