No matter what time of year it is, it is always time for an adventure with friends and family. Overlanding is a fun way to experience a traveling adventure. But what do you need to know before you head off on an Overlanding adventure?
Before Overlanding, it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into. Continue reading to find this complete guide!
What is Overlanding?
Before we begin the guide, it is important to clarify what we are discussing. Overlanding is the adventure of traveling for a long-distance over land (as opposed to by boat or air). With this definition, Overlanding could look very different for different people. For some, two-hour road trips on the highway are Overlanding experiences. For others, the only true way for an adventure to be classified as Overlanding is if off-roading is involved. Overlanding can also include camping and more extreme outdoor activities.
There are many extreme adventurists and outdoorsy people who will plan long adventures of Overlanding. These adventures are filled with self-reliance tests, extreme outdoor activities, camping, and of course traveling over land. Most of these adventures happen in areas or certain locations that are not commonly visited.
For those who prefer the more intense definition and experience of Overlanding, it will become somewhat of a quest. These Overlanding adventures will take a great deal of time, ranging from a couple of days to a couple of months. Showering is usually only available when there are lakes or hot springs found along the way.
As the guide continues, there will be pointers for many different adventures that can be classified as Overlanding. Depending on the adventure you are planning, take the tips and tricks that are relevant, and ignore the ones that do not fit your view of what an Overlanding adventure should be. (Source)
Overlanding can be a very intense experience. Depending on where you are headed and what you plan on doing, it can even be dangerous. Even the most careful adventurers can run into dangerous situations. Out in the wild, you could come in contact with animals, have your car break down, or get lost. It is important to bring someone with you and/or tell someone where you plan on going. This will make it easier for help to find you if something goes wrong.
Not only does taking another person on the adventure make it safer for you, but it will also be more enjoyable. Overlanding can involve a lot of driving. Sitting in the car all day can become very tedious over time. Having someone sitting next to you can be a source of entertainment for the long days in the car. This is also someone you can share the experience with. While it can be rejuvenating to have such an intense experience by yourself, sharing it with someone you are close to can greatly magnify the experience.
The important part of this tip is that someone knows where you are. While this can be difficult to pinpoint on an Overlanding adventure, having a general location can really help if something were to go wrong and you needed help or assistance. Even when you’re going with someone, it is important to let someone on the outside know where you will be and when should be home.
Food and Water
On any road trip, it is important to pack food and water. Even for those three-hour trips to go visit Grandma, it is important to keep lots of snacks and drinks on hand. This is especially important when traveling with children. Snacks and drinks help to occupy little mouths and keep everyone in a good mood!
For those who are planning on going on long and adventurous trips while Overlanding, packing enough food and water for the duration of the trip is extremely important. Depending on the duration and destination of the trip, the food and water that you repacked for the trip may be the only nutrition you have access to.
Prior to the trip, ensure that you have confirmed if you will have access to food (fishing, hunting, freshly grown food) in the destination you are headed for. A lot of people will plan on hunting during their Overlanding adventure. If you are planning on catching/hunting your food, refer to the “Hunting License” subheading in the article.
If you are not planning on hunting for your food, you will need to pre-pack and prepare all of the food for the trip. Ensure that the food you are preparing will not go bad during the duration of your trip. This takes proper preparation and packaging. Drying and canning foods is a great way to store food so that it will last for long periods of time.
Especially on adventures where you are planning on engaging in a lot of physical activity like hiking and exploring, it is so important to have a proper nutritional diet. A lot of calories will be burned while hiking and adventuring and it is important to have enough food macros to fuel your body. Ensure that you have packed and prepared enough food to fulfill your macronutrient needs. Contact your doctor or consult with a dietician to learn the exact amount of macronutrients to bring with you.
One very common food type to bring on Overlanding adventures is MREs (Meals Ready-To-Eat). For some people, these can be very controversial. Some people love MREs due to their convenience and storability. There are others who don’t like them, due to either the taste or the fact that it is not fresh. In a forum discussing bringing MREs on Overlanding adventures, there were people on both sides of the argument. Many argued that as long as the brand is high-quality, the taste is good and they are perfect for long adventures. Another person mentioned that they prefer the military MREs.
To read the forum and learn more about what people think about MREs on Overlanding adventures, click here to be directed to the site.
Water is one of the most important things to bring and prepare during Overlanding adventures. Depending on the time of year and destination, there may be access to fresh water daily. Other Overlanding destinations may not have rainfall or fresh water for a long time. Make sure that you have thought about how you will refill your water containers while adventuring in the specific area you are traveling in.
It is important to bring a way to purify the water you find in the wild. Whether it is snow, rainfall, or lake water, it should always be purified before you drink it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drinking dirty water can cause a number of different diseases and health complications. These include polio, cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery. Especially while you are out in the wild and far from civilization, getting really sick is not good. Taking extra precautions by purifying all the water you drink will help keep you healthy throughout the duration of the trip.
To read more about how drinking dirty water can negatively affect someone, click here to be directed to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Being prepared is the way to ensure that your Overlanding adventure will not only be successful, but enjoyable. Life is full of unexpected twists and turn, just as the wild outdoors. While it may be impossible to be prepared for every situation, preparing for what you can expect is the best way to go about planning any adventure.
The gear that you will need for your adventure depends on a variety of different aspects of your trip including but not limited to: the duration of the trip, destination, amount of people attending, and the activities you are planning on doing. With this being said, there are certain items and products that are necessary for every adventure.
- Make sure that you have enough clothing pairs in case something gets dirty or wet. Your clothing choices should reflect both the weather and the activity you are planning on using them for.
- Proper shoes are easy to forget during the packing process. Ensure that you have a comfortable pair of walking/hiking shoes. You will also likely need a pair of shoes that can get wet. My personal favorite shoes for adventures are Chacos or hiking sandals that are similar in style and comfort.
- There are so many uses for a knife on an adventure (cutting things, eating, hunting, etc.) Having a reliable knife that can be easily accessed is an essential for Overlanding adventurers.
- Make sure that there are no weapon and/or knife restrictions in the destinations you are headed to.
- Having a way to start a fire can be a literal life saver while you’re on adventures and Overlanding trips. This is a way to stay warm, provide light, cook food, and repell animal predators.
- Make sure to bring multiple different ways to start a fire in case one gets lost or broken. Bringing waterproof matches is always a great way to be extra prepared for anything. One way to create DIY (Do It Yourself) waterproof matches is by dropping them in turpentine. Allow them to soak for about 5 minutes and then thoroughly dry them for half an hour on a paper towel. Your waterproof matches will last for months.
- First Aid
- Accidents happen. It is important to be prepared for them, especially while Overlanding and adventuring far from society. Bring a first aid kit that is fully packed and equipped for a variety of accidents and health problems. You should also bring some pain relievers. Those can always come in handy!
- Depending on who is going on the adventure, make sure to also pack enough feminine hygiene products.
Overlanding adventures often require a lot of fuel to get to the destination. Prior to the adventure, it is smart to plan out the path you will be taking. This can help you keep track of where the gas stations will be. You do not want to be left stranded without gasoline.
It is important to remember never to drive with gasoline in your vehicle. The fumes of the gasoline can make the driver light-headed. The gasoline can also easily catch on fire. For your safety, do not travel with a gasoline container in your vehicle. Source
For those who prefer more rugged and intense adventures while going on Overlanding trips, an off-roading vehicle is crucial. Having one of these vehicles allows you to take more adventurous paths. Off-roading vehicles can also go to destinations that regular vehicles cannot. For the full Overlanding experience, an off-roading vehicle is very important.
Depending on the destination of your trip, you may not have any cell phone service. Having access to a map on an Overlanding adventure is a great way to be prepared for this. Want to go a step further in your preparation? Pre-mark your map with the route you plan on taking. This is also a great way to visualize where the gas stations will be.
Having a map that is marked with the route and the gas stations you plan on stopping at will be a great help during a chaotic moment.
One of the best things about Overlanding adventures is the memories created on the trip. Having a camera with you allows for those memories to be properly documented. This is a great way for you to look back on the adventure and to even share some of the experiences with friends and family. Depending on your hobbies, you may also want to bring paint and canvas or a notebook.
Hunting License (If Needed)
If you are someone who loves to go hunting and is planning on hunting and/or fishing during your Overlanding adventure, it is important to bring an up-to-date hunting/fishing license. You also need to remember that certain states and areas have different restrictions and laws about weapons and firearms.
Ensure that you are legally allowed to carry the hunting weapon with you to your destination. You should also double-check the state’s hunting and fishing laws. You do not want to get in trouble with the law due to ignorance and negligence.
In simple, Overlanding is just a new term for what humans have been doing since the beginning of time…engaging our built-in sense of exploration and discovery. While there are certainly countless ways to do this, the off-roading community has set the bar high. The ability to drive your vehicle essentially wherever you want and have everything you need with you in one extremely capable rig just feels like you could do anything. But more importantly, it helps you realize you can see anything. No matter whether it’s highway driving or technical trail driving, the wilderness is out there and ready to be explored. Just remember….always keep The Wilderness on YOUR side!