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Overlanding Came From Jeep

Trail Head

Yes, we used to call it car camping, or maybe just going in the field for a while. Whether you use its new term—overlanding—or call it something else, it's not really that new. In fact, Jeep came from a company named Willys-Overland, which evolved from the Overland Auto Division of Standard Wheel. Back in 1912, owner John North Willys surely had no idea that the name of the company would go on to become a passionate activity for thousands of people around the globe, or that the Jeep would be the progenitor. But as they say, what's in a name?

Overlanding is exactly what it means—to go overland (or sea) to get from one place to another. The idea, of course, is to be somewhat self-sufficient on- and off-road, while also living out of your vehicle. To this end, manufactures have flooded the market with every type of gizmo and rooftop tent known to man—all in the advancement of overlanding. The Overland Journal magazine came about as an early promoter of the lifestyle, as well as the Overland Expo, which hosts and showcases the latest and greatest people and products from around the world.

While some people in the Jeep world deride the ubiquitous fashion statement of khaki clothes, high-end accessories, and rooftop tents, they do have their place in the overlanding movement. As one gentleman noted recently, all of the accoutrements on his Wrangler have made it more appealing to his spouse, who now goes on trips with him regularly. And that's what it's all about: getting out and enjoying the outdoors, traveling and camping along the way. The idea isn't to conquer the worst terrain or even go rockcrawling—it's simply to go explore and have fun wheeling.

Overlanding can also be done on a budget, rather than with mega-buck mansions on wheels with dueling tents perched on top. Yes, it used to be called car camping, but we have seen an evolution of sorts that has made our lives more comfortable and secure in our desire to explore and travel. That's not a bad thing; it opens up new avenues to more and more people, which allows us to join in on the overlanding movement. Do you have a hot tip or trick for camping or overlanding? Let us know and you could get a Jp license plate for your troubles!

Rick P w