First trip advice for a noob near Orange County, California | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

First trip advice for a noob near Orange County, California

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irvinemike

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Hi all. I am new to the site and new to overlanding. Like many of you I'm sure, have always had a natural instinctive draw to the great outdoors, desire to drive to beautiful remote locations when I can, have good times with good people, and the fun of building a capable rig to get you there of course. I have 200% desire to start, like now, and get out there, but 0% knowledge of where to start, where to go, what to do. Sure I could get my self to Sequioa National Park, or Lake Alpine, Moab, or Mammoth but then what? Get lost, get stuck, drive a restricted area, wreck my jeep, go to the wrong location with no scenery while my wife and two children look on to me with big blank stares to find base camp soon. No thanks, thats my greatest first overlanding trip fear. I have a capable 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, 3.5" AEV Lift, winch and all. Now I just need to get out there and use it. I look forward to a little off roading to get to the destination (going with someone with 4X4 experience a plus). I am not new to camping so OK there. Keep in mind I have a 2.5 yr old and 6 month old ridding in the back so it needs to be a family friendly location and relatively safe.

Any advise for my first overland trip that's family friendly would be appreciated. A stream near by to fish and possible swim a plus!

Looking for a shorter test run trip, 4 hour or less type drive from Irvine, CA 92620 is preferred to get my feet wet if possible. Any advise, GPS coordinates, or exact driving directions, or similar trips planned I can tag along on would be awesome!

Thank you all,
irvine mike
 

SLO Rob

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You do have the rig, that's for sure. Keep checking out this site and @michaels videos. I'd also recommend looking at their trip out towards Joshua Tree. As summer is "kinda" ending, that's not too bad for you.
There's also a boatload of YouTube videos with advice and how too's. Welcome!
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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@irvinemike First off, welcome to the community!

As a new overlander the first things I stress are safety, especially when you have family members involved. You can forget some gear, leave your toilet paper, etc. but don't forget safety.
Here are a few things you should evaluate for your rig and kit:

Do I have a first aid kit?
Do I have a medicine kit for the kids? (Tylenol, Benedryl, prescriptions, etc.)
Do I have 3 days of emergency food and water? (Even for a day trip)
Do I have reliable navigation and a hard copy backup? (GPS is great, but if it craps out you'll need something that doesn't die... like a paper map of the area)
Do I have ample fuel to get in, get out, and have a reserve in case I get stuck or have to back-track? (Trip planning is also a critical safety step)
Can I travel with another trusted overlander until I get a feel for the requirements? (Strength in numbers!)
If not, who can I use as a contact to come looking if I don't report in after a given time frame?
And my personal favorite... do I have a Delorme inReach? Click Here (This is by far the best investment one can make for their family when traveling off the beaten path.)

Overlanding is something that only gets better with practice. Always keep a pen and paper in the console to jot down things you need for the next trip. Consider investing in some "go-boxes" that you can dedicate to your trips so you only have to grab them and not pack them. We travel with a 2 year old and this method has saved us a TON of headache.
I could go on for hours on other great pieces of gear, but this is a good starting point.

Again, welcome to the forums! You've come to the right place to get started. I'm sure others will chime in with additional advice! We're looking forward to helping you achieve those adventures you have planned.
 

irvinemike

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@irvinemike First off, welcome to the community!

As a new overlander the first things I stress are safety, especially when you have family members involved. You can forget some gear, leave your toilet paper, etc. but don't forget safety.
Here are a few things you should evaluate for your rig and kit:

Do I have a first aid kit?
Do I have a medicine kit for the kids? (Tylenol, Benedryl, prescriptions, etc.)
Do I have 3 days of emergency food and water? (Even for a day trip)
Do I have reliable navigation and a hard copy backup? (GPS is great, but if it craps out you'll need something that doesn't die... like a paper map of the area)
Do I have ample fuel to get in, get out, and have a reserve in case I get stuck or have to back-track? (Trip planning is also a critical safety step)
Can I travel with another trusted overlander until I get a feel for the requirements? (Strength in numbers!)
If not, who can I use as a contact to come looking if I don't report in after a given time frame?
And my personal favorite... do I have a Delorme inReach? Click Here (This is by far the best investment one can make for their family when traveling off the beaten path.)

Overlanding is something that only gets better with practice. Always keep a pen and paper in the console to jot down things you need for the next trip. Consider investing in some "go-boxes" that you can dedicate to your trips so you only have to grab them and not pack them. We travel with a 2 year old and this method has saved us a TON of headache.
I could go on for hours on other great pieces of gear, but this is a good starting point.

Again, welcome to the forums! You've come to the right place to get started. I'm sure others will chime in with additional advice! We're looking forward to helping you achieve those adventures you have planned.
@stringtwelve Great advice! Lots of excellent points here thats easily overlooked until its to late and up the creek without a paddle. Better to bring the paddle with you right. Thats a lot of prepping but your right, safety first. Have an out for every possible situation, got it! Looks like its time to go back on-line and spend more money prepping….does it ever stop. lol. Thank you for all the great advice!
 
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Corrie

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Thank you @SLO Robert. I forgot about Joshua Tree. Google maps says it's only 2 hrs and 19 min. from me. Thats definitely on the trip bucket list now.
Hey there, @irvinemike! Welcome to Overland Bound! :grinning:

Everything @stringtwelve says is the good stuff. The internet is full of many different resources to plan/prep/pack for an Overland Adventure, and proper research and (optimistically) thinking out the worst-case-scenarios in advance will give you and your family great peace of mind once you're on the trail.

Speaking of Joshua Tree... We met a local at a coffee shop near the 29 Palms Inn, and he gave us the real deal scoop on an awesome trek. (He saw our rig fully loaded and assumed we were there for adventure, not the apocalypse.)

He pointed us towards a trail that went through Pioneer Town and ended up at Big Bear Lake. I'm going to talk to @administrator and see if we can jog our memory on the exact trail numbers! It's an AWESOME trek, and very cool and moderate terrain to explore!

Will get a link to you and post here!

Corrie
 

irvinemike

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Hey there, @irvinemike! Welcome to Overland Bound! :grinning:

Everything @stringtwelve says is the good stuff. The internet is full of many different resources to plan/prep/pack for an Overland Adventure, and proper research and (optimistically) thinking out the worst-case-scenarios in advance will give you and your family great peace of mind once you're on the trail.

Speaking of Joshua Tree... We met a local at a coffee shop near the 29 Palms Inn, and he gave us the real deal scoop on an awesome trek. (He saw our rig fully loaded and assumed we were there for adventure, not the apocalypse.)

He pointed us towards a trail that went through Pioneer Town and ended up at Big Bear Lake. I'm going to talk to @administrator and see if we can jog our memory on the exact trail numbers! It's an AWESOME trek, and very cool and moderate terrain to explore!

Will get a link to you and post here!

Corrie
Hi CorrieOB: Thank you, I look forward to this little secret locals only route. Desert to Lake and trees. Can't beat that!
 

MOAK

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We have been at this now for over 20 years, and everything everyone has talked about is all very good advice, including SAFETY, first last and always. My dentist is very good about penicillen scripts for us, ( just in case) and our doc knows us well and scripts us some non-addictive pain meds that we always carry in our safety kit. We carry two kits, one for minor, everyday bruises and scratches, and the other larger bag for the serious stuff, bone breakage, hypothermia, etc etc.
I'd also recomend a visit once in a while to the site, Expedition Portal. Although very "high end" ( lets face it, most of us will never be able to ship our rigs all over the world ) it is a great resource to learn about your new hobby, read some very un-biased gear reviews, and exchange ideas in the forums. Having previously owned several jeeps, I learned very quickly to stay away from the jeep specific forums. It is an unfortunate truth that the individuals that frequent those types of forums, (ie wrangler forum) are more concerned with the "conquering of nature" that with "overlanding"
Good luck and have a great time..
 

MOAK

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I also wanted to add that gear selection is also a very important safety factor.. That portable table in the sale section at Cabellas doesn't do you much good as it collapses beneath the weight of your cook stove while you are preparing your meal.. Choose your gear wisely and spend your money once.. Been there, done that..
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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@irvinemike I posted the first of a series of articles that will help point you in the right direction for various overland gear. The first several articles are dedicated to safety.

Overland Safety Kit: PART I - The First-Aid Kit

I'm on vacation so I'll try and crank out a couple of these before I return to the grind. Hope to keep them coming steady though.
 

Michael

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Thanks @SLO Robert @irvinemike Also, part 2 http://overlandbound.com/overland-trip-joshua-tree-pt-2/ shows pictures of that trail from Pioneer town to Big Bear. To take the route have paper maps (We use DeLorme) and I recommend having a GPS unit. You can enter these coordinates into google earth. I've also attached a waypoint kmz file you should be able to import to your gps device. Here are the way-point coordinates:
  • 34.156387276, -116.498672314 (Pioneertown, CA)
  • PioneertownRd to Rimrock Rd 34.181698 -116.535901
  • Rimrock Rd to Burns Canyon Rd Turn Left 34.198050 -116.546119
  • Burns Canyon Rd to Viscera Spring Rd Turn Left 34.232156 -116.638865
  • Viscera Spring Rd to Burns Canyon Rd again stay to left 34.233661 -116.644592
  • Burns Canyon Rd to Forest Service Rd 2N02 Turn Left 34.256132 -116.716921
  • Forest Service Rd 2N02 to Vale Dr 34.279494 -116.796213
  • Turn Right to Baldwin Lake Rd 34.279476 -116.797206
As always, use your best judgment and its better to go as a group. This trail is fairly easy with good sights to see! On the trail!

Joshua-Tree-220.jpg
 

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murps

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@administrator , I'm in the same boat as @irvinemike and i live in San Diego so Joshua Tree would be a great trial run. My question is, maybe a help for other novice folks is what is a kmz file and what do i need to open/use it? As of now i use google maps on my phone, but that's it as far as GPS devices.
 

Michael

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@administrator , I'm in the same boat as @irvinemike and i live in San Diego so Joshua Tree would be a great trial run. My question is, maybe a help for other novice folks is what is a kmz file and what do i need to open/use it? As of now i use google maps on my phone, but that's it as far as GPS devices.
Hi there! This was one of the firs maps I uploaded and I see now I did not add the KML file (Google Earth) or the GPX file (Generic GPS). My bad! I'll upload these file formats a bit later today. I recommend Google Earth. If you get a gps unit like the DeLorme InReach, it'll have instructions for importing the GPX route.

M
 
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Michael

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@administrator , I'm in the same boat as @irvinemike and i live in San Diego so Joshua Tree would be a great trial run. My question is, maybe a help for other novice folks is what is a kmz file and what do i need to open/use it? As of now i use google maps on my phone, but that's it as far as GPS devices.
There you go! All fixed. You should be able to open the route in Google Earth! Let me know if you have any issues!
 

SLO Rob

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@irvinemike Thinking about your original post...You should also seriously consider doing the Bald Mtn trip many of us just did for the 1st Off The Grid Rally. If you're newer like me and may be taking kids etc, this would be a great trip too. While it's certainly not away from the grid, it's easy and accessible and after that weekend I honestly felt like I'd gone to an "overland school". I feel I know my rig and it's capabilities so much better. I would recommend utilizing that as well and it's within a good half day drive for you.
 

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@dmurph1996 if you dont have a delorme unit, i have had great success with using Backcountry Navigator on my android devices. You have several different maps available for free, including some US forestry maps. Download them onto you device for when you dont have any cell reception (gps on tablets and phones are independent of cell coverage) and you can import your gps files into it. You can also track and record the route you take that way you can share it with the rest of us :)

If you have a Apple products, i have heard many good things about GAIA maps. Either way, having a good nav system with topography available can do you wonders.

@administrator isnt there a section somewhere with downloadable routes for people to download and use for their own trips?
 
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