If the thought of going off-road sounds appealing but you have no interest in the more extreme aspects of it, have you ever thought about overlanding?
A pastime that’s gaining momentum in the American off-road community, overlanding provides a great opportunity to experience basic off-roading with a group and have the added enjoyment of a road trip complete with camping and other activities.
If that sounds like something you might like, here’s a little more info about overlanding and how to participate and have a fun off-road adventure!
What Is Overlanding?
Though some call it glorified camping, by definition and purpose overlanding is the idea of traveling over the land on an adventure where the goal is to be self-reliant and enjoy the journey more than to just get somewhere.
It can be done with as little as a backpack or as much as an expensive camper.
Those who like to go off-road on their overlanding adventures tend to use 4X4 vehicles, equipping them with some admittedly modern creature comforts to do it.
It’s all about the journey, remember?
Why not make it more fun by bringing a few conveniences along so there’s no frustration involved!
Why Do People Overland?
Overlanding began in the early 1900s in Australia and Africa, two places where the practice became common as a means of driving livestock across vast regions and camping out along the way, as moving herds could take days.
Since then, numerous explorers and many adventure-seeking people have made their way over and through lands all across the world using all sorts of off-road vehicles and on foot, all with a main goal to enjoy adventuring and seeing the wilds.
Overlanding through the wilds is once again becoming more popular as people look for fun ways to escape everyday life for a while, even if just for a few days, while trying something a little more adventurous than camping at a campsite.
It’s becoming so popular again that there are conventions every year where attendees are exposed to all kinds of overlanding and survival topics as well as seeing all the great new overlanding apparatus on the market to make their journey even more enjoyable.
What Do You Need?
Since overlanding trails will definitely take you over all types of land, it’s pretty important to do it in some type of off-road truck or Jeep that can handle the terrain.
Rocks, water, mud, hills could be encountered, so you most likely need a modded off-road truck that’s reliable and capable of getting you through without turning your adventure into a nightmare.
Your truck also needs to have enough cargo space for all your gear for as long as you plan on staying out in the wilds, whether it’s a couple of days or a couple of weeks.
Beyond the vehicle, what you need most is shelter and then whatever gear you need to keep yourself clean, fed, comfortable, and safe.
Roof tents are popular mounted on something like the Gladiator Overland Rack as they provide a roomy place to sleep up off the ground away from any critters.
A GPS and some means of communicating with the world away from the trail is important for safety reasons, along with the usual safety and rescue gear you might need; the rest is up to how luxurious you want to make your adventure.
Some people prefer to rough it and bring the bare minimum, while others enjoy turning overlanding into an extravagant social event, complete with rugs to decorate the campsite, portable showers, and even propane barbeque grills.
Before you load up with all sorts of extra items into your off-road adventure truck, make sure you consider how much weight your vehicle can handle before its performance is affected.
Ready to Give Overlanding A Try?
No matter how you do it, whether you choose the bare minimum style of camping or want to camp out in style, overlanding can be a whole lot of fun.
Just remember to enjoy the scenery along the way and not worry about where you’re going, other than finding a suitable place to pop a roof tent on your overland rack and make something to eat at the end of the day.
Of course, you’ll want to follow marked trails and use maps plus GPS so you don’t get too lost.
Beyond that, overlanding in your faithful off-road truck or Jeep is all about wandering and the feeling of freedom when there’s no particular place to be and no deadline for getting there - enjoy!