What got you into camping and overlanding?
We’ve been lucky enough to have been exposed to camping since grade school joining scouting activities & been loving it since then. Three years ago we decided to buy a vehicle suited for that kind of sport/activity and that’s where we started exploring Overlanding. We realized that there’s a group who’s been doing this, politely joined them and eventually made friends with most of them. We got more curious and excited knowing that it’s possible to do this in our country.
What made you decide to open a camping spot?
Unlike other countries, we don’t have that much accessible, natural, and safe campsites. The US for example has lots of National Parks where you can openly camp and the sites were planned in a way that creates low impact on the environment. So we thought, why not do it here? In a local setting, we realized we lack spaces or campsites where you get to really experience the environment (say forest) at it’s best. We felt that camping in an area where there’s no access to electricity and WIFI is more authentic. It enables us to disconnect with the outside world, just be in the present moment and create more positive headspace for oneself. In the digital age, it’s been hard and rare to really take time away from our devices and do something worthwhile. We could really speak for this since we are connected in the digital industry. Having done this activity has been really instrumental in getting ourselves recharged and more focused albeit more healthy.
The second consideration was with the idea of preserving even just a small piece of land, helping the locals get a decent source of income – something that’s simple yet sustainable. When we first came into the area it was clear that the local’s main source of income is farming but then farming in the local’s concept is cutting down and burning of trees (kaingin system) which is destructive in the long run. Only a portion of WK really has been converted into a natural campsite and we’re working on developing a portion for farming leaving the rest as is for the natural ecosystem to thrive. Even before everything came about, we really want to be inclusive with our approach.
What is your favorite aspect of camping and overlanding?
We’ve been actively doing Overlanding (3 years now) because we find it a healthy way to distress, hang out with good people, and raise environmental awareness. Most of our friends in the same group are in the front-line of helping people especially in the face of calamities and disasters. It’s a great cause & genuinely helping others made us more grateful, grounded, and connected. More reason why we are loving this sport.
Another favorite is getting to use and try different camping gears and exploring unknown areas to many. That sense of wonder we get every time we are in an unchartered territory at the same time moving beyond our comfort level – is everything!
Is there any particular camping memory you are fond of that you would like to share?
Every camping experience is unique and memorable but perhaps the first time we joined Overland Expo left a mark to us in terms of preparedness. Everything we had was too basic at that time. It was our first time to officially join and it’s a 2-day event– heat was too intense especially at noon down to 3PM, there wasn’t any toilet nor a bath area only a river that precedes towards the lake. Then the temperature suddenly dropped at night till wee hours in the morning, it was so crazy. It was a great learning experience, hard for a beginner yet too fun. We thought we were so ready but realized that we weren’t after all hahaha.
The second one was spending almost a month of camping around the pacific northwest of US then Canada. It was our first camping experience outside of the country and one of the most difficult we’ve ever had.
Where is your dream camping destination?
Africa is on top of the list!
What qualities do you think a veteran overlander or camper should possess?
Never lose one’s sense of wonder because that’s where the adventure, and discovery are.
It’s easy to fall into that sense of almost knowing everything especially if one gets too familiar with the sport/activity.
Flexibility. Things can go wrong no matter how well and how long things were planned.
Patience. Nature and its processes have certain timing and it’s never in a hurry. If we are to observe, everything always happens and unfolds beautifully according to its season. We humans must learn that from mother nature. It’s really a great deal when our ancient philosophers emphasized that “patience is a virtue”.
Respect. Respect towards the environment, locals, and fellow campers | overlanders.
Do you have any advice for prospective overlanders and campers?
Overlanding looks cool in photos but it requires moving out of one’s comfort zone every time. It might not be for everyone. But if you’re curious enough, take it one step at a time. Getting your vehicle overland-ready and buying camping stuff could get heavy on the pocket if you do/buy it all at once. It’s best to try first what works for you. Again, avoid the tendency of hauling all the camping equipment you think you need. As you move along, you’ll soon discover there are things that you can go without. At times we get too consumed with what can go wrong but never ever forget to always enjoy the process!
For beginners, you can go check the following sites, you’ll find all stuff from basic to the not so basic camping gears: ADV Outfitters PH , Campinggears.ph