May 20, 2022 9 min read

What is Overland Camping? A Clear Definition and Explanation

What is Overland Camping? A Clear Definition and Explanation

If you're an avid camper looking for a new adventure, you may want to try overland camping. Overland camping is a type of camping where you travel to your campsite in a vehicle, usually a 4x4, and set up camp. It's a great way to get off the beaten path and explore remote areas that are inaccessible by foot or traditional camping methods.

Understanding overland camping is important before embarking on your trip. You'll need to know how to plan your trip, choose the right vehicle, and pack the essential gear. You'll also need to know how to set up camp and practice safety and etiquette while overland camping. With the right preparation and knowledge, overland camping can be a rewarding and exciting experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Overland camping is a type of camping where you travel to your campsite in a vehicle and set up camp.
  • Proper planning, choosing the right vehicle, and packing essential gear are important for a successful overland camping trip.
  • Practicing safety and etiquette while overland camping is crucial for a positive experience.

Understanding Overland Camping

Overland camping is a unique way to explore the great outdoors. It involves traveling by vehicle, typically a 4x4, to remote locations and setting up camp. This type of camping is all about the journey, not just the destination. It's an adventure that allows you to experience nature and wilderness in a way that's not possible with traditional camping.

When overland camping, you're completely self-reliant. You bring everything you need with you, from food and water to shelter and supplies. This type of camping requires careful planning and preparation, as you'll be off-the-grid and away from civilization for extended periods of time.

Overland camping is more than just camping, it's an expedition. You'll be exploring new places and discovering hidden gems that you wouldn't find otherwise. It's a journey that's both challenging and rewarding, and one that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

In order to fully experience overland camping, you need to have a sense of adventure. You'll be traveling to remote locations and encountering unexpected obstacles along the way. But with the right mindset and preparation, overland camping can be a truly transformative experience.

Planning Your Overland Camping Trip

When planning your overland camping trip, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that your adventure is a success. Here are some sub-sections that will help you plan your trip.

Choosing Your Destination

The first step in planning your overland camping trip is to choose your destination. Consider the type of terrain you want to explore, the weather conditions you will encounter, and the length of your trip. Some popular overland camping destinations include national parks, remote wilderness areas, and off-road trails.

Budgeting for Your Trip

Overland camping trips can be expensive, so it's important to budget accordingly. Consider the cost of gas, food, and camping equipment, as well as any fees associated with the areas you plan to visit. Look for ways to save money, such as camping in free or low-cost campsites, and consider investing in quality gear that will last for multiple trips.

Research and Preparation

Before embarking on your overland camping trip, it's important to do your research and prepare accordingly. Check weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and gear. Research the areas you plan to visit and familiarize yourself with any regulations or restrictions. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and bring along any necessary tools or spare parts.

By following these tips and planning ahead, you can ensure that your overland camping trip is a success. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect for the environment, and enjoy the adventure!

Essential Overland Camping Gear

When it comes to overland camping, having the right gear can make all the difference. Here are some essential items to consider bringing on your next adventure, broken down into three categories: Vehicle and Transportation, Camping and Survival Equipment, and Navigation Tools.

Vehicle and Transportation

Your vehicle is your lifeline when overland camping, so it's important to make sure it's equipped with the necessary gear. Consider bringing spare parts, such as extra tires and belts, in case of emergency. You'll also want to have a shovel and recovery gear, like a winch or tow strap, to help get you out of tough situations. Accessories like a roof rack or cargo box can provide extra storage space for your gear.

Camping and Survival Equipment

When it comes to camping gear, the most important item is your tent. Look for a durable, weather-resistant tent that can withstand the elements. You'll also want to bring a sleeping bag and sleeping pad for a comfortable night's rest. Other essential gear includes a first aid kit, rope, and flashlights for safety.

Navigation Tools

Navigation is key when overland camping, so make sure you have the right tools to help you find your way. A GPS device or navigation app can be invaluable, especially in remote areas. You'll also want to bring a map and compass as backup. Additionally, consider bringing a CB radio or other communication device in case of emergency.

Overall, overland camping can be a rewarding and exciting experience, but it's important to be prepared with the right gear. By bringing the essential items listed above, you'll be ready for whatever challenges come your way on your next adventure.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

When it comes to overlanding, choosing the right vehicle is crucial. You need a vehicle that is reliable, capable, and comfortable for long trips. Here are some things to consider when selecting your overlanding rig.

Types of Overlanding Vehicles

There are many types of vehicles that can be used for overlanding. Some popular choices include trucks, SUVs, vans, and even motorcycles. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Vehicle Capacity and Weight

When selecting your overlanding vehicle, it's important to consider its capacity and weight. You need a vehicle that can carry all of your gear and supplies without being overloaded. Overloading your vehicle can lead to safety issues and damage to your vehicle's suspension and tires.

Vehicle Accessories and Modifications

Adding accessories and modifications to your overlanding vehicle can make it more capable and comfortable for long trips. Some popular accessories and modifications include rooftop tents, ARB bumpers, suspension upgrades, and larger tires. However, it's important to consider the weight and cost of these additions and how they will affect your vehicle's performance.

Overall, choosing the right overlanding vehicle requires careful consideration of your needs and preferences. Whether you choose a Ural, Tacoma, Jeep Wrangler, Land Cruiser, or any other vehicle, make sure it is reliable, capable, and comfortable for your long trips.

Setting Up Camp

Finding the Perfect Campsite

When it comes to overland camping, finding the perfect campsite is crucial. Look for a flat and level area that is free from rocks, roots, and other obstacles that could damage your tent. You should also consider the proximity to water sources, restrooms, and other amenities. Additionally, try to find a spot that provides ample shade during the day and protection from the wind at night.

Setting Up Your Tent

Setting up your tent is an essential part of overland camping. Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary equipment, including tent poles, stakes, and guylines. Choose a level area and clear any debris before laying out your tent. Start by assembling the poles and attaching them to the tent body. Once the frame is complete, stake the corners and guylines to secure the tent.

Cooking Meals

Cooking meals is an integral part of overland camping. A camp stove is a great option for preparing meals, and there are many different types available, from portable propane stoves to wood-burning stoves. Make sure to choose a stove that is appropriate for your needs and the size of your group. Additionally, a cooler is an excellent way to keep your food fresh and prevent spoilage. Pack plenty of non-perishable items, such as canned goods and snacks, to supplement your meals.

Remember, overland camping is all about being self-sufficient and self-reliant. With a little preparation and planning, you can have a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

Overland Camping Safety and Etiquette

When it comes to overland camping, safety and etiquette are crucial. You want to make sure that you're respecting nature and wildlife, staying safe on the trails, and being mindful of others around you.

Respecting Nature and Wildlife

One of the most important things to remember when overland camping is to respect nature and wildlife. This means leaving no trace, staying on designated trails, and not disturbing any wildlife you may encounter. Remember that you are a guest in their home, and it's important to treat it as such.

Staying Safe on the Trails

Another important aspect of overland camping is staying safe on the trails. This means being prepared for any obstacles you may encounter, such as mud, sand, or dirt roads. It's also important to have the proper gear and equipment, such as a first aid kit and a reliable vehicle. Always make sure to let someone know where you're going and when you plan on returning.

Privacy and Respect for Others

Finally, it's important to be mindful of others around you when overland camping. This means respecting their privacy and being considerate of noise levels. It's also important to be respectful of different cultures and customs you may encounter on your journey.

Overall, overland camping can be a rewarding and exciting experience, but it's important to remember safety and etiquette at all times. By respecting nature and wildlife, staying safe on the trails, and being mindful of others, you can have a successful and enjoyable trip.

Overland Camping Experiences

If you're looking for an adventure, overland camping is an excellent way to experience the great outdoors. Whether you're off-roading through rugged terrain or exploring remote locations, there's something for everyone.

Off-Roading Adventures

Off-roading is a thrilling way to explore the wilderness. With the right equipment and skills, you can tackle even the toughest terrain. From rock crawling to mud bogging, there's no shortage of excitement when it comes to off-roading.

Exploring Remote Locations

One of the best things about overland camping is the ability to explore remote locations. Whether you're deep in a national forest or exploring the backcountry, there's always something new to discover. From hidden waterfalls to stunning vistas, the possibilities are endless.

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Overland camping is all about enjoying the great outdoors. Whether you're hiking, fishing, or stargazing, there's always something to do. With no distractions from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can truly relax and enjoy nature.

In summary, overland camping is an excellent way to experience the great outdoors. Whether you're into off-roading, adventure, or just enjoying the stars, there's something for everyone. So pack up your gear and hit the road – your next adventure awaits!


Overland camping is a unique way to experience the great outdoors. It allows you to travel to remote locations and explore areas that are often inaccessible by other means. Overlanding is about the journey, not just the destination, and camping is a crucial part of that journey.

Camping during an overland trip can be done in a variety of ways, from traditional tent camping to more luxurious options like rooftop tents and RVs. The key is to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

Overlanding and camping require proper planning and preparation. It's important to research your route, check weather conditions, and pack appropriately. Bringing the right gear and supplies can make all the difference in ensuring a successful trip.

One of the biggest appeals of overland camping is the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It allows you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Overlanding and camping can be a great way to bond with family and friends or to go on a solo adventure.

Overall, overland camping is a unique and rewarding experience that is worth exploring. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a first-timer, there's something for everyone in the world of overlanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the best overland camping locations?

The best overland camping locations are often off the beaten path and away from crowded campgrounds. National forests, BLM land, and state parks are great options for overland camping. Some popular overland routes include the Trans-America Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pan-American Highway.

What gear do I need for overland camping?

The gear you need for overland camping depends on the type of trip you're taking and the conditions you'll encounter. At a minimum, you'll need a reliable vehicle, a roof-top tent or ground tent, sleeping bags, a stove, and cooking equipment. Other essential gear includes recovery gear, a first aid kit, and navigation tools.

How do I find places to overland?

There are several ways to find places to overland. Online resources such as iOverlander, Campendium, and are great for finding free and low-cost camping options. You can also use paper maps and guidebooks to plan your route and find camping spots. Local ranger stations and visitor centers are also great resources for finding camping locations.

What is the difference between overlanding and boondocking?

Overlanding is a type of adventure travel that involves exploring remote and off-the-beaten-path locations. Boondocking, on the other hand, refers to camping in undeveloped areas without hookups or amenities. While overlanding often involves boondocking, it can also include staying in established campgrounds or other accommodations.

What are the benefits of overland camping?

Overland camping allows you to explore remote and beautiful locations that are not accessible by traditional vehicles. It also provides a sense of freedom and adventure, and the opportunity to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. Overlanding also promotes self-reliance and self-sufficiency, as you must be prepared to handle any situation that arises.

Is overlanding more than just car camping?

Yes, overlanding is more than just car camping. While both involve camping from a vehicle, overlanding involves exploring remote and off-the-beaten-path locations, often for extended periods of time. Overlanding requires specialized gear and equipment, as well as the skills and knowledge to navigate challenging terrain and handle unexpected situations.