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  • Writer's pictureMarie Bailly

Top 5 things to know before a 4x4 overlanding vacation

Overlanding and road trips are hot, hot, hot right now - it takes you closer to the authentic beauty of the world. Visit California has named roadtripping the biggest travel trend of the coming decade and while we might be a little biased, we couldn't agree more. Studies show than over 70% of millennials value experiences over material goods. Things and possessions no longer matter as much - but epic experiences do.

Our clients from all over the world who take incredible overlanding trips for their vacation - and whether they come from Iceland, France, Switzerland, Illinois or Texas, they all agree that spending time surrounded by California nature is equally good for physical and mental health.

Here are 5 top things to know before your 4x4 overlanding trip:

1. No rush - once you get away from paved roads, relying on maps becomes difficult. The maps may show a short distance of 40 miles to your next destination but you never want to rush and drive fast on dirt and unpaved roads. That's not a bad thing! Most overlanding routes offer incredible scenic beauty - in some places you will be breezing at 30 miles an hour and in some places you will want to make stops every 10 minutes and take in the scenery. Always leave plenty of time to get to your next destination and plan to arrive before dark to set up camp.

2. Carry plenty of water - We provide a 20L (5 gallon) hard plastic water canister, which should be enough for 2 days for 2 people. Plan on re-filling it when possible or bring extra water if you're heading to a place like Death Valley National Park, where gas stations and stores are hard to find. Typically, 5L (1.3 gallons)/day/person is a good amount. You will need water to drink, cool and was dishes with - it's always better to have extra.

3. Work through your route navigation before you leave - ​we help our customers plan their dream road trip and plan the itineraries with them. If you’re venturing out on your own and especially into a new place, plan the route ahead of time - it’s easier to plan at home with internet than with fading daylight in an unknown area.

4. Layer it up - nights in California can get unexpectedly cold, especially in the desert or high mountain area. Mornings are notoriously chilly as well (especially if there is morning fog), so plan to pack the base layer plus the thicker layer and a jacket. Don't forget a hat and a pair of warm socks!

5. Bring your sense of adventure - it doesn't take up much space! Overlanding is all about the journey, not the destination. You might (and probably will) run into fun obstacles like crossing a shallow river or driving on a bumpy gravel road - embrace it and enjoy every moment - you will be back to city life in no time and will be missing those wild outdoor moments where the only traffic you see is a bunch of elks feeding on grass.

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