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Are You an Overlander?


It’s an interesting question I heard in passing. One I really didn’t expect. What do you need to drive? What makes a trip and “overland trip”? I’ll take a crack at answering the question from Overland Bound’s perspective.

Are you an Overlander? Have you seen this? It’s me, talking about our definition of Overlanding, and whats at the root of our members Founding Principles. Take a gander if you haven’t seen it, and you’ll know a bit more about the Overland Bound Story.

This video is dedicated to my best friend David Jones. I had just lost him to suicide, a hell of a thing, and it was another event that snapped life into focus, and reminded me what was really important. His music plays throughout this video, “I’m not looking for your approval anymore”. Overland Bound does not seek approval. The only reason we exist is that a lot of people tend to agree. Thank you.


Backwoods country bumpkin. Overland enthusiast and lover of the great outdoors.


  1. Two things:
    1: Thnaks for posting this. It’s dead on
    2: It’s weird how my two worlds collide. I love the outdoors (and “overlanding”) and am deeply embedded in the local music scene. Hearing Enemy You played over this video makes me really happy. I play in a band that has played many shows, all over North America with David’s various bands. So thanks for giving him a little tribute here.

  2. Very much appreciated for a definition of overlanding. I have never thought of myself as such coz ive never been to months long journey traveling on four wheels except when I was younger. Family drove from Kodiak Alaska (ferry over to Homer Alaska) to Alemeda CA. My Dad picked up a 1994 J80 in Emerald Green in Fremont Toyota (I missed it…never got stuck) then down to LA. I wish I should have asked my Dad for it but sadly he sold it in 2007 (salt rusted the rear frame).

    Well back to the topic…Am I an overlander? based on Michael’s definition…yes (big smile). As of right now Im building my FJ Cruiser for such that time to travel. Just me and the wifey and maybe 2 dogs. Explore the rest of Alaska especially the haul road to Prudhoe Bay. Then the rest of the country. as of right now we enjoy what Kodiak has to offer even if its an overnight trip. Testing out products for that future trip.

    1. @ejmicael And Kodiak has SO MUCH to offer! I’ve only been to Alaska once. It was breathtaking! Traipsing around that country is the real-deal indeed! Looking forward to seeing your FJ as it develops, and learning more about your travels!

  3. Yes, I am an overlander. Last Summer I went to Wild West , spent there 4 weeks in roof top tent. That was epic ,
    every 2 days I have discovered new places. I made 7500 miles. When I came back to New York I missed those places. Right now I am preparing to my next expedition, I am going to Maine.

    1. Awesome Damian! Four weeks sounds like an epic trip! For me, it take one week just to detach from “responsibilities”! Glad you are planning your next expedition!


  4. Great video, Michael! I think you hit it dead on! The word “Overlanding” was made up by someone. Just as every word is. Just as the word is made up so is the definition. Someone, somewhere decided that overlanding is defined as, “self-reliant travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal” therefore, that’s what it is. Words mean different things to different people. If you feel that your definition for overlanding is the same as the individual that created that definition then good for you.

    To me, Overlanding is a combination of traveling, possibly being self-reliant, exploring, experiencing culture, people, countries, and anything else that comes along with it. I know plenty of people that travel the world and aren’t completely self-reliant while overlanding. I know plenty of places that people overland to that aren’t remotely close to being a remote destination.

    I like how you’re open and accepting of people who overland in their own way. It shows you have good character. Again, thanks for the great video! I look forward to seeing more!


    1. Hey @doubleroses – thank you for your toughts and great words! I couldn’t agree more. I started Overland Bound to encourage folks to get outside. Mainly becauis I have forgotten how improtant it is, and once I was reconnected, wanted to share the experience. My Day always had us outside, was a forest ranger, and backpacking was frequent. This connection in conjuntion with my love of capable rigs and the outdoors made the draw for sustained trips in a great rig a real passion for me. Im looking forward to spreading the word as far as I can!

  5. Great video. I am guilty of trying to define overlanding as it applies to America. We have such a elaborate highway system it makes it tough to truly get lost and explore. I spend a lot of time researching long offroad trips to get that overland feel like I expect it is like in South America or Africa or even the Middle East.
    In reality just getting out really is ok.

    Having said that I recommend the grand staircase, utah which I recently visited if your looking for a large area to explore! We drove for a couple days and feel like we hardly touched on the vast space.

  6. Michael … Thank you for asking that question Are you overlander? That changed my point of view to a lot of things.
    Now I can’t say to my friends that I am going for vacation ….. truly I am going as an overlander for my expedition.
    Sounds serious because on that trip I completely rely on myself . Thank you for your video. I am glad that we share the same passion.

  7. Thanks first of all, for the clarification, or explanation of the general idea that anyone can do this. That’s what I love best about the community.

    Also, thanks for giving a glimpse into your friend David’s talents. I’m gonna be buying some of their music now. Really liked it. Hope it can help those around him, even in some small way.

    Song – Enemy You “Adios (To You)”

  8. I love every about this post and the article/video it's referring to. As a single dad and recently retired from the military while taking care of my mother I don't have a lot of time to get out. I felt there was/is the judgement from other "crews" about my skill level, my ride(until recently was a 2012 F150) or how much time I have spent doing one thing or another. I hated that feeling.

    Maybe it was my own insecurities, maybe it wasn't; what I do know is, I haven't felt this welcome since I earned my fish(those who know get it).

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. PTSD is a very real and scary thing my thoughts and prayers are with him.

    …With you all for that matter.

    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk

  9. Great video that’s why I love being up here on Nantucket, everyday I can choose to take a detour down some random dirt road/ trail and even then it’s freeing compared to being stuck in bumper to bumper back in GA where I don’t make the time to hit the trails. So far my 2yr old is loving it here when we take our detours.

  10. Great video! that’s why I love being up here on Nantucket, everyday I can choose to take a detour down some random dirt road/ trail and even then it’s freeing compared to being stuck in bumper to bumper back in GA where I don’t make the time to hit the trails. So far my 2yr old is loving it here when we take our detours.

  11. Michael submitted an Article on the main site!

    Are You an Overlander?

    It's an interesting question I heard in passing. One I really didn't expect. What do you need to drive? What makes a trip and "overland trip"? I'll take a crack at answering the…

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.

    Thx for this video…. I have always loved driving, any excuse to get out and hit the road for an hour… A day…a week….. But lately… It has not been enuff I just can't scratch that itch anymore….I don't know if it's the traffic, or the people, or just the mess of run down depressing buildings…but I have felt this tension building up in me.. A tension that just blasting down the highway used to relieve…but I have found the answer… It started looking for off the grid property to buy. Something to build a cabin on, to escape.

    Then the realization that I need a 4×4 to reach a lot of the property, and that the answer was in the journey, not the destination.

    Getting off the road…leaving the road rage behind, and finding my own path, the path less traveled.

    Finally brings peace.

  12. Think I need to watch this on a daily basis to remind me to get out there more… read the attached post for the first time today… certainly gives perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk

  13. Yes thank you you are the guys I need to hang out with my local club has meetings once a month I go to look at trucks and meet people these guys only pay attention to the trucks that are hundred thousand dollar build and take pictures of them they do not even pay attention to the handful of us guys Who put there blood sweat and tears whatever money we have to build our vehicles they post pictures and videos on YouTube and it’s funny because they walk right by our vehicles and purposely edit out or trucks just to show their trucks and their friends it sucks it has to be that way us real guys Will keep doing our thing see you on the trails

  14. RIGHT ON!!! Man I love OB and the founding principles, and the fact that we all strive to adhere to them principles. Also i love the fact the Michael you are sitting in the dirt, hair not fixed up and I get the impression that you just stopped driving and grabbed a chair and camera and shot the vid…….

  15. I had seen this video before but I’m glad it keeps coming around. The inclusiveness is one of the main reasons I decided to join Overland Bound. I think the principle that anyone can be and is an Overlander is important.

    So does it make me a bad person if I have an actual definition of “overlanding?” (Not an “Overlander,” not the person, but the activity.)

    To me, my trip becomes “overlanding” when I have to refuel from a supply I have carried with me.