I love to explore, and I am always looking for new and unique experiences to enjoy around our great state of Alabama. I also enjoy spreading that knowledge on to the followers of Alabama Outdoors – because hey, sometimes you don’t think there is anything to do around here, and that can be the farthest from the truth. So, today’s adventure that I think you might love experiencing with a partner or even making it a great Father’s Day outing is off-grid camping inside of a German UNIMOG vehicle. Epic!
How did I hear about it?
I found Case Rock ECO Retreat on Airbnb, and it is run by Rachel and Glenn Evans. They had a listing for an “Off-Grid UNIMOG Zombie-Free Adventure,” and well…I am not going to pass that up. Better yet, you might think an off-grid experience would be quite a drive to get to, but this get-away is located in Kimberly, Alabama. So for me, living in Birmingham, that is a short 30-minute drive to be one-with-nature.
Find it here on Airbnb.
About the Off-Grid UNIMOG on Mog Mountain in Case Rock ECO Retreat
The UNIMOG is on Mog Mountain and is one of three Airbnb spots at the pet-friendly Case Rock Eco-Retreat. The main area to sleep is inside a 1966 UNIMOG used on the film sets of The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games. It is a four-wheel-drive military vehicle. There is a comfortable wooden pavilion that houses the Mog. It includes a kitchen, a living and dining space, an observation deck, a sleeping loft, an outdoor shower, and a composting toilet. All of this overlooks a fire pit and plenty of trees to hang your hammock up and chill.
Renting Off-Grid UNIMOG Adventure
Booking a rental for this adventure through Airbnb was quick and easy. Rachel and Glenn are “Super Hosts” through Airbnb, which means most everyone has a really great experience. There is an extensive House Rules section which you are strongly encouraged to read. Do not let this intimidate you. It is only in place to ensure you understand you will be off-grid and that you do not step into a situation you are not prepared for. For example, showing up thinking that you can drive your BMW right up to your campsite. Negative.
The Adventure Begins…
Upon arriving at Case Rock ECO Retreat, you will pull into the drive and take a right where you can park beside their goat pen. This is where your vehicle will stay, so as I said up top – do not think you will drive your car anywhere. Even if you have four-wheel drive, it will not make it on the very rough road to get to your campsite. You will be greeted by Glenn, who is very lovely and accommodating, and he will drive you the rest of the way in a UTV.
What should I pack?
Though the UNIMOG is off-grid, there are still plenty of accommodations where you do not need to bring too much gear. I recommend bringing the following to have a fun and comfortable stay:
- Bring a cooler packed with drinks, food (dinner & breakfast), and of course, the ingredients for S’mores. Psst, we have an excellent video for S’more recipes here. Remember, once you are out at the MOG, the only way back to your car is the long walk back down the entry road. Doordash or going out to a restaurant will not work here.
- Pack bug spray. The Mog Mountain pavilion has several citronella candles, but nothing beats on body/on gear protection. I recommend Sawyer Permethrin spray to treat any clothing you will be wearing as well as your hammocks or accessories. I use it on all my adventure trips.
- Bring a hammock. When I stayed the night, a hammock was already hanging, but I was unsure how long it had been exposed to weather and the elements, potentially causing the fabric to become thin and not secure. So, I recommend bringing your favorite hammock. I hung my ENO up between the two pavilion posts and was in heaven.
- Bring a towel. The beautiful Locust Fork River is a quick walk from the MOG, where you can swim and play in the water. Case Rock ECO Retreat provides bath towels but recommends using your own towel to dry off from the river. I brought a Nomadix Pack Towel because it packs down really well and isn’t bulky.
- Bring a change of clothes. Upon arriving, wear something comfortable, and that will keep you cool. More than likely, the temperatures will be warm by the time you check-in, so wear a good pair of breathable performance shorts, and a t-shirt paired with shoes that can grip terrain like Chacos. There are a little over 100 acres of property here with hiking trails, so you will get sweaty if you explore, so lightweight performance apparel is key here. Temperatures will more than likely dip at night, so always pack a long-sleeve, hoody, or light jacket, even if you do not think it could possibly get cold.
Accommodations to expect
I had a wonderful time staying at MOG Mountain and sleeping in the UNIMOG. It was the perfect balance of off-grid camping with the convenience of glamping and not overthinking about what to bring. Perhaps, we will call it off-grid glamping. It is a beautiful place to bring friends or family, relax, enjoy a unique experience, and not feel like you are entirely roughing it. If you know someone who wants to get into camping but may not be the most outdoorsy person, I 100% recommend the UNIMOG experience as their introduction into the outdoors camping world.
You will have a small kitchen with a gas stove, a place to sit and eat, an observation deck to climb up on, a composting toilet (think fancy outhouse with the feel of an indoor bathroom), and an outdoor shower with hot water. Case Rock ECO Retreat will also provide bath towels, sheets, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and paper products (toilet paper). I had a wonderful experience, and I believe you will also. Have fun exploring!
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