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adventure travel

Adventure Travel By Vehicle

Adventure travel by vehicle, also known as overlanding, is a combination of remote travel, off-roading, and camping. Overlanding usually involves long-distance travel to remote locations where little prior exploration has occurred. Other characteristics include self-reliance, adventure, survival, and discovery. Overlanding can involve a variety of elements such as crawling over massive boulders, wading in deep waters, slogging through mud, and sprinting across a dry lakebed.

Tips For Overlanding And Off-Grid Travel

Overlanding and off-grid travel require careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure. Start by thoroughly researching your route, considering factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and local regulations. Equip your vehicle with essential off-road accessories, including recovery gear, a reliable GPS system, and communication tools.

Prioritize self-sufficiency by bringing a portable water filtration system, solar panels, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Learn basic vehicle maintenance skills to address any issues that may arise on the road. Respect nature and local communities by practicing Leave No Trace principles and adhering to established trails. Keep in mind that off-grid travel often involves limited connectivity, so inform someone of your plans and have a reliable means of emergency communication. Lastly, embrace the spirit of adventure while staying flexible and adaptable, as unexpected challenges are part of the journey.

What To Bring

In addition to food, water, and the usual assortment of clothing and toiletries, the items below are crucial for a successful overlanding trip.

  • Coolers. These are especially useful when overlanding desert-like conditions. You can buy collapsible cooler bags to help preserve space. Adding frozen water bottles can double as ice and fresh drinking water once they melt.
  • Camping Stove. Bringing this gives you the option to cook different meals, especially if fires aren’t allowed where you’re overlanding. a multi-fuel stove will allow you to burn different types of fuel and not be reliant on propane.
  • Cast Iron Skillet. If you want to stick to campfires, then it’s suggest packing a cast iron skillet. These pans are extremely durable, reliable, and ideal for cooking over an open flame.
  • A Tent. This adds extra space and comfort, especially if you plan to overland with passengers. Some choose to get a rooftop tent; these allow you to be elevated off the ground to stay dry and feel safer. If you don’t want to deal with a tent, you should have some sort of sleeping pad or blow-up mattress on hand.  Overlanding can be physically demanding on your body so it’s important to get a good night’s rest.
  • Topographic Maps and A Compass. These are really valuable to have since overlanding will sometimes take you to places with no cell service. Topographic maps help you chart your driving course and give you a much better idea of the terrain and elevation, while a compass helps guide which direction you should park your vehicle.
  • Camp Chairs. Having these might seem unnecessary since you’ll be driving a lot during an overlanding trip, but you’ll want to be able to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Be sure you bring chairs that can recline and have adjustable legs and feet to fit whatever terrain you’re sitting on. There can be a lot of downtime on an overlanding trip, and having some comfortable camp chairs to relax in will help pass the time.
  • First Aid Kit. This should be an essential for any outdoor trip. Band-Aids, alcohol swabs, tweezers, and ibuprofen are some of the essential materials. You should also carry materials for more serious injuries, such as gauze, splints, and wound irrigators.
adventure by vehicle

Best Vehicles For Outdoor Enthusiasts

Overlanding requires a lot out of your vehicle, as the intention is to stay outdoors for long periods of time with little to no maintenance. When evaluating a vehicle for overlanding, there is no right option, it really depends on the driver and personal preference. You definitely don’t have to own an SUV or truck to have a successful overlanding trip. However, here are a few important things to consider.

  • Four-Wheel Drive. This is a valuable feature on any overlanding vehicle. Even if you don’t plan to scale boulders, you may find yourself driving through uneven terrain, and having that extra traction and power will make all the difference.
  • Tires. Having a set of reliable tires can be the difference between a good trip and a great trip. Look for tires that specifically mention off-road or all-terrain. Remember to check your tires at least once a month, as well as any time you return to the highway after an off-road excursion. This includes checking tire pressure, tread depth, and inspecting the tires for any tears or damage.
  • Suspension. Your suspension helps maximize vehicle performance and absorb bumps for a safer, more comfortable ride. Look for a vehicle that has independent front suspension. This means that if you hit a bump or uneven ground, only the contacted wheel is affected while the rest of the wheels keep their own traction.
  • High ground clearance. This is not necessarily required for an overlanding trip, but it is something to consider. Having higher clearance on your car or truck means you can take on more unexpected terrain and not have to worry about scraping the undercarriage. To help increase the ground clearance on your vehicle and prevent damage, you can add undercarriage protection, such as skid plates, or raise your vehicle using torsion bars and spacer lifts.

Best Overlanding Vehicles

The following trucks and SUVs exemplify the best overland travel platforms. Cargo capacity, off-road capability and reliability are all measures of their ability to drive you off-road from one side of the country to the other.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The Chevrolet Colorado enters the discussion of the best overland vehicles because of its suspension system. The ZR2 also comes standard with Hill Descent Control, four-wheel drive, a fully boxed frame and front and rear locking differentials.

Ford Transit

In 2020, Ford Motor Company refreshed the Transit lineup. Included in this update were an available all-wheel-drive system and a power-sliding door. Ford’s standard safety package is Co-Pilot 360, which includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping system, forward collision warning and auto high beam headlamps. Adaptive cruise control and blind-spot assist are optional systems. The Transit is a fantastic overland vehicle based on its cargo capacity, adequately powered turbocharged engine, extensive dealer network and upfit capability.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The Wrangler is the vehicle in this list that is potentially utilized the most as an overland vehicle. The Rubicon trim means that your Wrangler will have standard front and rear locking differentials, an electronic sway bar disconnects, off-road shocks and 33-inch all-terrain tires.

Ram Power Wagon

As the first pickup truck to come from the factory with a winch installed, overlanding in the Ram Power Wagon is like bringing a cannon to a knife fight. It is big, heavy and super capable in almost all off-road situations. Tight spots are its only drawback due to its size. The Power Wagon is only available with 4×4 and in a Crew Cab with a 6-foot-4-inch bed.

Toyota Tacoma

A Tacoma, like a Wrangler, will never really lose its value. However, the Tacoma is not without its flaws. The engine and transmission have not changed since 2005. The frame has had issues with corrosion in the past. Those are facts and people will still buy them consistently and for above-average value.

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Things To Consider Before Off-Roading

While off roading can be plenty of fun, there are still a few factors to think about before planning your trip.

Damages

Off-roading can be a thrilling and adventurous activity, but it can also cause various types of damages to the vehicle. Off roading can put a strain on the suspension system, causing damage to shocks, struts and other components. Rough Terrains can cause punctures, sidewall damage and bent rims. Rocks, roots and uneven surfaces can damage the undercarriage of your vehicle. Things like brush, branches and rocks can scratch or dent the vehicle’s body.

Damages to vehicle components due to off-roading may not be covered under warranty, so be aware of your surroundings and check with your warranty provider to know what is covered.

Modifications

Modifications are popular and common when it comes to off roading. They can enhance your vehicle and experience making your trip easier and more enjoyable. Things such as lift kits, off road tires, suspension and bushings, skid plates, winches, roof racks and light bars are the most common modifications for an off-road vehicle.

Certain modifications may void your factory or extended warranty, be sure to talk to your provider. Mopar offers Lift Kit Coverage available with certain Jeep Extended Warranties.

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