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Gear Review

Overlanding Terms for Adventurous Texans

Overlanding has become a polarizing concept among modern day outdoor enthusiasts.  When polled, a local business owner recently described the booming hobby as, “an expensive bro-club.” While this sport can utilize advanced gear or equipment, it is the simplified ethos of the movement that has led to its rapid adoption.

To paraphrase verbiage from a 2020 Overlanding Journal article, overlanding is, “self-sustained travel with an emphasis on the journey itself, and those who join you, rather than just reaching the desired destination. These types of trips can be brief or last for months at a time.  They are typically vehicle-based or utilize a tow-behind trailer. The distinctive trait of overlanding though is not the equipment, the duration, or the remoteness your final destination, it is the mindset.  

Overlanding is self-sustained travel with an emphasis on the journey itself, and those who join you, rather than just reaching the desired destination.

The outlook of the overland adventure seeker embraces every aspect of a journey. To the overlander, the ups and down, the obstacles, and the unforeseen interruptions to the original itinerary all have value, meaning, and purpose. This is because that person believes there are moments that are good, beautiful, and true in the midst of it all.  

At Adventure ATX, we believe overlanding can take one thousand forms. From backyard camping to wheeling in Big Bend, overland adventure is a broad target.  In either case the focus is the same – on enjoying the process, the people, and the priceless value of spending time together in beautiful places.  

TASA and Freespirit RTTs deployed during a recent scouting trip to East Austin

Three Off-Grid Travel Terms for 2023

To help inspire your next adventure, here are three terms that we think every Texan, overlander or not, should know:

      1. RTT – Rooftop tent technology has transformed the camping game forever.   Common annoyances with traditional tent camping such as uneven terrain, moisture, and ground insects are solved with these elevated habitats.  RTTs  come in two classes, soft shell or hardshell. Size, color, and geographic layout variation present a seemingly infinite number of exciting design combinations.  Most tent manufactures are similar in terms of material and build quietly.  We currently run tents made by TASA Outdoors and Free Spirit Recreation; we’ve been happy with both.  If you’re in the market for a tent, look for a tent built by a brand you trust, at a price  you like.  Then go use it like crazy!  Might be the best $1000 – $3000 you ever spend.

      2. WMA – Wildlife management areas represent a new frontier of wilderness exploration in Texas. As the state’s population balloons and sedentary culture continues to appreciate the incredible value of time outside, first-pass effect will keep Texas State Parks saturated for the foreseeable future.  In addition to the well known state park system, Texas Parks and Wildlife currently maintains fifty-two WMA’s across the state’s 7 regions.  Twenty-one locations offer off-grid camping through a simple reservation system.  The solar power system on the SO 5-10 Trailer is a perfect way to experience breathtaking landscapes without sacrificing the comforts of a fully-equipped basecamp. Overwhelmed with possibilities and not sure where to start?  Black Gap WMA near Big Bend and Matagorda Bay WMA on the coast should be at the top of your list.
      3. TURTLEBOX – From weddings to recitals, campfires to cookouts, music has a crazy way of bringing folks together. The Houston-based brand, Turtlebox Audio, deeply understands this concept and the importance of living life outside with a melody on your mind.  Their portable, rugged, waterproof, outdoor speaker makes life’s 4th dimension, music, a sweet reality in any and every location.  Since purchasing our speaker in spring of 2022, the music box has been dunked in countless rivers, lakes, creeks, and streams.  It has accompanied our family on many miles of road-tripping and countless other crazy adventures.  Music quality from the Turtlebox is loud, crisp, and clear.  We have found material construction to be durable and of lifetime quality.  If you are thinking of adding to your gear trunk for summer adventures ahead, put Turtlebox on the short list of items to consider.

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