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sasquatchoverlanding

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Almost 4 years ago I went from a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tundra. When looking for parts to add to the Tundra then I came across Overlanding. I dove down this rabbit hole of adventure and started to do my research and planning of my rig. It was 2.5 years in and I went to a meet-up. I felt out of place and that my truck was just a truck. But this event was made for beginners. So we took a nice easy run of some backroads and forset service roads. While not much it was nice to see how things were. Fast forward to the past year and a half I have a rig that is fully set up with as much stuff as any others. But I am still doing beginners events here in Central Indiana.

This is not to feel safe in a comfort zone, but to help those that are just getting into the adventure. Indiana while not much for the views of some of the other places in the world does offer some advantages that other places might not. Indiana is a great place to just get out and run simple gravel trails and meet others. You can also brush off the dust of your camping gear and get back into the swing of those skills. And the best part is that Indiana is the Crossroads of America. So this means we can get to many great locations very easily from here.

I encourage others that have started from nothing to look into help those that are just getting started. I also hope that if you are around the Indiana area and wanting to get your feet wet then come with one of our groups and learn something new. Also as one that loves to help others and teach different topics then I ask what other topics would someone new to this great hobby be interested in? Let me know below! @sasquatchoverlanding
 

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Sjo527

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Great post and points made. I'm always willing to do a weekend meetup (schedule permitting). I'm in SW Ohio so only a stones throw from most of Indiana.
 

grubworm

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I went from a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tundra.
you did the right thing! :grinning:

good post. totally agree with you and i think one of the most important aspects of "overlanding" is just having people get out of the house and detatch from the television and social media for a bit and clear their brains. going down a gravel road can be just as therapeutic as riding up the side of a mountain
 

FishinCrzy

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you did the right thing! :grinning:

good post. totally agree with you and i think one of the most important aspects of "overlanding" is just having people get out of the house and detatch from the television and social media for a bit and clear their brains. going down a gravel road can be just as therapeutic as riding up the side of a mountain
Therapeutic as in therapy, huh? Not sure what the end result of all this therapy I have planned will be. If my Tacoma can get me to and from the Far West, catch a few fish, and back over the next couple of months I will be either totally cured or in need of much more therapy! Having owned and driven numerous brands of vehicles over the years I have had good ones from Ford and GM. Still have an old Chevy truck and old Toyota that won't die. The Tacoma seemed to have much more selection of add-ons for off-roading than many other brands. And, the reliability is hard to dispute.
 

sasquatchoverlanding

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I went from a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tundra.
you did the right thing! :grinning:

good post. totally agree with you and i think one of the most important aspects of "overlanding" is just having people get out of the house and detatch from the television and social media for a bit and clear their brains. going down a gravel road can be just as therapeutic as riding up the side of a mountain
Yeah the Tundra was a great choice for a full size rig. Soon the wife will have a 4 Runner that will be set up as well. So we are hooked on the yota's lol
 

grubworm

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this thread has me wondering...what is in indiana?

i've lived all over and traveled a LOT and might have gone thru indiana a time or two as a kid and that's about it. its never been a destination spot and pretty much any trip i do has me either going under it or around it for some reason. i'm looking at doing a PNW trip and that would have me going thru iowa and missouri and doing a new england state trip would have me going thru pennsylvania and ohio...indiana is exactly in the dead zone. that makes me want to go see it now just to see what's up with it.

where is a good spot to go and see what indiana is about? looks like a lot of lakes and rivers and maybe some good camping just under bloomington? out of the 50 states, indiana is the 17th most populated, so there is a good size draw of people wanting to be there. got me curious now....
 

Sjo527

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this thread has me wondering...what is in indiana?

i've lived all over and traveled a LOT and might have gone thru indiana a time or two as a kid and that's about it. its never been a destination spot and pretty much any trip i do has me either going under it or around it for some reason. i'm looking at doing a PNW trip and that would have me going thru iowa and missouri and doing a new england state trip would have me going thru pennsylvania and ohio...indiana is exactly in the dead zone. that makes me want to go see it now just to see what's up with it.

where is a good spot to go and see what indiana is about? looks like a lot of lakes and rivers and maybe some good camping just under bloomington? out of the 50 states, indiana is the 17th most populated, so there is a good size draw of people wanting to be there. got me curious now....
I've had limited time in Indiana but thought the Dunes were cool. Went back in 2019/2018. Whenever they changed the status from National Lakeshore to National Park. Currently trying to get back. Was supposed to go back in May of 2020 but well.. the pandemic pretty much killed that :sweatsmile:
 
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sasquatchoverlanding

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I've had limited time in Indiana but thought the Dunes were cool. Went back in 2019/2018. Whenever they changed the status from National Lakeshore to National Park. Currently trying to get back. Was supposed to go back in May of 2020 but well.. the pandemic pretty much killed that :sweatsmile:
There are a few hidden Gems in Indiana. Not a whole lot to see. But we have some great scenic routes and some nice caves and such in the south. Up north there really isn't much except the Dunes. This is why I think Indiana is a good spot for the beginners to do some shakedowns in a very forgiving area. Then from there, they are able to expand out from there. And Indiana is a great central location to meet up and move out from there if you are dealing with others from the region just to make it easier.
 
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sasquatchoverlanding

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this thread has me wondering...what is in indiana?

i've lived all over and traveled a LOT and might have gone thru indiana a time or two as a kid and that's about it. its never been a destination spot and pretty much any trip i do has me either going under it or around it for some reason. i'm looking at doing a PNW trip and that would have me going thru iowa and missouri and doing a new england state trip would have me going thru pennsylvania and ohio...indiana is exactly in the dead zone. that makes me want to go see it now just to see what's up with it.

where is a good spot to go and see what indiana is about? looks like a lot of lakes and rivers and maybe some good camping just under bloomington? out of the 50 states, indiana is the 17th most populated, so there is a good size draw of people wanting to be there. got me curious now....
The Bloomington area and south are where the forest is so there are some great camping spots and forest service roads. Indiana DNR has a couple of recreation sites for off-roaders in the south that are fun to go to. The biggest thing is that this is an area that has some simple trails and camping spots to allow beginners the chance to shake off and get ready for better trips. From here we are able to meet up and go to the surrounding areas that offer even more. That is one of the biggest things about Indiana is that it is close to the areas with more adventure. With the hidden gems then you have to look harder in Indiana because if you just drive through then you will not find them. Im still finding things that I didn't even know Indiana had to offer and I've lived here my entire life lol
 
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sasquatchoverlanding

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Therapeutic as in therapy, huh? Not sure what the end result of all this therapy I have planned will be. If my Tacoma can get me to and from the Far West, catch a few fish, and back over the next couple of months I will be either totally cured or in need of much more therapy! Having owned and driven numerous brands of vehicles over the years I have had good ones from Ford and GM. Still have an old Chevy truck and old Toyota that won't die. The Tacoma seemed to have much more selection of add-ons for off-roading than many other brands. And, the reliability is hard to dispute.
I am always down for extra "therapy" lol
 
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Sjo527

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The Bloomington area and south are where the forest is so there are some great camping spots and forest service roads. Indiana DNR has a couple of recreation sites for off-roaders in the south that are fun to go to. The biggest thing is that this is an area that has some simple trails and camping spots to allow beginners the chance to shake off and get ready for better trips. From here we are able to meet up and go to the surrounding areas that offer even more. That is one of the biggest things about Indiana is that it is close to the areas with more adventure. With the hidden gems then you have to look harder in Indiana because if you just drive through then you will not find them. Im still finding things that I didn't even know Indiana had to offer and I've lived here my entire life lol
Can you point me in the direction of those trails in the south you speak of? I would like to expand my nearby camp site rotation (within 2-3 hours).
 

DaPyrate

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Almost 4 years ago I went from a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tundra. When looking for parts to add to the Tundra then I came across Overlanding. I dove down this rabbit hole of adventure and started to do my research and planning of my rig. It was 2.5 years in and I went to a meet-up. I felt out of place and that my truck was just a truck. But this event was made for beginners. So we took a nice easy run of some backroads and forset service roads. While not much it was nice to see how things were. Fast forward to the past year and a half I have a rig that is fully set up with as much stuff as any others. But I am still doing beginners events here in Central Indiana.

This is not to feel safe in a comfort zone, but to help those that are just getting into the adventure. Indiana while not much for the views of some of the other places in the world does offer some advantages that other places might not. Indiana is a great place to just get out and run simple gravel trails and meet others. You can also brush off the dust of your camping gear and get back into the swing of those skills. And the best part is that Indiana is the Crossroads of America. So this means we can get to many great locations very easily from here.

I encourage others that have started from nothing to look into help those that are just getting started. I also hope that if you are around the Indiana area and wanting to get your feet wet then come with one of our groups and learn something new. Also as one that loves to help others and teach different topics then I ask what other topics would someone new to this great hobby be interested in? Let me know below! @sasquatchoverlanding
You bring up good points here. I think one thing that is overlooked a lot when starting out is recovery. It is easy to get lost in all the cool gear that makes getting to those sweet spots more enjoyable or the IG pics but a lot of people starting out don't even have a shovel or recovery strap. Every time recovery is brought up in conversation I learn something or learn a new approach to something I thought I already knew.
 

sasquatchoverlanding

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Almost 4 years ago I went from a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tundra. When looking for parts to add to the Tundra then I came across Overlanding. I dove down this rabbit hole of adventure and started to do my research and planning of my rig. It was 2.5 years in and I went to a meet-up. I felt out of place and that my truck was just a truck. But this event was made for beginners. So we took a nice easy run of some backroads and forset service roads. While not much it was nice to see how things were. Fast forward to the past year and a half I have a rig that is fully set up with as much stuff as any others. But I am still doing beginners events here in Central Indiana.

This is not to feel safe in a comfort zone, but to help those that are just getting into the adventure. Indiana while not much for the views of some of the other places in the world does offer some advantages that other places might not. Indiana is a great place to just get out and run simple gravel trails and meet others. You can also brush off the dust of your camping gear and get back into the swing of those skills. And the best part is that Indiana is the Crossroads of America. So this means we can get to many great locations very easily from here.

I encourage others that have started from nothing to look into help those that are just getting started. I also hope that if you are around the Indiana area and wanting to get your feet wet then come with one of our groups and learn something new. Also as one that loves to help others and teach different topics then I ask what other topics would someone new to this great hobby be interested in? Let me know below! @sasquatchoverlanding
You bring up good points here. I think one thing that is overlooked a lot when starting out is recovery. It is easy to get lost in all the cool gear that makes getting to those sweet spots more enjoyable or the IG pics but a lot of people starting out don't even have a shovel or recovery strap. Every time recovery is brought up in conversation I learn something or learn a new approach to something I thought I already knew.
Absolutely correct! We have looked at doing basic recovery classes just for beginners. Just to cover hear to the do's and dont's.
 
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jcmorgan31

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I've lived in Indiana my entire life (not counting my 8 years in the military). I live in rural southern Indiana, only a 5 minute drive to the southern parts of the Hoosier National Forest. It takes me about 45 minutes to get to the northern parts of the HNF east of Bloomington. I've been all over both before getting into the overlanding lifestyle. it is only the past few months that I've started studying topo and road maps trying to find potential camping spots that I can drive to and park at. I've recently driven to multiple places that I mapped out only to find the roads gated or blocked with no motor vehicle allowed signs. If you visit the HNF website you'll find that they definitely have issues with OHVs on forestry land (Hoosier National Forest - OHV Riding & Camping). I would assume that because of OHV misuse, their solution is to block every possible road for everyone so that they don't have to deal with it. In my opinion it renders all of the HNF useless to the majority of people, unless you are a backpacker or horseback rider. If you want to drive into your campsite, you can go up to the northern HNF and pull 50' off the road (where you'll eat gravel dust every time a car goes by) or you might as well just go to a campground somewhere.

Also, the "forestry roads" people keep mentioning are just gravel county roads that happen to cross HNF property. You aren't going to find creek crossings or anything other than flat gravel roads. What you can expect to see is trees, fields, maybe a creek along the road and that's about it. It is beautiful and relaxing in it's own way, but it isn't what you see when you pull up overlanding YouTube videos and see all of the epic camping spots people show on there. My wife and I still take the doors and top of the Gladiator and cruise the back country roads, but I'm starting to learn that Indiana isn't an overlanding friendly state.

I agree with the OP. Plenty of places to shake out your rig and Indiana is centrally located which is convenient, but I wouldn't label Indiana as an overlanding destination.

Below is a great example of what frustrates me to no end about the Indiana DNR. This area is 10 minutes from my house. I've hiked to both circled areas when I was younger looking for spots to do some hunting. Both have ponds at the end of the dotted line roads. All of it is gated right at the main road so unless you want to hike to it you aren't enjoying it. This is what I'm finding on every offshoot road I find on the HNF.

InkedScreenshot 2021-09-16 122945_LI.jpg
 

Indymonk

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Indiana may be for beginners, but we all have to start somewhere. We have three wonderful 4x4 playgrounds with all skill level trails. The State Parks are abundant as well as the forest lands. It's hard to beat our state for diversity. From the Dunes on Lake Michigan or hills and Ohio River in southern Indiana.
True there are few Overland trails, but there are numerous camping options. Get outside and enjoy life wherever you are.
 
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