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forgedfromthewild

How to Overland in Baja & Oyster Recipe

With cooler temperatures making their retreat, it's the perfect time to gear up for your favorite tropical locations before the heat of summer takes hold. Many may still be gearing up for their favorite cold-weather sports and activities. But for Glen and Alana of @forgedfromthewild, instead of hitting the slopes they’re hitting the road – to a sunny, warm season of overlanding in Baja.

Glen and Alana never imagined they would spend their lives camping and overlanding in Baja, Alaska or any of the other amazing places they have visited.

But six years ago they quit their jobs (she was a firefighter and he was in the military) and decided that life was more fun traveling together than it was working apart. Starting a professional photography business on the road was the risk and adventure they were both craving. What it led to is incredible locations and memories shared that have us all feeling that itch of wanderlust.

So, when spring seems it will never come in Colorado, they pack up Gina (their lovingly named overlanding rig with a rooftop tent and room for pets) and set out for the next dreamy destination. Keep reading and you’ll be planning your own Baja overlanding trip as soon as possible. 

Why Baja?

The vastness of Baja and its varied landscapes is what originally drew them to this location. 

“You can go from the sand dunes to the ocean to a full desert scape with saguaro cacti all around you in the matter of one day,” says Alana. The desolate off-grid beaches (that you can camp right on!) and quaint culture-rich towns along both coasts rival any road trip destination in the States.

TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS
  1. Withdrawal cash before crossing the border if you can, since conversion rates in the US are better.
  2. You don’t need to be a hobby mechanic, but it doesn’t hurt to know basic car maintenance before any overlanding trip, especially one in a different country.
  3. Glen and Alana recommend having several different map apps available so you can easily find your next location or save a location that you really liked.
  4. An amazing part of overlanding in Baja is how immersed you are in the culture. But like any place where locals speak a different language, it’s helpful to have some basic language skills ahead of time, or at least a handy translating app to help you communicate and navigate language barriers.
  5. Bring the fun with you! Even though sporting goods and activity gear can take up more space, it makes the adventure more enjoyable. These two brought their stand-up paddleboards and fly-fishing gear and couldn’t have been happier. Even a frisbee to toss on the beach creates lasting memories.
WHEN & WHERE TO GO

While the beauty of Baja can be found year-round, the best time to go is November through April.

Starting north and working their way south, Alana and Glen’s top recommendations will take you to from both coasts to rocky desert vistas inland and everywhere in between.  Here are a few of their top spots:

San Felipe

This coastal town on the Sea of Cortez is a bigger town and is a great place to get fresh fish and stock up on other goodies. There are great designated and boondocking spots all around the area.

Cataviña

A very small town inland, with desert charm and huge cacti galore. Stock up on gas and food before heading here.

Guerrero Negro

The premium whale-watching location (like, up close and personal) on the Pacific Coast.

Mulegé and the Bahia Concepcion (Bay of Conception)

Arguably one of Alana and Glen’s favorite places. Alana described it as “truly the most idyllic place in the world” with its sparkling turquoise waters where she says everyone is paddleboarding and spear fishing and grilling ocean-side.

La Paz

A charming, bigger town (near Cabo but without the tourist vibes) with an artistic culture and another great place to hit the markets and restock on all your necessities.

PACK SMART

Fresh water can be tricky in places like Mexico where potable water is hard to come by. Alana and Glen said they always kept a five-gallon water jug strapped to the outside of their car, along with their Dometic GO 11L Hydration Water jug, and full water bottles, as well as iodine tablets for purification in a pinch. They also pointed out that there were water purification centers in many of the towns, where you can fill up your jugs or water tanks for very cheap.

One of the most important items Glen and Alana bring, besides their water jugs, is their treasured CFX3 Powered Cooler, which saves the day when they have fresh fish or Alana’s fresh guac to keep cold for potentially days at a time.

Since Baja can entail a lot of boondocking and off-grid camping at remote beaches, it’s smart to have backup power with a power bank or battery like the PLB40 or portable solar panels.  Not only does it help power your cooler in the back of the car, but Alana and Glen use power banks to charge their satellite phone, cameras, smart phones and laptops for when they are forced to get some work done

Carrying an extra gas can isn’t a requirement, but came highly encouraged as some towns, especially the more remote towns inland, did not have proper gas stations. One stop had Glen filling their car’s gas tank from a man on the side of the road selling gasoline from a barrel. It’s always better to be overprepared when overlanding or camping in Baja or other remote places.

Baja Beachside Oysters Recipe

Alanna loves the ability to cook a delicious, fresh seafood dinner, for her friends and husband, no matter how remote they are. She says that food is “the world’s greatest love language… a language everyone is fluent in”.  Their oyster recipe is delicious and so simple. Best part? Freshly shucked oysters can stay fresh in your CFX3 Powered Cooler in an airtight container for up to five days.

Ingredients:

  • Freshly shucked oysters from Ojo de Liebre (they farm and harvest the oysters right there)
  • Lime
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salsa Huichol (or any fresh salsa)

Instructions:

  1. Take your freshly shucked oyster
  2. Add your lime, salsa huichol, and soy sauce to your raw oyster
  3. Slurp away!
  4. If you’re feeling extra wild, add a shot of tequila into the oyster shell and take it all together. (The best way in their opinion)

While delicious meals and stunning views are a highlight of any overlanding trip, Alana put it beautifully when she described the time spent with loved ones after the meal was done and they swapped stories by the fire until late into the night. She said “at the end of the day, the views are incredible. But the view from across the campfire is the one that you remember”.

Check out more of @forgedfromthewild must-have overlanding products below.

Dometic PLB40
Bestseller

Dometic PLB40

Portable lithium battery, 40 Ah

$384.99
In Stock
Dometic GO Hydration Water Faucet
Dometic GO Hydration Water Faucet
Bestseller

Dometic GO Hydration Water Faucet

Portable, Self-powered Water Faucet

$99.99
In Stock
Dometic GO Hydration Water Jug 11L
Dometic GO Hydration Water Jug 11L

Dometic GO Hydration Water Jug 11L

Hydration Water Jug 11 l

$69.99
In Stock
Dometic CFX3 75DZ
Bestseller

Dometic CFX3 75DZ

Dual Zone Powered 12 Volt Cooler, 75L

$1,249.99
In Stock
Dometic CFX3 55IM
Bestseller

Dometic CFX3 55IM

Ice Maker Powered 12 Volt Cooler, 53L

$1,079.99
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Dometic GO Hard Storage 50L
Dometic GO Hard Storage 50L

Dometic GO Hard Storage 50L

Portable Hard Storage 50 l

$149.99
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Zamp Solar OBSIDIAN® SERIES 100 Watt Kit

Zamp Solar OBSIDIAN® SERIES 100 Watt Kit

Portable Solar Charging Kit with 100-Watt Panel

$449.99
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Zamp Solar OBSIDIAN® SERIES 45 Watt Kit

Zamp Solar OBSIDIAN® SERIES 45 Watt Kit

Portable Solar Charging Kit with 45-Watt Panel

$349.99
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