OB01: Introduction

OB01: Introduction

Overlanding has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past five years. This once small community has ballooned into everyone having their own overlanding thing. Jump on Facebook or Instagram and do a search for overlanding and you’ll end up with hundreds of pages, each with their own unique spin. While each has their own uniqueness, the underlying principle and mindset remains the same. The overlanding basics series is your starting point if you are new to overlanding. If you're coming from rock crawling or a car camper that ...
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OB02: Building the Overall Picture

OB02: Building the Overall Picture

This part of the Overlanding Basics series deals with building the overall picture of what you want to do. Overlanding can easily turn into a money pit. Looking at rigs and gear the price tag begins to increase and increase the further down the rabbit hole you go. This doesn’t have to be the case though. You can break down the overall picture into small, easier to manage pieces to a larger puzzle. Vehicle and Location Planning Knowing where you want to go and what it will be like can ...
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OB03: Selecting the Right Vehicle

OB03: Selecting the Right Vehicle

Selecting the right vehicle is an important part of the overlanding experience. You don’t need to buy the most expensive, tricked out off-roader though. Really all you need is a mechanically reliable four-wheel drive that can get you to where you want to go. If you’re just getting into overlanding, then one of the first decisions to be made is what type of vehicle do you get for your overlanding rig. There are plenty of options to choose from that should not only fulfill the role of an overlanding rig ...
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OB04: Vehicle Modifications

OB04: Vehicle Modifications

Getting out and exploring with a stock vehicle is the best way to determine what sort of vehicle modifications you need. If you jump on to any website, forum, social media, or YouTube and do a search of the first things you need you’ll end up with 10 or 20 different suggestions. The real answer is to do what you think you need, however, there are some things you can do first to make adventuring easier. Once the time comes to start modifying your vehicle you will want to keep ...
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OB05: Driving On and Off-Road

OB05: Driving On and Off-Road

Most people won’t have to worry about driving their everyday vehicle off-road and loaded down with gear. Much like pulling a trailer, there are some pretty basic things to keep in mind when driving on and off-road with your rig. On Road Driving Principles Having a vehicle that has been modified for overland use means it is likely not going to drive normal. Adding in extra weight and changing driveline angles means your vehicle is going to behave differently than it was intended to. Stopping distances and the vehicle’s center ...
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OB06: Convoy Driving

OB06: Convoy Driving

Traveling with more people is beneficial when overlanding because it can spread the responsibility of certain tasks across those participating. Unless a rallying point is being established for groups, driving to and on location in convoy is a good way to travel. Convoy driving is a group of vehicles that are traveling together for mutual support. When planning a trip with multiple rigs and people, it’s a good idea for everyone to understand the rules for convoy driving both on and off-road. Driver’s Meeting The first thing to do is ...
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OB07: Camping Gear

OB07: Camping Gear

Once you’ve made a selection on the vehicle, it’s time to start assembling the camping gear you will need to sustain yourself while out. This is where a history of camping experience can come in handy. You should have a good idea of what to pack and what you will need based on time spent backpacking, hiking, and car camping. The gear loadout is very much the same. However, with overlanding, you have the ability to pack more amenities that you might find at home. You might already have enough ...
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OB08: Clothing Selection

OB08: Clothing Selection

Clothing selection will be dependent on where you travel and what time of the year it is. Some of the off rig activities you decide to do will also determine what you bring along. We are going to approach this by looking at four diverse seasons. Each section will provide a brief time frame and what to possibly expect in each season regarding temperature and conditions. While most of our time might be spent riding inside a vehicle, it’s still a good idea to follow the basic principles of what ...
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OB09: Building a Camp Kitchen

OB09: Building a Camp Kitchen

This part of the Overlanding Basics series deals with building a camp kitchen that suites your needs. An essential part of cooking a good meal is having a good kitchen set up to work with. You could very easily get by with just some sticks and a package of hot dogs but where’s the fun in that? Most of the time, kitchen gear is probably just thrown into whatever bin is available on broken out on the most stable platform once you hit camp. Storage Before putting a kitchen kit ...
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OB10: First Aid Kits

OB10: First Aid Kits

A first aid kit is something that should be carried in your vehicle regardless of whether you’re out running trails or driving around in the city. It’s an item that may never be needed, but you’ll be glad you have one if you do need it. A well-equipped first-aid kit is going to cost some money. The piece of mind it provides for dealing with emergencies is worth the price in purchasing a premade one or piecing one together yourself. A basic first aid kit is not an overly expensive ...
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OB11: Navigating While On The Road

OB11: Navigating While On The Road

One way to enjoy overlanding is just to find a trail off the main road and see where it goes. Maybe your intent is to map an unexplored area and provide maps for others to use. Maybe just running a trail randomly is not what you want to do and planning is your thing. Either way, navigating while on the road and exploring is beneficial. Paper Maps In this day and age with every phone having GPS and maps it’s too easy to discount good old-fashioned paper maps. However, paper ...
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OB12: Planning and Preparing For Trips

OB12: Planning and Preparing For Trips

Planning and preparing for trips is part of the overlanding experience. Being able to sort through gear, plan a route, and figuring out a food menu is part of the appeal for some people. Technology can become your best friend when planning, but it can also be a hindrance. The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to learning what to pack, what to use, what to cook, etc. You can find lists for every aspect of overlanding covered in this guide, but in the end, you need ...
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OB13: Maintaining and Repairing Your Rig

OB13: Maintaining and Repairing Your Rig

It’s bound to happen to anyone who travels off-road at some point. Something is going to break on your rig, whether it’s at home or on the trail. Maintaining and repairing your rig is a vital part of preparing for the adventure. A weekend trail run doesn’t mean you have to pack a full toolkit. However, a week or more may mean packing more than you would take during a weekend run. Another factor to consider is the age of your rig. Newer vehicles aren’t going to need as much ...
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OB14: Communicating With Others

OB14: Communicating With Others

While overlanding can be done as a solo venture, it’s recommended to travel in some sort of pack. This means ensuring each rig has the ability to communicate with another. CB and HAM radio are the preferred method for communicating between vehicles, more on that will be provided below. Cell and Satellite Phones While the cell phone is not the preferred method of communication, it still holds a spot on the list. We do not recommend using your cell phone as the primary means of communication because of the high ...
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OB15: Getting Stuck and Performing Recovery

OB15: Getting Stuck and Performing Recovery

Much like breaking down, getting stuck and performing recovery is going to happen at some point. Having the correct equipment to safely recover means you don’t have to pay the huge amounts of money to have a tow truck come to you. While most of this equipment may be overland and off-road specific, it can also be used day-to-day for example if you find yourself stuck in a snow bank in the middle of winter. You want to stock the correct gear in your rig that suits and fits the ...
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OB16: Menu Planning and Meal Prep

OB16: Menu Planning and Meal Prep

Gourmet style meals can be had while on the trail with some menu planning and meal prep. There is no need to compromise eating well in favor of easy and terrible. The options available these days surpass just having to buy a bunch of groceries and hope things stay good. Dehydrated meals offer a quick, easy, and sometimes tasty alternative to spending money on a weekends worth of groceries. Creating a Menu First and foremost determining what type of meals you want to have. If you want dehydrated meals, hit ...
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OB17: Staying Safe From the Elements

OB17: Staying Safe From the Elements

When stopped for the evening and setting up camp, you’re going to need to have some form of shelter. There are numerous options, and if you’re an experienced camper, you may have a preference of one thing over another. Overlanding is no different than regular camping, and plenty of people get by using what they already have. Being able to carry multiple options ensures you are staying safe from the elements. Inside Your Rig This is probably the easiest and cheapest option provided you have a large enough vehicle.  The ...
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organization cover photo

OB18: Keeping Your Gear Organized

Keeping your gear organized may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you want to get outdoors. Some folks just throw everything into a couple of bins and hit the road. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. Any excuse to get out is a good one, but not being able to find something because you brought everything can kill the fun. Ready to Go Bins Having a few ready to go bins can go a long way in not stressing about packing. Keep anything that doesn’t have ...
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OB19: Plan For Emergencies

OB19: Plan For Emergencies

Every year people all over the world experience disasters in some form. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, this list goes on and on. It’s a good idea to plan for emergencies to happen, so you’re prepared for the fallout afterward. While you may not experience natural disasters on the trail, it’s a good idea to be prepared for what may happen. In this case, vehicle breakdowns and getting stuck in the middle of nowhere are probably the most common occurrences. What Does Preparedness Mean Preparedness can be defined as “a continuous ...
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OB20: Travel and Security

OB20: Travel and Security

Understanding travel and security issues within the United States and abroad is important. While traveling within the Continental United States (CONUS) is much safer than Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS), there are downsides and drawbacks to both. The best way to stay safe is to make sure you are traveling with correct documentation, camping in secure locations, and locking up and securing your valuable items. Documentation to Carry There are several pieces of documentation that are good to carry whether traveling CONUS or OCONUS. You should always have your ...
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OB21: Off Vehicle Activities

OB21: Off Vehicle Activities

Adventuring and overlanding go hand-in-hand. You may spend the day driving to a secluded spot to fish or drop in your kayak. Maybe you’ll be camping near some biking trails and want to get a ride in. Any of these scenarios is possible and more. Overlanders often enjoy being active in other activities as well. Having a rig capable of carrying the necessary gear makes it a breeze to carry along equipment for your favorite off vehicle activities. Warm Weather Activities The warm weather allows for the most engagement outdoors ...
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OB22: Documenting Your Trip

OB22: Documenting Your Trip

While the intent is to get out and connect with nature, you may want to have some memories of what you did and where you went. Documenting your trip can be a vital part of that connection and keeping the good memories fresh in your mind. There are several ways to go about this. Some may prefer the simplest way possible, and some might want to document everything through photos or video. Photography Taking photos is probably the main way to document the trip. Most folks have cell phones available ...
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OB23: Protecting The Environment

OB23: Protecting The Environment

As people who enjoy being outdoors, we also want to maintain the trails and woods we populate so frequently. This means leaving them in as good, or better condition than we found them and protecting the environment. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing piles of trash left at a campsite, on the side of a trail, or damage deliberately done by people. Trails have been known to be closed down to the public because of these things continually happening. There are some principles that can be followed in order ...
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