Overlanding has become a hot commodity in the couple of years or so since COVID made it to our shores. People looking to get out into the great outdoors but still avoid public campgrounds are seeking alternatives. Overlanding offers them one such alternative. If you would like to try it but are nervous about your prospects, maybe consider trying car camping first.
What is car camping? It is driving into the middle of nowhere with only the gear you can pack into your car. You pretty much live off the grid, with a possible exception of your cell phone, for as long as you’re out there. If you try it and like it, over landing might be your thing. If you don’t like car camping, you are probably going to hate overlanding.
It Takes Getting Used To
Overlanding can take some getting used to if you’ve never spent more than a day or two in the wilderness. For true overlanders, the journey is more important than the destination. And more often than not, the journey takes them far away from modern conveniences. The only conveniences they have are those things they can carry in their vehicles.
To overland successfully, you need to get used to building fires. You need to get used to a new way of cooking. Everything from how you sleep to how you wash your clothes is different. Giving car camping a try at least introduces you to some of the differences.
Overlanding Can Be Expensive
Another reason to try car camping first is the reality that overlanding can be expensive. Why invest a ton of money in an overlanding rig and all its accessories if you’re not even sure the experience is right for you? At least with car camping, you are not putting tens of thousands of dollars into vehicle modifications – or even a whole new vehicle, as some overlanders are known to do.
You’ll Need Some Basic Equipment
Spending a summer car camping can give you a good idea of whether you’ll appreciate overlanding. Fortunately, you can have a good car camping experience with a limited amount of basic equipment. Here is what you should consider, compliments of the Rollercam tiedown straps:
- A tent (go rooftop if you can)
- Sleeping bags and camping mattresses
- Camping chairs
- A camping stove
- A cooler
- A set of maps
- A solar phone charger.
Rollercam experts say you should also have a good supply of tiedown straps and bungie cords with you. They could prove very valuable for transporting things on top of your car as well as securing your tent when you camp.
About Your Cell Phone
It goes without saying that you’ll probably want to take your cell phone on your camping trips. Remember that the point is to camp in the wilderness. A solar phone charger will increase the chances that you will never run out of juice. But beware that you may not have very strong coverage at your chosen destination, if you have any at all.
Incidentally, that’s why it’s important to take a selection of maps with you. It’s not always wise to rely on GPS when wilderness camping. And should you decide to get into overlanding, you are going to run into plenty of situations where you don’t have cell phone reception. You will need to learn how to use maps one way or the other.
A lot of people are curious about overlanding but not ready to make the leap quite yet. It’s understandable. Spending a summer car camping offers a nice introduction to overlanding without a full-blown commitment.