What is overlanding to you?

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Attom

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I'm am meaning to ask this question in a very broad sense...
Answer any sub question that interests you or make up your own:

Why do you overland? Is it the primary goal? Simply a means to get to other activities? Or part of a bigger picture?

Do you participate in any companion activities? (Something that you think goes hand-in-hand with overlanding)

What drew you to the sport/hobby/way-of-life?
Any early pre-"overlanding" experiences?

What is your most outrageous overland goal?



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RescueRangers

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Overlanding, to me anyways, is about exploring. No big picture or alternative agenda, its just exploring. We dig seeing new things and meeting new, and hopefully different, people. We are not hardcore, dirt only, people. By this we mean, we have somewhere we want to get to and will take which ever route gets us there that is the most interesting. Most of our routes are on asphalt but as far away from main roads as we can get. There is so many interesting things to see on those forgotten backroads. Our typical trip is one week (we do two a year) covering about 2,000 miles. We do not base camp, meaning we normally don't spend more than one night in a spot. Every morning we get up, cook breakfast, pack up, and hit the road again. Miles and smiles.

Our goal is simple, visit every National Park. Other than that we take it as it comes.
 

ElDusto

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our primary goal is fun...we are also not dirt specific..it's also difficult in our part of the country,we just want to get a taste of America...if i had a real goal..it's to try to keep it fun and open and not become another job.Ive been 4 wheeling and camping since i was a lil kid.my dad put us on bikes,horses,boats and anything else he could find...it's adventure on a budget...things can get pricey,but you can still have fun just going with what u got..i never heard the overlanding term til a few years back...i might not be super overland guy..but i've been doing this stuff for a long time...just go...you will find something!! that's our motto


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Mitchapalooza

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Overlanding to me is exploration through travel. This can be a short travel or a long travel but the focal point is getting caught up in the journey not focusing on the final destination.

As my off-road driving and navigating abilities have increased so has my curiosity about new areas. Now I find myself saying "I wonder where this trail goes?" more often than "I wonder where the next obstacle is?"

My most outlandish overlanding goal is to one day do the trek to Pruhoe Bay!
 
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Big E

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Since I was little my family "car camped." It's what we could afford when we traveled, and I just stuck with it since it's still what I can afford. I enjoy throwing the off-road aspect into the mix more now. Heading out west this summer, hope to do the Alcan some day.
 

vegasjeepguy

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To me what distinguishes overlanding from camping, exploring and sightseeing is having a vehicle and equipment that makes terrain and weather almost irrelevant...within reason. There have been many occasions when I was was talking about heading out on an overnight or multinight trip and friends, who love to camp, have inquired about going only to realize the didnt have a vehicle capable of getting to where I was going.
 

MilSpecAuto

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Traveler I

To me, over landing is about creating an adventure and experience wherever you can go. Me and 3 other friends started a company that makes overland vehicles, MIL-SPEC Automotive so that we can create vehicles for people who constantly want to be traveling and experiencing the parts of the U.S. and world that others simply can't get to. For us it's all about the adventure and we love every second of it.
www.milspecauto.com
 

chuckoverland

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To me, exploring and camping with people you love has been a passion since i was a child. Rolling around in my folks Colt Vista and coleman popup trailer. Then teenage camping all over AK with buddies getting rowdy. Now that it's just me , baby, and the dogs, we go just to get away from the grind and the electronic leashes in our pockets. Living in an urban area we dont have much privacy (and there is no electronic privacy anymore) To me privacy is true freedom. Not being observed or judged or anything just out living and loving it.
Thats why i NEED overlanding and im glad to have found this community.
 

XPlore

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To me it is just simply getting out there and exploring whether it be solo or with friends. It is so much fun to convoy out to a National Park or Wilderness where it's just you and your friends. Setting up camp, hiking around, explore the area. Then pack up and head to the area whether it be a 4x4 trail or a highway.
 
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Cottonwoody

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For me it started when I was sixteen and just recurved my license ( forty
two years ago). My friends and I got into my 1969 VW Bug and headed out onto the highway without a destination. Randomly took roads and ended up in Arrowhead Lake CA. Had a great time. We barrowed [emoji3] a road maintenance flag and from then on out, carried the "road trip" flag with us on all of our adventures. Learned early that just going without a definite direction can lead to some amazing places. 51 and I just returned from Peru using that same attitude and had a wonderful time.

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Joey D

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To echo many of the others, overlanding to me is just exploring and having an adventure, whether that adventure is a week long camping trip or a two hour ride to a little known trail that gives you a good view of something cool. As for the larger goal, I take a page from a rally team that I used to race with, their motto was always "have fun and try not to suck", seemed like a goal I could get behind.

As for overlanding related activities, I put patches on my headliner, so I'm sure that counts for something. I also like to take pictures, but I'm terrible at it and own a needlessly expensive camera that I thought I needed.

What drew me to the hobby was that I had to sell my beloved Volvo C30 Polestar because I just couldn't get through the snow with it (even on winter tires) and my winter beater, a 98 Honda Passport, started eating itself and dumping metal in the oil, so I ended up with a Tacoma as my daily driver and winter vehicle. I'd always been aware of adventure travel and figure now that I had something capable off road, I might as well give it a go. One thing led to another and I started learning more and more about overlanding and thought it was something cool to get into because I already liked to camp and explore. Finding Overland Bound helped me sort out needs vs. wants too, which was helpful since I wasn't needlessly spending money on things.
 

*EB*

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I used to camp a lot when I was younger. Now that I have the ability to start doing it again, I wanted to get my family involved. So, I have to mirror what others have said. For us, its mostly about adventure and seeing parts of the countryside that we would otherwise miss. Its also a bonding experience for my wife and I. We support each other to operate slightly out of our comfort zone and work towards a goal, whether its finding a campsite in the dark or getting turned around on a trail that ended up being too advanced for us. We also really like not having a set schedule or destination, just a general area that we're going to explore and a feeling of being self sufficient while exploring. Plus, our dogs LOVE riding in the truck.
 

Lassen

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Member III

Overlanding to me? Wow, I could go on and on, but I'll keep it short. For me it started when I was an infant, so for the last 48 years! I obviously don't recall much of the first couple trips, but I digress.

As a family we car camped, but it is still overlanding by the definition I go by -- vehicle dependent travel, which it was as a child and is still today.

Sadly, I don't get the opportunity to get out as often as I would like given job demands which has me tied up every day of the week currently. Even in my previous job camping trips would be cut short upon occasion by a call from work telling me to come back. It didn't happen often, but we had to remain in contact while on vacation and only as far away so that we could be back within a day or less if we did have to come back.

Getting away today when it does happen makes those very few, very short trips so precious. Shoot, it is because of these limited opportunities that lead me to this site. I came across one of @Michael YT videos describing how he packs and can pack his rig in short order. Because of that I got all my gear sorted and I can now pack my car in short order. If I have the chance, from the time I decide to go somewhere, I can be on the road in 20 minutes!

Where was I? Ah, yes! Overlanding to me is exploration. Sometimes I do like to go to the same place often since I know exactly what to expect and that gives me more time to unwind! But there are those times I like to get to new places and check them out. My rig is stock, so some places will be off limits, but there are a ton of other roads and places I can go with no issue -- and I can't wait to see it all!


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Jasonb

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To me, exploring and camping with people you love has been a passion since i was a child. Rolling around in my folks Colt Vista and coleman popup trailer. Then teenage camping all over AK with buddies getting rowdy. Now that it's just me , baby, and the dogs, we go just to get away from the grind and the electronic leashes in our pockets. Living in an urban area we dont have much privacy (and there is no electronic privacy anymore) To me privacy is true freedom. Not being observed or judged or anything just out living and loving it.
Thats why i NEED overlanding and im glad to have found this community.
Haha! We had a colt vista as well. That's cool man, thought we had the only one on the face of the earth lol

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Attom

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Really good, thoughtful answers guys, thank you. I agree with so much of what you said.
For me it was a completely natural addition to my interests... if it's a non-competitive outdoor sport, my family probably likes it. Add to that my love for vehicles and travel, and how could I not want to do it.
Really I think I always have overlanded, just not had a name for it.


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Dean

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Traveler I

Personally I've given up trying to define what "overlanding" is as a verb. It's like trying to hold onto a fist full of sand. The more tightly you try to define it the more slips through your fingers. That's where the slant to elitism comes into play. Drawing lines in the sand as to what is or is not "overlanding" just starts carving up groups of people.

What I've started doing now is describing myself as an "overlander," as a noun. What does it mean to be an overlander? For me it means three things: first, a desire to explore outside your comfort zone; second, a degree of self-sufficancy; and third, a reverence for the outdoors. With those three things in mind it's much easier to understand this "overland thing" as something a wide variety of people can enjoy without splitting hairs about what's a trail ride vs. what's overlanding, or what's car camping vs. what's overlanding, or whether or not you can overland in a 2wd sports coupe or a bicycle. Obviously the premise is still going to slant toward the 4wd enthusiast given the terrain and desire to explore the wilderness but the reality is, for me at least, it's less WHAT you do but more about WHY and HOW you do it.

I know for me my trips are always a blend of a road-trip, a trail ride, car-camping, off-roading, rock-crawling, and all kinds of things some of which people associate with "overlanding" and many things people do not. So as much as I embrace the overland adventure lifestyle, it's getting hard to take "overlanding" as a verb seriously. Much easier to think about it as a noun.

All that said, don't take this all too seriously. Trying to define something as abstract and vague as "overlanding" is like trying to define "art." ~ "I may not know what it is, but I know it when I see it."