Let’s start with the basics. What is Overlanding? In a nutshell – Overlanding is a lifestyle that takes you and your vehicle anywhere and everywhere. Living out of your vehicle means no reservations, accommodations, or campsites, so you’ll have to be completely self sufficient. With rough terrain and long stretches of no gas stations or grocery stores, it’s important to be prepared. Although it can be tough stuff, overlanding rewards you with some truly breathtaking views and serene experiences you can’t get at a campground. Here’s our top tips for aspiring overlanders.
Get Your Ride in Order
There’s a variety of factors you’ll want to account for when choosing your vehicle. To start, you need to evaluate your goals. You’re going to want to pick a vehicle that is capable of handling a variety of road conditions. You also need enough space for gear and supplies. There’s no one-size-fits-all vehicle, since everyone has different travel goals. Not to mention that many regions have different climates/terrains. Some people plan on spending a lot of time on rough, uncharted trails. In this case – do your research on different vehicle’s off-road capabilities, undercarriage/body/grill protection, suspension, and torque. Make sure to choose an option with a variety of aftermarket upgrades in these areas. Some people’s plans are more casual and don’t take you off-road. In this case, save your money and only get essential upgrades. Don’t spend on features you won’t need 99% of the time.
Figure Out Your Sleeping Arrangements
One of the most popular methods for overland sleeping is a rooftop tent. This better utilizes the interior of your vehicle for storing food, gear, tools, etc. and when you’re trying to confine your whole life to a single vehicle, every square inch matters. In order to accommodate many rooftop tents, you’re going to need an aftermarket roof rack. For Napier’s new rooftop tent, you’re going to want to install some aftermarket crossbars with a minimum weight capacity of 600lbs.
Get the Essentials
Again, this is going to vary depending on the length and location of your excursion, but some non-negotiable items for safety include a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, a jack/winch, basic mechanic tools, some form of navigation and communication systems, gasoline, and plenty of food/water plus a way to store and prepare it. It may seem like a big expense upfront, but once you’re equipped to be self-sufficient, you’ll begin to work your way back to even from all your savings on accommodations. Here’s a great list of some essentials you’re going to want to look into before hitting the road.
Figure out the Luxuries
Although you could technically survive off dried rations, sleep on the floor, and skip showers for weeks straight – for most of us, it’s important to incorporate some luxuries into your setup. The first ‘luxury’ was very close to being listed as an essential – a mattress. Having that extra comfort for sleeping is going to do wonders if you’re planning on any extended trips, and with Napier’s Sportz Air Mattress, you don’t need any electricity access to inflate, due to its built in hand pump. Other things you may want to include are solar panels for consistent energy to your electronics, a portable shower, portable fridges/freezers, or a fan/heater to combat intense weather conditions. These are just a few things you’re going to want to look into, and again, it’s all going to vary on your plans.
PC – Robb Leahy
Overlanding can be an extremely rewarding hobby or lifestyle, so long as you’re prepared. With no constraints, you can go off the beaten path to locations only handfuls of people have seen. Undiscovered fishing gems, challenging rock climbs, breathtaking scenery to unwind from city life, or whatever you’re into – there’s no limits to your adventures. What are you waiting for?
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