When Overlanders Buy Stuff That Makes Life More Convenient

When Overlanders Buy Stuff That Makes Life More Convenient

Overlanding has become increasingly popular over the last decade. With the increased popularity has been a steady increase in sales among suppliers of overlanding gear. But guess what? Not all the gear is aimed at survival. Not all of it is absolutely necessary. Overlanders buy plenty of stuff that only makes life more convenient. That’s okay, by the way.

There is nothing in the overlanding manual that says a person’s adventures should be bare bones and minimalist. There is no written rule dictating that overlanders need to survive without any modern conveniences. It is perfectly acceptable to take a trip loaded up with all the essentials as well as some nice extras that make the experience more comfortable.

More People Are Into It

So how popular is overlanding these days? There are no hard and fast numbers we can turn to, but data from the Overland Expo West shows that just 5,000 people attended the event in 2012. In 2022, the event boasted 70,000 attendees. That is an increase of 1400%!

By all accounts, the COVID pandemic seems to have added to overlanding’s popularity. It makes sense. People who still want to take their vacations in the great outdoors may not be so excited about public campgrounds that are often congested. Overlanding gives them the opportunity to get out there and enjoy some isolation.

Taking Everything With You

Speaking of public campgrounds, one of the things that distinguishes overlanding from traditional camping is that you take everything you need to survive with you. Overlanding adventures are generally planned for the proverbial ‘middle of nowhere’. Overlanders are not looking for campsites with electrical hookups, running water, and free Wi-Fi. Everything they need is carried on board.

That takes us back to the idea of convenience. A selection of Rollercam (another brand is okay, too) cam straps is pretty much a necessity. Camp straps are the go-to tie-down for overlanders of all types. On the other hand, a top-of-the-line gas grill with four burners, an electric starter, and hotplate is a luxury.

For the typical overlander, it is a matter of finding space for all of the necessities first. If there is room left over, there is nothing wrong with packing a few extras. What kinds of extras? The sky’s the limit.

Whatever Makes an Overlander Happy

Full disclosure requires that I admit I am neither an overlander nor interested in it. I only know what I know because I write about it as a content creation specialist. In that capacity, I have read plenty of posts and informational articles on overlanding. I have even interviewed overlanders to get their thoughts. One thing I have learned is that they will find a way to take whatever makes them happy.

Some of the extra luxuries I have learned of in my research include:

  • Propane camping stoves
  • Digital navigation gear
  • Flush mounted awnings
  • Aluminum cabinetry
  • Marine speakers
  • Diesel generators
  • Solar power systems
  • Motion sensitive camping lights.

I could continue this list almost endlessly. Here’s the thing: one man’s luxury is another’s necessity. That’s why it’s so hard to find continuity among various overlanders’ packing lists. Everyone’s list is slightly different.

While you might think that overlanders only carry the bare necessities with them, reality tells a different story. Overlanders buy and pack plenty of stuff that serves only to make their adventures more convenient and comfortable. I am okay with that. If you want to drive your vehicle out into the middle of the desert and hang out for a few days, you make yourself as comfortable as you want to be.


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