A NEW section at the SEMA Show this year is the Overland Experience exhibit.
Overlanding isn’t camping nor is it wheeling; apparently, it’s somewhere in-between the two. We’d just call it ‘camping with your 4x4’, but now it has a name and it’s marketable – and the Yanks have made a big thing out of overlanding over the past few years.
This growth has seen the arrival of specific events including large gatherings at the Overland Expos; one held in the east of the country and one in the western states. This is soon to expand to a third expo, and travellers come from all around the globe to see the latest products and listen to subject experts deliver seminars.
So-called overlanders love to accessorise their vehicles, and you’ll often find some of Australia’s best 4x4 brands equipped to their rigs. The standard features to show you’re an overlander are all-terrain tyres, a roof-top tent and a set of MaxTrax on the rack. The growth in overlanding has also seen a boom in the amount of 12-volt fridges found in vehicles, where in the past folks just used coolers (what we call an Esky).
You’ll find plenty of Toyota LandCruisers among the overland set, as they fit the bill for the touring travel they do. There were several Cruisers in the OE exhibit at SEMA, including rare models for the USA like the mid-wheelbase 70 Series.
It also appears all overlanders dress a certain way so that they’re easy to spot if they’re away from their MaxTrax-equipped 4x4 – khakis and tan are de rigueur, as is a wide-brim hat and a serious attitude.
There’s nothing wrong with overlanders or what they do; it’s just funny to see that the marketeers have given a name and identity to those who just love to go bush.
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