If you end up in lower mainland, British Columbia, you’ll no doubt end up hearing about Stave Lake and the mud flats. Although “mudding” likely isn’t going to be your thing with a loaded up overland rig, finding a nice spot to camp probably is so feel free to give the Stave Lake mud flats a shot.
When there, you’ll most likely want to steer clear of the mud flats themselves. They’re called mud flats for a reason, and with a heavy overland rig, you can find yourself stuck in no time. Stay to the South, and venture into the dry river/creek bed area. It’s rocky, but it is dry and away from the mud flats area – which, can end up very busy, loud and on any given day is a dirty mess. You’ll find this are sadly littered with vehicle debris, camping trash and the worst of all pallet nails. I don’t think there is a spot on the main mud flats area that is free of pallet nails at all.
None-the-less, I found a location to set up for the night. It’s a little close to the road, but that’s ok, it’s separated with some trees. As I start prepping for dinner, a Jeep rolls into the mud flats, heads straight to the nasty stuff and promptly gets stuck.
I was both surprised, and not surprised all at the same time. Everyone knows “don’t wheel alone”, but yet, this Jeep rolled right into a sticky situation with nobody around to help. After a short while, a couple of dirt bikers ventured towards the stuck Jeep and within minutes after, came in my direction. I knew right away why they’d be visiting me. I reluctantly agreed to see what I could do.
I made my way as close to possible to the stuck Jeep. We linked two tow straps together and I gave the Jeep a controlled press on the throttle. The stuck Jeep didn’t budge and I could feel the VagabondExpedition Jeep sink. As I figured, I’d be of no help to this unlucky group, so I disconnected the tow strap and attempted to depart. Stuck. Stave Lake mud was now trying to claim me as a victim with no source of rescue around.
Climbing up to the roof of the Jeep, I freed my Smittybilt Element Ramps (traction plates) (amazon) and placed them for the front wheels to grab. It took longer to free these off my roof than it did to “self-rescue”.
Help eventually came for the folks that were stuck. It took three vehicles in total to haul them out of the mud, but they were freed. You can see the VagabondExpedition Jeep tracks on the driver side of the pickup truck in this photo.
All in all, Stave Lake is a messy location. You’ll encounter garbage everywhere, loud obnoxious campers launching fireworks and shooting firearms at all hours of the night. Night mudding is also quite popular here so if you’re hoping for a night of peace and quiet, steer clear of the Stave Lake mud flats. If you’re desperate for some off grid camping, give it a shot – just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Photo showing the Gear Aid Flux Light we recently added to our gear collection (amazon).