Overlanding Camping: What is it, and what do you need to go?

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Many people enjoy the feeling of toughing it out in the wild, of journeying out and seeing what the world has to offer. Most would often turn to conventional outdoor camping to get these experiences, but there are other methods to do so. Overlanding Camping is not only one of these methods, it arguably tackles one aspect that people find attractive in outdoor adventuring better than its conventional counterpart.

Overlanding camping, also know as simply overlanding, is a form of camping that places a focus on transportation. Your base camp is tied to a vehicle, so your camping spot isn’t anchored in a set location. The challenge and joy of overlanding comes from maintaining your vehicle and seeing where it will take you.

How to Equip your Vehicle for Overlanding

Your vehicle is the most important part of overlanding, and therefore ensuring it’s ready for everything that entails is essential if you want to have a successful excursion.

The very first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you can easily off-road (don’t worry, it can be done in a 2WD even). A majority of your time will be spent traversing roads that take the definition of it in the loosest sense possible. If you can’t cross the various terrain you options will be limited at best, and at worst your journey will end before it has even begun.

Another crucial thing your vehicle has to have is space. Being the foundation of your base camp, you vehicle has to be able to store all you need for your travels (something like getting yourself a truck topper would work well). This is however where things do get slightly complex as what you will need will be dependent on numerous factors. If you think the bottom line is that you need a large vehicle to go overlanding, that isn’t really true. Many people use motorcycles and other smaller vehicles just fine.

It really comes down to how you kit your vehicle out more than which vehicle is a good base. You definitely want to bolster your defenses with off-road suspensions, undercarriage protection, and a plethora of tools to make on the road repairs when your vehicle inevitable takes some damage. You’ll also want to add as much additional space as you can through things like roof racks.

The last thing to be aware of is figuring out where to sleep. With your vehicle fully loaded with gear, finding a place to store yourself at night could prove difficult if you haven’t planned ahead. Luckily there are tents made specifically with overlanding in mind. Whether they be tied to the bed of a truck, or able to be easily assembled above the vehicle, it would be wise to find the best sleeping accommodations you can make for your vehicle of choice.

Other Essentials

Obviously your vehicle isn’t the only thing that will need to be equipped to face the trails ahead. You also need to make sure that you’re prepared for the challenges nature throws at yourself. What you really need to bring with you on your journey is variable like mentioned earlier, and depends on things like the vehicle you have, where you’ll be going, and the duration of your adventure.

The more obvious things you’ll want to account for are food and water (this article talks about how much you need), especially if you’re traversing areas where replenishing your supply of them will be difficult. You’ll also have to account for storage of said items, like perishable food, and ways to prepare it. Another easy thing to bring is a first aid kit. Just like you need to bring plenty of life saving tools for your vehicle, it should be just as important to bring life saving equipment for yourself.

Now, if you still have space after getting the essentials, you can potentially add comfort, and even luxury, to your list of provisions. The first one to mention could possible be argued as essential: GPS. if you want to ensure you’re on the right path, or find that there are changes to the trail you want to make mid trek, a satellite based GPS will keep you going forward towards your goal.

Another more important luxury is the ability to bathe. A portable shower could be brought so that you can stay clean on your journey, but you’ll need to account for the water it will use if your only source of clean water comes from your drinking supply.

There are other small comforts you could bring like a portable solar panel so you can get some electricity while you are adventuring, or a fan if your going to be traversing a hot climate, or are going overlanding in the midst of summer.

Overlanding Trails

Now that you know what to bring, the question is where to go? Again, a great tool to assist this would be a GPS, specifically one designed for overlanding. If you are however, not going to use a GPS, or would like to plan your route in advanced, there are plenty of sites online to help you find trails.

Of course, if you are newer to the experience it might be wise to bring someone with you on your first excursion at least, just so you don’t have to shoulder the weight of finding your way all on your own. It is also necessary to remind you to be cautious while overlanding.

When going off-road you have the potential to put the environment you are enjoying in danger, so extra awareness is imperative to make sure you don’t harm it or yourself. Additionally make sure you you clean up any mess you may make so that future explorers can enjoy the untainted beauty of nature.


After reading this, you hopefully have a good idea of what overlanding is, along with what steps you should take if you would like to embark upon your own journey. Remember that the preparation is just as important, if not more so, than what you do on the journey itself.

The last thing to say before you start your adventure would be this: overlanding is just as difficult as it is enjoyable. You will need to make sure you have the willpower to carry on when things get difficult. As long as you keep motivated and have a positive mindset, your overlanding experience will definitely be one to remember.

Don’t forget to bring the dog along!