Overlanding is not always associated with comfort. After all, you’ll be driving long distances and sleeping in your car or tent. This is where you’re wrong because overlanding can be very comfortable and luxurious. You just need to make the right gear choices, and you’ll probably feel more comfortable on the road than you do in your home
1. Make Sure You Have a Spacious Vehicle
The bane of every overlander is likely the fact that they do not have enough space in their car. This will not only make you feel cramped, but it can also limit you when it comes to packing up the gear. No trunk space, no comfy gear with you. This is why you must make sure your vehicle is generously sized.
A common trend among overlanders is to take a van and turn it into a mobile home. You can install a bed, a home, a bathroom – anything that might make the van feel homier. It might cost a bit at first, but once it’s done, you’ll reap all the benefits when it comes to style. And if vans are not preferred, an off-road vehicle with a bigger trunk space might be more appropriate.
2. Bring a Generator
The problem with road trips and camping is that you don’t usually have access to the electricity you got used to at home. Sure, you may connect and charge your phone to your car's USB port, but it’s not like you can do that with every appliance. Plus, you’ll need that battery power for your car as well.
A good way to ensure power is to bring a portable generator with you. These units run on fuel, so you will always have energy, as long as the tank is filled. You can power everything with this type of generator, such as laptops, phone chargers, hanging lights, and many more.
3. Get a High-End Tent
Unless you are traveling in a custom van that has its own bed, you’ll probably need someplace to sleep. The problem is that sleeping in a regular tent does not bring you any comfort. They are cramped and barely give you enough space to sit and get dressed.
Instead of going for the average tent, try investing in a high-end one. For instance, an overlanding ground tent might be a better alternative to the standard roof tent, as it is taller and gives you more space to move around.
You can also look into tents that have multiple chambers. This way, you won’t have to sleep in the same chamber containing your dirty boots or leftover food.
Give some thought to fly tent cover as well. You may not always be able to find shaded areas, and regular tents can get very steamy once the sun rises. A bell tent fly cover will help!
4. Bring an Air Mattress
Usually, as long as you have a good sleeping pad and a well-insulated sleeping bag, you should not have any issues sleeping on the ground. You’ll be warm enough. Still, while you won’t be uncomfortable, it won’t be that comfort you have in your own bed. The ground is hard to sleep on, and you may just wake up feeling like your body was run over by a tractor – especially if you are used to soft beds.
To fix this, you might want to consider bringing an air mattress with you. This way, it will feel like you are sleeping in a soft bed, even if you are camping. An inflatable mattress doesn’t take much space in the trunk once you deflate it, and it will give you the proper rest that you need.
5. Pack a Camping Stove
You might think that the worst side of camping while overlanding is that you have to start a fire yourself. You’ll have to gather the wood, and if you are truly unlucky and it rains, you can kiss your cooked meals goodnight. Your only option would be canned food.
This problem is usually solved with a camping stove. There’s something about a properly cooked meal that makes you feel like you are going in style. Plus, with a camping stove, the fire will be “just right,” so you won’t risk burning your food.
As an extra style point, go for a camping stove that has two burners instead of one. This makes mornings particularly pleasant, as you can cook your breakfastandprepare coffee at the same time.
If you are bringing a overland tent with you and the weather is expected to be chilly, you may want to bring along a portable tent heater. Propane tent heaters come in various sizes and have features that protect you from accidents.
If you bring a canvas ground tent on your overland adventure, then you may have the room to bring a wood stove. Tent stoves typically are portable and compact, making overland camping super comfortable.
You don’t have to sacrifice your comfort when you are overlanding. In fact, if you make the right choices, overlanding can be very comfortable – luxurious, even. You might need to spend some extra money to make it happen, but the experience will be worth it.
Father of two aspiring glampers, husband to one inspirational wife, and Co-Founder of Life inTents. Continuiously striving to help make camping more comfortable.