Overland Camping (and Why We Love it So Much)

Outdoor exploration has become part of the fabric of our daily lives.

Since making the move to British Columbia from Ontario, it’s not unusual for us to spend a few hours or days a week in nature, discovering new trails with Piper, new beaches to chill at, and new mountains to climb. Besides exploring by foot or bike or sled (which we also do and have done), overlanding was the next activity in-line for providing us with a means to get deeper into the untouched.

For those who don’t yet know that word, overland camping is essentially off-roading meets camping. Overland Journal describes it as “self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.”

Sounds fun, right? Well it is! But we kind of got into it by accident… We didn’t learn about it on a blog, like you might be, we learned about it after we spent some time driving around BC’s forest service roads and doing some old-fashioned peeping and pointing while saying, “I wonder where that leads?!”

So as Michael and I do with everything we take a fancy to, we dove in head-first. We spent nearly every free weekend last summer (and even some week nights) in search of adventure. Over time, we modified my Jeep (or Judy, as she’s known around our house) and equipped it with everything needed for our outback explorations (things like a gas can, backup GPS, water system). We spent nearly every weekend last summer sleeping under the stars in our rooftop tent with Piper.

From our home here in Squamish, BC, we get to enjoy different vistas and vegetation only one or two hours from our doorstep, so driving to explore new spots and subsequently camping where we parked became a regular weekend activity of ours. Just as we enjoy the actual drive and camp experience, we also fell for the process of planning, packing, cooking outdoors, and discovering new gear or ideas to make our trips funner, better, and more comfortable.

Most of the time, our pack consists of a cooler of food and a way to cook it, Piper and her goods, firewood, some clothes and toiletries, and accessories like a bluetooth speaker, camera, and solar lights. Otherwise, all we need is Judy (who is equipped with our rooftop tent, tools and safety gear) in order to enjoy a relaxing and luxurious stay, wherever we park.

Some weekends we stick an hour or two from home for a one-night stay, and other days we stay for whole weeks or weekends in places farther away. We’ve explored British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California this way, all the while tweaking our setup to make the experience pared-down yet comfortable, unplugged but safe. We plan to continue overland camping for years to come, so you can look forward to experiencing our adventures with us for a long time.

The photos and video (below) in this post were taken on Whiskey Run Beach in Oregon (September, 2019). We had only one night to enjoy this beach, and after a week of many failed camp-spots, it was a well-needed rest listening to the ocean.

Head to my Instagram post to let me know what you think, and if overlanding is something you’re interested in!

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