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Overlanding: The Ultimate Guide

Overlanding: The Ultimate Guide

Overlanding is a unique form of adventure travel that's gaining popularity among outdoor enthusiasts. But what exactly is overlanding, and how does it differ from other outdoor activities like camping and off-roading? In this article, we'll explore the basics of overlanding, including what it is, why it's called that, and how it's different from related activities. We'll also provide answers to frequently asked questions about overlanding, including how much money you need, where to shower and sleep, and what makes a good overlanding vehicle.

What Does It Mean to Go Overlanding?

Overlanding is a style of self-reliant adventure travel where the journey is the main goal. People who participate in overlanding travel in a modified four-wheel-drive vehicle to remote destinations, often for extended periods of time. The focus is on exploring the outdoors, and the vehicle serves as a mobile home base.

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Overlanding vs Camping

Camping refers to the activity of spending a night or more in the outdoors using a tent, caravan, or recreational vehicle (RV) as accommodation. Overlanding encompasses camping, but it also includes driving and exploring remote areas. Overlanding is more focused on the journey and the destination, while camping is more focused on the camping experience itself.


Why Do They Call It Overlanding?

The term overlanding comes from the historical practice of traveling overland, or across land, as opposed to traveling by sea. In modern usage, it refers to traveling long distances, often on rough terrain, in a self-reliant manner.

Overlanding vs Off-Roading

Off-roading refers to driving a vehicle on rough terrain, such as dirt roads, mud, rocks, and other obstacles. Overlanding often involves off-roading, but it is more focused on extended travel and exploration, often in remote areas. Overlanding vehicles are usually equipped with more amenities and systems to sustain long-term travel, while off-roading vehicles may be more focused on rugged capability.


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Overlanding vs Boondocking

Boondocking refers to camping in a self-sufficient manner without hookups, such as electricity or water, for extended periods of time. Overlanding can involve boondocking, but it encompasses more than just camping. Overlanding also includes travel and exploration, often in remote areas.

How Many Miles a Day is Overlanding?

The number of miles per day in overlanding can vary greatly depending on the route, terrain, and individual preferences. Some overlanders may cover just a few miles per day, while others may drive several hundred. The pace is often determined by the desire to reach a destination, the availability of camping sites, and the desire to explore and experience the surrounding area.

The 2-2-2 Rule for Camping

The 2-2-2 rule refers to the guideline for responsible camping in wilderness areas. It suggests that campers should be at least two miles from any road, trail, or water source, and stay for no more than two nights in the same location, and travel at least two miles before setting up camp again.

How Much Money Do You Need to Overland?

The cost of overlanding can vary greatly depending on your level of self-sufficiency, the type of vehicle you have, and the amount of gear you need to carry. A rough estimate is that you could spend anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the level of customization and gear you require. Some overlanders choose to start with a basic setup and gradually add upgrades as they gain experience and identify their needs, while others prefer to invest in a high-end rig from the start.

Where Do You Shower When Overlanding?

Overlanders have several options for showers, including solar showers, portable camp showers, and natural sources like lakes and streams. Some overlanders also choose to invest in a built-in shower in their rig, while others choose to seek out campgrounds or public showers along the way.

Do You Need 4x4 to Overland?

While a 4x4 vehicle is not strictly necessary for overlanding, it can greatly increase your capabilities and options for where you can travel. A 4x4 vehicle provides greater ground clearance and off-road capabilities, allowing you to explore more challenging terrain and access remote campsites.

Where Do You Sleep When Overlanding?

Overlanders can sleep in a variety of places, including tents, camping hammocks, rooftop tents, and built-in sleeping systems in their rig. The best option depends on personal preferences and the type of vehicle you have.

Can You Overland In National Parks?

Yes, it is possible to overland in national parks, but there are often restrictions on where you can drive and park. It's important to research the rules and regulations of each park before you go and to always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Can You Overland With A Full-Size Truck?

Yes, it is possible to overland with a full-size truck, but you need to make sure that the truck is equipped with the necessary gear and modifications to handle the conditions you will encounter. Full-size trucks can provide greater comfort and storage capacity, but they also consume more fuel and are harder to maneuver in tight spaces.

How Do People Afford Overlanding?

People afford overlanding in a variety of ways, including saving up for a dedicated rig, buying a used vehicle and gradually upgrading it, or renting a rig for shorter trips. Some people also choose to live a minimalist lifestyle and save money by reducing their expenses and relying on their rig for transportation and housing.

What Makes A Vehicle Good For Overlanding?

A good overlanding vehicle should be durable, reliable, and capable of handling rough terrain and changing weather conditions. It should also have enough storage space for all of your gear, food, and supplies. Other important considerations include a comfortable sleeping area, a functional kitchen, and a dependable power source.

What Is The Number 1 Rule of Wild Camping?

The number 1 rule of wild camping is to always follow Leave No Trace principles, which means leaving the area as you found it and minimizing your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all of your trash, respecting wildlife, and avoiding campfires in areas where they are not permitted.

What Is The Golden Rule of Camping Etiquette?

The golden rule of camping etiquette is to always be respectful of your fellow campers and the environment. This includes keeping noise levels down, not cutting through other campsites, and following Leave No Trace principles.

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