Backpacking in a Jeep
Ready to go off road in your new Jeep®? Or how about a little road trip? Maybe even camping across the country? There’s a lot one can do with the right equipment. This little idea is thanks to the piece we did awhile back on Dan Grec, currently on a 2-year journey across Africa.
We do plenty of articles on going off road and rock crawling and what mods one should make for those activities. However, this summer we felt a backpacking around Europe vibe that we just had to talk about before the summer months come to an end. Back when we covered Dan Grec in our “Riding Around Africa in a Jeep” bit, we went over some of the mods he made for trekking around the country and going through dirt, mud and water. There are other categories he covered though, such as what to do if getting stuck. We have an article on how to get your Jeep unstuck too.
So this is more about the lifestyle piece. How would one live in a Jeep if backpacking around a foreign country, let alone our own? Our piece on #VanLife might get you started, but there’s some other stuff to look into as well.
Turning a Jeep into a camper is tough, but getting a pop up camper roof can make it feel a lot more roomy when laying down. That goes double if you get a tent or an extension for the back of the Jeep, like the picture below. Now you have twice the space and can breathe a little. With a tent, you can also stretch out a bit versus the small resting space a pop-up camper roof provides. Depends on whether you plan to be on the move or have pit stops to hit up on the way and enjoy the scenery.
You may want to look at some of the new accessories coming out from Easter Jeep Safari, too. Some of the convenience pieces give travelers a greater sense of being at home. The hardest part about backpacking are the usual amenities such as running water and electricity. Having a space to sleep or even cook doesn’t have to be too difficult though, especially if you are handy with plywood, screws, and a hammer. The rest comes down to whether you’ll be living in the van, or simply using it while “on the road” as they say.
In an attempt to keep as much of the Jeep empty and go for the bare minimum, here’s what we can do for water, gasoline, and energy. To start, you can get a large water tank, fill it with drinking water, and ration it. Or, get a UV lamp to disinfect foreign waters and then one of those 2 gallon water filtration systems.
Get additional batteries in case one dies, or if you have appliances running while hanging out in the Jeep or tent. You’ll want a power inverter too, if that’s the route you’re going. Otherwise, there’s always the option to install solar panels and a solar power charger for additional energy.
Lastly, have an extra full tank of gasoline, preferably protected in a storage container and mounted outside of the vehicle on the side or back end. This will come in handy if far from a gas station and need to get back out on the road. Having first aid, road flares, and tire kits will also be helpful in emergency situations to keep the Jeep running, or if in need of small-time medical aid.