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No one ever said that overlanding had to be an uncomfortable, arduous journey…
And while some purists might read the headline of this article and scoff, there are plenty of folks that have figured out how to take a luxurious overlanding trip that is the height of comfort and convenience – and have fun while doing it.
If you want to do some overlanding but don’t want to rough it, take these tips to heart and plan an overlanding trip with style!
Ride in Style
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You can go overlanding in all sorts of vehicles, from classic rigs like Toyota Landcruiser FJ60’s to trucks pulling a camper to RVs.
Obviously, that old FJ60 is a badass truck, but luxurious it is not.
So, if you want to learn how to take a luxurious overlanding trip, your first task is to figure out a way to ride in style.
A Mercedes G-Class is a great option if you have the budget for one. So too is a big 3/4-ton diesel and a fifth wheel.
If you want luxury but don’t have $120,000 to spend on a G-Wagon, you might opt for a 2000s Landcruiser, a late model GMC Yukon, or a late model Range Rover.
In each case, these vehicles offer loads of comfort options like heated seats, A/C, and a smooth on-road ride while also offering you the off-road capabilities you need when the tarmac ends and the dirt, mud, and ruts begin.
The key to riding in style isn’t necessarily the make or model of the vehicle you drive. Instead, it’s the size of it. The larger the vehicle, the more comfort-oriented gear you can bring – and do so without feeling cramped inside the vehicle.
How to Take a Luxurious Overlanding Trip: Have a Great Night’s Sleep
I know plenty of folks that can sleep like a rock in a sleeping bag inside a bivy sack next to their truck. I am not one of those people.
I need my sleep, and to get it, I need to be warm and comfortable. If you’re the same way, the key to a good night’s sleep is where you sleep and what you sleep on.
I have a Torro Offroad Skylux Rooftop Tent that has been an absolute dream on my overlanding trips. It’s dry, withstands 35MPH winds, and sets up in about two minutes.
It’s on top of my Turtleback Expedition Trailer, so I’m up off the ground, away from predators, and inside a spacious “cabin” where I can stretch out on my king-sized bed. Now, it’s not like my bed is a Tempur Pedic or anything, but it’s thick, soft yet supportive, and is oh-so-comfortable after a long day driving.
Of course, you don’t have to tow a trailer with a rooftop tent to get a comfortable night’s rest. You can put a rooftop tent on top of your SUV or if you have a truck, put it on top of a bed rack.
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If you have a vehicle large enough (like a Yukon) you can create a nice sleeping quarters in the back with a good air mattress.
The point here is to do everything you can to ensure you sleep comfortably. Don’t skimp on the air mattress. Invest in good linens and blankets (or sleeping bag). Bring your battery-powered white noise machine to drown out the sounds of the wilderness. Buy an eye mask so you aren’t awakened by the rising sun. It’s not rocket science, but you do have to think purposefully about all the things you need to rest easy each night.
Take Showers When You Can
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Overlanding can be a dusty, dirty, muddy, wet adventure – which is awesome! But there comes a time when you can start to feel physically and mentally drained from all the dirt and grime.
So, if you want to learn how to take a luxurious overlanding trip, taking showers when you can is certainly a big part of it.
My overlanding setup has an outdoor shower, so I can enjoy hot water and getting clean from head to toe. If you don’t have a trailer, you can invest in a solar shower to get a quick wash. At the very least, take the time to heat up some water on the camp stove or fire so you can take a bird bath with some soap, water, and a washcloth.
When you’re done washing up, put on clean clothes – especially if it’s time to go to bed. Even if you can’t take a full-on shower, just wiping off and putting on some clean night clothes will make you feel much better.
How to Take a Luxurious Overlanding Trip: Prep Meals in Advance
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It’s hard to prep all your meals if you’ll be on the road for a month, but if you’re taking a weekend to explore a new area, you can easily prepare most – if not all – your meals ahead of time.
Not only does preparing your meals before you leave save you the time and hassle of preparing your food on the road, but it also allows you to enjoy at-home cooking while you’re traveling. All you have to do is warm it up on the fire!
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like a hot, home-cooked meal full of spices and flavors when you’re out roughing it in the wilderness.
You don’t have to prepare filet mignon and lobster tails to have luxurious meal times, either. Simple pasta dishes, meatloaf, fresh vegetables, and so forth aren’t expensive to make, but sure taste like a million bucks!
Bring a Power Source With You
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A final component of learning how to take a luxurious overlanding trip is to have a power source for your gizmos and gadgets.
Whether that’s a gas-powered generator to power your fifth wheel, a solar-powered generator, or a propane-powered generator, having on-demand power so you can charge your phone, laptop, iPad, and other electronics allows you to kick back and watch your favorite Netflix show after a long day of driving.
Better still, you can bring along your camera, keep the batteries charged, and document your high-end overlanding trip by taking pictures and videos along the way.
Sure, overlanding can be a rough-and-tumble adventure if you want it to be, but if that’s not your thing, these tips for overlanding in style will get you started on your luxurious overlanding trip!