What kind of overlanding do you do?

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MMc

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After reading “What is Overlanding”and “What is Camping ( both good reads). I was curious as to how you folks Overland. Do you get out: when life let’s you, part time, long trips, full time? For most of my life was working 70 hours per week and a couple weeks off per year, rarely together. We always had trucks that were the wife’s daily driver, I had nondescript salesman cars. Most of the time a form of camping was involved.

I am a widowed and retired, I am still in CA because of my father, all other family are out of state, and I don’t want to be to far away if the need arises. Most my trips are from 4 to 14 days never more than 12 hour drive. Many are “post up trips” I’ll get to a place and post up for a while, mostly surfing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, mt. biking and exploring on foot. I do full road trips where I try to keep my driving time under 7 hours per day, “run and gun “. These are mostly exploring new areas, and seeing stuff of a macro level.
I spend more than 1/2 my Overlanding time in Baja. 12 hours will get about to the middle of Baja and I do love to there. Plenty to see, most of the roads are dirt, great people too.

I don’t wheel my truck, I generally don’t take over anything bigger than a 5 gal bucket, soft sand, cobble stone sure, plenty of beach driving also. I am in the west so not a lot of mud here. Ballena Blanca (truck’s name) is a Ram 2500 4 door with a 8 ft bed. I didn’t get it to wheel, it is to take all my stuff to where I want to go and have a great time where I get there. I have not found a limitation yet. I have owned many small trucks and got tired of camping small. My family have always camped, my grandfather decked his 1950’s something county squire wagon.

I am considering doing the southern portion of the Pan American, if I do, I’ll flatbed the truck and add pop-top. Plan on 5 to 6 years to see it right and play along the way.

How do you Overland?
 

ptgarcia

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In all honesty, I don’t really do any overlanding. I think everyone would just call what I do camping. Family and work obligations just don’t allow me more than a weekend out at a time. And since my time is limited I don’t get very far from home (Inland Empire, southern CA). I love the eastern Sierra, and during the summer I try to get up there to fish. In the winter, the surrounding deserts (Death Valley, Joshua Tree, even the Mojave) are great. I can bring my dirt bike. One of these days I’ll take a week. I really want to spend more time in Utah. Until then I have to overland vicariously through you guys.
 

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I don't get a whole lot of time off from work myself. I have 2 vehicles that I use to explore and go camping with, one is a Jeep compass with a good fuel range and one is a fully built wrangler that can't pass a gas station.
I take the family out for weekend trips in the compass and I do solo trips with my wranger to get further off grid ( far enough out to where I don't see or hear anyone else for a day or 2 at a time and I can sit on a lake shore and fish in peace).
I have been camping all my life and have a few types of trips I like to do every year. At least one trip out as far off grid as I can get and fish, provincial park camping with the family with the whole family, back country camping just me and the wife, and a cold minimalist camp in December with a few buddies where we sleep outside next to the fire with a tarp over our heads.
Up to this point my wife and I have taken trips to a few places around the world, flown in and rented a vehicle and driven around for 2 weeks ( California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada in the US. And Iceland.) Also have hired guides to take us to more remote areas in Ecuador, Peru, the Amazon rainforest, and the Galapagos Islands.
Basically I like to get outdoors whenever and however I can lol.
 
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Road

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I like going out for months at a time, with a mix of highway travel and back country dirt and gravel. Some years it is more full-time; others, like during the Big Pause of 20-21, don't see anywhere near as much rubber hitting the road. Or I'll go out for eight months or so, then do a bunch of week-two week trips around New England.

I favor state and federal highways over interstates--US 11 from the Canadian border to the gulf of Mexico is a good one--and will spend days back in further where the routes have three and four numbers instead of two.

Like US 169 from northern Minnesota south to Tulsa, Oklahoma; about 1,000 miles of two-lane through small towns and communities. When in prairie states/provinces like Iowa, Kansas & Nebraska, NoDak, Alberta & Saskatchewan, I'll just take off on dirt roads through farm communities, letting the day unfold how it will. In many places country dirt roads are set up in huge 1mi grids. I find it fun to spend whole days zig zagging through from one place to another, relying on the sun's position throughout the day to navigate, stopping at interesting places I stumble upon by chance instead of plan.

I'm prone most days to stopping at every historical and cultural marker I see. I learn so much more about an area, it's people, why places are named what they are, and all sorts of things I find intriguing.

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I treasure the feeling of turning onto back roads I've never traveled before, then get equally excited when I see an old sign at some remote crossroads I've been to in years past, and know that if I turn right there's a great diner or local museum a couple miles down. So I'll go see if it's still there.

Sometimes I have notes for those places with a person's name. When I go in and have a name, it often starts interesting conversations. I went into an old lunch counter once in Flandreau, South Dakota and when the woman came out from the back I said "Phyllis!" She wiped her hands on her apron, peered over her glasses at me, and said "Wait, are you Mildred's boy?"

I have a few favorite spots around the country that I always enjoy exploring more, whether the swamps and bayous south of I-10, the mountains of east Tennessee, or the southwest borderlands. This year I hope to re-explore the Maine coast and Canadian border, where I used to run a lot forty years ago.

I like setting up extended stay basecamps, too, from which I'll explore an area on foot, bike, or canoe. I'll set up shade walls, experiment with off-grid solutions and see how efficient I can be with water, food, and power, and see how little waste I can generate.

Days and weeks alone off-grid, depending only on myself, is a challenge I thoroughly enjoy. It allows me to concentrate on photography or a new skill like animal tracking.

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There's tons more to the kind of adventuring I do, though I have other stuff to get to if I want to go adventuring later this year!

.
 

grubworm

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my wife and i travel together all the time and we pretty much have two basic ways we go about it:
we take the tundra with camper shell and just head out to a general area. we go fast and light and sleep where ever...rest area, camp ground, truck stop, walmart parking lot, hotel...whatever. we usually do that to get a feel for an area and when we find an area we really like, we return later with our camp trailer and set up a base camp (usually at a state park) and then that frees up the truck for exploring. we hike a lot no matter what, but generally we do less hiking when on recon trips and save that for when we return with the trailer.

we did a trip a while back where we set up base camp at vogel state park in georgia and spent around 10 days hiking different water fall hikes and checking out cool shops, art studios, etc. then we recently did a trip out to west texas where we met up with some OB members and drove trails all day and then just slept in the back of the truck and took sponge baths since we were limited to just the water we hauled with us versus having the heated bath house at the state park. not into any rough driving that might jack up my vehicle...we always manage to see plenty of great sights without destroying equipment and if there is a rough area with good sights, we will just hike it on foot.

totally agree with @Road about taking 2 lane roads and dirt roads. we went thru some weird desolate areas of west texas and decided to do the small roads instead of highways and we ended up going to a bunch of small, almost ghost towns, and at one town, we found a cool store and ended up buying some neat pieces of art and enjoying a long chat with the owner. sometimes the forgotten places have some great treasures....
 

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Not really even going to add much. I'm just like everyone else who commented so far. I may take more multi day trips than most, less than some. I wouldn't call my trips over the Dusy or Rubicon "Overlanding". I did drive a distance, sleep on the ground, cook by a campfire though. Those were "Off-Road". I stopped doing rock crawl even though it was a fun 20 years and am now back to what I have always done, go out and explore remote areas.

A while ago I started bringing a trailer. I did this mostly because only so much gear fit in my CJ5. The CJ7 wasn't any better and the TJ was worse. Then RTT's came along and WHAP..no more sleeping on the ground. Now I have a small hard side trailer. I still have no issue with moderate to slightly hard trails but I guess I no longer "Overland", I guess I'm officially an RVer.

OH NO....That means I cant post here any more and need to go to an RV forum...sigh.
 

MMc

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In all honesty, I don’t really do any overlanding. I think everyone would just call what I do camping. Family and work obligations just don’t allow me more than a weekend out at a time. And since my time is limited I don’t get very far from home (Inland Empire, southern CA). I love the eastern Sierra, and during the summer I try to get up there to fish. In the winter, the surrounding deserts (Death Valley, Joshua Tree, even the Mojave) are great. I can bring my dirt bike. One of these days I’ll take a week. I really want to spend more time in Utah. Until then I have to overland vicariously through you guys.
If you read the other threads mentioned you can call it what you want. What do you do for your vacations, if you can get away?
 
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El-Dracho

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It's so great to see how different everyone is enjoying overlanding here. Whether it is a day trip, a few days or weeks of vacation with the family and camping, a few months on the road for a lifetime raodtrip, all the way to full-time overlanders or whatever. I think this is super great. A huge variety here! OverlandBound brings the most diverse people together.

Sometimes I take a daytrip to the surrounding area and discover new things or visit places again I have been before and like. Or we take a three or four week vacation trip here in Europe, just being outdoors and camping. Or head for a long weekend to an overlander meeting. We have also done some overlanding trips from several months to a year long. Every single trip has its charm and I am grateful and happy to be able to do all that.

So go out and discover the world for yourself, just the way you like it. On your doorstep or the really big trip, a day out or several years on the road. It doesn't matter. Just go out and see the world and meet nice poeple. Have a safe journey and enjoy life!
 

loper

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Our trips vary. Sometimes we just go to one spot and camp a couple days, other times we make a trip out of it.
I don't think it matters as long as you're getting out there.
My mindset makes me want some sort of objective in my trips, but it doesn't have to be huge. Lots of times we just fish somewhere new, or we make a point of cleaning up a bunch of trash. Sometimes we're just getting a look at some new territory.
Bottom line, are you happy with how you go overlanding?
 

Billiebob

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Depends on how you define "overland".

I'm a Canadian who loves the Pacific Northwest so BC, WA, ID, OR.... mostly
I've had a desire to do a loop thru CA, NV, NM, TX, CO, WY and would have done those 5K miles by now but,,,,, borders, social distance, non essential travel kicked in.
I also have relatives on the East Coast so that is another goal. Across Canada and back.... hopefully with a loop thru the USA, I'd love to get to Key West on that trip.
I've also lived in the NWT so a trip back above the 60th parrelell is definitely in order, but that will be a spring, winter trip when the Huskys are running.

This year will be, non essential travel, play in my own backyard. Not straying beyond BC and definitely avoiding the Lower Mainland and the Island.

ps, I'm 65 and my work, chimney aweeping is seasonal, 7 day weeks in the fall...... vacation May thru July. So spring trips 5 weeks long are perfect.

But that is where, when, not how.

How I overland is mostly like a minimalist, or a backpacker. I grew up mountaineering. back countrty skiing. If you could not carry it on yer back for 3 days, it stayed home. We carried 1 oe 2 liters of water and refilled as needed from streams. We dug a pit for poop, but we also ate a diet which minimized the need to poop. I do the same thing today. I hate managing shit so I diet to minimize it and route plan to have a flush toilet or outhouse close every day. Diet means there is never an incredible urge to dump that load right now.

My vehicle, a 2006 Rubicon many call cramped and uncomfortable, but it is incredibly capable, bulletproof and small enough to go anywhere. Maybe the most compact overland vehicle out there, with a 4.0L engine that pulls a 2000# Square Drop effortlessly, even on Interstates. A ticket for doing 78mph in a 75mph zone proves, plenty of power.

KISS is my driving principle. My TJR is border line too much technology. And I'll never buy anything newer. I like to overland with failsafe equipment. Honestly my next vehicle, if it is fossil fueled, will have a carbureator.plugs and points. Reading the horror stories about codes and limp mode, I'll never go there. KISS, applies to where I go too. Redneck road side bars are where I live and maybe the reason I overland, meeting that down to earth regular guy and having a beer. That might define overlanding for me. Overlanding is all about culture, otherwise ya are just camping. In the USA, I find Mexican food and bars are the best for food, hospitality and drink. You walk in and hear a foriegn language..... anywhere in the world..... brings a smile to my face and says...... this is why I overland.

So wht kind of overlanding do I do.....

The kind that challenges what I call normal. The kind that pushes me to figure out where I am, how to eat, meet people, sleep securely.
I overland for the challenge of growth, otherwise I'd just stay home and move into a retirement village.

I'm happy to say we raised our kids that way too and we are incredibly proud of the adults and parents they have become. Our daughter works for the Red Cross and our son, his son is Thai. They all speak multiple languages altho I only understand English. And they both travel internationally anywhere with ease.
 
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MMc

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Depends on how you define "overland".

I'm a Canadian who loves the Pacific Northwest so BC, WA, ID, OR.... mostly
I've had a desire to do a loop thru CA, NV, NM, TX, CO, WY and would have done those 5K miles by now but,,,,, borders, social distance, non essential travel kicked in.
I also have relatives on the East Coast so that is another goal. Across Canada and back.... hopefully with a loop thru the USA, I'd love to get to Key West on that trip.
I've also lived in the NWT so a trip back above the 60th parrelell is definitely in order, but that will be a spring, winter trip when the Huskys are running.

This year will be, non essential travel, play in my own backyard. Not straying beyond BC and definitely avoiding the Lower Mainland and the Island.

ps, I'm 65 and my work, chimney aweeping is seasonal, 7 day weeks in the fall...... vacation May thru July. So spring trips 5 weeks long are perfect.

But that is where, when, not how.

How I overland is mostly like a minimalist, or a backpacker. I grew up mountaineering. back countrty skiing. If you could not carry it on yer back for 3 days, it stayed home. We carried 1 oe 2 liters of water and refilled as needed from streams. We dug a pit for poop, but we also ate a diet which minimized the need to poop. I do the same thing today. I hate managing shit so I diet to minimize it and route plan to have a flush toilet or outhouse close every day. Diet means there is never an incredible urge to dump that load right now.

My vehicle, a 2006 Rubicon many call cramped and uncomfortable, but it is incredibly capable, bulletproof and small enough to go anywhere. Maybe the most compact overland vehicle out there, with a 4.0L engine that pulls a 2000# Square Drop effortlessly, even on Interstates. A ticket for doing 78mph in a 75mph zone proves, plenty of power.

KISS is my driving principle. My TJR is border line too much technology. And I'll never buy anything newer. I like to overland with failsafe equipment. Honestly my next vehicle, if it is fossil fueled, will have a carbureator.plugs and points. Reading the horror stories about codes and limp mode, I'll never go there. KISS, applies to where I go too. Redneck road side bars are where I live and maybe the reason I overland, meeting that down to earth regular guy and having a beer. That might define overlanding for me. Overlanding is all about culture, otherwise ya are just camping. In the USA, I find Mexican food and bars are the best for food, hospitality and drink. You walk in and hear a foriegn language..... anywhere in the world..... brings a smile to my face and says...... this is why I overland.

So wht kind of overlanding do I do.....

The kind that challenges what I call normal. The kind that pushes me to figure out where I am, how to eat, meet people, sleep securely.
I overland for the challenge of growth, otherwise I'd just stay home and move into a retirement village.

I'm happy to say we raised our kids that way too and we are incredibly proud of the adults and parents they have become. Our daughter works for the Red Cross and our son, his son is Thai. They all speak multiple languages altho I only understand English. And they both travel internationally anywhere with ease.

Billiebob, have you found the trailers limits you much? My guess is you place it and then go wheeling.
 

ptgarcia

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If you read the other threads mentioned you can call it what you want. What do you do for your vacations, if you can get away?

Usually something that makes the entire family happy, and that is NOT camping, hahaha. Most of our vacations involve a beach somewhere and me taking 3 days off work.
 
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leeloo

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In normal "no covid" years I would do a 3-4 week trip in the summer and another 2-3 weeks in the winter(less camping in the winter, but i still go by car and off road as much as possible ). In the summer also small week -end trips. Planned to go outside Europe, all went down the toilet with COVID. I skiped my winter holiday, saved the off-days for spring to go to Morroco and summer to Georgia and Armenia, in Asia. None of it happened, of course.
In about 3 years my contract will allow me to have 3-6 months unpaid leave ( I am lucky enough that can I afford it now as well, but I probably won't have a job when I get back, and I am not at the age to risk that ) .For that period I plan to have a truly nice long tour, either in Asia, do the "stans", or in Africa maybe. 3 months should be doable for the kid as well if I shave off afew weeks of school in the summer.

I started doing this about 6-7 years ago, my most notable an enjoyable trips were in Spain, from Mediterranean coast to Atlantic following the Pyrenees mountains and tour of Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro, thay I enjoyed very much. I did a lot of other trips as well, but most fun I had were in those trips.
I think I am starting to spend a bit too much on the vehicles,(I keep them almost bone stock but i change them often), on the other hand this is our only hobby and vice, what a hell do I work for if I don't have some fun ..right :) ?
 
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2dub

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In the past mainly local (8ish hour range) weekend trips. Mainly on rural or fairly well maintained forest service roads. Nothing crazy or technical. This summer I'm driving from NC to the southwest and am stoked. But since my plan doesn't involve anything really requiring my truck, I'm seriously considering taking my Toyota Camry ( but I doubt the Gazelle T4 will fit in there well) or my wife's Rav 4 to save money on gas. So this summer is car-camping baby, and I'm just fine with that!
 
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JeepRushRick

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I just retired from coaching football after 25 years, and 40 years involved in the game.
I will be doing my first long term "overlanding trip" from Chicago to CO/UT at the end of this month and will be gone for a month-ish.
I used to camp often until "life" got in the way (work/family), I am a beginning "off-roader".
Now that I am getting older and realizing that I have seen and done so few things because I gave my life to football, I decided it was time for ME and following other passions...Camping/mtn biking/hiking/ NATURE.
I will be able to do some closer trips of 3-4 days a few times a year and hopefully will be able to do 1 epic month long trip in the summers until I fully retire from my teaching gig (about 5 years).
I have kicked around the idea of doing it full time in my first few years of retirement, God willing.
 
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Apoclapedia

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I like driving. For me it’s about putting on the miles. Im up with the sun and try and do 8 or 10 hours on the road. With quick pull overs for lunch and dinner. And I usually just pass out across the bench eat of my truck and dont even set up a tent unless im staying in one spot for a couple nights. Im really lucky living in British Columbia. I can get lost on back roads and trails for days and days and never cross a paved road or highway. But that jas its own challenges. I usually have to carry 200lbs of fuel with me. And there’s absolutely no help coming or even a chance someone will come along if i need a hand. So I usually pack a pit bike in the summer and skis and dog harness in the winter. The other downside of BC is most off roaders stick to the lower mainland and its hard to find people that want to drive 500 miles in a weekend. So im usually alone.
 

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Our motto is "Any excuse will do", and the trips/expeditions/whatever sort of take a life of their own after that.

Craving fresh seafood? Let's go to a place we've never been on the coast (We're in Alberta so it's at least 12 hours to get there).

Wanting to go as far north as one can in North America? Prudhoe bay it is.

Visiting family in another province? Forget flying - let's load up and make an adventure out of it.

I've also travelled extensively in a non-overhanding fashion, so really that's the first love. I've spent months consecutively travelling through Europe, Middle East, Australia, and most of the USA with nothing but a backpack. Like Billiebob said -- that cultural piece, engaging in things that are different, and challenging to adapt while at the same time gaining greater empathy to how the rest of our species lives and survives is what is most special to me. The excuses listed above are really just that -- excuses to have the broader experience on the way.

We also go camping occasionally on weekends. Same tools and vehicle, but those trips are sleeping in, staying up late around the fire pit, relaxing and enjoying time with friends. Our adventures -- which for us, we call Overland trips -- are more about the longer term, cultural experience.