Words: John Panglinan
Photos: John Panglinan
“GET OUTFITTED, GET TRAINED, GET INSPIRED – GET GOING. THE WORLD IS WAITING.”
The popularity of overlanding in the U.S. has been growing steadily over the past few years, with more vehicles being outfitted to enjoy both off-road and the camping lifestyle each day. Overland Expo has been the definitive event for enthusiasts looking to learn more about overlanding.
What started as a small gathering of like-minded adventure travel enthusiasts 10 years ago has grown to become the centerpiece for the overlanding community, with more than t20,000 people attending this year’s Overland Expo West event from May 17th through the 19th at Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff, Arizona. To maximize attendance and allow for everyone to join in on the overlanding fun, the Expo is split into two regions – West and East, with two different shows.
The event features various classes and seminars to learn more about vehicle recovery, long-term travel, first aid and more. The programs are created to inspire and educate the public on proper and safe ways to travel by vehicle. There are literally hundreds of session-hours of classes for all types of enthusiasts, with speakers and trainers from all across the world representing at the Expo.
It’s a family affair and there is even a Kids Expedition Skills Area for kids 10 and older. Visitors can either stay in nearby lodging accommodations or indulge in the culture of off-the-beaten path travel with on-site camping (but it’s restricted to motorcycles, tents, overland vehicles and small overland trailers). Much like other automotive trade shows and events, Overland Expo has more than 300 vendors from the automotive aftermarket industry to the outdoor travel gear niche. The highlight of the event are the wide-array of vehicles on display that range from vintage Land Rovers, EarthRoamers, military vehicles, 4Runners, Land Cruisers and adventure motorcycles to the all-new Jeep Gladiator and Rivian R1T.
While Overland Expo West is usually in May, Overland Expo East is held in October, which was held at Infinity Downs Farm in Virginia from the 11th through the 13th. To buy tickets or just to learn more about the Expo and its purpose, visit OverlandExpo.com.