What is Overlanding?

Today we are gonna be covering a widely growing trend, one that most have already heard about. But many have yet to experience. In today’s article, we’re gonna answer the question of what is Overlanding? 

What is Overlanding?

Overlanding is defined as a self-reliant journey to remote locations. And it is the journey that is the adventure and not the destination. Overlanding is vehicle-dependent travel, and it often involves off-road-capable vehicles.

Where travelers can discover trails in areas that are less frequently visited. Overlanders, usually enjoy off-grade camping. And try to be self-sustained for an extended period of time.


So what exactly does that mean?

Personally, I think it’s an experience that you have to live to really understand Overlanding. But it all starts with the adventurous spirit. And unimaginable desire to want to explore and travel.

We leave our places of creature comforts. And the madness of day-to-day life for the fanatical love of exploration and adventure. Interestingly enough, the term Overlanding originates from Australia. When Aussie cowboys were cattle driving for long distances across the vast outback.

Later, road construction crews used the term Overlanding. as they opened up infinite stretches of landscapes across. What was characterized as the Australian wilderness?

Nowadays, Overlanding is used as a general characterization of off-highway vehicles. Travel to a multitude of intended or unintended destinations. Now knowing a bit of the history and a brief explanation of Overlanding. Let’s move on to the vehicles used to take us on these journeys.

Vehicles Used For The Journey

First, the rule of thumb is that there is no perfect rig to seek after if you are just getting into Overlanding. The saying goes the best rig for Overlanding is the one that will get you to your destination. Typically, when searching for an overland rig or modifying your current rig, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

One is the capability and the vehicle’s ability to traverse rocky, muddy, and cross axle terrain. Including deep water crossings, severe side slopes, hill climbs, and descents is a major advantage.

Certain vehicular modifications, although not always necessary counting on the terrain. And the type of Overlanding will help ensure your success in arriving at the next destination.

Overlanding Vehicles

Upgrade Needed 

Upgrade such as suspension lift to gain additional ground clearance. To clear large rocks, snow, mud, ruts, or deep water crossings. Also, upgrading to gas charge shocks or monotube shocks, or bypass shocks. Because they are designed to take more abuse. Plus, they will dampen that harsh terrain and keep it from jolting up into your back.

Another major element to vehicle upgrades is increased tire size diameters and switching to a hybrid or all-terrain or mud-terrain tire.


This will not only assist in giving you the extra traction and clearance that you’ll need. But are designed to be more durable against cuts in the sidewall or tread punctures. And are one of the best upgrades to invest in before hitting the trails.

And with having purpose-specific tires, having a set of wheels or rims as some of us like to call it packaged. With those tires that are designed to take off-road abuse. And it will also be important in getting you to your destination or locations.

For example, Method race wheels in the 700 series offer what they call bead grip technology. And aid in keeping the tire beads seated to the rim of the wheel while running low air pressures for additional traction. It is the first step when you hit off-road.

Durability And Reliability of the Vehicles

Arguably, the most paramount element to ensuring your rig will endure the adventures. Will be its durability and reliability. Which go hand in hand. The vehicle had to be durable enough to take a beating without breaking. And reliable enough to not break down in the most inopportune locations. Like the side of a mountain or forging a rampant river, for example.

With all of that said and because Overlanding is a self-reliant journey, 

  • having the right gear,
  • properly maintained vehicle,
  • and equipment, 

Enough supplies to hold you over for a while whether it’s days, weeks, or even months. It’s imperative to take the proper time and plan out your trip for weeks or even months. Before each Overlanding trip.

Overlanding Ride

Gear to Carry

And speaking of gear, there are thousands of new products hitting the market annually because of the ever-growing popularity of the Overlanding market. Over the last decade, especially over the last five years or so.

But the essentials to have with you before hitting the trails are going to be, most importantly, food and plenty of water. For the water, having a reputable water filtration system will help the reduction of weight. And get you through emergencies shall they arise.

Freeze-dried food packets or MRE’s are popular amongst overlanders. Because of their ease to use. Because they are virtually ready to eat once the package is opened or water is added.

List of Essentials

Next on the list of essentials is proper clothing for the elements of which you’ll be traveling through. Obviously, desert travel will be inherently different than traversing the Rockies. So dress and plan accordingly. Also vital will be emergency equipment. 

  • Not only have enough food, water, and proper clothing. 
  • But fire starters to keep warm in certain climates. 
  • A fire extinguisher or multiple fire extinguishers. 
  • Flashlights, tools to repair breakdowns or change tires, a tire plug kit. 
  • Medical supplies like bandages, tourniquets, and disinfectants. 
  • Recover gear such as a winch, recovery strap, shackles, etc.
  • And a reliable communications system,

Which can be tricky depending on the locations you’ll be traveling through. Best to research online what com systems work best in the areas you’ll be going through.

Most overlanders will vehicle camp and will commonly be seen with rooftop tents.

However, should you have to abandon your vehicle, having a collapsible tent-like nylon fabric pole tent? It will keep you out of the elements if such an emergency should arrive.

Overlanding Vehicles

So to answer the question of what is Overlanding?

Overlanding is more than just driving around off pavement. It’s all about the journey, the places you’ll go, the people you’ll meet, and the obstacles you’ll conquer.

There’s just something about getting to a remote campsite that no one or very few people have ever been to. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had in my life have been around a fire, eating some freeze-dried meals. Under the stars with some of the best friends, a person can have.

If you are an adventure-seeking outdoor purist and have not been Overlanding. The question would be. What are you waiting for?

Pick up a decent four by four, grab some wheels, tires, and suspension. And you’ll be ready to hit the dirt roads less traveled for the adventure of a lifetime.

Let us know what you guys think about Overlanding? or what you have experienced with Overlanding. Let us know in the comments below. I’m Rahul from Motosutra, and that we will see you guys out on the trails.

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