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Getting into overlanding is very exciting…
The prospect of the open road, of seeing beautiful territory, and enjoying nature is enough to make you want to hop in your truck right now and get started.
Of course, that would be a bad idea. Overlanding requires a lot of thought and planning before you put your vehicle in drive.
That being the case, let’s discuss three things you need to ask yourself before you dive into overlanding.
Getting Into Overlanding: Do I Know How to Make Repairs to My Vehicle?
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The nature of overlanding means that even if you have a brand-new vehicle, damage might occur along the way. This requires that you have the ability to make minor repairs when needed.
From changing a flat tire to swapping out fuses to understanding what to do if the engine overheats, there’s no lack of problems that might arise and need your attention.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to be an ASE Certified Mechanic before you get into overlanding. But you do need to know your way around your vehicle.
A good way to prepare is to watch some YouTube videos on your specific make and model of car. Watch some repair videos and some walk-around videos too, that way when a problem arises, at the very least, you know what the problem might be.
Getting Into Overlanding: How am I at Planning?
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As I mentioned earlier, overlanding requires a healthy amount of planning. Some people are really good planners. Others, not so much. If you fall into the latter category, you might consider working on that skill before you start overlanding.
This doesn’t mean that every moment of the trip needs to be planned out. That wouldn’t be much fun! But having the ability to do things like plan a route, research entrance fees, identify appropriate amounts of food and water, making a packing list, and so forth are critical for your success.
But also leave room for being a little spontaneous when the mood strikes. If you’d planned to take the right fork in the road but you get there and the left fork is calling your name, don’t be afraid to adjust your plans. Remember – overlanding is about the journey, not the destination. A little spontaneity and the ability to roll with the punches will help you enjoy the journey that much more.
Am I Good With Being on the Road for Extended Periods of Time?
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Some people go overlanding for weeks, months, or even years. It takes a special kind of person with a special mindset to be able to do that.
Yes, an extended overlanding trip can be the adventure of a lifetime filled with incredible sights and sounds and good times with your travel buddies.
But living in your car or even a camper or RV for that long can be taxing. Room is at a premium. You will have some long days behind the wheel. There will be breakdowns and problems on the road. You’ll probably encounter bad weather, lack of sleep, and stressful moments when you can’t find a place to bunk down for the night.
I don’t mean to paint overlanding as a terrible misadventure – far from it. Overlanding can be the most exciting way to spend a few weeks! But just be aware that it’s not all Instagram-worthy moments where you’re taking in the sunset in your VW bus while parked on a bluff overlooking a lush, green valley with mountains in the background. It can be hard work in a confined space!
Are You Ready for Overlanding?
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If you answered the previous three questions in the affirmative, then you at least have the basis of being ready to hit the road for an overlanding trip.
There are plenty of other things to consider before you go, like if your vehicle is overlanding worthy, how you’ll work while on the road if you need to, who’s going with you, and so forth, but having the basic knowledge and mindset of being an overlander is a good place to start.
Good luck in your upcoming overlanding adventures!