The freedom from gadgets and obligations that underpin overlanding is a core value. Some enthusiasts emphasize the importance of being unreachable while away from civilization. For example, Matt Jacobson, Facebook’s creative director for augmented reality, works out of an EarthCruiser. He travels for a year and works from there without a cell phone signal. Depending on the type of overlanding vehicle, a basic portable toilet may be all that is needed.
While overlanding has been a popular pastime for a couple of decades, it has become a more mainstream activity. In the early 1980s, the Camel Trophy event showcased the best in overlanding, where the participants travelled across a variety of terrain. Today, groups of overlanders meet up to exchange tips and plan their trips. Internet forums help travelers coordinate planning and exchange information. Commercially-produced overland-capable vehicles are available, but many overlanders build their own vehicles.
One big drawback of overlanding is the added weight of the trailer. The trailer adds up to seventy percent of the overall weight of the vehicle, and the added weight can significantly reduce off-road performance. Additionally, a trailer also adds complexity to the overland setup. It requires more mechanical parts and can lead to increased chances of breakdown. Even if you have a trailer, consider how much of a load you plan to carry.
Early overlanders were motivated by a desire to be mechanized. As the first off-road vehicles emerged, such as the Jeep CJ series, the advent of the BMW R 80 G/S motorcycle helped to spread the idea of overlanding. Today, vehicles are capable of going in extreme conditions, and the cost of overlanding has come down significantly. With so many benefits, overlanding is becoming an increasingly mainstream activity.
The adventure of overlanding is not for everyone. Not everyone is cut out to take on the challenge of riding an off-road vehicle across unknown continents. Moreover, not everyone is willing to abandon their jobs or pack their worldly possessions for a decade. The main point is to choose the road less traveled, fill your toolkit with skills, and push the boundaries of distance. So if you have the means, go for it!
While overlanding is not for everyone, it is a unique way to explore the great outdoors and immerse yourself in its culture. If you can get away from civilization, overlanding will give you the chance to meet fascinating people. Overlanding will also help you build resilience and mental toughness. In addition to the adventure and freedom that comes with vehicle-based exploration, overlanding will also connect you with the beauty of the world.
Overlanding vehicles need not be fancy. They need to be capable of traversing almost-infinite terrain. The key to overlanding is exploration, so you must be self-sufficient and prepared to take on any conditions that might arise along the way. In addition to having a reliable vehicle, you will also need basic camping and safety gear. These items will likely come with your vehicle. You may already have some of these items.