The Return Road: Overlanding

Every May, Overland Expo West comes to Flagstaff, Arizona, flooding the mountain town with 4x4s and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. The event showcases the ways you can live off the grid in your vehicle of choice. Just like the hot rod and performance-car scene, there’s no one way to overland. There’s everything from motorcycles, small SUVs, and fullsized trucks all the way to 5-ton semitrucks with military-grade tires, massive axles, and custom-built camper boxes aft of the driver. If you want to live in your converted van in the Canadian tundra, you can! If hauling mountain bikes to the top of the Rocky Mountains in the back of your Jeep Wagoneer is your thing, go for it! In the world of overlanding, it’s all fair game.

The diversity in vehicle choice and adventures of each person lends well to getting creative with storing everything you’d need to live off the grid. I met a British guy who had bought an early 1990s 70-Series Toyota Land Cruiser in Germany, shipped it to New York, and drove it well over 35,000 miles through the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, seeing all of the sites the continent has to offer. With it being Power Tour season and having road-tripping on my mind, it was really cool to see how other enthusiasts of a different ilk road-trip. Overlanding does have that off-the-grid twist to it and allows travelers to see more hidden gems in the world that you’d never find in civilization. Sounds like a good time.

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