Overlanding is a relatively recent phenomenon in the US, offering an alternative lifestyle that many millennials are embracing. Unfortunately, it can be expensive–particularly when it comes to long-term travel. If you’re thinking of overlanding, it’s essential to plan ahead and be well-prepared for the trip. This includes food, fuel, repairs, accommodation and fees.
Why Overlanding CAN Be Expensive
Overlanding can be expensive due to several factors that contribute to the overall cost. Some of these factors include:
- Vehicle costs: A reliable, capable off-road vehicle is crucial for overlanding. Depending on the make, model, and condition, a suitable vehicle can cost anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, the cost of vehicle registration, insurance, and taxes can add up.
- Vehicle modifications and upgrades: To ensure your vehicle is well-equipped for off-road conditions, you may need to invest in modifications and upgrades such as suspension lifts, all-terrain tires, off-road bumpers, winches, and recovery gear. These improvements can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Camping and gear expenses: A comfortable and functional overlanding setup may require a rooftop tent or other sleeping arrangements, a fridge or cooler, cooking equipment, storage solutions, and navigation tools. High-quality gear can be costly, with some setups exceeding $10,000.
- Fuel: Overlanding often involves traveling long distances through remote areas, leading to substantial fuel costs. Additionally, off-road and 4×4 vehicles typically have lower fuel efficiency, which can increase expenses.
- Maintenance and repairs: Off-roading and extended travel can put extra wear and tear on your vehicle, resulting in more frequent maintenance and potential repairs. These costs can add up over time.
- Travel expenses: Depending on your destination, you may need to budget for permits, visas, insurance, park fees, and other travel-related expenses.
- Food and supplies: Overlanding requires packing ample food, water, and supplies for self-sufficiency. The cost of these provisions can add up, especially for extended trips or gourmet preferences.
It’s important to note that while overlanding can be expensive, there are ways to reduce costs. You can prioritize essential items, purchase used equipment, share costs with travel companions, or choose cost-effective destinations. Additionally, you can adjust your budget to your specific needs and preferences, allowing for a more affordable overlanding experience if desired.
(1) It’s a hobby
Overlanding is an increasingly popular hobby. It offers the chance to explore the world and lead a sustainable lifestyle, but can be costly. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get started without breaking your budget.
The key to overlanding is creating a self-sufficient vehicle. Do this by prepping and packing it with all necessary gear for your journey. Make sure you bring enough food, water, fuel, and other supplies for at least a week or longer.
Additionally, you should include some tools and extra parts for your vehicle. Having the proper tools can make all the difference between a smooth ride and one that proves challenging. For instance, having a tire patch kit handy can save you from having to pay for roadside assistance.
A reliable overlanding rig is equipped with heavy-duty components to withstand even the toughest conditions. It should have the capacity for rough terrain, good ground clearance and durable tires that can handle gravel roads.
Overlanding has been around for decades, but its sustainability and the rise of digital nomads have only recently made it more popular. These individuals work remotely and want to explore new places while leading a more nomadic lifestyle.
Today’s best overlanding rigs are equipped with powerful trucks that can tackle even the toughest terrain. These machines boast more power than ever before and are less likely to get stuck, giving overlanders greater peace of mind when traversing unfamiliar territory.
No matter your budget, there is an overlanding vehicle that fits both your style and needs. When making a decision about which vehicle you need, take into account how long you plan on travelling for, your route options, as well as personal preference.
While it’s possible to start with a basic camping trailer, most overlanders opt for something more rugged and capable – like an SUV with an off-road camper attached, or custom built rig. These may include dual sport motorcycles, high mileage all-wheel-drive Subarus*, SUVs with towing capabilities or custom built rigs that can handle rougher terrain better.
Many overlanders also bring along dogs or cats that fit well with their lifestyle. These pets can accompany them on their adventures and help them explore new surroundings while remaining secure.
(2) It’s a lifestyle
Overlanding has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years. It’s an adventurous form of nomadic travel that allows people to live out of their vehicles while taking in nature’s splendor. Overlanding typically requires extensive modifications to your car as well as carrying plenty of gear with you.
Overlanders are known for spending weeks, months or even years exploring the wilderness with their families. Unlike four-wheelers who often strive to push their vehicles’ speed and technical limitations, overlanders primarily seek out adventure in nature.
According to Overland Expo, overlanding is a way of life for those seeking adventure and an unparalleled sense of satisfaction from spending time outdoors. They don’t settle for weekends spent camping but instead embark on long journeys that allow them to discover new regions and create memories they will never forget.
Many overlanders spend weeks or even months away from civilization, sleeping under the stars and taking in breathtaking vistas.
Overlanders typically don’t travel alone, but rather bring their families along for the experience. This provides them with a chance to bond as they work together on tasks such as cooking meals or pitching tents for the group.
Though overlanding may be more expensive than traditional vacations, the rewards are worth it. Not only do overlanders get to see and experience things others never get the chance to, they save money by not having to pay for lodging or food while on their journey.
For many, overlanding is an affordable way to explore nature and live a different way of life. It also provides the chance to get away from daily stresses while connecting with family and friends.
Overlanding appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. It offers an opportunity for travelers to connect, learn about different cultures, and experience the world on a whole new level.
(3) It’s a passion
If you’re searching for the best of both worlds – experiencing nature at your leisure without breaking your budget, overlanding could be just what you need. With its emphasis on self-sufficiency and ability to fit a lot into a small space, overlanding allows travelers to travel without needing to pay for expensive hotels or indulge in indulgent restaurants.
The great news is, getting started isn’t that difficult. You can start with a dual-sport motorcycle, high mileage all-wheel-drive Subaru or even a pick-up truck equipped with an open camper.
Planning and research are essential steps in any overlanding adventure. Utilizing a budgeting calculator or spreadsheet can help determine how much to budget for fuel, campsites and other necessities.
There are ways to save money on your overlanding journey, such as packing light and taking advantage of free camping sites. Get creative when selecting where you go; avoid tourist traps and choose an isolated location where prices are lower. Finally, ensure to check with local governments about any restrictions before embarking on this worthwhile venture with family and friends! With some planning and foresight, taking the road less traveled will likely become part of your itinerary – you won’t regret it!
(4) It’s a way of life
Overlanding can sometimes be seen as a trend and as such, can seem expensive. But as an actual way of life, not only is it achievable but also incredibly rewarding.
Overlanding is a form of self-sufficient long distance adventure travel by vehicle where individuals and groups venture into remote regions to discover them. Usually, people spend weeks, months, or even years on the road exploring their destination and developing skills that will enable them to survive in such places without needing outside assistance.
Many overlanders possess an admiration for their environment and those living within it, relying on their own skills to stay alive while out there. This can include eating fresh foods, creating a fire or sleeping in a tent – whatever works best for them!
Some overlanders use vehicles that have been heavily modified for the task, while others take a more relaxed approach. Either way, they enjoy living simply and freely in a repurposed vehicle while developing their independence and sense of self.
There is a growing selection of overlanding vehicles on the market, and prices can vary based on where you go and what you need. Popular options include lifted all-wheel drive trucks and SUVs, 6×6 expedition campers, custom built rigs based on military or commercial vehicles, as well as retrofitted school buses.
A reliable overlanding vehicle is one that you can depend on, is easy to keep up with and has the capability of taking you wherever life takes you. For instance, a sturdy truck could easily traverse thousands of miles of US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands with ease.
When it comes to costs, it’s essential that you design your vehicle with a deliberate plan rather than haste. Doing this can save money in the long run and prove much more advantageous than an unplanned setup.
No matter your level of experience as an overlander or just starting out, it’s always beneficial to create a budget before embarking on your first trip. Knowing how much money you want to spend on items like food, fuel, accommodation fees and vehicle upkeep will enable you to make informed decisions before agreeing to anything.
Overlanding Costs in a Nutshell
The cost of overlanding can vary greatly depending on several factors, including your choice of vehicle, the extent of modifications and equipment, travel destinations, duration, and personal preferences for comfort and amenities. Here’s a breakdown of the primary expenses involved in overlanding:
- Vehicle: The cost of a suitable overlanding vehicle can range from a few thousand dollars for an older, used model to tens of thousands for a new, well-equipped 4×4 truck or SUV. The type of vehicle you choose will significantly impact your overall budget.
- Vehicle modifications and upgrades: Depending on the vehicle’s initial condition, you may need to invest in modifications and upgrades like suspension lifts, all-terrain tires, off-road bumpers, winches, and recovery gear. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Camping and cooking gear: Your setup may include a rooftop tent or other sleeping arrangements, a fridge or cooler, cooking equipment, and storage solutions. Costs can vary widely, from a basic setup for around $1,000 to a high-end, fully-equipped setup exceeding $10,000.
- Fuel: Fuel expenses will depend on the distance traveled, your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and local fuel prices. Plan your route and estimate your fuel costs accordingly.
- Food and water: You’ll need to budget for food and water based on your preferences and dietary requirements. Costs can range from a basic, budget-friendly meal plan to more elaborate, gourmet options.
- Maintenance and repairs: Set aside funds for routine vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, as well as potential repairs that may be needed during your journey.
- Travel expenses: Factor in costs for permits, visas, insurance, park fees, and other travel-related expenses. These will vary depending on your destination and travel requirements.
- Emergency fund: It’s essential to have an emergency fund for unexpected situations, such as medical emergencies or unforeseen vehicle repairs.
In summary, the cost of overlanding can range from a modest budget of a few thousand dollars for a basic setup and short trips to tens of thousands for a high-end rig and extended journeys. To minimize expenses, prioritize essential items and consider purchasing used equipment, sharing costs with travel companions, and choosing cost-effective destinations. Be sure to plan your budget carefully and make adjustments according to your individual needs and preferences.