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Few realize that if they own a 4x4, they’re already driving around what could be their next basecamp.

Did you know that your 4x4 can be your basecamp?

From the islands scattered along the coast to the mountain ranges to the east, our city is surrounded by opportunities for outdoor adventure. Seattleites take different approaches to exploring this abundance – some take up camping by tent, others go for long daytrips to our national parks and still others invest in RVs.

Few realize that if they own a 4x4, they’re already driving around what could be their next basecamp. Dana Marshall of Mule Expedition Outfitters explains why so many people are becoming “overlanding” enthusiasts.

It’s cost effective

You don’t have to have lots of money to travel when your vehicle is your base camp. Instead of paying for a hotel every night, you can explore even remote locations and by bringing along a comfortable rooftop tent, somewhere to cook and even somewhere to shower.

It’s liberating

Mule Expedition Outfitters doesn’t only sell the components you need to turn your 4-wheel-drive vehicle into a machine outfitted for adventure – they’ll also do the installs for you.

Get an after-market suspension set up and have a winch installed so that your vehicle can handle steep climbs and tough terrain. Gear up with tire repair supplies, traction boards and other key equipment and you give yourself access to vast swaths of land begging to be explored.

Instead of being limited by the park trails, you can escape the crowds and venture off to really immerse yourself in nature. If you invest in water storage, solar power and a 12v fridge / freezer, you won’t be bound by the resources at popular campsites either – you’ll be prepared to push past boundaries and strike out your own path.

It’s versatile

If you’re looking for an upgraded camping experience without the limitations imposed by an RV, outfitting a 4x4 with expedition equipment is the perfect solution.

If you want to set up a sturdy base camp on your next rock climbing adventure or kayaking trip, a vehicle set up for overlanding is a perfect choice.

The gear available essentially allows people who own 4x4s to split the difference between a vehicle and a tiny house. The result is a rugged, functional and totally livable. Dana actually lived with her husband in their van for three months traveling and exploring the Baja Peninsula.

It’s the kind of thing that will inspire you

If your Jeep had an awning, you could drive it along the beach and create your very own shady seating area. If your truck had sleeping quarters over the bed, you could drive up the mountains and spend the night stargazing in the middle of nowhere. If you had a snorkel for your SUV, maybe you wouldn’t be wary of forging across streams to discover new hiking areas with your dog.

No one needs special equipment to enjoy the outdoors, but exploring the possibilities of building a 4x4 vehicle might just inspire you to push a little further on your next adventure.

If you’re curious about building an overland vehicle or are looking for design assistance, advice, custom fabrication or equipment, stop by Mule Expedition Outfitters or come to Standup for the Cure on August 26 to see a demo vehicle and participate in an event where you can have fun and save lives.