Definition: Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.
This has been a huge interest of mine for quite some time, enough that I have decided to drop all other projects to start my Overland vehicle build. My personal project is a Nissan Xterra, however these vehicles can be built out of pretty much anything you can get your hands on, whatever would suit your needs. In many cases, Overlanding is done by foot or bike, not some mechanized mode of off-road transportation.
It is very common to encounter technical terrain during these excursions, travelers may even seek out the most difficult route as a way of testing their vehicle and themselves. Overlanding is not the same as recreational “fourwheeling”, where the primary objective is overcoming challenging obstacles.
The critical objective of Overland adventures includes at least two of the following: 1. Remote locations, rarely visited or spoiled by humans. 2. Experiencing cultures other than your own, or ones that are known to you. 3. Documentation of under-explored regions for a variety of purposes. 4. Self-reliance and self-sustaining in unfamiliar territories for multiple days, weeks or months. An overnight trip to the local mountains on a well-documented route, staying in an established campground with full-hookups, is not an overland adventure, it is a backcountry trip or at the very least, car camping. While the two may have similarities, they also differ in the biggest ways.
While building these Overland vehicles, you can go many ways. From the simple, yet functional for your personal needs.
To the extreme. Ready for whatever someone may encounter on their journey. These type of rigs are generally for the abnormally long journey, lasting months to years.
The biggest thing to recognize while Overlanding is, it’s about the adventure, not the destination. If you end up too focused on where you’re going, you will miss what is in front of you. The beauty of your surroundings wherever you may be.
I highly recommend taking at least one Overland trip in your life time. The scenery can be inexplicably beautiful.