I am have been overlanding for a few years now. Two documented trails I have driven a few times are the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail and the Seven Hour Plane Crash Trail. Aside from that, just doing some general exploring and wandering within National Forests in upper Wisconsin and Michigan is always fun.
However, gas prices as I write this post where I live in Wisconsin are $4.34 per gallon. That adds up fast when going on long overland trips. Sadly it’s not sustainable on a tight budget like I manage. Take inflation into affect as well, and things are tight for most.
Overlanding Hiatus: Because Of Fuel Costs
Sadly I will not be going on two of the larger overland trips I had planned for this year. Tomorrow the wife and I were going to set off for eight days of exploring and camping through the Black Hills and into Wyoming. We just decided a week ago to cancel that trip.
We were also planning on heading back up into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in early September, but the way things are looking right now, with increasing gas prices and more inflation coming, that trip will be cancelled as well.
Let me know in comments or on social media if you are cancelling any of your overlanding plans as well.
How To Go Overlanding With High Fuel Costs
Luckily I live about an hour away from a region of land called The Barrens, here in Wisconsin. It is located in the Northwest corner of Polk County, and extends up into Southwest Burnett County. The area consists of thousands of acres of State and County land. Governor Knowles State Park borders the area, and it is also right next to the St Croix Valley Scenic Riverway (A National Park).
The Barrens are cross crossed with miles and miles of forest two-tracks, fire lanes, horse trails, and even a few hiking and ORV trails. Most of the two-tracks are mild in regards to terrain, but there are a few tracks that are muddy and mucky, and narrow. If you are worried about pin-striping your rig, scout the trails ahead.
Overlanding Day Trips & Short Overnighters
There is no boondocking allowed in The Barrens area, but there are a handful of great primitive campgrounds scattered around. If you are looking to go and camp out you will need to make reservations at most of the campsites.
There are a few campsites located along the St Croix River that are managed by the National Forest Service that are free and do not require reservations. Such campsites are first come first get, and some of those you may will not be able to park at, but rather haul your gear in to camp.
My plans are to spend some time exploring The Barrens. I am already familiar with some areas, but there are many two tracks I have never been down. Day trips where I go up and explore before pulling off someplace to cook up some lunch are in the works. I also plan to do some longer weekend trips where I camp in the area.
Since I like to trout fish I will also be hitting a few of the class 1 trout streams in the area as well. Other notable areas of interest is the Fish Lake State Wildlife Area as well as Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area.
Looking for a place to sit down indoors to eat lunch? Check out the towns of Grantsburg or Luck Wisconsin.
Overlanding On A Budget
I hate to say it, but things are getting tight on my families budget, and we are carefully picking and choosing what we do this year in regards to road trips.
We are staying close to home and spending more time getting better acquainted with the area in which we live.
I am not sure how expensive fuel costs are going to get before things start to subside, but I feel it is more prudent to try and set aside some extra money for the future if things continue to get worse. To that end, any overlanding this year will be close to home, and on a budget.