I attended the 2018 Overland Expo West gathering that brought people together from around the world to Fort Tuthill County Fairgrounds in Flagstaff AZ.
This event is organized for anyone who is interested in everything connected and associated with short or long-distance overlanding any part of our planet.
The expo has been etched on my calendar for more than a couple of years since my interests were established upon watching the highly successful YouTube video series, “Expedition Overland.”
Many people, have asked me, what the heck is “Overlanding,” especially since it is in the title of this blog. I define “Overlanding” as the independent and sustained travel around our planet to include remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.
During my thirty plus years of traveling around and across the US and Canada, mostly in the seat of a Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle. My mode of travel pales in comparison to those who chose to walk or bicycle. Yes, many people’s expedition doesn’t include any of the creature comforts seen at this year’s expo.
The photos below are of Clare and Gideon also know on the web as (2silvercyclist.net) from Worthing on the South Coast of the UK who began their bicycle expedition in April 2016. I encountered the two retirees in February of 2018 near Big Pine Key, in Florida. They were peddling towards Miami to complete the final leg of their travels around the world. They were to fly to Portugal to finish up their expedition towards their home in the UK.
Early explorers like Ferdinand Magellan used sailing explorations for monetary and exploitive reasons. However, today’s overlanders travel, by SUV, pickup truck, motorcycle, bicycle or on foot fulfilling their fundamental desire, curiosity to experience the world, its people, its culture, and food.
The photos above and below reveal Overlanding is not a new phenomenon, but the accessories on display at the Expo allow for a more comfortable way of automobile travel as as opposed to years gone by.
Uniquely many expo attendees want to look, see and consider their options based on their mode of travels for a long weekend, several weeks, or months, and like myself who live full-time on the road.
Just about every attendee including myself purchased hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and accessories during the three-day weekend event. My travel needs are minimalistic and simplistic so, a Yakima rooftop tent and a narrower rooftop cargo carrier were on my agenda.
I along with many at the expo are drawn to gawk at the largest and most expensive Overland vehicles and the photos of the high-end vehicle’s for off-road travels will always be a hit at these shows.
Although in areas of travel, the size of the vehicle may become a problem with the overgrowth of branches crashing into the upper section of these large rigs, not to mention the cost of gas and the cost to ship the vehicle on a boat to another continent.
But, I guess if you have the money why not go large for the weekend, several weeks, or around the world in comfort. 🙂
The expo provided dozens of classes, along with an off-road maneuvering area with demonstrations and vehicles sponsored by Land Rover. You could have signed up to use your 4×4 vehicle or dual sport or off-road motorcycle in classes covering every aspect of overlanding.
These classes provide the participants with the opportunity to test their skills, with experienced overlanders. There were classes on how to deal with crossing borders and determining the logistics for international travels using shipping to cross to another continent.
For me, the 2018 Overland Expo was a success, as I conjured nomadic plans to visit and meet with hundreds of organized overlanding groups throughout the US, Canada, Mexico. South America and beyond.
If you are interested in this type of travel, click the link to attend the 2018 Overland Expo East in Asheville NC to see and explore your ideal of Overland travel.