Overlanding Solo in a Subaru
Learning self sufficiency while overlanding solo
Sue Bee is a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, equipped with an iKamper Mini 3.0. We all know how expensive gasoline is, especially in California, so I was looking for a fuel-efficient, high-clearance and overland capable, all-wheel drive vehicle to take on short outings. This was the perfect size for me to travel to several Overland Expos where I teach classes on how to safely travel to Baja California.
Sue Bee has saved me mucho dineros in gas and lodging by staying in campgrounds, free BLM camping areas or any multi-day outdoor events like King of the Hammers. It’s even capable going to festival events. My favorite is camping in FREE dispersed camping areas in the boonies. In 2022, I did a 38-day solo overlanding trip from southern California through Nevada, Idaho and Oregon. My goal was to not stay in hotel rooms and I succeeded. I did mostly camping, some house sitting, and stayed with friends but absolutely no hotel rooms! Total cost of a 37 nights on the road was only $100.50 in camping fees. I met lots of other women out on the road doing the same thing. It’s a very liberating feeling to be able to travel this way, get out in the wilderness and do it very economically.
I didn’t do much to upgrade the suspension on the Subaru because that’s not what Sue was built for just yet. However, it’s a very capable vehicle to travel economically on the highway to some awesome destinations, even some fire roads in the state and national parks and still have everything I need. These Subaru’s have 8.7 inches of ground clearance which is much better than most passenger type cars.
This is what I have so far in Sue Bee.
- iKamper Mini 3.0 from Rhino Adventure Gear
- Rhino-Rack Vortex roof rack crossbars
- ARB 50 qt refrigerator
- Jetboil Genisis stove system
- Bugout 130 solar panel from Equipt
- Wiring from Subaru battery to a portable battery system with Anderson type connectors
- Auxiliary battery box designed and built by Frank and me
- Redarc, BCDC 1225
- Group 31 AGM battery
- Multiple socket outlets, including USB ports
We built a portable auxiliary battery box which charges the ARB refrigerator and my camera and drone batteries as well. This one item is a game charger for my type of long-term overlanding. My amigo Brian helped me wire the Subaru for the battery box. That’ another fun story for later.
To reiterate, it doesn’t matter what you have. Just get out there and enjoy nature. You don’t have a roof top tent, bring a ground tent! I traveled with a ground tent and a cooler with frozen water bottles for YEARS. Gradually add to your list of gear as you go. That’s what I did.