10 Tips for ATV/UTV Off-Road Camping


Camping is a terrific way to extend the enjoyment of your off-road vehicle, whether exploring, hunting, fishing, or driving on the trails. However, planning your camping vacation in advance to ensure you have everything you might need is vital to the success of your trip. 

Here are 10 tips that will help make your next trip the best it can be:

1. Locate a campground that accepts ATVs or UTVs.

First, check to see if you can ride your ATV or UTV in the park, campground, and/or trails you wish to visit. If bookings are required at your campsite, do them well in advance and make sure there is room for your car, trailer, or other vehicles.

2. Study the ATV/UTV riding routes.

Do your homework in advance and become familiar with the riding route, the terrain’s characteristics, and the campground spot you expect to visit. This will give you a better understanding of the difficulty of the ride and how to enjoy yourself when riding an off-road vehicle or side-by-side. 

On a camping vacation, there are many different types of landscapes to discover, including dunes, mountains, rivers, woods, and more. However, encountering unexpected landscapes may put you at a disadvantage or even cause problems. Therefore, it’s wise to know exactly what you will encounter before you go.

3. Get to know the campsite.

Learn about the amenities that your campsite will provide. Will you have access to a power source or electricity? This is crucial if you are riding an electric off-road vehicle. Will there be water or public restrooms available?  Is there a grill at your campsite or a secure area where you may build a fire for cooking? These important questions will help you avoid difficult or embarrassing situations and ensure your trip will be everything you hoped for.

4. Carry a GPS and maps.

You may not have access to the internet or cellphone service while out riding in a distant area. Therefore, having maps of the area is a must. However, check to make sure that the maps are up-to-date. You may even want to contact people who might have ridden on the trails you plan to go on. First-hand information in these cases can make the difference between having a good time and getting hopelessly lost. 

5. Regularly monitor weather conditions.

Before and during your trip, check the weather forecast for severe storms, lightning, rain, mud, snow, wind,  ice, or other weather conditions. This helps you plan the best days for your trip, prepares your vehicles for the weather, and gives you a better idea of the equipment you should bring for camping and riding. Furthermore, never underestimate the weather conditions. If you plan for somewhat worse conditions than the forecast warrants, you not only give yourself some peace of mind during your trip but also ensure that if you actually need the extra preparations, you are ready.

6. Share Your Camping Schedule

Good planning also means contacting loved ones or friends and letting them know about your ATV/UTV camping plans. Therefore, tell them where you’ll park your car and where your camping will be. If you intend to go fishing, hunting, or trail riding with your car, be sure you have emergency contact information on hand and that they know your plans. 

7. Prepare Your ATV/UTV Camping Adventure with the Proper Equipment

Always plan for various riding and camping scenarios and pack based on the weather. Ratchet straps can be used to secure objects, and a towing trailer may be used to transport any camping equipment. 

Here are a few items to bring on your journey:

Eye protection and a helmet


Shoes and long socks

Water-resistant jacket

Layers of garments for cold weather

Tent with a tarp or rainfly

Sleeping bag

Campfire lamps


Cooking utensils


Packed or canned snacks and meals

First-aid kit



Portable device plug-ins and phone chargers

8. Prepare your ATV or UTV for the camping trip.

You want to check many items twice before your trip, from tires and wheels to lights and oil. Make sure your ATV or UTV is prepared for the trails by giving it a thorough inspection before the ride. You can do the inspection yourself if you are able, or you can take it to a utv service shop. 

In addition, before your camping trip, become familiar with the typical causes of your ATV or UTV not starting so you can make repairs or replace parts before they become an issue.

9. Inspect and repair your ATV/UTV and pack extra equipment and gasoline.

If you need to perform repairs to your ATV or UTV while you’re out and about, pack a toolbox with a tire repair kit. However, if, during your initial inspection, you find things that need repair, it’s a good idea to get them done before you leave. Again, you can do it yourself or locate a utv repair shop near you. Additionally, if you intend to go any long distances during your camping trip, make sure your tank is full, and you have packed extra gas.

10. Protect your UTV or ATV during your stay.

Choose a location far from any open fire and place your ATV or UTV on a level, flat surface. Remove the keys. Put wheel chocks behind your tires to keep them out of the mud as a safety measure. Cover your UTV with a cover or tarp to shield it from condensation, falling trees, rain, or other debris. 


Following these 10 tips for camping with your ATV or UTV can help make your trip more enjoyable and safe for everyone involved. Adding a little extra preparation can make all the difference in the success or failure of your trip.