What is overlanding?

What is Overlanding?

I’ve taken this quote from the Wikipedia Overlanding page:

Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries.

Overland_truck_crossing_river
Odyssey Overland truck crossing a river in Kyrgyzstan

Truck-based Overlanding

For the purposes of this website, I’m talking about group travel, in an overland truck. As opposed to travelling in smaller 4 x 4 vehicles.  The truck is modified with a purpose built cabin capable of seating around 20-24 people, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Compartments are built into the main part of the truck for storage, cooking equipment, tools etc.  The aim is to be as self-sufficient as possible when camping.  Overland trucks come in all shapes and sizes.

Where do overland trucks go?

I’m attracted to overland travel because I can get to places most tours don’t go to. 
There are many traditional overland routes such as Cairo to Cape Town, or the Silk Route. Trucks travel less in Europe, but frequently throughout Africa, South America, Central Asia, China, India, and the United States.  Some parts of SE Asia. Less so in Australia and New Zealand, but you can find similar style trips.

Accommodation

Overlanding in a truck usually involves camping, often off the beaten track. This type of camping is called ‘bush camping’.  You might stay in dedicated campsites as well, it’s not exclusively bush camping – it all depends on the trip.  Many trips have a mix of camping combined with stays in hotels, homestays or other types of accommodation.  The amount of camping you do varies from trip to trip.

Odyssey_Overland_Camping_Tents_ Karakum_desert_Turkmenistan
Overland tents in the Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan

Who goes on an overland trip?

Anyone and everyone! The age range/limit is sometimes set by the company running the trip, but age is immaterial.  It’s more about mindset and ability.  I’ve been on overland trips with people well into their 60s and 70s, and they’ve given me a run for my money!

How long is a trip?

They vary, from a few weeks to over a year. Some trips are ‘hop on, hop off’ and others it’s the same passengers for the whole journey.

How much does it cost to go on an overland trip?

It’s hard to say as there are so many variables. It’s important to understand all the costs involved.  Personally, I think it’s good value for money.  There’s no way I’d have been able to go to the places I’ve been to on an overland truck if I was travelling on my own, particularly taking into account the amount time it takes.

Where can I find out more?

On the resources page I’ve listed a number of companies. There are probably more, so do please do your own research. If you run an overland trip and are not mentioned on the page, feel free to contact me.

I think Overlanding on a truck is a great way to see the world and would encourage anyone to give it a go.

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PLEASE NOTE

Much of the information and advice expressed on this website is the personal opinion of the writer. If you choose to follow any advice you do so at your own risk with no recourse to the writer or Adventures in Overland.

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