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Overland Camping in British Columbia
Overland camping is the best way to explore the stunning outdoor spaces that British Columbia has on offer. Overlanding takes you to places that other tourists struggle to get to and uncovers untold beauty that you would otherwise miss. This form of travel is by far the best way to explore British Columbia without holding back. Overland camping under the stars, below the mountains, and beside the lakes is an experience you will never forget.
In this article, we will be looking at what overland camping is, why it is the best way to explore British Columbia, and how to find the perfect campsites on your travels. Enjoy!
What is Overlanding?
Overlanding is the activity of taking a 4x4 off the beaten trail to explore the deeper wilderness. You will find overlanding activities all over the world and it is an extremely popular pastime with many people investing thousands of dollars into their rigs. Whether it is the African Savanah, the arctic tundra, or the mountainous regions of Canada, overlanding is one of the best ways to explore the heart of the wilderness.
Usually, when you are overlanding, you are self-reliant and able to travel to remote locations for long periods of time. The main thing that enables you to do this is of course your vehicle. The vehicle you use must have a reliable four-wheel-drive system and plenty of clearance to tackle the demanding off-road trails that lay between you and your next camp site. Vehicles will also carry a means of camping and cooking. This could be a built-in roof tent and kitchen or simply a tent, stove, water carrier, and camping provisions.
Overlanding in its purest meaning is about exploration. Whereas travel in most cases is just a means to get from A to B (such as a train, plane, or bus) overlanding is all about the journey more than the destination. The challenge and ambition of a long journey is what draws people to overlanding and the feeling you get when your camping away from any form of civilization is what keeps people coming back time and time again.
This form of travel may not take you somewhere quickly, but it will take you absolutely anywhere in a way that is impossible for other vehicles. If you love the wilderness, like a challenge, and enjoy staying in the most remote parts of the world, then overlanding is something that you will love.
Exploring British Columbia the Right Way!
Now you know what overlanding is all about, you have probably guessed why it is the best way to explore British Columbia. BC is full of untouched wilderness, wild camping sites, and miles of forestry tracks that lead to secret beauty spots deep in the backcountry. Overlanding in this Province will help you discover what this part of the world has on offer even if what it is offering is down an old mining trail that stretches for miles into the wilderness.
Heading out into the backcountry of British Columbia can be overwhelming if you are new to this form of travel. It can be difficult to know exactly where to start when you are a beginner especially if you don’t even have a suitable 4x4 to use. Luckily, at Outback Ride we do the hard work for you and can supply you with fully equipped vehicles, so all you have to do is think about the epic adventure ahead of you. We have a range of vehicles available for rent, why not check out exactly what we have on offer in our catalog.
The best thing about overlanding is being able to choose exactly where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Of course, you are best to plan your route to some extent and search for advice from some people in the know, but the beauty of hitting the road is not knowing where you will set up camp next. It is during the times when you are lost on an overlanding road trip that you will discover the most amazing locations and have the most fun!
When you take a random turn down an old forestry track in BC you are often met with something completely new and exciting. Heading into the unknown can often expose beautiful remote camping locations that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. When you are heading out in British Columbia, we encourage you to take that enticing turn off of your route plan to get out there, explore, and find that perfect view to wake up to.
Although overland camping in British Columbia is best done self-sufficiently by backcountry camping in those hard to reach places, sometimes as modern people you need those simple creature comforts. The beauty of BC is that although you may find yourself in the middle of nowhere one day you can always find civilization the next. If you are heading out on a longer overland trip, chances are you will need to book into somewhere to refresh. You will perhaps want to wash your clothes, shower, and recharge your batteries, this is where the plethora of wilderness campgrounds that scatter the province come in handy!
It is this wonderful combination of untouched diverse wilderness and rustic tucked away campgrounds that make overlanding the best way to explore British Columbia. This province allows you to get out into the wild and unwind for as long as you need without having to worry about where your next hot shower is going to come from. This makes it possible for people of all ages, group sizes, and family types to go overlanding in BC without any stress.
How to Find Your Backcountry Campsite
Finding a good backcountry campsite can be difficult because the people that know the good ones hold the locations close to their chests. The best way to find a place to overland camp in the wilderness of British Columbia is to take those enticing turns down forest tracks. You can also scan the area you are in on satellite image maps looking for clearings along the sides of lakes, tracks, and roads.
The truth is British Columbia is swamped with thousands of free backcountry campsites and finding them seems more difficult when you are planning than when you are actually out on the road. BC is a haven for wild campers and bush crafters in Canada that want to get out into the wild for some self-sufficient camping, so our best advice is to plan little and explore more! Always have a backup plan and some rough ideas of camping locations when you are overlanding but be open to changing plans while keeping your eyes peeled for those hidden gems.
There are some well-known backcountry campsites available and the locations can be found online easily. Of course, these are great to look at when you are planning so you can be certain that you will have somewhere to stay during your travels but be warned, during the peak season they can become occupied quickly. Check out BRMB for info on backcountry recreation and camping sites, it is a great resource for overlanders looking for a last-minute layover.
When you are heading out into the many parks within British Columbia with wild camping and overland camping in mind, it is important that you check if you need a permit. Some parks are restricted and do not allow camping without an appropriate backcountry camping permit and in some cases a small fee. These fees help keep the parks here in tiptop condition and ensure that they are around for future generations to enjoy. You should also follow the rules when in these places and ensure that you are leaving no trace of your presence (litter, fruit peels, fire pits, and human waste). You can find more information on the BC parks website.
Campgrounds Suited for Overlanders
As we mentioned earlier, sometimes you want a few more creature comforts when you are out exploring the wilderness by overlanding. After roughing it in the wild for a few days the simple things like a hot shower and a cold drink are worth so much! If you are a small family that is overlanding, then staying self-sufficient while backcountry camping may not be completely possible. This is where remote campgrounds come in extremely useful.
There are plenty in the BC area, so you will not struggle to find any however you may need to do some pre-planning before you expect to turn up for a pitch. During the peak season, these kinds of campgrounds can become full quite quickly especially if they are located in popular hiking areas. If you think you will be more dependent on these types of campsites, then it is well worth planning your route a bit more clearly than if you were “true overlanding”.
Before you head out overlanding you should check out some campground opportunities and book them beforehand. It would be impossible to list every possible campground located in BC in this article, so a bit of initiative will be needed if you wish to plan your trip this way, but we do have a handy article to get you started. Check out Best Camping in BC to give you some inspiration and a few ideas on campgrounds within the province.
Happy overlanding and safe travels!