Here at Torro Offroad, we dream of a world where everyone can explore the outdoors feeling capable and comfortable. Our founder, Corey, actually dreamed up the company after taking on the role of convincing his wife to go camping with him, requiring a little more creature comforts than he originally had available… a little while later, our SkyLux Roof Top Tent was born and his wife was joining him for nights outdoors. Before this blog gets too far down the rabbit hole covering a variety of topics in the adventure realm, it became clear that talking about the subject that started this all was an important thing to do before too much time goes by. Without further ado, let’s dive into overlanding, and what exactly it means.
The word overlanding has become widely used in recent years to encompass all kinds of things regarding travel by vehicle. At its essence, overlanding is about self-sufficient motorized adventure where the travel itself is the primary goal. While most people think of 4x4 SUVs and trucks as the methods of transportation, overlanding is also huge in the motorcycle community. These overlanding journeys can last from a few weeks to upwards of a few years, and the participants will almost exclusively camp. Overlanding can take place in the same region you live in, potentially even in your home state if it’s large enough, and across continents if you so choose.
What Ever Happened To Car Camping?
Many people will remember a time when car camping was a great family activity. Based around a campsite with a dedicated fire pit and picnic table, this was often the first taste many of us got of adventure and the outdoors. While some might be quick to call any kind of vehicle based camping “overlanding”, that’s actually far from the truth. While there are no steadfast rules as to what is what, there are some generic thoughts on how each kind of trip gets labeled. As mentioned, car camping might be a one or two night have an inflatable mattress pad and be in a cleared lot or campground, accompanied by a small fee per night and a designated fire pit. This option can be a fantastic way to introduce your family or significant other to the idea of vehicular travel and camping, and should absolutely not be written off as a way of getting outdoors. If your trip extends beyond a day or two but less than a weeks at a time, it’s best classified as backcountry adventure. These trips might bounce back and forth between driving time off-road mixed with highway driving, and can often include multi-state travel. They are absolutely not to be overlooked, and are what the lucky ones of us will get to partake in when we’re able to escape the day to day hustle of life for some time off-pavement with our vehicles and the great outdoors. With those generally accepted parameters in mind, it could be argued that many people build vehicles for backcountry adventure travel more than anything.
Vehicle & Equipment Decisions
When outfitting a vehicle for backcountry travel, there are a million different avenues to explore, and twice as many possible modifications to be done depending on what you drive and just how equipped you want to be. The beautiful thing about this hobby is the wide variance of ways to get involved; you could build and outfit a late 90s Subaru Outback just as much as you could a 70s Land Cruiser, a brand new F-250 Super Duty, Honda Adventure motorcycle, or anything in between. The best thing to do is to choose a vehicle that has proven reliability; the last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a piece of metal on wheels that has known avoidable issues. Next up is to select something you’re comfortable driving, both from a cabin ergonomics perspective as well as an exterior spatial perspective, as some drives will be long and some trails will be narrow, being able to navigate in all kinds of unpredictable situations is hugely important for the safety of you, your passengers, and your rig. Picking something with selectable or all-time four wheel drive will be best to ensure good traction off-road and your best chance at getting out of a sticky situation on your own.
Once you’re mode of transportation is selected, the fun begins: outfitting it with the gear to be safe, comfortable, and self-reliant. Whether you want to pack a cooler or outfit a 12v refrigerator, a ground-tent from REI or one of our models of the SkyLux Roof Top Tent, use handheld walkie-talkies or upgrade to your FCC-issued Amateur Ham radio license, each person can choose exactly how they want to approach outfitting their motorized transportation. In coming articles we will dive into different popular modifications and options available – there’s an immense amount of variety out there to allow customization for each and every person looking to get out and explore.
Get Out There!
Overlanding and backcountry adventuring alike have the power introduce you to some incredible people, show you incredible sights, give you access to experiences that can shape your life, and make memories that will last forever. If you’re getting ready to build your own rig or are all set and ready to head out, let us know what adventures you’re taking part in by commenting below!
We’ll see you down the trail!
- Torro Offroad