Smitty Built Awning for Overland Adventures
Overland DIY

Overland Lifestyle – A Quick Guide

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What you need to know about the Overland lifestyle

Overlanding is a growing niche in the offroad and camping markets. People want an easy low maintenance way to get out of the house and into the wild. What exactly is it that allures us to want to take a minimalist route to camping and discovery? To answer this question, we have put a quick guide to Overlanding together. This is what pulled us into the lifestyle.

The overland lifestyle allows us to go on minimalist affordable vacations

So what does that mean exactly? A couple of years ago we were in search of a small affordable pop-up trailer. One thing that caught me off guard was when an RV salesman told us that most people own at least “8” RVs/ Trailers in their lifetime. HAHAHA. That was my first thought until I started counting how many we have owned…… 1, 2, 3, 4…. on the search for #5… Looks like he may not be wrong.

Toyota enjoying the Overlanding Lifestyle

Owning a trailer or RV is a fun way to go glamping. With that said, those of us who are unlucky enough to live in an HOA have to pay for storage & maintenance. New wheels, replacing awnings, fixing broken refrigerators… It all adds up very quickly. Then there is the fun fact that you are limited on your vacations because, in reality, you can’t take a 26-foot camper into remote places. Most are too big and won’t fit down a tight trail or hard to turn around on an unforeseen dead-end forest road. This route can be very limiting and expensive in the long run.

Then came along this new take on an old trend – The Overland Lifestyle Reborn

Now we treat our vehicles like we are going on an extended backpacking trip. Loading the vehicle with just the essentials and the ability to travel on remote roads with no idea what is around the next corner. Adding stoves, awnings and electric coolers allow us to venture wherever we want, almost whenever we want.

Smitty Built Overland Rooftop Tent

We love going on day trips around the Phoenix Valley and up on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. With the Overlanding setup on our Jeep, we can, at the spur of the moment, decide to make it an overnighter, setup a bbq lunch picnic, or continue on back home. We would never have the same choice if we were pulling an RV. It would have to be planned out better. And we just LOVE last-minute adventures. We never know where we will end up on a Saturday morning.

PROS of the Overland Lifestyle

  • Great for people who are spontaneous.
  • No extra maintenance, insurance or storage of a full-size camper
  • Travel to places where it would be difficult to take an RV
  • You can use any vehicle as your overlander. From Jeeps & Toyotas to Subarus and SUVs
  • Wide range of accessories that you can add to almost any vehicle like awnings, tents and storage drawers.

Downfalls of This Lifestyle

So we have gone over the pros of using your vehicle for overland camping trips. There are a few downsides. I think. It may take a minute to come up with a few.

CONS of The Overland Lifestyle

  • You need to become a minimalist. Only so much gear can be carried on your vehicle. (Plus 4 people and 2 dogs in our family unit)
  • Roof racks, rooftop tents, solar and storage systems can get expensive. (But little maintenance once they are purchased – So… PRO?)
  • Most people use their main vehicle as an overlander so you have to be careful not to damage it when out exploring, or you may not make it into work on Monday.

??? I can’t really think of any other CONs at the moment. Do you overland? What do you like and dislike about it? Would love to hear your thoughts. Leave comments below.

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