There are new buzz words that pop up all the time in every industry. For off-roading the latest trendy word has been “overlanding”, but what the heck is it? Overlanding is basically taking your rig out for a camping trip.
However, it’s a little more extreme than just a standard camping trip. It typically involves driving really far from civilization and exploring the landscape for multiple days off of the grid.
What is Overlanding?
Overlanding has been around since the early 1900s. Overlanding was used to transport livestock over extremely long distances to either new grazing grounds or to be sold. Modern overlanding really became popular in the 1980s with the Camel Trophy event. This event pushed man and machine to their limits in remote locations. The modern usage of the term pretty much means long distance, remote location camping trip.
Like we mentioned above, overlanding is “typically” a multi-day camping trip far off of the grid. Some overlanders, however, take it a bit farther than that and stay off the grid for weeks or even months at a time. These types of overlanders aren’t just going out wheeling, they’re basically becoming off the grid travelers.
Living off the grid for an extended period of time is a massive shift from typical life in the city. The whole idea is to just get out, get off the grid, and reconnect with nature. You can take it easy or go extreme, but the core idea is to reconnect with nature and get out of the city.
Why Go Overlanding?
Maybe you’re sick of living your life in the city and just need to get out into nature for a few days, you want to see how hard you can push yourself and your rig, or maybe you just want to travel off of the grid. Either way, overlanding could definitely be for you.
Overlanding is a big time commitment, and you need to be aware that it can also be a big money commitment. I’ve always loved the idea of overlanding, but I’ve personally never had the time to try it out. But, if you have the time, we definitely recommend giving overlanding a shot.
How Can I Go Overlanding?
We know what you’re thinking, “Okay enough about what over-landing is, how can I go do it?”. In our opinion, there are only a few requirements to meet before you can go out overlanding.
- Have some mechanical knowledge and we know many of you readers are pretty mechanically inclined so we don’t really need to worry about that.
- Own a vehicle that is preferably an SUV and 4WD. Although you could technically overland in your mother’s Honda Civic, you couldn’t go any further than a maintained dirt road. SUVs have tons of interior space for gear, tools, and people, and you’ll definitely want 4WD.
To start with your vehicle can be basically stock. As your adventures get bigger and better you’ll need to upgrade your vehicle adequately. Common modifications for overlanding vehicles are things like a roof tent, armor, interior storage shelves, spare tire carrier with lots of spare fuel.
The most important modification would be the interior storage shelves. You might not realize the insane amount of gear you need to go overlanding, and keeping it all organized is important. The obvious modifications like a lift, lockers, and lights are still highly recommended.
For your first overlanding trip, you should really take it easy. Plan an overnight or two-night trip, but nothing more than that. You’re going to be unfamiliar with the whole overlanding thing so definitely plan a small trip so you can see what it’s all about.
Assuming nothing went horribly wrong on your first trip, plan a second trip that’s a bit longer and with a slightly more remote location. Eventually, you’ll become an overlanding pro and can go pretty much anywhere for as long as you want.
If you’re sick of the big city and want to get out, but want more than just a little off-road trip then overlanding is calling your name. You could even begin to travel throughout your country while staying off the grid most of the time.
Overlanding is really just about getting away from the city and deep into nature, so get out there and just start exploring. Let me know what you think about overlanding in the comments below!