What is Overlanding?

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Ben Cleveland

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Literally 75% of this thread is people being elitist and acting "holier than thou" because of differences in opinion about equipment, social media, and terms like "overlanding", which ultimately is semantics.

The big point of Jason's video is one of acceptance, he's offering a bunch of different perspectives on something that's become popular. There's nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing inherently WRONG with:
social media
sharing pics of adventures with people (strangers or family)
buying expensive equipment
NOT having an instagram or social media account
NOT buying expensive equipment
Being a traditional "overlander" who is actually spending a large portion of the year traveling ONLY in remote areas
Being a boring ordinary person who goes car camping and calls it overlanding
Being an insta-famous "overlander" who gets all of their 10's of thousands of dollars worth of equipment discounted or free from ridiculous companies who are profiting off of something that all of a sudden became trendy


There is, however, something sad and arguably wrong about someone who feels the need to go outside of themselves and criticize someone else for their individual preferences. Talking about the relative health or wisdom of those different choices, sure. But guess what? Most of the opinions in this thread are LITERALLY saying "Hey, look at me, I do it better than those _______ schmucks over there, I don't want to be elitist or anything, but lets be real here". Why? I would honestly rather hang out with a dude in a backwards hat with a lifted bro truck that is shiny and pointless, over hanging out with a "true overlander" who was fixated on criticizing said backwards hat dude. We're not discussing moral issues here. Literally talking about going camping and exploring. No need for anybody to be this elitist or critical of any other group. I don't really believe anybody in this thread really fits either category, most of us are somewhere in the middle, which makes these small minded elitest statements even worse. But it would be super nice for there to be a conversation about "overlanding" without constant criticism of all the other versions besides one's own.
I really enjoyed Jason's video, as I do all of his videos, but I don't think it was really worth all this. Unsubscribing.


Edit: I know some of this is in jest and humor. That's cool and all, but I still don't agree. Lots of people out there view the overlanding and offroading community as one that is very elitist and closed off. Threads like this, even if elitist statements are made only in jest, help keep our community in that negative viewpoint.
 

m_lars

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Literally 75% of this thread is people being elitist and acting "holier than thou" because of differences in opinion about equipment, social media, and terms like "overlanding", which ultimately is semantics.

The big point of Jason's video is one of acceptance, he's offering a bunch of different perspectives on something that's become popular. There's nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing inherently WRONG with:
social media
sharing pics of adventures with people (strangers or family)
buying expensive equipment
NOT having an instagram or social media account
NOT buying expensive equipment
Being a traditional "overlander" who is actually spending a large portion of the year traveling ONLY in remote areas
Being a boring ordinary person who goes car camping and calls it overlanding
Being an insta-famous "overlander" who gets all of their 10's of thousands of dollars worth of equipment discounted or free from ridiculous companies who are profiting off of something that all of a sudden became trendy


There is, however, something sad and arguably wrong about someone who feels the need to go outside of themselves and criticize someone else for their individual preferences. Talking about the relative health or wisdom of those different choices, sure. But guess what? Most of the opinions in this thread are LITERALLY saying "Hey, look at me, I do it better than those _______ schmucks over there, I don't want to be elitist or anything, but lets be real here". Why? I would honestly rather hang out with a dude in a backwards hat with a lifted bro truck that is shiny and pointless, over hanging out with a "true overlander" who was fixated on criticizing said backwards hat dude. We're not discussing moral issues here. Literally talking about going camping and exploring. No need for anybody to be this elitist or critical of any other group. I don't really believe anybody in this thread really fits either category, most of us are somewhere in the middle, which makes these small minded elitest statements even worse. But it would be super nice for there to be a conversation about "overlanding" without constant criticism of all the other versions besides one's own.
I really enjoyed Jason's video, as I do all of his videos, but I don't think it was really worth all this. Unsubscribing.
Your opinion is yours, my opinion is mine. Any statements I have made are not necessarily the views of station management or ownership. I don’t KNOW what Overlanding is. I do see what the word has come to represent and I don’t care for it. My opinion. In my statements I have tried not to single anybody out and tried to speak about the general trend. You have brought up Jason a few times, is that the person who made the imbedded video? If so I haven’t seen anymore of his videos, and won’t search them out. I don’t care for the unnecessary spin-ny boxes followed by, “oh, sorry I didn’t get to this sooner wonderful company who sent me stuff, I’ve been too busy to show my appreciation”. Maybe that’s an incorrect interpretation, but it came off that way TO ME. If you like his videos, great, there’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t care for the style, again, my opinion. The title of this thread seemed like they were looking for opinions, so I chimed in with my thoughts. Maybe I made a flippant comment as an attempt at humor, if it came across as elitist it was misinterpreted. I’m a flippant humor sort of guy. But apparently because I disagree with your view I’M wrong. Ok, duly noted.
 

Ben Cleveland

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Your opinion is yours, my opinion is mine. Any statements I have made are not necessarily the views of station management or ownership. I don’t KNOW what Overlanding is. I do see what the word has come to represent and I don’t care for it. My opinion. In my statements I have tried not to single anybody out and tried to speak about the general trend. You have brought up Jason a few times, is that the person who made the imbedded video? If so I haven’t seen anymore of his videos, and won’t search them out. I don’t care for the unnecessary spin-ny boxes followed by, “oh, sorry I didn’t get to this sooner wonderful company who sent me stuff, I’ve been too busy to show my appreciation”. Maybe that’s an incorrect interpretation, but it came off that way TO ME. If you like his videos, great, there’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t care for the style, again, my opinion. The title of this thread seemed like they were looking for opinions, so I chimed in with my thoughts. Maybe I made a flippant comment as an attempt at humor, if it came across as elitist it was misinterpreted. I’m a flippant humor sort of guy. But apparently because I disagree with your view I’M wrong. Ok, duly noted.
Sounds like we're approaching this a little differently. No, I don't think you're inherently wrong because you disagree with me. Also, yes, Jason is the guy in the video. He's got a youtube channel, he posts lots of videos. Honestly, on a personal level I am bothered and annoyed by many of the same things you've mentioned, so I do empathize with your viewpoint, however I also empathize with some of the views and more boring, every day perspectives that are largely criticized here. For me, I can get into the philisophical discussion of defining something, but it unfortunately seems that many of these discussions turn into arguing about who's right and who's wrong, and it just feels pointless. I will say though, generally the discussion in this thread DOES come across elitist. Hence my comments. I'm a pretty literal, serious person, so there's a good chance others aren't meaning it or taking it nearly as seriously as I am. However, its important to consider the effect of one's words.
 

Correus

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I get where you’re coming from, but this may be a little too far in the opposite direction. You are living the relicrun.com every time you go out. I don’t think modern gadgetry is detrimental. It doesn’t, however, make you an overlander because you have it. I’m not sure your rig is great example of spending less money either, but I may be misinterpreting “fancy” as “expensive”. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to own a Series Land Rover, but frankly, I can’t afford it. I can afford my LR3 and yes, I do my own maintenance and repairs. I think we can all agree though, it’s not about the gear!
I recently looked at an LR3, perhaps it's my location but it was a few thousand more than my Series. The wife was interested in getting it; the maintenance issues bothered her. It's a bit to mechanically sophisticated for me...I doubt I'd be able to do any major repairs that would come along.

HOWEVER - I got mine about 10 years ago; I didn't pay much more for it than my dad paid for his 54" ZTR mower. Looking at similar ones today...dang, they ain't cheap!! I can't believe how much people are willing to pay for them now. Guess it has got to have something to do with "overlanding" becoming so hip. I bought mine because I like the style and it's "primitive". When I got it I had no idea it was considered THE quintessential exploration, overlanding and safari vehicle - I just knew I liked it.

Have you seen the SIs that Land Rover is restoring and selling? IIRC the first one's asking price was $125k.

Nothing wrong with relicrun, that's my kind of overlanding.

Along similar lines of relicrun... there use to be an event called "The Great Race" that ran coast-to-coast and each vehicle had to be 50+ years old. They stopped doing it around 2008/9 due to soaring gas prices. It is slowly coming back but the route is greatly reduced. If you're interested here is the link - https://www.greatrace.com
 
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m_lars

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I recently looked at an LR3, perhaps it's my location but it was a few thousand more than my Series. The wife was interested in getting it; the maintenance issues bothered her. It's a bit to mechanically sophisticated for me...I doubt I'd be able to do any major repairs that would come along.

Have you seen the SIs that Land Rover is restoring and selling? IIRC the first one's asking price was $125k.
I paid around $5600 for my ‘06 last fall. I doubt you could find any Series for that money. Like everything Land Rover, the problems are overblown. For some reason they’re the brand everyone loves to rag on. Mine needed a a suspension compressor that wore out due to pin holes in a front air strut. A strut that was original to the vehicle approaching 12 years old and 170,000 miles. I’d hardly call that problematic.

I haven’t seen the factory restored ones yet, though I have heard of the program. That program is what lead to the Oxford Rover from first overland being tracked down and put back on the road.
 

slomatt

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Bay Area, CA
Lots of people out there view the overlanding and offroading community as one that is very elitist and closed off. Threads like this, even if elitist statements are made only in jest, help keep our community in that negative viewpoint.
My concern is with the large number of threads on this forum with titles like "Am I an overlander?", "What vehicle/gear do I have to buy to be an overlander?", and "What is overlanding?" that are giving too much power to what is essentially a meaningless term.

"Overlanding" can truly mean whatever you want it to mean, and because of that it is not at all elitist. The problem arises when people do try to define the term, or imply that not everybody can be an overlander, or that there is some kind of overlander scoring system.

My answers to the above questions are:
"Am I an overlander"? - Yes, if you want to be.
"What vehicle/gear do I have to buy to be an overlander?" - Nothing, just get out and start exploring.
"What is overlanding?" - Whatever you want it to be.
 

Correus

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I paid around $5600 for my ‘06 last fall. I doubt you could find any Series for that money. Like everything Land Rover, the problems are overblown. For some reason they’re the brand everyone loves to rag on. Mine needed a a suspension compressor that wore out due to pin holes in a front air strut. A strut that was original to the vehicle approaching 12 years old and 170,000 miles. I’d hardly call that problematic.

I haven’t seen the factory restored ones yet, though I have heard of the program. That program is what lead to the Oxford Rover from first overland being tracked down and put back on the road.
I paid $5k for mine. I've seen a couple others sell for about the same in the past couple of years. I know a guy who got a great SI, that runs, for $3k, so they are out there.

The problems with the LR3 we looked at were worse than what you mentioned, it had several issues, one was the suspension compressor, plus a head gasket and other things. They wanted $8,500.

I hadn't heard that Land Rover Classic, a.k.a. Reborn, was any kind of inspiration for Adam Bennett's restoration of Oxford. Last I heard was that Adam got tired of seeing it rotting and worked out a deal to get the remains of Oxford off Saint Helena and back to the UK. He acquired ever part he could identify as having come from Oxford as well. He had to trade a refurbished Defender to get Oxford. Once in the UK he got the help of Black Paw 4x4 in York to help restore it. I had heard it was being featured at the Bicester Land Rover Legends show.
 

m_lars

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I paid $5k for mine. I've seen a couple others sell for about the same in the past couple of years. I know a guy who got a great SI, that runs, for $3k, so they are out there.

The problems with the LR3 we looked at were worse than what you mentioned, it had several issues, one was the suspension compressor, plus a head gasket and other things. They wanted $8,500.

I hadn't heard that Land Rover Classic, a.k.a. Reborn, was any kind of inspiration for Adam Bennett's restoration of Oxford. Last I heard was that Adam got tired of seeing it rotting and worked out a deal to get the remains of Oxford off Saint Helena and back to the UK. He acquired ever part he could identify as having come from Oxford as well. He had to trade a refurbished Defender to get Oxford. Once in the UK he got the help of Black Paw 4x4 in York to help restore it. I had heard it was being featured at the Bicester Land Rover Legends show.
At $8500 they’re smokin’ something funny. I’ve seen ones like that for $3k

According to the interview I listened to he was at the factory for a tour when the last defender was coming off the line. They had a restored Series I in a show room for a photo shoot and he asked them why. They wouldn’t immediate tell him why it was there, but he got it out of them. He asked to buy that one and they said “that’s not how it works.” He was supposed to tell them what he wanted and they find a car and restore it. He said he wanted a UK car “with a history” so he started tracking down 4 or 5 different significant cars. Oxford was the first one he found. It was at least a 2 hour interview that I listened to.
 

Correus

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At $8500 they’re smokin’ something funny. I’ve seen ones like that for $3k

According to the interview I listened to he was at the factory for a tour when the last defender was coming off the line. They had a restored Series I in a show room for a photo shoot and he asked them why. They wouldn’t immediate tell him why it was there, but he got it out of them. He asked to buy that one and they said “that’s not how it works.” He was supposed to tell them what he wanted and they find a car and restore it. He said he wanted a UK car “with a history” so he started tracking down 4 or 5 different significant cars. Oxford was the first one he found. It was at least a 2 hour interview that I listened to.
Yup, way over priced. Wife wasn't interested at all after doing some comparisons.

Interesting....wonder why he didn't mention that in the articles...no biggie.

That sounds about right. Per a guy I know working with them LR is finding appropriate candidates and buying them. They then offer it to the customer and they can choose either a full historical restoration or a historicalish restoration with modern upgrades.

They are getting ready to open a Land Rover Classics shop in Savannah Georgia. They'll be offering restoration services on classic Jags and Rovers as well as maintenance services. I'm hoping to get a tour of the place once they are up and running.
 

m_lars

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Yup, way over priced. Wife wasn't interested at all after doing some comparisons.
They’re not that great. They ride like a luxury car on the freeway (I’ve put nearly 30k on mine this year), get decent gas mileage for a 7 passenger, have a good safety record and are excellent off road. Plus, they still look like a proper Land Rover, not some rounded over crossover.
 

m_lars

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I’m extremely sad and depressed that I paid $75 to be apart of this bull shit form. You are so right about how some people profit. If I could get a refund I would
Well, I generally find this forum to be more civilized than others that are similar. This particular thread is probably the worst I’ve read and it’s been pretty civilized. Fewer trolls, less flaming and way fewer 4 letter words. Don’t forget the tangible items you got with your membership as well.
 

[DO]Ron

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I don't visit the forums much regulary any more. As OB grew over the past few years it is hard to keep the trolls out. But I still believe in the morals that Michael and Corrie set out so still proud to be a OB member.

As to answer the question. For me it just means getting out there, exploring. Taking trips, seeing new things.. If its a day out or a week camping, just go out and explore.. When my GF is done with her education (being a hotel / restaurant manager) and she has a steady job we'll think about saving up and setting out for bigger goals. But for now it is all fine.
 
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m_lars

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As OB grew over the past few years it is hard to keep the trolls out.
That may be, but it’s still better than most! There’s a brand specific forum that comes to my mind, it’s name is a combination of Discovery and World Wide Web. Theyre bottom feeders, and proud of it.
 

jordan96xj

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This weekend reminded me of a way in which the "overlanding" term has been helpful. We camped at a local place, and one of our Jeeper friends visited with us in his Wrangler (TJ). It is pretty capable, but was built in the style of pure off-roading, without much traveling or camping in mind. This guy loves to camp, but his Jeep isn't well outfitted for it. So without any prompting, he started using the word to differentiate between what he had (a well capable off-road build) and what we had (also capable, but definitely pointed more towards longer distances, multi-day overnight camping, and more cargo and gear carrying options). So he started talking about how he is going to begin moving his build towards more of an "overlanding" style so that him and his son can enjoy more camping in it.

When I first got into XJs (before I knew anything about overlanding), the reason I got turned on to overlanding (as a term) and awareness of this particularly community was because Jeep people on the Jeep forums would occasionally post pictures of their builds, and some of them seemed totally targeted at camping/exploring vs. just hardcore wheeling. I was drawn to those builds, and the term "overlanding" was ever-present. So I looked it up on my own. I was much more interesting in camping/exploring, so the rest is history.

I'm ok with the term however anybody uses it. I'm old enough, and secure enough, that I feel no pressure to keep up with anybody that is dropping a ton of money on gear and gadgets. To me, for North America at least, I see it as "car camping" with some additional emphasis on the capability (and perhaps uniqueness) of the vehicle as well as working the vehicle into the adventure in various ways (for example, multi-day camps with more than one destination, or camps with trail rides mixed in, or finding the longest stretch of non-pavement travel available in your region, etc).
 

PB&Me

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I wrote a comprehensive article about this on my blog:
https://overlandsite.com/what-is-overlanding/

What do you think??
I like your write-up and history of Overlanding.

Further, it doesn’t matter to me how someone defines Overlanding — if they’re getting outdoors in a vehicle and enjoy themselves, good for them. And I really don’t want to engage in an Internet forum squabble (BTDT too many times).

All I would say though about your definition is that the difference between Overlanding and road-tripping is that in addition to the journey being the point, Overlanding has a “significant” portion on unimproved roads. What defines “significant?” That’s up to you or anyone else who is headed out there.

For me it would be to try to find a route over as much unimproved roads (dirt, gravel, logging roads, etc etc) as possible to a destination that holds my interest. Could be a ghost town, a great hiking trailhead inaccessible by anyone but through-hikers, or maybe just a fun “long way” to get to a mountain lake.

Again, however you define Overland is fine with me, I’m just adding another way of looking at it.
 
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