SAFETY TIPS FOR OVERLANDING: STAY PREPARED ON THE TRAIL
Overlanding is becoming extremely popular, not just because it’s fun. Overlanding takes you off the beaten path, deep inside the beautiful nature.
What was once a necessity now became one of the most exciting hobbies for off-road vehicle owners. As the adventure takes place in more or less remote locations, it’s important to be fully prepared for the trip.at.
One of the most underrated aspects of overlanding is safety, and even if accidents aren’t very common during overlanding, you need to be prepared, just in case.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some safety tips for overlanding. We’ll touch on what you need to have on your overland camping gear list, and much more.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
- Mark gas stations, shops, and other important locations
- Find good camping sites and mark a few checkpoints
- Consider your vehicle’s capability and the difficulty of the trail
- Do a thorough research on the area
The first thing you need to do before going on an overlanding journey is to plan your route. This should be as detailed as possible with locations of gas stations, shops, and other important locations nearest to your planned route.
Planning a route includes much more than just going from point A to point B. An overlanding camping trip usually includes finding a place to spend the night, and various checkpoints. The checkpoints and planned camping sites will help you regroup with the other vehicles and people you’re overlanding with. This step will likely take some time as it requires some research.
While planning the route, keep in mind what kind of path your vehicle is capable of overcoming. Some overlanding trails are more difficult than others, and more capable vehicles are required to conquer those trails.
Considering the difficulty of a trail is one of the most important things in planning your route. This will directly affect your overland packing list, but it will also help you determine whether a trail is good for overlanding camping or not.
One of the best ways to research a specific trail is to get local insights. You can do this by joining certain overlanding clubs and forums, but also reaching out to people who visited a specific trail you want to visit.
Once you’ve made a plan, make sure to stick to it during your trip. Hard shell roof top tents might be a better choice for one trail option, but not necessary on the other.
- Always drive fully rested
- Make frequent stops
- Keep your eyes open at all times
- Never drive faster than you’re comfortable
- Watch your step
Overlanding, at least in most cases, doesn’t include high-speed driving, but it requires precision and caution. Because of this, it’s extremely important to get enough sleep every time you stop for overlanding camping. If you’re tired, it’s better to cover less ground, or even remain in the same spot a little longer.
Bad weather will also make it more difficult to cover a lot of ground. The rain will make the terrain significantly more slippery, which can negatively affect your vehicle’s handling and capability.
Even if you come across a stretch of straight road in the trail, keep your speed in check. Remember that overlanding trails aren’t used every day, so a fallen tree, rocks, and other obstacles might come up at any time. Travelling at higher speed will reduce the chance of evading these obstacles, and increases the chance of damaging your vehicle.
Depending on how remote the trail is, it’s likely that you’ll come across wildlife during your overlanding journey. Sometimes, these critters won’t be so friendly, which is exactly why you need to stay alert at all times.
Lastly, always watch your step. Overlanding trails are beautiful, however, there are places where you or anyone from your group can get injured. It’s also the reason why a first-aid kit should always be somewhere close to reach.
CHECK THE WEATHER
- Check the weather forecast before the trip
- Have a reliable weather app on your phone
- Pack accordingly
Weather can be your greatest ally or biggest enemy during an overlanding adventure. Checking the weather forecast and staying updated on current weather conditions is essential for keeping your journey safe and enjoyable.
Having updated information on the weather conditions can significantly change your plans for the trip. If colder weather is expected, or you find out that the period is about to be windy, you should install hard shell roof top tents for better protection and comfort.
Different weather conditions also affect the overland packing list, especially if rain or snow is expected. Not only will you need to bring more recovery gear, but you’ll also likely cover less ground. The weather, no matter how insignificant it might sound, has a big effect on the entire overlanding camping trip.
INVEST IN FIRST AID AND SURVIVAL TRAINING
- Buy a high-quality first-aid kit
- First-aid and survival training are essential
- Always stay calm
Although overlanding is considered very safe, it’s a great idea to invest in first aid and survival training. The entire point of overlanding is being self-sufficient. Although it’s not common, it’s possible to experience dangerous situations where a quick reaction can save someone’s life.
Also, you might come across different situations where a small accident can leave you without vital overlanding equipment, which is where survival training can come in handy.
Both first aid and survival skills can be very helpful in specific scenarios you might experience. Where others might cave in due to pressure, you’ll be confident in your decisions and remain calm when others start to panic.
HAVE EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS ON HAND
- Local emergency services
- Local park or trail rangers
- Legal representative
- Other emergency contacts
Even with all the first aid and survival training, external help can be a safer and much more convenient option in case of an emergency. Having emergency contact numbers at the tip of your fingertips at all times can significantly reduce the arrival times of emergency services or any other type of help.
When it comes to emergency contacts, it’s best to share these with the entire group you’re traveling with. This way you’ll shorten the response time if any emergency occurs. When it comes to emergency contacts, you should include local emergency services, par or reserve authorities, roadside assistance, and medical assistance.