Categorized | All, Transportation, Travel

4×4 Camping, Touring, and Overlanding

Posted on 18 July 2011 by David Fowers

Often times we find ourselves at a cross roads. For me that time is now. Growing up I spent a lot of time camping with my family or with scouts. Now I find myself wanting to start a tradition with my own family. I am not talking about just going up the canyon and pulling off the road at a roadside campground. My wanderlust goes much deeper. The solution? 4×4 camping and touring, in other words overlanding. There is so much to do and see and so much to get away from. With the right planning and equipment 4×4 camping acts as an escape from the norm and a wonderful outlet for discovery, family time, and a good change of scenery. Get out and discover new places or visit tried and true favorite destinations. Start making memories. Years down the road I hope that my wife, son and I will all have our favorite memories of places we have been and a list of places we want to go. Some day I want my son to come up to me and not ask me to go to Disneyland but to do the Rubicon. 

Overlanding, 4×4 camping and touring is not something that happens from one day to the next. In order to safely reach a destination careful planning and equipment is needed. I am currently planning a trip from the Provo area in Utah to Lake Powell, all off-road. While not entirely too remote certain amount of caution must be taken to assure a fun and safe trip for all involved. Some things to keep in mind are; vehicle maintenance, food and water needs, proper equipment, navigation, gas and distances to the next fill up, emergency needs, etc.

Vehicle Maintenance: Your vehicle is what is taking you there so it had better be in good shape. Make sure to check fluids, change them if needed, and make sure filters are clean. If your vehicle breaks down you are looking at a very expensive tow. Tire should be in good shape, especially your spare. Your spare is an insurance policy for the worst and it does you no good if it goes flat right after you change it. Double check everything before going and carry spare parts if needed.

Food and Water: Your destination will dictate need on this one. Plan for at least 1 gallon per person per day, more if you are in the desert. Also carry extra for emergencies and cooking. If you are going to spend a longer amount of time out on the trail bring foods that are not going to spoil in the hot weather. A good cooler is a must and even better a 12 V fridge. 12 V fridges are expensive but worth looking into if you want to stay out longer or keep your favorite adult beverage cold.

Proper Equipment: Plan for the area you are going into. It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. You need to have everything to camping gear to recovery gear in order to get there and return safely. I suggest going for quality in this department. If you buy something and it breaks it does you no good.

Navigation: A good guide book and GPS will have you covered in this department. It will also help you plan for the next fill up and distances to the one after that. Know where you are going before hand and you can avoid costly mistakes.

Emergency Needs: Everything from first-aid to communications needs to be taken into account. A good first-aid kit and a two-way radio are the bare minimum for 4×4 camping and touring. Extra gas for longer trails and extra food and water are a must.

With planning and a common sense approach can create memories to last a lifetime. Your family will be talking about trips you have taken much longer than they will about the latest reality TV show. So get out and explore.

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