Overland tenting and fishing within the Kern River Valley


Shown is an example of an off-highway 4×4 motorhome. | Jeffrey Walters

Overland camping is nothing new to some of us, for others it simply means 100% off-grid camping.

However, in the last few decades there have been some very big improvements in what it means to be off the grid. Gone are the days when you didn’t shower, ate mini meals cooked on the camp stove and had to endure the dreaded cold nights. Today there are some drastic improvements, mainly in the off-road overlander style of camping where fully equipped 4x4s and off-road trailers hit the trails to find the perfect area. National Forests have what are known as Yellow Post Sites or Disbursed Camping Areas. Although both areas are remote, most paid camping areas have vault-style outbuildings and trash cans, but other areas may not. So plan your trip accordingly and be prepared to bring whatever you bring with you.

There are so many areas here in the Kern River Valley and Sequoia National Forest that offer either paid or paid camping. The more adventurous prefer paid camping and the seclusion that it brings while still maintaining a sense of home and security. Finding the right gear is not easy. Some prefer to build their SUV or trailer themselves, while others buy the professionally made items. One of the sponsors of this year’s Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is Black Series Trailers. These off-road capable trailers are state of the art, fully self-contained, heated, cooled and equipped with all the comforts you need. These trailers are made for real overland adventures.

They can be parked on the lake when anglers try to catch tagged trout for the derby. They can be maneuvered to the perfect spot in Keyesville to fish the river or taken to an open spot near Kennedy Meadows to fish the South Fork of the Kern River.

Overland camping and fishing are a fantastic way to while away the weekend, week and maybe all month if you choose! There are paid campsites throughout the Kern River Valley just waiting to be explored. We here in the valley have seen many different types of RVs, trailers, fully equipped 4x4s and jeeps heading to unfamiliar places.

One of the most popular types of Overlander vehicles are the off-road RVs, which are either professionally built or made by the owners themselves. Any day of the week you may see at least one or two cruising around town, shopping at some of our local stores, grabbing something to eat or just getting gas. We look at them and wonder what adventures await them, knowing that the sturdy-looking RV can take them there. That’s what makes this style of land fishing so powerful and fun: the ability to do it all in comfort and style. You can choose one of the awesome Black Series trailers and toy haulers or a 4×4 camper or a fully equipped Jeep. It’s your choice, your destination. Your secret fishing spots are all waiting for you to come out and enjoy your own backyard, so to speak, in comfort and style.