There is a common definition of overlanding and an individual definition. To get to the common definition, I’ll start with the definition of overland from Merriam-Webster.
overland: by, on, or across land
Super basic and doesn’t really tell you what overlanding has become. Hell, the word overlanding doesn’t even have an actual dictionary entry.
To those who consider themselves overlanders, overlanding is defined as self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal.
This definition makes it sound as though there is no destination in overlanding.
That’s where our definition of overlanding comes in. We define our version of overlanding as self-reliant travel to destinations that bring us joy. Or as I, Crystal, would say, self-reliant travel to destinations that make my soul feel alive and on fire.
And if you Google the term ‘overlanding’, you will come across the Urban Dictionary definition that states overlanding is a group of people that talk about taking their heavily equipped offroading through tough terrain and off trail camping, but never do.
I laugh at that definition, because I see it so often. Locally I hear those people called mall-crawlers.
And then there is off-roading. How does that differ from overlanding? Off-roading is more focused on using a vehicle, which is not your daily driver, for recreational purposes to test the limitations of both the vehicle and you as the driver.
An overlander does not necessarily go off-roading or even on dirt trails. An off-roader doesn’t necessarily drive their off-roading vehicle on pavement. Off-roading and overlanding can be two very distinct adventures. But they can also be combined.
Right now, our vehicles are not built to be extreme off-roading vehicles. The 4Runner has an upgraded suspension and shocks and the Tundra is stock. We do take the 4Runner off-roading some, but only within the limitations of our current build. Going extreme off-roading isn’t our focus.
As a team, Eddie and I overland to destinations that we want to see and enjoy. We use our 4Runner and Tuff Stuff Overland Trailer w/RTT to be self-reliant. Right now, we are weekend warriors. We still have day jobs and have to plan within the bounds of our time off. That being said. We will slowly start to get into longer and longer trips, but for now, we overland according to our abilities.