The Status of Overlanding Today

Is overlanding becoming a glorified excuse for more bolt-ons and less about travel today?

  • Yes

    Votes: 185 93.4%
  • No

    Votes: 13 6.6%

  • Total voters
    198

79bj40

New member
I hate the term overlanding and prefer to call it what it is - off roading and truck camping. I have been doing this since I was 18 and all I had was a 71 VW van and a tug-em strap. That thing took me all over Mexico and a dip into Central America and was awesome...I wish I still had it.

Now, nearing 60 I have what everyone would call an "overlanding" rig but it's to make camping easier, setup and tear down goes from hours to minutes and it makes things more comfortable while I am out.

I do see a lot of trucks running around with full kit and don't look like they even get used which is strange to me.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I hate the term overlanding and prefer to call it what it is - off roading and truck camping. I have been doing this since I was 18 and all I had was a 71 VW van and a tug-em strap. That thing took me all over Mexico and a dip into Central America and was awesome...I wish I still had it.

Now, nearing 60 I have what everyone would call an "overlanding" rig but it's to make camping easier, setup and tear down goes from hours to minutes and it makes things more comfortable while I am out.

I do see a lot of trucks running around with full kit and don't look like they even get used which is strange to me.
We have a few “over landers “ in our neighborhood. Talking full on ARB awnings, fancy boxes bolted on, shovels, high lift jacks, jerry cans etc. One dad with such rig was at a parent party this weekend and was complaining that someone stole his highlift, shovel and jerry can even stole two brackets.

I asked him if he had just done a big trip or something? He looked at me funny and says no I’m back in the office 4 days a week haven’t had a trip in 8 months.. My response was oh.. Then I asked him if his bumpers had all the mounting bolts tack welded? Again he looks at me puzzled and asks why? Then I explain that even in 1990 my jeep buddies tack welded their expensive add on gear so it didn’t get ripped off by thieves. Yep it was thing, walk out to your “overlander” and finding it stripped happens.

I didn’t ask why his highlift l, shovel and ropax were on his rig if he hadn’t been on a trip recently… hell I take my Thule roof box off as soon as my trip is over 😆
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
We have a few “over landers “ in our neighborhood. Talking full on ARB awnings, fancy boxes bolted on, shovels, high lift jacks, jerry cans etc. One dad with such rig was at a parent party this weekend and was complaining that someone stole his highlift, shovel and jerry can even stole two brackets.

I asked him if he had just done a big trip or something? He looked at me funny and says no I’m back in the office 4 days a week haven’t had a trip in 8 months.. My response was oh.. Then I asked him if his bumpers had all the mounting bolts tack welded? Again he looks at me puzzled and asks why? Then I explain that even in 1990 my jeep buddies tack welded their expensive add on gear so it didn’t get ripped off by thieves. Yep it was thing, walk out to your “overlander” and finding it stripped happens.

I didn’t ask why his highlift l, shovel and ropax were on his rig if he hadn’t been on a trip recently… hell I take my Thule roof box off as soon as my trip is over 😆
He'd fit in with all the people I see during my daily commute in the dead of winter still cruising around with their RTT's mounted up with their Rotopax's & maxtrax. (I see the same kitted out vehicles every day)
 

LRNAD90

Adventurer
I didn’t ask why his highlift l, shovel and ropax were on his rig if he hadn’t been on a trip recently…

Cause is currently 'In Vouge'. Who knows how long it will last, but it makes some people feel cooler than others I guess. Fuels the market though, so I guess we benefit from the innovation and keeping these vendors around, and able to back their products..
 

UglyViking

Well-known member
Well then I guess they reached one of their target audience, congratulations cowboy enjoy the gun pics. And now for the non-gun toting overlanders who actually cross borders can we please have content relevant to the expedition portal.
I don't really wanna stir the pot here, but I am legit curious what mag it was and if it looked at least halfway decent. I'm a pretty active shooter and enjoy "overland built trucks" even if I realize that 90% of them see nothing more that forest roads or the local coffee shop parking lot for "rigs and coffee". If you recall the name, I'd be interested in it. Feel free to PM if you prefer.

As a completely separate thought. I find it kind of funny how so many folks think that only the thing "they do" is actually the right thing, and everyone else is just a poser. If you build a rig worth 200k and don't do x/y/z then you're a poser. If you only travel local to you, you're a poser. If you don't have 38 international stamps on your passport, you're a poser. etc.

I think everyone has to sort of accept the good with the bad. The good is that because this scene has really blown up, there is so much amazing stuff constantly coming out, and it's getting cheaper and easier to install by the day. Most may not even be necessary, but man it's really cool to see. Doesn't matter if you'd budget is mild or wild, there are a huge list of bumpers, lights, winches, roof racks, caps, etc. to fit your specific need. It's absolutely awesome how much choice there is today, almost too much, but that's another topic. Then there are cool "toys" like some of the garmin overlander and inreach stuff that exists. Makes wandering out on your own a much more enjoyable, and less possibly life threatening, affair. That is also awesome!

Suer there is also the bad, a lot of instagram/youtube influencers pushing garbage, trails getting closed down or packed, etc. and that's all a bummer, but there isn't much you can really do except try and help the new folks along right?

I don't know, I guess I just find it cool that this world exists and I realize like everything else it's not without a cost.
 

lost1

Member
I don't really wanna stir the pot here, but I am legit curious what mag it was and if it looked at least halfway decent. I'm a pretty active shooter and enjoy "overland built trucks" even if I realize that 90% of them see nothing more that forest roads or the local coffee shop parking lot for "rigs and coffee". If you recall the name, I'd be interested in it. Feel free to PM if you prefer.

As a completely separate thought. I find it kind of funny how so many folks think that only the thing "they do" is actually the right thing, and everyone else is just a poser. If you build a rig worth 200k and don't do x/y/z then you're a poser. If you only travel local to you, you're a poser. If you don't have 38 international stamps on your passport, you're a poser. etc.

I think everyone has to sort of accept the good with the bad. The good is that because this scene has really blown up, there is so much amazing stuff constantly coming out, and it's getting cheaper and easier to install by the day. Most may not even be necessary, but man it's really cool to see. Doesn't matter if you'd budget is mild or wild, there are a huge list of bumpers, lights, winches, roof racks, caps, etc. to fit your specific need. It's absolutely awesome how much choice there is today, almost too much, but that's another topic. Then there are cool "toys" like some of the garmin overlander and inreach stuff that exists. Makes wandering out on your own a much more enjoyable, and less possibly life threatening, affair. That is also awesome!

Suer there is also the bad, a lot of instagram/youtube influencers pushing garbage, trails getting closed down or packed, etc. and that's all a bummer, but there isn't much you can really do except try and help the new folks along right?

I don't know, I guess I just find it cool that this world exists and I realize like everything else it's not without a cost.
"Wheels Afield" claims to be the premier magazine for outdoor enthusiasts interested in off road vehicles, shooting, angling, hunting, camping, outdoor culinary arts and overlanding.
It appears to have something for everyone.
 

UglyViking

Well-known member
"Wheels Afield" claims to be the premier magazine for outdoor enthusiasts interested in off road vehicles, shooting, angling, hunting, camping, outdoor culinary arts and overlanding.
It appears to have something for everyone.
Ah thanks! I've seen the mag before. I enjoy some of the photography but that is about where it ends for me. Thanks for sharing!
 
Titanium sporks? This guy had the future of camping in the U.S. correctly pegged way back in 1988. In his very enjoyable book, The Lost Continent, Travels in Small Town America, humorist Bill Bryson wrote:

“What slowed the traffic here were the massive motor homes lumbering up and down the mountain passes. Some of them, amazingly, had cars tethered to their rear bumpers, like dinghies. I got stuck behind one on the long, sinuous descent down the mountain into Tennessee. It was so wide that it could barely stay within its lane and kept threatening to nudge oncoming cars off into the picturesque void to our left.

That, alas, is the way of vacationing nowadays for many people. The whole idea is not to expose yourself to a moment of discomfort or inconvenience-indeed, not to breathe fresh air if possible. When the urge to travel seizes you, you pile into your thirteen-ton tin palace and drive 400 miles across the country, hermetically sealed against the elements, and stop at a campground where you dash to plug into their water supply and electricity so that you don't have to go a single moment without air-conditioning or dishwasher and microwave facilities.

These things, these RVs, are like life-support systems on wheels. Astronauts go to the moon with less backup. RV people are another breed and a largely demented one at that. They become obsessed with trying to equip their vehicles with gadgets to deal with every possible contingency.

Their lives become ruled by the dread thought that one day they may find themselves in a situation in which they are not entirely self-sufficient.

I once went camping for two days at Lake Darling in Iowa with a friend whose father- an RV enthusiast-kept trying to press labor-saving devices on us.

"I got a great little solar-powered can opener here," he would say. "You wanna takethat?"

"No thanks," we would reply. "We're only going for two days."

"How about this combination flashlight-carving knife? You can run it off the car cigarette lighter if you need to, and it doubles as a flashing siren if you get lost in the wilderness."

"No thanks."

"Well, at least take the battery-powered microwave."

"Really, we don't want it."

"Then how the hell are you going to pop popcorn out there in the middle of nowhere? Have you thought about that?"



You can see these people at campgrounds all over the country, standing around their vehicles comparing gadgets-methane-powered ice-cube makers, portable tennis courts, anti-insect flame throwers, inflatable lawns. They are strange and dangerous people and on no account should be approached.”
You have invoked The Master. Nobody cheers me up like the Thunderbolt Kid. I'd invoke our own "Te Jean" but he didn't drive, he thumbed. Besides, I like The Town and the City better than On The Road. This is so off-topic. Bad me. Spouse actually has a titanium spork for backpacking. I never know where to put it in the dishwasher. Backpackers. The people who used to cut off the handles of toothbrushes to save weight.
 
I think the term "overlanding" needed a re-think when the guns and ammo crowd climbed onboard and attempted to justify the need/practicality/utility of carrying weapons for travel whether it be across borders or exploring new horizons. Today I picked up an "overland" magazine which was half full of gun ads.
"Tactical" sells. It's another Walter Mitty merchandise term.
 
“I think that depends on where "outdoors" is. Here in the outback of Nevada I'd say pretty close to 100% of the folks I meet out there are armed.”

“In Arizona pretty much everyone brings a gun camping exept for the people who just go to the KOA campground on the side of the highway.”

What are they so scared of?
I’ve had 2 brown/grizzly and 1 black bear in my front yard this year. Plus innumerable large moose including cows/calves very capable of stomping me to death. Yet I go for my daily 2 lap = 2 mile walk around the block unarmed, despite multiple military type assault rifles and a couple of pistols in the house.
Lest I be accused of abject stupidity, I did go armed on my 3 crossings of the Brooks Range in the 70s. You know, back when nobody had heard of the place.
Today in backyard “guarding” my compost heap:
View attachment 802396
Big fella eh?
 

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