Overland Expos & Events
Overland expos and similar overland events are a great way to learn about the overlanding community, and get familiar with overland gear while meeting with the manufactures face-to-face. Plus they also provide an opportunity for classes and training on a variety of overlanding skills.
When: Mid February
Where: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds – Springfield, Missouri
The MOORE Expo (Midwest Overlanding and Off-Road Expo) is a two day indoor overland expo including courses and seminars that cover a variety of topics including overland navigation, radio communications, first-aid & trauma kits, recovery techniques, and much…moore. ?
American Adventurist – Desert Rendezvous
When: TBD [typically late February]
Where: Southern California or Arizona
The American Adventurist Desert Rendezvous is a smaller, more relaxed annual overland event. The gathering includes a potluck overland cooking competition and trail runs, and while vendors are present, this is a non-commercial event intended to be more relaxed than other overland expos.
Four Wheeler Adventure Expo
When: TBD 2021 [typically held in mid March]
Where: Orange County Fair & Event Center – Costa Mesa, California
This overlanding expo in Southern California has an awesome selection of overland and off-road vehicles on display, as well as gear for 4×4 and off-road vehicle enthusiasts, mountain bikers, overlanders, and more. And, because of its location in OC, there’s also a possibility of running into some celebrities as well.
Outside Adventure Expo
When: June 25-27 2021
Where: Utah State Fairpark – Salt Lake City, Utah
Run by the same producers of the popular Overland Expo series, Lodestone Events, the Outside Adventure Expo will include classes and round-table series on overlanding and adventure travel, camping, off-roading, and hosts a variety of outdoor gear vendors from the mountain biking, hiking, paddle sports, climbing and overland equipment markets.
Overland Expo Mountain West
When: August 27-29 2021
Where: The Ranch – Loveland, Colorado
A relatively new addition to the Overland Expo Series, the Overland Expo Mountain West is hosted in Loveland, Colorado, and the three day event includes a wide variety of educational seminars, off-road courses, overland equipment and gear vendors, as well as inspirational round-tables with adventure travel experts.
American Adventurist – Mountain Rendezvous
When: TBD [typically early September]
Where: Southern California
The American Adventurist Mountain Rendezvous is a smaller, limited-capacity annual overland event. The gathering includes a potluck overland cooking competition and trail runs, and while vendors are present, this is a non-commercial event intended to be more laid back than other overland expos.
Keweenaw Overland Adventure Retreat
When: September 16-19 2021
Where: Trails End Campground – Copper Harbor, Michigan U.P.
While KOAR is more of a basecamp style overland event, there is no shortage of trails and things to explore throughout the Michigan U.P on your way to or from the expo. The event includes 4 days of camping on the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior, with access to hiking, mountain biking, and paddling throughout the historic Copper Harbor area.
Overland Expo West
When: September 24-26 2021 [though it’s typically held in May]
Where: Fort Tuthill County Park – Flagstaff, Arizona
This was the first overland expo we attended, and it’s definitely one of our favorite overland events! Overland Expo West consists of a three day event that hosts a myriad of overland rigs and adventure vehicles to ogle over, off-road driving and training courses, motorcycle demo rides, a multitude of educational classes, incredible food, and screenings of inspirational overland films. If you can only make one overland expo – this is the one!
American Adventurist – Appalachian Rendezvous
When: TBD 2021 [typically between late September and late October]
Where: North Carolina
The American Adventurist Appalachian Rendezvous is a small, limited-capacity annual overland event. The gathering includes a potluck overland cooking competition and trail runs, and while vendors are usually present, this is a non-commercial event intended to be more relaxed than a typical overland expo.
Texas Avid Outdoors Fall Expo (a.k.a. The Texas Overland Expo)
When: TBD 2021 [typically early October]
Where: Oxford Ranch Campground – Llano, Texas
The T.A.O. Fall Expo is a popular overland exposition in Texas and is hosted to inspire and encourage attendees to explore the outdoors with a mix of gear and equipment vendors, as well as classes and presentations covering a wide variety of activities, overlanding, and outdoor adventure sports topics.
Pomona Off-Road Expo
When: October 3-4 2021
Where: Fairplex – Pomona, California
This off-road expo hosts some of the most revered parts, equipment, and gear manufacturers in the off-road and overland markets. The expo also features experts from the overlanding, off-road racing, and rock crawling communities.
When: TBD 2021 [typically the first weekend in October]
Where: Jefferson County Fairgrounds – Golden, Colorado
This family-friendly and pet-friendly three day expo showcases new and innovative products in the overland, outdoors, and off-grid living industries, as well as training and education sessions covering a wide array of overlanding, outdoor adventure, and self-reliance topics.
Overland Expo East
When: October 8-10 2021
Where: Infinity Downs – Arrington, Virginia
The east coast counterpart of the Overland Expo Series, Overland Expo East also consists of a three day event that hosts a wide array of overland rigs and adventure vehicles to drool over, off-road driving and training courses, motorcycle demo rides, several educational classes, expert roundtables, and screenings of inspirational overland films. If you’re in the eastern U.S. this expo is one you don’t want to miss.
Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival
When: TBD 2021 (typically the 2nd week in October)
Where: Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
The Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival is a popular overland expo produced by Mainline Overland, a renowned off-road and expedition vehicle outfitter in the overland community. MAOF features off-road driving courses, vendor sponsored giveaways, classes, and events with a family-friendly atmosphere.
Scottsdale Off-Road Expo
When: October 16-17 2021
Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale – Scottsdale, Arizona
This overland expo is the sister event to the Pomona Off-Road Expo and brings together some of the most revered parts, equipment, and gear manufacturers in the off-road and overland markets. The expo also features experts from the overlanding, off-road racing, and rock crawling communities.
Rendezvous in the Ozarks
When: October 14-17 2021
Where: Byrds Adventure Center – Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Rendezvous in the Ozarks is a three day overland expo that takes place in the beautiful Ozark National Forest. There are a variety of overland-centric classes, overlanding vehicle and equipment vendors, and guided trail rides for all skill levels offering a chance to hone your off-road driving abilities while surrounded with other experienced overlanders. We attended Rendezvous in 2020 and had a great time!
Overland Rallies differ from Expos in that they typically involve more active engagement and hands-on training. Often an overland rally consists of more rigorous or challenging driving conditions intended to hone your off-road driving abilities and help you become aware of you and your overland vehicle’s strengths and limitations.
Truck Camper Adventure Rally
When: February 11-14 2021
Where: BLM Roadrunner Wash Area – Quartzsite, Arizona
Truck Camper Adventure Rally is a four day rally consisting primarily of overland truck campers of all shapes and sizes, and takes place in the desert outside Quartzsite, AZ. It culminates in a three day overland trip over El Camino Del Diablo traversing some of the most remote and arid terrain in the Sonoran Desert.
Express Rally Adventure Series (Missouri)
When: April 2-4 2021
Where: Mark Twain National Forest – Missouri
This three day guided all-inclusive overland rally begins and ends in the Mark Twain National Forest, with a route that is both technical and scenic, and registration fees include camping and meals so all you have to worry about is getting your rig to the event.
Smoky Mountain Overland Rally
When: April 30-May 2 2021
Where: Dark Holler Off-Road Park – Cosby, Tennessee
The SMOR is a three day overland rally near the Smoky Mountain National Park in Cosby Tennessee and includes primitive camping, overland classes, and guided off-road trail rides for all skill levels. This year, the organizers are introducing a new section all about van life.
Express Rally Adventure Series (Arkansas)
When: May 14-16 2021
Where: Ozark National Forest – Arkansas
A three day guided all-inclusive overland rally beginning and ending in the Ozark National Forest, with a pre-planned route that is both technical and scenic, and registration fees include campsites, meals, and media coverage so all you have to worry about is getting your rig to the event.
Northwest Overland Rally
When: TBD 2021 [typically the third weekend in June]
Location: Leavenworth, Washington
The three day NWOR is a bit of a hybrid of overland expo & overland rally. It consists of camping, expert led overland classes (including everything from photography workshops to trail spotting, welding, and repairs), volunteer guided scenic trail runs, as well as on-site technical 4WD course training, vendor sponsored games and cocktails, and even wine tasting! This family-friendly event really has something for everyone.
BC Overland Rally
When: TBD 2021 [typically the last weekend in June]
Where: Whistler Olympic Park – Whistler, British Columbia
The BCOR is a sister event to the NWOR in the U.S. The rally takes place in beautiful British Columbia, Canada over the course of three days. It consists of camping, expert led overland classes (including everything from photography workshops to trail spotting, welding, and repairs), guided trail runs for a wide variety of skill levels, as well as on-site technical course training.
Express Rally Adventure Series (Overland New Mexico)
When: August 28-30 2021
Where: Carson National Forest – New Mexico
A three day guided all-inclusive overland rally beginning and ending in the Carson National Forest, with a pre-planned route through the Taos Mountains that is both technical and scenic, and registration fees include campsites, meals, and media coverage.
Express Rally Adventure Series (Overland Colorado)
When: September 2-4 2021
Where: Silver Jack Reservoir – Colorado
A three day guided all-inclusive overland rally beginning and ending at the Silver Jack Reservoir near Ouray, CO. The rally includes a pre-planned route through Engineer Pass, Imogene Pass, Black Bear Pass, Ophir Pass, Yankee Boy Basin, and Poughkeepsie Gulch that is both technical and scenic, and registration fees include campsites, meals, and media coverage.
Panhandle Overland Rally
When: TBD 2021 [typically the first weekend in October]
Where: Northern Idaho
The Panhandle Overland Rally in northern Idaho offers miles of self-guided trails as well as a technical course. With a beer garden, overland vehicle contests, raffles/prizes, live music, and a stellar community, this overland rally is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re planning a trip to this rally, be sure to scope out some of the Idaho’s natural hot springs along the way!
October Red Clay Rally
When: October 22-24 2021
Where: Lexington, KY to Johnson City, TN
This is an intensive three day overland rally, spanning nearly 600 miles through Appalachia’s mixed on-road, off-road, and technical trails – with one goal: finish. The Red Clay Rally is a real-deal overland rally in which self-sufficiency, self-awareness, driving skills, and your vehicle (and your own) limitations are put to the test.
Roof Top Tent Rally
When: TBD 2021 [typically mid to late October]
Where: James River State Park – Gladstone, Virginia
The RTTR is put on by the folks at Blue Ridge Overland Gear. While this event bears more semblance to an expo than a traditional overland rally, it still provides a great opportunity to connect with other overlanders. This family-friendly overland event includes three days of live music, overland gear & vendor booths, and camping with access to fishing, paddling, and 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. A roof top tent is not required.
Overland Groups & Local Gatherings
Overland Groups, both online and IRL, are one of the easiest ways to connect with the overland community, and those that contribute are typically eager to share their wealth of knowledge and help when needed.
Overlanding Facebook Groups
There are a huge selection of Facebook groups that cater to nearly every aspect of overlanding and overland travel. Here are a few of the best to get you started:
Overlanding Association – the overlanding association manages multiple overland-specific facebook sub-groups, which are broken into categories based on either geography or topic (such as vehicle shipping, builds, buy & sell, etc.). Note that to join most of these sub-groups you’ll be required to be a member of their broader forum: Overland Sphere
Overlanding USA – this group covers all things overlanding related in the United States
PanAmerican Travelers Association – if you have dreams of traveling the PanAmerican, this overland group is an incredible wealth of knowledge and help
Overland Bound is the largest membership-based overland group in the world with over 28k members world-wide. For a nominal one-time membership fee you get access to their extensive forum (discussed more below), regional facebook groups, member events & rallies, and trip planning software.
Learn more at https://www.overlandbound.com/
Rigs & Coffee
Rigs & Coffee is a group of regional overland vehicle gatherings that occur monthly throughout the United States. These gatherings offer a great opportunity to meet with others in your local overland community, check out some incredible overland vehicles, and have an excellent cup of coffee too!
Learn more at: https://www.rigscoffee.org/locations/
Overlanding forums are another excellent way to engage in the overland community, while offering both an opportunity to give and receive help and information from others who share your passion for overland travel.
Established in 2005, the Expedition Portal Forum is THE place to share overlanding build tips, information, help, and adventures with the overland community online.
Established in 1996, the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forums are one of the longest running forum resources for travel-specific information and community online. While not strictly overland-specific, it’s archives contain a vast amount of applicable overland travel information.
Overland Bound Forum
The Overland Bound Forum is free to all visitors and contains a massive amount of overlanding related information provided by the groups’ members.
As you can see, whether it’s through an overland expo, event, local group, or even an online forum, there is no shortage of ways to get connected with the overland community.
We cannot stress enough the benefits of engaging with the overland community if you’re interested in overland travel, and hope that this resource provides you with the means to do so more easily.
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