Be worlds away & embrace remote places.

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:

5-10L /day/person

when day/night temperatures are 15°C/40°C or 60°F/104°F

30% reserve

try to keep a good amount in reserve and always refill when you can

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

Usal Campground

Lost Coast

3 day trip

Wild California Adventure: a 3-day expedition along the Lost Coast from San Francisco to Usal.

Big Sur

4 day trip

Wild California Adventure: San Francisco to Santa Barbara via Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and Oceano Dunes.

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

Campfire Permit

Free

Firewood cutting

National  Forrest office will sell you a permit to cut firewood

$20+

Firewood

You can get firewood bundles from us

$15/bundle

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. 

Satellite Messenger

Mandatory charge will be added to your booking to ensure safety.

$5/day

24/7 support

We are ready to answer your questions around the clock.

Free

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.

What's the best way to reach you?


Email is great - (alex@cypressoverland.com). You can always text us or whatsapp call or message at +1(510)906-7446. All vehicles are equipped with Garmin satellite messenger so you can reach us or emergency services anytime




What do past customers say about their trips?


"The Jeep came with the highest quality gear I have ever seen" - Palash N, San Francisco. "Get off the beaten path with these guys! We did!" - Steve L, Iceland "The GoFast Camper is the bomb, couldn't be simpler to use. The TRD Pro is easy to operate (on and off road), and we had a blast on our long weekend trip" - Jonathan H, San Francisco "Seriously, whatever you need for an epic and seamless weekend away, it's all packed and waiting for you with Cypress Overland" - Chris W, Pacifica




How do you go about planning customer itineraries?


Once the trip is booked, we work with our customers to plan the road trip of their dreams. We are explorers ourselves and we are often away exploring places like Death Valley, High Sierras, Yosemite NP, Big Sur, Southern California etc. We are always on the mission to find awesome dispresed camp spots. So when the customer says "We want to see Yosemite, Death Valley and Big Sur in 8 days" - we work together to develop a day-by-day itinerary with GPS coordiantes for overnight stays. We also have sample itineraries - please head to www.cypressoverland.com/adventures




This is our first time overlanding - camping in the roofop tent. Is that ok?


We love beginners! We were all beginners once and remember how intimidating this all seemed. Rest assured, you will feel ready to get on the road after going through the vehicle and gear orientation, which is mandatory when you pick-up the vehicle. No joke - we once hosted an expedition guide from Iceland and he still received orientation from us. To give you peace of mind, every vehicle comes with a satellite messenger - you can always reach us even in the most remote of places with no cell reception.




What's the minimum driver age?


As per our insurance requirements, minimum driver's age is 25 years.




How does insurance work for international drivers?


Same as for local drivers - everyone has to have a valid drivers' license to be eligible for the 4x4 vehicle insurance.




Can I drive off-road?


Depends. If it's a gravel road that will lead you to an awesome secluded camp spot - absolutely. If it's rock crawling on the iconic Rubicon trail - absolutely not. Our vehicles, while iconic for off-roading, are stock and do not handle extreme trails well.




How does insurance work?


If you are a local and have your own car insurance policy, check with the provider whether it provides RV insurance. Most insurance companies won't deal with vehicles that were off-roading. Same with credit cards that provide insurance - those only cover insurance for big rental companies like Hertz. A $1000 deposit will be charged before departure and refunded upon return. There are 3 different types of insurance: Risk Taker, Basic and Peace of Mind. All customers are required to purchase insurance.




What's your animal policy?


As much as we love animals, we don't allow them since some of our customers are allergic to them.




What's the security deposit for?


We charge $1000 security deposit the day you depart and refund it upon your return. In an unlikely situation where something breaks or need repair, we hold the deposit until we sort the incident out with insurance.




How far can I drive the vehicle?


Daily mileage limit is 150 miles/day. Every additional mile will be charged at 30 cents/mile.




Can we camp in areas that are not campgrounds?


In short, yes, you can camp anywhere, but only within the boundaries of national forests. Check out our blog article on dispersed camping here: https://www.cypressoverland.com/post/dispersed-camping-101




I am travelling with a toddler - is that ok?


Absolutely! We have had multiple customers bring their kiddos - age groups between 2 and 6. We don't provide child seats so plan to bring their own. Rooftop tents are safe and suitable for 2 adults and one child.




Can I get picked up at the airport or my hotel/airbnb?


Absolutely - we can arrange pick-up and drop-off to and from San Francisco Airport, Oakland Airport and San Jose Airport, as well as your hotel or airbnb, for an additional fee. SFO airport pick up and drop off is $170 USD.




Why should we book with Cypress Overland?


Reason #1: we give you the tools to get off the beaten path and enjoy nature. It's in our DNA and the main reason we created Cypress Overland. It's simple: we are on a mission to reconnect people with nature. This modern world has made us more stressed than ever - we see the incredible transformation our customers experience when they spend time in nature, away from the stress of their everyday lives. Reason #2: Quality. We are very proud of the gear we provide. We only purchase high-end gear for our vehicles - but keep our prices on par with our competitiors and pass on all the savings we can find to you.




Is there camping in California in the winter?


Yes! We love California because it lets us camp year-round. Summer months, between June-October, are perfect for exploring Sierras, Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur are beautiful any time of the year. Winter time is a great time for heading to places like Death Valley, Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park. Too hot and dry in the summer, they are best expored between the months of October to May.




Do I have to worry about wild animals like bears?


We will cover all the questions you have during orientation upon vehicle pick-up but in a nutshell, bears in California are rarely dangerous and if not provoked, will never attack you. However, there are rules for bear safety. Every vehicle comes with bug spray to protect you from mosquitoes, ticks and bees.




What's the main difference between RVs and your vehicles?


No walls! Head to https://www.cypressoverland.com/post/overlandingvsrv to read the rest.




Do you ever provide any discounts?


Yes! We want more people to experience outdoors and come back calmer and more relaxed - so for all bookings over 8 days/7 nights, we provide a discount of 10%.




Is it possible to rent the vehicle for a one way trip?


At this time - unfortunately not. We don't have the infrastructure in place to accomodate one way rentals. Speak to us if that's the only way you can manage the trip and we will discuss. Otherwise we will work with you on making the itinerary in a way that doesn't feel like you're doing the same route there and back.




Can the rigs be driven into Canada?


Yes! We love Canada. Please speak to us in advance about crossing the border.




Why is the Satellite Messenger fee mandatory?


Some of California's most beautiful and remote locations don't have cell reception. Should anything happen - we want you to have access to us and emergency services. Your safety and well-being is our main priority.




What's the deal with the rooftop tent? How does it work?


We love rooftop tents! Once you've tried them - it's hard to go back to traditional tents on the ground and RVs. Adventure travellers in Australia and Africa have been using rooftop tents for decades and the trend is finally arriving to North America. All our rooftop tents have mattresses and are super comfortable. You are guaranteed a great sleep under the Milky Way.




What's included in my rental?


We realize that this type of travel may not be cheapest but when you think of how much gear and equipment you're getting - it's so worth it! Our 4x4 vehicles include: - a rooftop tent that sleeps 2-3 people - full kitchen with the dual burner stove, pots and pans, cups, plates, cutlery, dishwashing liquid and sponge - Jeep Rubicon comes with the Engel fridge; Tacoma TRD Pro and FJ Cruiser come with top of the line Yeti coolers - 5 gallon/20 L water can - Luxury camping furniture from Snow Peak - table and chairs - Jeep and Toyota has awnings - First aid kit, lighting, recovery ropes, battery start cables - Snow chains for winter travel - toiler paper, paper towel, body wipes, matches, headlamps




How should I handle a break down or accident?


Always call us first or message us through the Satellite Messenger provided - +1(510)906-7446. All the bookings also come with Roadside Assistance for your peace of mind. If the vehicle becomes unoperable, we will do our best to get a replacement vehicle. In case a replacement vehicle is not available, the remainder of your trip change will be refunded promptly.




What am I responsible for while the vehicle is in my posession?


- You are required to use the correct fuel (all our vehicles use the standard 87 fuel) and return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. If returned not full, we will refuel at a standard rate and charge the security deposit. - Presentable condition - we require that all vehicles be returned in a clean and respectable state. A cleaning fee of $50 will be charged if the vehicle returned in a state that requires a long clean up - Tires - we take great care of the tires and do regular maintenance and tire rotation. The customer is responsible for any tire damage while in their possession. Please use great caution when driving on gravel and unpaved roads - Windshield damage - Paint - vehicle can be damaged when going through thick bush - please use a spotter when in doubt (spotter = a person who will lead you though a difficult road to make sure the vehicle doesn't get scratched). Wear and tear to the paint will result in the detailing fee.





Have a question?

Our Story

Our love for overlanding was born, nurtured and multiplied during a 4x4 overland safari trip to Kenya for our honeymoon in 2017. Our guide and dear friend, Peter, has shown us how to be fearless when it comes to being outdoors. A year later, the stars aligned - we gave up our corporate jobs on the East Coast and... Read more

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