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4 Mistakes First-Time Overlanders Often Make

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So, you’re ready for your first overlanding adventure?

Think again…

There are so many details that go into planning an overlanding trip. Mistakes are bound to happen!

So, in this guide, we’ll discuss four mistakes that first-time overlanders often make, that way you can avoid the same fate.

Packing Too Much

Overpacked SUV

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Since you’ll be gone a few days, weeks, or months, there’s certainly a temptation to bring everything you can think of on your trip.

The only problem is that there’s only so much room for gear.

Actually, there’s two problems – you can easily overload your rig and cause too much stress on certain components (like the suspension).

So, as you’re planning your trip, really drill down to the gear that’s most vital. Things that are luxuries that you don’t absolutely need should be left behind.

To help you refine your list, think of the things you’ll need most (e.g., food and water) and things that you can’t easily buy on the road and that you will need on your trip (like a good hatchet).

Things that you can buy along the way and use up as you go (like specialty food or drink items) don’t need to start out the journey with you. Every little bit of space you can save will help!

Mistakes First-Time Overlanders Often Make: Making Your Vehicle Overly Complex

Huge tires on a 4x4

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When you’re overlanding, having an upgraded suspension, better wheels, lights, a radio, and other goodies can come in really handy.

But there is a danger in overdoing it with the accessories – there’s simply more to break.

Remember – if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and something goes wrong with your vehicle or one of its accessories, it’s on you to fix it right then and there. The more complex your rig is, the more difficult repairs will be to make in the field.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make some upgrades to your vehicle, just don’t go overboard. Simplicity is your friend!

Neglecting to Learn Self-Recovery Methods

SUV stuck in the mud

Photo by Maksim Moiseenko via iStock

Among the common mistakes first-time overlanders often make is not taking the time to get properly trained in recovery methods.

You can trick out your rick all you want with beefy tires, a better suspension, lockers, and so forth, but if you don’t know how to use a winch or you don’t have recovery boards and other recovery-related gear, your lockers and tires might not do you much good.

So, again, rather than spending your time and money on overdoing your vehicle’s upgrades, spend some of that time and money on building out a good self-recovery kit – and then learn how to use it!

Mistakes First-Time Overlanders Often Make: Not Knowing First Aid

Mistakes First-Time Overlanders Often Make Not Knowing First Aid

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Just like it’s on you to fix your rig or rescue it from a bog, it’s also on you to know First Aid.

Whether it’s a minor cut, a broken bone, or something in between, your ability to address an injury could mean the difference between life and death.

I don’t say that to be dramatic, either. 

A minor mishap can turn very ugly if you don’t have the proper training and supplies to address an injury. You could be days from civilization and medical help, so before you head out on your overlanding trip, brush up on your First Aid knowledge and be sure your First Aid kit is well-stocked.

Are You Ready for an Adventure?

Overlanding

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These are just four mistakes first-time overlanders often make. There are many more! But knowing how to avoid the mistakes outlined above will certainly get you headed in the right direction.

Remember that overlanding is about the journey. You don’t need to blast from one location to the next! Take it slow and steady, and you’ll likely minimize many other mistakes that overlanders tend to make.

Enjoy your trip!

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