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What is Overlanding?

What is Overlanding?

Overlanding’s popularity has increased significantly in recent years, and it’s a term we often use with our Four Wheel Campers family. Because we build 4×4 campers, many overlanders use our slide-in campers, flatbeds, and truck toppers specifically for overlanding excursions. 

So if you’ve ever wondered what overlanding is, or if you’re interested in getting into it yourself, here is a complete guide to getting you started. 

what is overlanding

What is Overlanding?

Our definition of overlanding is 

“The act of traveling to remote and desolate locations, which can last for days, weeks, or years, with self-reliant tools and equipment.” 

Unlike overnight camping in a national forest or state park, overlanding typically takes place on remote roads and terrain for days or weeks, with overlanders relying on their gear & supplies to allow them to pass through safely. These roads and routes often require excellent navigation and off-roading skills, such as stream crossings, boulder crawling, and steep, treacherous inclines. 

The most popular way to overland includes using vehicles equipped for off-road expeditions. These vehicles are more than 4×4. Most include upgrades and additions for safety and travel, such as upgraded suspension systems, off-road tires, emergency traction mats, solar panels, fuel storage, and more. 

what is overlanding

How Do I Start?

Before packing up your 4wd vehicle and heading out on an overlanding adventure, it is essential to ensure you are properly trained & prepared. Safety is the number one priority in overlanding due to the remoteness of most trails. Many times, overlanders experience days without service, and it is common for mishaps to occur, such as flat tires or getting stuck in the mud. 

1. Get your car ready

First, take your car to a dealer or a specialist to have it looked over and provided with recommended upgrades for overlanding. Standard upgrades include suspension, tires, shocks, upper control arms, front bumper guards, and more. Overlanding isn’t necessarily the cheapest hobby to get into, but the upgrades are more than worth it for comfort and safety. 

2. Buy supplies 

Because overlanding includes being self-reliant in remote wilderness areas, one should always focus on supplies. Here is a list that all overlanders should have when hitting the trail for the first time: 

  • First aid kit 
  • Stove 
  • Power solution 
  • 3-season tent
  • Tire deflator 
  • Air compressor 
  • Traction mats 
  • Axe
  • Shovel 
  • Chains
  • Tow rope
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Emergency GPS beacon 
  • Extra gas canisters 
  • Downloaded offroad map (onX)
  • LED lights 
  • Lighter & matches
  • Toolkit 
  • Spare tire 
what is overlanding

3. Take a test day drive

Before you hit the big time, get comfortable on 4×4 roads by taking a couple of day trips. It can feel overwhelming to head out on the first big adventure, and the more practice you have, the more comfortable you will be. When you head out on your first overnight overlanding excursion, you should feel comfortable with all your supplies and gear from previous day trips. 

4. Join an online overlanding group

It’s 2023, and one of the best ways to get into overlanding is to join one of the many overlanding groups online. Here, overlanders often ask questions, share setups, provide tips & insight, and more. We run a Four Wheel Campers Facebook group, where many ask questions and share their experiences overlanding. Some additional overlanding groups we recommend include: 

Overlanding USA

Overlanding North America

what is overlanding

What is Overlanding

Accommodation for Overlanding 

Because overlanding is often a multi-day excursion, one of the most important details is how you will sleep while roaming through remote and desolate areas. Most overlanders use one of these three accommodation solutions: 

1. 4×4 Campers

For those who overland extensively but also want the comforts of home, such as a stove, sink, or fridge, 4×4 slide-in campers or flatbed campers are a fantastic solution. Here at Four Wheel Campers, we specialize in these builds to help get overlanders prepped for the road with rigs that can handle any terrain. These 4wd camper builds often include dining areas, couches, king-size pullout beds, kitchens, awnings, and other amenities. 

2. Pop-Up Truck Toppers

An excellent solution that falls in the middle of comfort and affordability, truck toppers and tents are one of the most commonly used accommodation options for overlanding. For those with trucks, our Project M pop-up truck topper is one of the market’s most popular and affordable options. For those without a truck, pop-up roof tents are a common solution. These solutions are also extremely lightweight, which can make handling easier in tricky terrain.

3. Tent

Tenting is a common overlanding choice for beginners. The option is cost-effective & allows overlanders to camp in some of the world’s most scenic and remote locations. Overlanding is deserts and other areas can mean extreme temperature swings, which is why it is always recommended to carry a three-season tent. 

Thank you for your interest in our campers!



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