Financial Independence & The Freedom To Make Different Choices: Car Camping

It is all about Freedom

When I first discovered the Financial Independence movement, freedom was what made it so appealing. I love stories of people that by becoming financially independent, have attained the freedom to make different choices. The freedom to live the life that they want. Before learning about Financial Independence, one of our hobbies was to watch youtube travel videos. We’d watch videos for hours fantasizing about trips to Bali, Iceland, and New Zealand. When I found FI and realized we didn’t have to wait to reach those dreams. Everything clicked, and those dreams became attainable goals.

Freedom is what we are aiming for in our journey to Financial Independence. We are not only looking to free up our time but also to be as location-independent as possible. Why should we be stuck in the same place, when there are all these beautiful places to explore? The good news is that we don’t have to wait to become financially independent to start chasing our dreams. After researching many different types of location-independent lifestyles, we decided to give Car Camping a try!

Let’s start small

We had been researching location-independent lifestyles for over a year now. After plenty of different dream-crushing conversations, we decided that Car Camping made the most sense for us right now. We did not want to take on a huge project because we still have regular jobs. This had to be a project we could complete in our leisure time. So we decided to start with a small, reasonable project to try and get feet in the water. Initially, we were interested in a teardrop trailer, but after some research, we realized we would’ve needed to trade in one of our cars for one with more towing capacity. We were not willing to go through that hassle so we agreed on Car camping.

The Build

We are building a custom bed and drawer system (BDS) for our Nissan Murano 2015. A Nissan is not necessarily the type of SUV you take Overlanding, but we wanted to work with what we have. There weren’t specific BDS designs for a Nissan Murano, so we are working on adapting the design plans that we’ve purchased from Solid Wood Worx to fit our Nissan. Lots of designs for 4Runners available if you have one of those.

The design we are going with has a pair of drawers in which we’ll be able to store our kitchen items so that we can comfortably cook wherever we go. In addition, we’ll have false tops on our drawers which will add additional surface area to use as countertop space-definitely a plus! I already have my eye on so many delicious camp recipes! The box is removable since we can’t fully dedicate this car to being a mini camper.

Our goal is to have our build ready by the end of April, and now that the spring started we have started buying all of our accessories and materials for the build

The accessories, there are so many…

We didn’t own any camping gear so we’ve pretty much have had to start from zero. Once we started going into the rabbit hole of car camping it became clear how much research, thought and effort we were going to have to put into this project. Not only do we have to build the BDS, but we also need to ensure all of our basic needs covered if we ever wanted to boondock.

For those not familiar with the term boondocking, it refers to camping in public land, state parks, national parks (dispersed camping) where we might not have the luxuries of an established campground.

We want to ensure that we have everything we need, and some things we want to make sure this is a good experience that we look forward to every time. Therefore, the list of accessories quickly started to grow including solar panels and generators, water filtration bottles, awnings, and other items.

As I’ve mentioned before, FI is not about deprivation, but about spending your resources on the things that you truly value. So if we were going to try this hobby we wanted to make sure we were comfortable and safe!

Enjoy the journey!

One of the goals of this camping project is to really understand if traveling is something that we truly enjoy. We have big plans of traveling around the world once we achieve FI, but what if we get there and don’t like it? I think one of the solutions to that is to start designing and living your FI life while you build your wealth. We can spend years focused on the finished line, the numbers, and how awesome it’s going to be while ignoring the enjoyment that living in the present brings.

Our goal is to reach Financial Independence by 2030, but we decided to take on a little project together that will enable us to enjoy the journey. We definitely did not want to make our journey to FI about deprivation, but we want to use these years to explore different hobbies and passions that will continue to drive us after exiting the workforce if that is what we end up doing :). Some of the places we’d like to visit include Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Door County, Colorado, Arkansas, and Utah. I’m sure the list will continue to expand as we embark on this journey. We hope this will motivate some of you to follow your dreams no matter at what point in your FI journey you are, you can always start small and build from there!


Thank you for reading! If you have any recommendations for Car Camping sites leave it in the comments below!

*The content posted on this website does not constitute professional financial advice. Please consult a certified financial planner or investment advisor for professional financial advice*

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