Overland Camping

Written by Katie Standlee in the August 2020 Issue

Overland Camping

Summer vacations thrive for campers when adventure leads the way, and with overlanding camping, the Steele family does just that.

Overlanding is a mix of four-wheeling and camping, where the campers drive to a desired destination and set up camp atop the vehicle. Mark and Jen Steele discovered overland camping about three years ago, and are not stopping anytime soon.

The inspiration came shortly after they purchased their RV, and their 8-year-old daughter Addison earnestly said, “Take me to see stars I’ve never seen before.” 

Local Adventure Outfitting

Mark said it was an investment to make that dream a reality, but with the help of Edmond Pickup, they acquired the necessary equipment and rigs. Working with the owner, Will Rhoads, Mark and Jen built their own customized adventure trailer. Jen said it’s a one-stop-shop with everything a traditional overlander would need to outfit any vehicle, rig or equipment, and they have a multitude of camping supplies.

The adventure trailer is rigged with a generator, kitchen, refrigerator, rooftop rig, propane stove, storage, extra supplies, a kayak, extra gasoline, and much more. Mark and Jen rent out the trailer, as well as their RVs, through their company Adventure RV Rental.

For Mark and Jen, the driving motivator for overlanding is exploration. They can connect with their twin daughters, Addison and Kinley, without outside distractions. As often as possible, they embark all over the country to discover new worlds. “We wanted to teach them that there is a world out there outside of what they typically experience,” Mark said. 

Jen and Mark love how much their daughters blossom when they travel. “I watch them go from creative to adventurous, and curious, and you see different sides of their personality shine,” Jen said.

Exploration without Reservations

Many trips are thoroughly scheduled out, but there are no reservations in overlanding. Jen enjoys being able to unplug from the world digitally and physically, let everything slow down, and truly relax with family. “You don’t make reservations, and that’s kind of the point,” Mark said. “You’re not dictated to a schedule of events, you go where the adventure takes you.”

A great way to start overlanding is through the Oklahoma Overland Trial and the Green Country Overland Trail, which are two nationally-known trails, Mark said. The trails are not technical, which means an every-day car can make the trip.

Oklahoma has a growing overlanding community. Mark and Addison traveled to New Mexico for Father’s Day with 30 people, which was coordinated through the Oklahoma Overland Facebook group.

So far, the family has adventured all over the state, and to New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas, Canada and Yellowstone. The family researches every trip together and learns as much as possible along the way. The family’s next adventure takes them to Arkansas to fulfill another dream of Addison’s, which is to sleep next to a waterfall, wake up, and jump into the cascading water.

For more information about Mark and Jen’s company Adventure RV Rental, visit adventurerentalok.com. For more information about Edmond Pickup, visit edmondpickup.com

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