Overlanding is a type of long-distance off-road travel that has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is basically like touring in your vehicle, but doing so on off-road trails and sleeping in the wilderness or at campsites. While there are many different vehicles that can be used for overlanding, not all of them are equally well-suited for the task. In general, the best vehicle for overlanding is one that is rugged and reliable, with plenty of ground clearance and storage space. It should also be comfortable enough to live in for extended periods of time.
With these criteria in mind, the best vehicle for overlanding is likely to be a four-wheel drive SUV or truck. These vehicles are designed to tackle tough terrain, and they usually come equipped with features like large windows and spacious interiors. However, it’s important to choose the right model for your needs, as some SUVs and trucks are better suited for off-road driving than others. Whichever vehicle you choose, make sure to outfit it with the proper equipment before embarking on your overlanding adventure.
1. Decide what type of overlanding vehicle is best for you
Deciding what type of overlanding vehicle is best for you is the first step in choosing the best overlanding vehicle for your needs. There are many different types of overlanding vehicles on the market, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It is important to consider all of these factors before making a final decision.
Usually if you are taking a lot of equipment with you, and you are fine sleeping in a tent or a rooftop tent, then a pickup truck like a Toyota Tacoma is a great base to start with. If you plan on driving more extreme off-road paths and trails with some rock-crawling involved, then a Jeep Wrangler may be more suited to you.
If you plan on mayb staying on the road for long periods of time, or permanently, something bigger like a Ford F350 based overlander, or a 4×4 van will be better suited for you.
Some people prefer to use the same vehicle that they use daily for work and general commute, so they don’t like having fixed additions to it for overlanding, and in that case an off-road or camping trailer is the better option for you, so you can use your truck or SUV as your daily driver, and when you want o go hit a trail or tour a bit, you just hook up your trailer and off you go.
2. Choose a reliable vehicle that can handle off-road conditions
Reliability is key when choosing an overlanding vehicle. You need to be sure that your vehicle can handle the rigors of off-road travel. Look for a vehicle that has a good reputation for reliability and can withstand the elements.
Generally the newer the vehicle, the more comforts it has and better the ride quality, but that also comes with a whole host of extra electronics and features that need to be reliable, or they can give you hassles when out in remote locations.
Older vehicles like the first generation Toyota pickups and 4Runners, are super reliable and very basic, so if something does go wrong with them, they can usually easily be repaired out in a remote area with little more than basic hand tools and some wire or cable ties. You do sacrifice some creature comforts compared to newer vehicles, but no off-road prowess is sacrificed.
3. Consider the size of your overlanding vehicle
The size of your overlanding vehicle is another important consideration. You need to be sure that your vehicle can comfortably accommodate all of your gear and supplies. Choose a vehicle that is the right size for your needs.
Your needs will be how you would prefer to cook and sleep, how long you spend in the vehicle on the road, how capable the vehicle is compared to what degree of difficulty off-road trails you would like to drive with it and what equipment you would like to pack.
4. Get the right gear for your overlanding vehicle
Upgrading and preparing your overlanding vehicle for off-road travel is essential. Be sure to get the right gear for your vehicle, including tires, suspension, and recovery gear. This will ensure that your vehicle is ready for anything you might encounter on your journey.
Although it is always better to travel in groups of more than one vehicle, if you prefer to go it alone, having all the right recovery gear is essential and can even mean the difference between life and death. Let’s say for instance you get stuck in a deep but small mud pool that you did not see and is far away from cellphone service or towns. If there are trees or obstacles nearby, a simple winch out would get your vehicle free quickly and you can carry on with your trip. But if you did not have a winch, you could end up being stuck there indefinitely until your food and water runs out.
5. Be prepared for anything when overlanding
Being prepared for anything is key to a successful overlanding trip. Be sure to pack all of the essential supplies and gear that you will need. This includes food, water, shelter, and clothing. In addition, be sure to have a plan for dealing with any emergencies that might occur.
The basic vehicle spares and service items for your specific vehicle, as well as adequate recovery gear and knowledge of how to use it is very important to pack too.
6. Enjoy your overlanding adventure!
The number one rule is to have fun! Overlanding is an incredible way to explore the world and connect with nature. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the journey and create lasting memories. Remember though, how well you plan your overlanding vehicle and trip, will determine how much fun and hassle-free the adventure will be.