In the northern states during the winter time only the hard core will challenge the snow and cold for an ATV camping adventure. The rest of us use these colder months to plan our ATV camping trips when the warmer weather arrives.
Because ATV camping takes us deep into the back country proper planning and camping preparation is essential to a safe and enjoyable trip. So where do you start? I will reveal some tips and information to help in planning your next ATV camping adventure.
First you need to decide where you would like to camp. At CampingATV.com we have put together a list of ATV camping areas and sorted it by state to help you find a great area. Due to the increasing number of areas being shut down to OHV use, always check with the proper authorities or local experts to see if ATV camping is allowed before planning your trip.
Once you have determined the area use Google Earth to pinpoint potential campsites. Try to select at least 2 – 4 potential campsites. Your final decision will be made the day of the trip when you can physically see the campsites. Acquire a trail map of the area to become familiar with the existing trail system and if there is access to your potential campsites. Remember to stay on existing approved trails.
Determine a good staging area for the haul vehicles, existing campgrounds make good staging areas. then calculate the approximate distance from the staging area to the potential campsites. Plan a couple of trail rides to do over the course of the trip.
Plan conservatively on about 12 miles per gallon (mpg) for each ATV. This will give you an idea of how much fuel will be required for the entire trip. Always keep at least five gallons of extra fuel with the haul vehicles.
Now you need to determine the approximate size of your camping party and if everyone will cook for themselves or cook group meals (preferred). This helps to determine what food and size of camping stoves and cookware to bring.
Determine the date for your ATV camping trip and make sure everyone is aware and has plenty of time to prepare. Google Earth and some maps have GPS coordinates that you can load into your handheld GPS unit if you have one. Make sure everyone has access to a map or Google Earth to become familiar with the area before the trip.
Review our ATV camping checklists to help you gather and prepare your gear. Use Travel Space Bags for your clothing to help save space and keep your clothing dry and dust free. Plan your meals and precook some meals if possible and freeze in a ziplock bag. Ensure someone not going is aware of the location of the camping area and your anticipated time of return.
Service your ATV ahead of time, ensure all the fluid levels are good. Adjust your suspension to compensate for the extra weight of the camping gear and set your tire pressure a couple of pounds higher than normal.
Once a final headcount is made you need to determine how to haul the ATVs and gear. A large trailer (capable of carrying 4 ATVs) and crew cab pickup truck (¾ ton or larger) is ideal for up to five ATVs. Everyone pitches in for gas and the camaraderie for the trip to the staging area is great.
By planning your ATV camping adventure in advance and having your ATV properly equipped with the ATV accessories and lightweight camping gear helps greatly for a safe and enjoyable camping experience in the back country. At CampingATV.com, we have the ATV camping accessories you need for ATV camping. Let us help you equip your ATV for ATV camping.