What Is Overlanding?
So what is Overlanding? Imagine you’re on an unmaintained desert road that’s far from any cell phone tower. You’ve noticed that your engine has steadily climbed in temperature, and coolant is seeping from underneath the chassis; looks like a hose has dry rotted. Not only that, but you’ve consumed more fuel than expected, and you’re not sure when you’ll see a gas station again.
This is Overlanding – an endurance challenge of man and machine as they explore isolated pockets of the world. Going on an Overland expedition will test you and your vehicle in a variety of ways. You’ll have to adapt and overcome, and the only way to learn is through experience. Overlanding is not for everyone, but for those looking for a exciting new 4×4 experience –
this is it.
The great thing about Overlanding is that it’s as tough as you want it to be. An Overland expedition can be a daylong trip to a fortnight, or longer. Just ask yourself how much you want to “rough it” with your vehicle. That being said, it’s important to know your vehicle and it’s limitations because situations can get dire very quickly when logistical support is hours or days away. Something as simple as losing a hose clamp can leave you stranded with limited options.
But the reward of a successful Overland expedition is a pleasurable journey into the depths of the wild that will thrill your senses with sights, sounds, and discoveries that only a few are privileged to experience. You will stumble upon historical relics, travel beautiful peaks, and reaffirm your pioneering spirit. Each trip is done with a vehicle specifically built for long range, self sustaining trips. These expeditionary vehicles must be ready for an onslaught of challenges from variable terrain to weather to dumb luck; all the while factoring fuel consumption, weight, and space. That’s why it’s important to pick the right vehicle for your Overland build, and outfit it with the minimum essentials needed to get you in and out of the wilderness. Now there are all kinds of ways to build an Overland kit, but the best way is to outfit it with what you and your vehicle’s needs.
Finally, before stepping out on your journey you’ll need to establish objectives as well as alternative routes and contingency plans. If you’re travelling in a single vehicle then be sure to bring at least one person with you – they should be able to read a map, work a compass, navigate, and assist in any way possible that will allow the driver to focus on the road. It’s never recommended to take extended trips alone, even the most seasoned explorers need help from time to time. In part 2 of our Overland series we’ll talk about how to get your vehicle ready for an expedition. In the meantime check out our builds section for more ideas on how to build your own Overland rig.