If you recently heard about Overlanding and want to know a little more about it, here are the basics. Overlanding (or Overland travel) is about expeditionary travel to remote locations where the journey itself is the adventure. Overlanding is typically done in some type of off road vehicle or bicycle. You typically sleep in a tent or in your vehicle. The trip is generally an extended period of time and can cross international borders.
History of Overlanding: The term “Overlanding” is credited to the Australians and was coined as a meaning of moving livestock over long distances to greener pastures or the market; very similar to the United States cattle drives back in the late 1800’s. Most people credit Leonard Beadell as the father of modern day Overlanding. Beadell was an Australian surveyor, road builder, bushman, author, and he was responsible for constructing over 6,000 km (3,700 mi) of roads and opening up isolated desert areas of Australia.
Overlanding Vehicles: Overlanding vehicles can be trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, or beefed up campers but traditionally they are some type of 4×4 vehicle or enduro type motorcycle prepared for self-reliant travel over unknown distances, through unpredictable weather and terrain.
Overlanding Gear: Preparing for an Overlanding trip is a major part of the fun. The gear list can be long and at some point you have to cut out all of the “what if’s” or your truck will be loaded down with a 1000 pounds of extra gear. Some good places to start are tools, lighting, tents & sleeping bags, kitchen equipment, food storage, maps, fuel storage, radio, first aid and bike racks….and that is just a start. By the way, Overlanders never stay in hotels. It is literally against the Overlanding law, unless of course it is on the front end of your trip or the tail. Or if the people you are with really suck.
Overlanding Technology: Overland Tech is great and exciting to use but you always want a back up. There are some great technology gadgets that can help make your next overlanding trip more enjoyable whether you want to stay plugged in to the outside world or go unplugged but stay safe. They include turning your smartphone into a satellite phone via Iridium Go or having internet access anywhere in the world via Hughes 9202M BGAN Terminal. There are fun GPS hook ups for your ipad and smartphone like the Dual Electronics XGPS160 but at the end of the day, just make sure you have a back up to all of your tech gadgets and you know how to use this back up – for instance, being able to read a good old fashion map and use a compass.
Overlanding Mindset: The Overlanding mindset is one of expeditionary travel & adventure, meaning that you have what you have and you cannot expect a resupply or a tow truck to save you. You have to be self reliant and love the idea of not knowing where you will sleep tonight. You have to expect the worst case scenarios and plan for them. You have to think about what will break or be lost and have either backups or the tools to fix the issues.