What is Overlanding?

What is overlandingWhat does overlanding mean?

Most people have no idea what you’re talking about when you mention that you want to get started in overlanding. So the first question I always get is always “what is overlanding?”

The simple answer is that it is travel to a remote destination where the journey is the actual goal. You can accomplish overlanding with any off Highway Transportation such as bicycles, Jeeps, trucks, motorcycles, all the way up to specialized motorhomes that are highly capable off-road vehicles. These Journeys can last anywhere from a weekend to years at a time and often span multiple borders.

Overlanding differs from an expedition Journey because the “journey is the purpose” where with an expedition journey is a “journey with a purpose”. The goal of the overlanding traveler is to learn about the world and explore. The equipment required can be quite simple or depending on your budget very extravagant.


How do I get started in overlanding?


The first thing that you got to do is realize that overlanding is not just camping, you’re not pulling up to a well-established campground where you have hookups for power, water, picnic tables, a fire pit, and washrooms. Your mind has to be prepared just as much as your vehicle does. Overlanding is hard work and you will face difficult temperatures, terrains, wildlife, and the wrath of Mother Nature from time to time.


What type of vehicle do I need for overlanding?

The vehicle Choice greatly revolves around your budget but it could be an SUV, a Jeep, a truck, motorcycles, custom built vehicles, and large extremely capable motorhomes. There are many choices when getting started in overlanding, just make sure they are outfitted and capable for the type of terrain you plan on conquering. Be prepared for blown tires, scratched paint, and other broken parts.


What type of gear do I need for overlanding?

People are going to choose to take many different things for their overlanding experiences, this will greatly depend on where they plan on going, their budget, and how long of an adventure they want to experience.

“ This is by no means an extensive list, but here are some basics”

Tools –  Guaranteed you are going to break things during your trip, make sure you have a proper toolkit that is outfitted for your particular vehicle, things like jack’s and tire patches are a must-have.

Sleeping accommodations –  this will greatly depend on your budget but there are many options such as a tent, a tow behind trailer, rooftop tents, or fully equipped custom motorhomes or Vans. It is most likely that your vehicle will be filled with gear and not allow adequate room to just sleep in the back of your truck.


Cargo racks – You can be sure depending on the length of your trip that you are going to be hauling a lot of gear, investing in cargo racks will greatly increase the amount of gear you can comfortably carry. The amount of gear that you carry will ultimately be decided by your chosen Vehicles weight restrictions.


Food storage and preparation – You’re going to have to eat, and there aren’t going to be any restaurants around so you better have a way of preparing food. Companies like ARB make portable refrigerators that run off your vehicle power, add a good quality camp stove and you should be able to make some pretty great meals no matter where you are.


First aid kit – Believe it or not this is something that many first-time overlanders forget to take with them, this can be the difference between life and death and is a must-have on any overlanding trip. check the areas that you’re going to be going in add in appropriate things to your first aid kit, such as if you plan to do a lot of hiking take blister packs they’re going to keep your feet in good shape. Or if you’re going to be in bear country take bear spray.


Off-road gear – Alright, this is a full article on its own, but let’s talk about some of the basics. your off-road gear is going to greatly depend on the terrain that you plan on tackling during your overlanding trip but some of the most common off-road gear tools would include a winch, suspension upgrades, tons of axillary lighting, off-road tires, a land anchor, vehicle jacks, and jerry cans for both gasoline and water.


Miscellaneous gear – Like off-road gear this list could go on and on forever but ultimately it comes down to the experience that you want to have during your overlanding adventure. some of the most common things are portable generators, bike racks, camera equipment, a heating or air conditioning system, portable showers, GPS units, and an emergency beacon for worst-case scenarios.


In conclusion please remember to tread lightly

Overlanding is a relatively new experience, but anytime you decide to go off-road there is the potential to have a negative impact on the environment around you. Only travel in areas that you are allowed to be in, stay off private property or protected parks, this will protect not only you but your surroundings. Make sure to thoroughly extinguish any campfires that you might have and clean up behind yourself. Remember we’re there to enjoy the environment and to take care of it.


Lastly, have a blast enjoy the experience and make sure to take lots of pictures and videos to share with the AARMED community of adventure travelers on Facebook.