Routes & Requirements
Have you ever wanted to take a journey just for it's own sake? If so, you're already familiar with overlanding, even if you didn't know it. While this exciting lifestyle is often mistaken for off-roading and used interchangeably with camping out on the trail, it's no the same thing. Overland exploration veterans know that it doesn't matter whether you're on a highway, running through city streets in search of a new supply stop, or going where there are no clear roads to check out sights you'd never see close up any other way, it's the journey that matters. The chance to explore for yourself. In some cases, it's following in the footsteps of other explorers to see the things they saw and recommended, which is why there are a few well-known routes that have become popular over the years.

Famous Routes in the U.S. and Abroad

Here are a few of the most commonly-traveled overland routes that have developed since the pastime was popularized by the 1969 convoy from South Africa to the UK.
  • The Silk Road runs through Asia along the same trade routes that have been used since the term was first popularized in the middle ages. Today's route is a mix of road types across several nations, and international travelers from all over the world make plans to travel its length every year to experience the journey for themselves.
  • The Pan-American Highway runs from Alaska to Argentina, providing a breathtaking series of views that give you a chance to see two entire continents as you travel the coast southward or northward along a seasonal route. It's an odyssey that gives you the opportunity to experience the full range of cultures that define the western hemisphere in a way most people can only imagine.
  • Cape Town To Cairo gives you the chance to see Africa in its full biodiversity as you travel south to north across the continent, and there are dozens of ways to plan the trip to make sure you can see practically any of the continent's historic sights or cultural treasures on the way.

Requirements for Overlanding

  • Since overland adventuring takes you through wilderness and city alike, you'll need to be set up for anything that you encounter. A good starting place is a full-system tune-up and preventive maintenance routine that allows you to track the life cycle of all the important parts with recommended replacement dates. You'll also want all terrain tires and rims that can hold up well as you move environments and climates, because these long journeys can take you from desert heat to mountain snowstorms in just a couple days.

You'll also need to plan for your rest and recharge cycles, which means providing yourself with shelter when you're far from cities and other sources of regular travel amenities. That means either investing in roof top tents for Jeeps and SUVs or a good truck cargo rack that can store the gear you use to set up your camp. It's not a bad idea to do both if you have the chance to make them fit, providing you with more room in your vehicle for creature comforts and other small luxuries.