What Is Overlanding? A Guide to Overlanding Travel for Beginners

People love to travel and see new places. There’s something magical in reaching certain destinations and seeing landscapes that stay in your memory forever. But one trend has been taking over for years now, and that is overlanding. 

Overlanding is a way of traveling, only that it doesn’t involve the impatience that comes with waiting to reach a particular country, city, or place in nature. It’s more special. 

What is overlanding? This question, along with many others, will be answered in this quick guide. 

What Is Overlanding? 

Overlanding refers to traveling with a vehicle and focusing on the journey, rather than the destination. In an adventure like this, people are not aiming to arrive at a certain place, stay there for several days, and then return home. What they do is travel for a longer period and experience the joy of being on the road and exploring remote trails and areas in their big vehicles – and those areas are often off-the-beaten path. Usually, overlanders will camp off-grid and sustain themselves for longer periods. 

People love overlanding because they can work while traveling. Thanks to technology, they can work away from home – they only need their laptop and Internet access, as well as a way to charge the batteries. It’s a great solution for people who work remotely. 

Where Did Overlanding Start?

The term “overlanding” itself comes from Australia, as that’s where it originated. In the past, it meant driving cattle long distances across the Outback. Then, the term switched meanings, as it was used when road construction crews were opening up the different landscapes that Australia has to offer in the wilderness. 

Australia and South-Africa have their traditions of using a motorcycle or vehicle to explore. Also, the first use of motorized transport for leisure took place in the U.S. George A. Wyman employed a motorized bicycle to go from San Francisco to New York in 1903. However, he has to pedal to the finish as the engine broke down on the final 150 miles. It took him 50 days to cover 3,800 miles. 

It’s considered that one of the first such journeys to ever take place occurred in the 13th century, back when Marco Polo traveled from Venice to the Court of Kublai Khan.

What Tools Do People Use When Overlanding?

There are several things that are necessary for an overlanding journey. One of them is, of course, the vehicle. Off-road vehicles are used as they can handle long distances and are also more durable when dealing with bad roads. Still, the type of vehicle you choose will depend on your funds, the distance you will travel, and the terrain difficulty. 

Some other gear you will need during your expedition includes:

  • Shovel
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Recovery strap
  • Tarp
  • Jack
  • Front and rear recovery points 
  • Spare key
  • Full-size spare tire
  • Vehicle spares meant for the vehicle model
  • Tool kit for the vehicle model
  • Jumper cables
  • Drivetrain fluids
  • Light truck or better tires

How Much Money Do You Need to Overland?

Overlanding can be a little costly, especially if you intend to be away for longer periods. For this reason, you should plan your finances before your departure. Make sure you plan to the last dollar so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises. Also, don’t settle exactly for how much you need – always ensure you have some extra cash. Emergencies could happen when you least expect them to, so you should be prepared. 

Get money for food, drinks, and fuel. Keep in mind that prices differ based on which countries you’re visiting, whether we’re talking about groceries or fuel prices. 

Final Thoughts

Overlanding can be the best experience of your life if you prepare well enough for it. Make sure to plan everything in advance and get your finances ready before you leave home for weeks. 





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