Desert Dwellers, otherwise known as off roaders, live different. Most of their existence is covered in several layers of dust and before the trip ends, they’re planning the next trip. It takes a special sort of person to voluntarily live in their vehicle or tent in the middle of nowhere and enjoy it. Most people venture out to the wilds and test their survival skills for roughly a week so that’s the plan here in this particular blog.
Camping in the desert can be an unforgettable experience. The unique landscape, the open skies, and the quiet solitude can make for a truly relaxing and peaceful vacation. However, your next getaway also requires some extra preparation and knowledge. With the Annual Dodge Trucks Xtreme Get Together (GTG) a week away, we will explore some tips and tricks to hopefully help you have a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Choose The Right Season And Time Of Day
The desert can be an extremely hot and dry place, especially during the summer months. It is best to plan your trip during the cooler months of the year, typically from October to March. Additionally, it is important to plan your activities and rest times around the heat of the day. The early morning and late afternoon are the best times to explore and enjoy the outdoors, while the middle of the day is best spent in the shade or in a cool, air-conditioned spaceif possible. The key is to create your comfortable little world while out in the sticks.
The upcoming GTG is set to reside at Johnson Valley California (34.400024, -116.525562). It’s an off-roaders paradise and home to the King of the Hammers event because of the gnarly and harsh conditions. Johnson valley will test even the most seasoned driver both in and out of their truck. The Thuren Fabrication crew is looking forward to seeing you out there and we hope you’ll join in the festivities and bring the family.
Pack The Right Gear
When camping in the desert, it is important to pack for extreme heat, cold, and wind. Bring lightweight and breathable clothing that will protect you from the sun and wind, as well as a hat and sunglasses. It is also important to bring plenty of water, as well as a water filtration system or purification tablets. Other important items to bring include a first aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reliable navigation system.
Choose The Right Campsite
When selecting a campsite, it is important to find a location that offers some shade and protection from the wind. Look for areas with trees or rocks that can offer natural shade, or bring your own shade structure or tarp. It is also important to set up your campsite away from washes and dry riverbeds, as these areas can become dangerous during flash floods.
Johnson Valley has a lot of land but very few trees or wind breaks in the form of landscape structure. Most if not all visitors to the valley bring 5th-wheels, campers, or some form of solid structure to live/sleep in because it can get quite windy. This is not to say tent camping is off limits, but be prepared for gust of wind and check the weather before hitting the road. Wind speeds can get in excess of 45 miles per hour and tents are gonna be flying at that speed.
Respect the Environment
When camping in the desert, it is important to respect the delicate environment. Avoid disturbing or damaging plant life, and always practice Leave No Trace principles. This means packing out all trash and waste, and using biodegradable soap and toothpaste to minimize your impact on the ecosystem.
Be Prepared For Wildlife
The desert is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including snakes, scorpions, and coyotes. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself. Keep your campsite clean and secure, and avoid leaving food out that could attract animals. Wear closed-toe shoes and be cautious when hiking or exploring the area.
See our Camping With Dogs for guidance to keep your furr-baby safe while out and about.
Camping in the desert can be an incredible experience, but it requires extra preparation and knowledge. By following this guide, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. With the right gear, a respectful attitude, and an appreciation for the natural beauty of the desert, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.
Bringing All Your Toys
Off road camping, also known as overlanding and several other names, is a great way to explore the world and get off the beaten path. It requires a bit more planning and preparation than traditional camping, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Remember, there are levels to this game and it’s not necessary to spend all your hard earned money on every gadget you see…trust us we know this from experience :)
Research Your Route And Destination
Before embarking on an off road camping trip, it is important to research your route and destination. This includes understanding the terrain, road conditions, and potential obstacles you may encounter. Use online resources, such as blogs and forums, to get tips from experienced campers and learn about the challenges of the area. It is also important to have a detailed map and navigation system, as cell phone coverage may be limited or nonexistent.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Your vehicle is your lifeline when off road camping, so it is important to prepare it for the journey. This includes checking the condition of your tires, brakes, and other critical components. Consider upgrading your suspension to improve ground clearance and off-road capability. It is also important to have recovery gear on hand, such as a winch, tow straps, and a high-lift jack.
Pack For The Journey
When packing for an off road camping trip, it is important to prioritize essentials such as food, water, and shelter. But don't forget about the smaller items that can make a big difference, such as a portable shower, camping chairs, and a first aid kit. Consider investing in a roof rack or cargo box to increase your storage space and make packing easier. It is also important to bring along spare parts and tools, as well as a repair manual for your vehicle.
Practice Safe Driving Techniques
Off road driving requires a different set of skills than driving on paved roads. It is important to practice safe driving techniques, such as maintaining a safe speed and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. Be aware of your surroundings and always use a spotter when navigating tricky terrain. Avoid driving over fragile vegetation or disturbing wildlife, and always follow the Leave No Trace principles.
Respect Local Regulations
Off road camping is subject to a variety of regulations, so it is important to be aware of any rules or restrictions in the area. This includes obtaining any necessary permits and respecting designated camping areas. Be aware of fire restrictions and follow all posted signs and regulations.
Off road camping can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation. By researching your route, preparing your vehicle, and practicing safe driving techniques, so you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. With the right gear, a respectful attitude, and a sense of adventure, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.
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