After so much time spent indoors, more and more people are trying to escape to the outdoors – and overlanding seems to be an appropriate activity for that. The pandemic sent many families overlanding, helping them get closer as they are discovering the beauties of the world together. But what exactly is overlanding, and where are some good places to go? Well, we’ll find out shortly.
What Is Overlanding?
Overlanding dates back to Australia, during a time when there weren’t even any cars around. Instead, there were carts and horses. Overlanding was the process of driving cattle “over land” while you were on horseback. The purpose was purely practical, to relocate cattle to a place where there was food. During the relocation, people would be enjoying the sites as they were going from one place to another.
Now, while the cattle-driving activity is out of the picture, the habit of driving around and enjoying the land has remained. The difference is that now it is done for recreational purposes. Overlanding is more or less a mix between camping and road trips, where you take your car to visit the beauties that your world has to offer.
When you are overlanding, you may think of it as camping – only instead of going on foot, you’ll be going by car. In short, you need to get a car that can handle off-road areas – for example, a Land Rover or the Toyota 4Runner. There are multiple 4×4 off-road opportunities for you to rely on, so you just need to decide on your budget.
Your camping gear is also essential. Think about what you might need, but at the same time, try to stay as lightweight as you can. Pack necessities such as sleeping bags, shelter, first aid, fuel, maps, spare tires, tools, and appropriate clothing.
Food is also highly important to pack, as when you are overlanding, you may not have quick access to food stores – not when you are driving in the middle of nowhere. Also, make sure that you also pack a car fire extinguisher, as you never know when you may need one.
Routes to Consider while Overlanding
When overlanding, there are many routes that you may go on. Here are only the most popular roads that people simply describe as stunning.
1) The Rubicon Trail, California
The Rubicon Trail is more or less the legend of overlanding: it’s the kind of route that you’ll need to see at least once in your life. Best explored with a jeep, the Rubicon Trail gets you through all kinds of terrains – from simple beginner roads to rugged pro terrains. As popular as it may be, you may want to ensure you are fully prepared to embark with your car on this road.
2) The Black Bear Pass, Colorado
If you are in for a challenge, you might want to consider trying the Black Bear Pass. This route is not for the faint of heart, but it will offer some highly breathtaking views. The roads are steep and weather conditions only allow overlanders to pass for a couple of weeks during summer. That being said, it should certainly make the bucket list of every overlander.
3) The Dalton Highway, Alaska
If you are looking for a slightly more civilized route, you might want to consider going on the Dalton Highway. A route that has earned a lot of popularity through the “Ice Road Trucker” show, it offers the best of the Alaskan tundra. You’ll see snow-clad trees and roads, and you may even get a view of the Northern Lights.
The Bottom Line
Overlanding is a good chance for everyone to escape the city. All you need is a good car, the proper camping gear, and the right company to take with you.