Aren’t you so sick of booking campsites six month in advance? One of the advantages of owning a Jeep is that you are now free to overland with kids and camp in the many dispersed sidtes available in National Forests and BLM land throughout the western US.
Traditionally, camping requires finding and reserving a campsite in the winter when the booking system opens, not knowing the weather on the trip date, or who might be sick; not to mention the headache of trying to find multiple sites for large groups.
Overlanding, or the type of wheeling where you drive and move sites every night instead of being confined to one campground, can give you the flexibility on dates, can accommodate larger multi-family groups, and with your awesome Jeep you can wheel and explore and find the best (*legal) campsite in the forest.
Here are some tips for your first Overlanding Trip with Kids:
1. Proper Trip Planning
Perhaps the most important step, really the first step in your family adventure, must be properly planning the trip. Assemble maps, download apps, and find your initial route. Check these roads to ensure they are open as many FS Ranger District will have seasonal closures that can ruin a trip with a gate. You can check online with each ranger district to find seasonal road closures.
2. Balancing your time
Finding the right mix between driving time, breaks, and down-time at camp is key to making sure your kids have a great time and don’t get bored. Surely, no kid wants to sit in a car all day long. Be realistic in your goals with your family, make time to see cool sites along the way, get out and stretch your legs often, and leave enough time to setup and explore the camp at the end of the day,
3. Setting up Your Rig
Be careful to avoid over-packing, a common mistake on overland style trips. Overlanding, even with kids, is not glamping – leave the bucket AC at home. Pack small and light, take what you need, leave luxury camping items at home. Think about what you really, truly need – sleeping gear, cooking gear, and that’s about it.
For more information about setting up your rig for general overland trips, see our other blog post (HERE)
4. Activities for Children
Activities on the trail and in camp will keep kids engaged in the trip. Here are a few tips:
In conclusion, taking the time before the trip to set yourself up for success will be a great first step towards raising adventurous kids.