Overlanding is a new way to explore the outdoor World, including not following the conventional go-to paths, moving your vehicles towards the roads you haven’t been on and travelling all the directions you have never considered.
This adventure activity focuses on off-grid journeys with 4×4 trucks/SUVs and remote camping locations
According to Google Trends, the popularity of Overlanding has hiked so much over the years. In addition, Overlanding has evolved and now offers different companies, apps, customized vehicle solutions and a wide range of accessories.
What Is Overlanding?
Overlanding is defined as self-reliant travel to a remote location. This adventure journey is vehicle dependent and requires off-road SUVs/Trucks to tackle difficult terrains. The trip usually stays from a week to a quarter. Usually, Overlanding is shared with family, friends or like-minded people.
People often confuse Overlanding with off-roading, but off-roading is only done for a shorter period of time (for 2-3 hours) and a nearby destination.
So, if you are taking your truck or SUV somewhere nearby for a day, it’s off-roading, but if you go for days, that counts as Overlanding, and the people on this self-reliant journey are Overlanders.
History Of Overlanding
The term “Overlanding” has its roots in 19th century Australia, where it was first used to define the livestock herd going over long distances to market or open up new grazing grounds.
Later, this was inspired by Len Beadell, who constructed several roads for the remote Australian areas for settlers. In 1900 a group of people and families started going on long trips to remote destinations using 4-wheel drive trucks such as Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Jeeps and Land Rovers, and their journeys are well documented with their vehicles still being present.
Currently, Overlanding has become a part of commercial groups. There are many dedicated industries entirely focused on Overlanding.
Types Of Overlanding Vehicles
As discussed earlier, Overlanding activity involves long durations (weeks, months & sometimes years) and difficult terrains. Having said that, it becomes important for the Overlanders to choose the right vehicle accordingly.
However, I can’t suggest you buy a new Jeep immediately. If you have a car, for example, a MUV or even a regular SUV, you can start your trip with your vehicle.
Please note: You, as a beginner, don’t need to push for extreme off-roading.
List Of Best Vehicles For Overlanding
- Chevrolet Colorado: It comes with up to a 3.6L V6 engine, excellent ground clearance and a suspension system. The truck is of decent size and constructed well enough for tough roads.
- Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: Rubicon is possibly operated as the most used vehicle for Overlanding. It comes with rear locking differentials, a powerful engine and enough off-road resources.
- Ford Bronco Sport: It offers a 2.4L EcoBoost engine and advanced 4×4 capability with terrain management, making it one of the best Overlanding vehicles available for Overlanders.
- Land Rover Defender: The Defender fits for all kinds of off-road trips. It offers up to a 3.0L turbocharged engine. The vehicle offers different off-road packages such as Explorer, Adventure, Country & Urban. In addition, LR Defender sits up to 8 adults with unrivalled comfort.
- Toyota 4 Runner: Toyota is the most reliable brand when it comes to SUVs. The Runner comes with a 4.0L dual-independent VVT engine with an old design – Yes, it is not up to date as other SUVs. You can carry an adequate amount of camping accessories where 2 Adults sit comfortably.
Now that you know Overlanding vehicles, let’s look at important items that you need to take care of before selecting an Overlanding vehicle:
- 4×4 mechanism
- Reliable brand and quality construction
- Standard safety features include ABS, Airbags, ESP, Hill assist and other items.
- Excellent ground clearance
Necessary things that you will need during your trip include spare tires, toiletry essentials, a go-to first-aid box, food supplements, a fire extinguisher (just in case), camping essentials etc.
Beginner Steps To Start Overlanding
Preparing for Overlanding is not just preparing your vehicle; you have to arrange a wide range of items such as water bottles, food (ready-to-eat items), camping tents, safety items, etc.
You can also face money exchange, language and navigation issues if the camping location is not local or limited to state only. So, now, let’s discuss the kind of preparation overlanders require.
- Check your vehicle: Get your vehicle mechanicals and other kinds of service up to date. I request you to check the condition of your wheels, if they are used over 50% then replace them with new ones.
- Check your health: You must prepare yourself to face difficult roads, harsh weather, a dull environment and many other things. If you are going on a long journey, then improve your mechanical and technical skills and have a working knowledge of first-aid kits and important medicines.
- Organize: Keep your papers and documents handy. I also suggest you buy a detailed map of the location.
- Always follow a budget: You need to keep a min. budget for this adventure. I suggest you plan your budget thoroughly before starting. Please keep extra money for a sudden requirement such as a tire burst, etc.
- Camping location knowledge: The next step is to research the place you are going camping thoroughly. Many places don’t have a good parking lot or ask for random prices. Some places may charge you a lot, which you won’t know. Here, I suggest checking the latest parking apps in the World. So, before going anywhere, I suggest you check nearby hospitals, police stations, etc.
- Item checklist: All set, not it’s time for other items such as sleeping bags, medical items, etc. I’ve covered a detailed review of different checklists and level apps.
- Storage: Your vehicle must store a tent, go-to water bag, backpack stuffed with all the essentials, and much more.
Different Overlanding Companies To Arrange Your Next Adventure
Now, it’s time to know about some brands offering exceptional and customized Overlanding trips Globally.
- G Adventures: The brand offers small & group trips with their custom vehicles. You can book them for groups or families for your next destination.
- Intrepid Travel: IT is a global promoter providing exciting and adventurous tours for small groups with different price levels as per the service.
- Topdeck: The brand was founded in 1973 and served exceptional service for national and international Outlanders. You can also check other kinds of travel plans.
- Global Basecamps: GB is a specialized tour brand that offers private, self-guided, independent trips focusing on environmental sustainability during camping.
- On The Go Tours: The brand is well-known for affordable Outlanding group tours and people looking for a real cultural encounter.
So far, we’ve learnt about Overlanding, process to start, vehicles and other required information for a beginner. I hope I’ve cleared your doubts about Overlanding.
The aim of writing this article is to familiarise this term among our fellow travellers looking forward to something new and exciting.
The conclusion says, being a beginner, you don’t need a custom or extreme off-road vehicle for an Overlanding. As you learnt above, all you need is some time, a backpack stuffed with the required things and little money.
Grab these things and start planning your 1st Overlanding trip without thinking twice.
What exactly do you need to start an Overlanding adventure?
All you need is a vehicle, route, and essentials to stay out for this experience. In vehicle, you can pick, borrow, or use your off-roading capable vehicle to face tough terrains. Route or destination of camping is 2nd important item that you should plan. Last, you must carry food and other essential items such as GPS, tent, portable gas/stove, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, water bottle, matchsticks, knows, batteries or power banks, umbrella, etc.
How is Overlanding different from off-roading?
Off-roading is a small activity that doesn’t involve any remote location or stay. Otherside, Overlanding involves a good combination of off-roading, rooftop camping or normal camping with remote destinations.
Is Overlanding legal?
Yes, depending on the location and area, Overlanding is allowed in all kinds of remote areas and national parks. However, it is recommended that you only camp on legal land which is not involved in any restrictions.
Do you need 4×4 for Overlanding?
As a beginner, you don’t need a 4×4 vehicle, and that’s for sure. However, it is recommended that your vehicle should have good ground clearance.
Is Overlanding bad for the environment?
Overlanding is not bad for the environment unless you litter on the place you camp.