The origins of Overlanding date back to the early 1900s, when explorers would establish routes for long-distance travel to move livestock. The first Overlanders were those who knew how to build a fire, catch food and navigate their way around hostile terrain to get from point A to point B, without dying along the way—or at least not too often. Overlanding eventually took on a different meaning and would become an activity for those seeking to explore the outdoors. Travelers began combining off-roading with camping and turned their weekend adventures into a lifestyle. Overlanding has taken many forms over the years. The goal has always been the same; leave your comfort zone, get off the beaten path and explore uncharted lands.
The Overlanding trend has been gaining momentum for a while—but it wasn't until the 2020 pandemic that it really took off. During the COVID outbreak, people had little choice but to stay closer to home. While this may have been bad news for travel agents and airlines, it was a win for campers and Overlanders. The rising popularity may also be linked to improvements in technology. With products like cell phone signal boosters, satellite WiFi systems and more efficient camping equipment, you don't have to sacrifice much (if anything) when you choose to go off the grid. With the available solar technology, you can carry more electronics from fridges to outdoor lights, making your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Rooftop tents and fire pits that convert to grills mean you don't even need a campsite—just find yourself a nice patch of dirt, and you're ready.
With long trips through remote rural areas, no set destination and camping under the stars along the way. Overlanding is considered more of a lifestyle than an activity. It also requires some special equipment for your ride. We know what you're thinking: "I don't need a big truck to camp." There may be some truth to that statement, but if you want to go wherever your adventurous spirit takes you, your vehicle will need to be able to handle the journey. The most important part of making your vehicle ready for off-roading is adding bigger tires and a lift kit to get into some of the places you want to go. The best part? You don't have to own one of these vehicles right off the lot; most of what makes them Overlanding-ready can be added through aftermarket features or upgrades. From off-roading companies to automakers, many have recognized the growing popularity and are extending their inventory to match.
Overlanding is more than a journey. It does not involve arriving at a specific destination but instead exploring the possibilities of what happens when you leave the beaten path and venture out into the unknown. The experience of traveling on the road and all it offers is one of a kind. As long as thousands of Americans are still heading toward scenic destinations every weekend, there will continue to rise in the Overlanding trend. A rugged Overlanding setup on your vehicle can make your journey more enjoyable. From suspension lift kits to rooftop tents and firepits, Rough Country has the equipment to help you navigate the most challenging terrain and weather conditions. We proudly keep Overlanding enthusiasts happily in the driver's seat with products dedicated to adventure.