When the journey is the destinationJan 23rd, 2023
The overlanding trend exploded in popularity during the pandemic as the perfect activity combining work-from-anywhere and social distancing. Rather than conquering obstacles or racing to a destination, overlanding is about self-reliant exploration and soaking in the experience of the whole trip.
If you’re a Subaru owner, chances are that sounds pretty good to you.
Many Subaru models, with their all-wheel-drive capability and comfortable interiors, are ideal for the task. Many popular models including the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, and Ascent boast more ground clearance than some full-sized trucks, while the Outback and Forester Wilderness editions feature enhanced off-road capabilities, as well as nine-plus inches of ground clearance and rugged styling to match.
Although car camping can be as easy as chucking a tent and a cooler in the back of your daily driver and heading out to the closest campground, a few carefully considered modifications can go a long way if you’re looking to up the adventure quotient on your next trip.
First, consider the wheel and tire package. Many Subaru models are fitted with 17- or 18-inch wheels. If off-roading is your plan, choose the smaller option that gives you more sidewall and more margin for finding grip by airing down.
If your vision of adventure includes dirt trails, lots of gravel, sand, and mud, then the purchase of all-terrain tires is advised. Even without lifting the suspension, there are multiple brands that offer options sized for crossovers and station wagons. Check with a professional to find best fit that doesn’t produce rubbing while turning or when the suspension is flexed.
Even with the right wheels and tires, getting stuck is always a possibility. A few recovery tools to consider are traction boards, a tire repair kit, an air compressor, and a few hand tools, including a shovel. And does your model have a full-sized spare? Never a bad idea to bring one.
A few more advanced modifications would be the addition a skid plate to protect the underside of the car from rock strikes, a rooftop tent (check the owner’s manual for weight ratings first), and auxiliary lights. There are a number of aftermarket companies that are designing these options for Subarus.
For more inspiration, check out these Outback builds:
And here is a Subaru Crosstrek showcased at the 2022 SEMA show in November. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjBNXJdrPBY&t=14s