Trying to make overlanding more enjoyable for a family of 4

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bulfo4

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Enthusiast I

404
Albuquerque, NM, USA
First Name
Thomas
Last Name
Szymanski
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23192

Very interesting perspective! My best friend and I can roam the remotest trails without stopping for hours and being very, very remote, but when you get home and someone asks what you saw it’s usually…rocks, some trees, lots of dirt…vs going to a more civilized place like national parks, (which aren’t usually overlanding at all), but where you see ancient ruins, waterfalls, specific, noteworthy rock formations, plus you learned something from the signs and booklets, and the kids got to do Jr. Ranger programs.

And on the way to places, instead of my friend and I stopping, well, nowhere, on the family trips we sometimes go into a comic book store, or the winery (like mentioned), or even a Barnes and noble. Changes the % of time from all my (boring camping) stuff vs them wanting to “do something”.

We're back to mostly glamping with overlandy kit.

Wasn't so much about the toughness of tent camping or anything. It's the lack of things to see. Exploring without any pay off. The glampgrounds are near interesting spots for diving, islands, theme parks, etc. etc. Overlanding can't compete with that. Even the wildlife has been better glamping (bald eagles all over the place this year).

If I go camper, it might be for just rest stops, on the way to our hotel destination.
 
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bulfo4

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Enthusiast I

404
Albuquerque, NM, USA
First Name
Thomas
Last Name
Szymanski
Member #

23192

With kids, bring action figures or Barbie’s and use the natural materials to build forts or bridges or cabins to furnish or things like that - but bring a blanket for you to lay on and actually play WITH them. It gives Mom some time to relax, read, or whatever, and you get to see how your kids play imagination games. I’ve had a blast putting Barbie’s through Survivor competitions, or making log cabins, or when the toys “explore” and collect shiny rocks.

It gives them something familiar to do that I guarantee they’ll remember doing with you, and it had YOU doing THEIR thing some, which for most kids is a nice change.

We’ve also done zip lines, made stick weapons to hunt bad guys, done geocaching, (natural) art projects for other people to find, carved things (they love that), and of course had campfire stories (not ghost stories, ours always involve silly aliens, planets made of things like cheese, huge animal companions, etc)
 
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bulfo4

Rank II
Member

Enthusiast I

404
Albuquerque, NM, USA
First Name
Thomas
Last Name
Szymanski
Member #

23192

Sorry, one more thing. Rooftop tent is a game changer. We got a Tuff stuff alpha and it’s amazing for space, comfort, ease of setup, and keeping sleeping bags inside it.
 
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AggieOE

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646
Houston, Texas, USA
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Nathan
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NKK
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30025

Fitting all the crap for me wife and 3kids is the hardest part, in the 4Runner.
With a 1-year old, we've found out we need a trailer for all the extra gear.
RTT was an option for my wife who hated sleeping next to bugs and eventually on a deflated air mattress at 4AM. With the third member of our crew, we're bringing a big 6-person instant up tent, RTT annex, fold out shower tent, pack-n-play, stroller, high-chair, etc. All of this new gear does NOT fit inthe Jeep or the 4Runner.
So trailer it is!
 
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T4R13

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Off-Road Ranger I

981
Lewis County, West Virginia, United States
First Name
Austin
Last Name
Schriner
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40707

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Fitting all the crap for me wife and 3kids is the hardest part, in the 4Runner.
With a 1-year old, we've found out we need a trailer for all the extra gear.
RTT was an option for my wife who hated sleeping next to bugs and eventually on a deflated air mattress at 4AM. With the third member of our crew, we're bringing a big 6-person instant up tent, RTT annex, fold out shower tent, pack-n-play, stroller, high-chair, etc. All of this new gear does NOT fit inthe Jeep or the 4Runner.
So trailer it is!
My kids are 2,4 and 7. No trailer here just have to master packing and what you bring. Started them all out by the time they were a couple months old. We also do multiple week long trips in the winter. Below freezing and there’s only Ben a couple instances where I wanted a trailer. Until we end up on bad trails requiring 8 point turns and winching. Then I’m glad I don’t have the trailer