You don't need to be a fearless backcountry explorer to enjoy nature. Overlanding and off-road camping is all about getting away, but with comfort and convenience. That's our idea for a room with a view.
Water: how much should I bring?
The total amount depends on the longest leg of your trip without re-supply. We provide 20L hard plastic canister, which should be enough for 2 day trip for 2 people. Plan on re-filling it when possible. Here are the rations:
Clothes: what should I wear and pack?
Here is a list of one person’s kit on a single-vehicle, 7 day trip in desert and bush in early summer - night temperatures 5°C-25°C (41°F-77°F), Day 20°C-40°C (68°F-104°F )
Preferred fabrics for layers: wool, cotton or linen, preferably lighter colours if in the dessert or sun. Merino wool is our favourite.
2 Pairs of long bottoms - ie leggings and pants
2 pairs of short bottoms
5-6 t-shirts - a mix of long & short sleeves. Long sleeves protect again sunburn and mosqitoes.
Warm wool socks to sleep in & wear in morning and night - we recommend Bridgedale socks. They combine everything you need in a sock: warmth, comfort and wickability. Bonus: blister protection.
Layers - vest and a jacket
Proper shoes - hiking shoes (Scarpa/Merrell), Birkenstocks or Blundstones
Campsites are full: how do I find places to camp?
States like California, Utah, Colorado allow dispersed camping in National Forrest and BLM land. Download the iOverlander app to find more information on campsites near you.
How do you know when you are in the National Forrest? Use GaiaGPS with pre-downloaded maps to see the NF boundary and make sure you never stay at someone’s private property - you don’t want THAT wake-up call in the morning.
Otherwise, talk to us about a custom trip plan - we are explorers and are always adding secluded camping spots to our trip itineraries. Here are a few ideas to get you started
Campfire: where can I get firewood?
Fireside chats are awesome. In California, open fires require permit that you can get for free online. Some national forrests will also require a wood cutting permit.
In general, towards mid-summer when grass and land dry up, the campfires are only allowed at organized campsites with proper fire rings. Be sure to check for seasonal restrictions
Reception: how do I let others know I am safe?
Some parts of California have no cellphone reception, like a long stretch in Big Sur, Death Valley and most national forests. We include a satellite-based text messenger. We monitor it 24/7 to support you and answer questions that arise.
Plan to download the maps you will need for navigation ahead of time.
Personal hygiene: what about the shower... and bathroom?!
Personal hygiene doesn’t have to suffer. From our experience, having full-body wet wipes are sufficient for a 3 night/4 day trip. We provide a pack of full-sized body wipes for every booking. For longer trips, we weave in shower stops.
Most frequently asked question - “How do I go to the bathroom in the woods?”. Rest assured, our ancestors have been doing it for millennia. Rule #1: Leave No Trace. Every rig we rent out has a shovel - use it for #2. General rule of thumb: do the deeds at least 70 steps (200 feet) from your campsite, trail or body of water. For other details check out REI Expert Advice.