What’s Overlanding: the best way to enjoy the great outdoors in terrible weather

Don't want to head outside because of the rain? Think again.

Ehule launches 4-person rooftop tent, the Thule Approach
(Image credit: Thule)

The weather has been terrible recently, much to the dismay of outdoorsy folks who are itching to get out to make the most of the slightly warmer seasons (where applicable). What is there to do in this wet, soggy weather to reconnect with nature? Overlanding might be the answer.

Overlanding is like the ultimate road trip on steroids, where you aren't just cruising down the main roads but tackling rugged terrain, remote trails, and wild landscapes in a decked-out vehicle. It's all about the journey, the adventure, and the freedom to explore off the beaten path.

In your own time

Imagine being behind the wheel of a beefed-up 4x4, loaded with camping gear, food supplies, and all the essentials for days, or even weeks, of self-sufficient travel. Think of it as car camping meets extreme exploration. Overlanders are like modern-day nomads, roaming the earth in search of epic experiences and breathtaking vistas.

But overlanding isn't just about the destination. In fact, it’s more about the journey and the experiences you encounter on your trip than anything else. It's about waking up to the sound of nature, cooking breakfast over a campfire, and swapping stories under the stars.

It's also about pushing your limits, testing your outdoor skills, and embracing the unknown. Mixing pleasant camping experiences with hardcore outdoor activities might feel a bit extreme, but that's the beauty of overlanding.

It combines everything that's good about car camping, technology, foraging, driving, navigation, and so much more into one of the most enjoyable outdoor experiences. Most importantly, it allows you to get out and explore even when the weather isn't ideal for such an activity.

TentBox Lite XL review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney)

Gear up

Overlanders are gear junkies, always on the lookout for the latest and greatest gadgets to make their journey smoother, safer, and more enjoyable. From rooftop tents (see also: TentBox Lite XL review) and portable stoves to portable power stations and satellite communication devices, there's no shortage of gear to drool over.

Overlanders also often customise their rigs with beefy tyres, heavy-duty suspension systems, and enough LED lights to turn night into day. It might feel like overcompensation or that the vehicles are modified purely for extra popularity points on social media, but there is a practical reason behind all this.

An overland journey wouldn’t be complete without its fair share of challenges and mishaps. From getting stuck in the mud to navigating treacherous river crossings, overlanders are no strangers to adversity. But it's all part of the adventure, and overcoming those obstacles only makes the experience that much sweeter.

But overlanding isn't just for the hardcore off-road enthusiasts. It's a lifestyle that anyone can embrace, whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a weekend warrior. With the right attitude and a sense of curiosity, overlanding can take you places you never dreamed possible.

For many, overlanding is more than just a hobby—it's a way of life. People who go the extra mile by modifying their cars and gathering all their gear often form tight-knit communities. Whether you're swapping tips on gear, sharing stories from the road, or lending a helping hand to a fellow traveller in need, the overland community is always there to support and inspire.


Whether you're dreaming of embarking on your first overland adventure or you're a seasoned veteran looking for your next adrenaline fix, one thing's for sure: overlanding is an experience like no other.

If you just want to try it out, check out rental companies, such as Wild Camper Trucks in the UK and many, many overland rental companies in the US and Australia. An alternative option would be to fix a rooftop tent on your car; Thule has a huge range of these.

A few bits of gear you’ll certainly need are a sleeping bag and camping mat or self-inflating camping beds. A cool box can also be useful for multiday (multi-week?) treks.

So next time you look out of the window with the rain pouring down, remember there is something you can do about it. Wetness isn't an excuse if you have the right attitude and gear to get out.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.