From rockcrawling or mudding, to fishing or hunting, to just plain camping, here are all kinds of ways to enjoy the outdoors with your Jeep. A short-wheelbase Jeep is one of the best off-road vehicles around, but there isn’t a whole lot of interior space, so bringing stuff along can get difficult. There are a lot of ways to solve the space problem such as auxiliary racks, not going camping with anyone else, or sleeping in the dirt. But none of the solutions are really good and all involve some significant compromises.
The auxiliary roof or trailer racks only decrease the nimble off-road ability of the Jeep, whether from a decrease in departure angle or raising the center of gravity. We’ve seen quite a few flops where other Jeeps without stuff loaded up high made it through and quite a few spots where the trailer rack was holding the Jeep in the air. Camping alone can be cool, but most of us would rather have friends or family along to share the experience with. And, sleeping in the dirt was fine when we were teenagers. Back in the day when things like sleeping bags, tents, ground mats, and a change of clothes was considered optional, but nowadays, we like being at least a little clean and comfortable.
So, with the goal of leaving civilization for days at a time without adversely affecting our Jeep’s off-road performance, we drew on some of our backpacking experience, some of our Jeep building experience, and some of our expedition-vehicle experience to put together a package that we could still wheel on more difficult trails while taking at least another person with us and live in some reasonable comfort.