If you are at all interested in overland or adventure travel of any kind, you owe it to yourself to attend an Overland Expo.
One of the oldest and largest gatherings of overlanders on the planet, Overland Expo is the premier event series where you can discover unparalleled inspiration, learn new skills, connect with the overland community, and, of course, find the best new gear.
I've been attending and teaching courses at Overland Expo since 2016, and in the last five years it's grown almost exponentially in both size and scope. From weekend warriors to lifetime global travelers, you are guaranteed to find the niche for you at this incredibly diverse event.
There are four Overland Expos scheduled for 2022, so for most folks wherever you might live in the country, there will be one close by. They are: West in Flagstaff, Arizona (May 20-22), Pacific Northwest in Bend, Oregon (July 8-10), Mountain West in Loveland, Colorado (August 26-28), and East in Arrington, Virginia (October 7-9). Overland Expo West is the largest of the three - attracting over 30,000 attendees, 400 exhibitors and vendors, and dozens and dozens of classes and other educational programming to build your overland skills and knowledge. From first aid, to cooking, to traveling with kids, and off-road driving and recovery skills, you're sure to find something something inspiring.
In addition, there's a fantastic travel film festival, raffles, charity auctions, and, of course, a daily happy hour. I have met some of my best overlanding friends and colleagues at Overland Expo, and those bonds endure over both time and long distances. I've been lucky to share my experiences with fellow travelers, and in turn learned a ton of useful tips, tricks, and routes.
There will be hundreds of exhibitors selling everything from cutlery and portable solar panels, to tents and fully-built global expedition vehicles. Our two-wheeled friends will be buzzing around on BMW GS’s and Honda Africa Twins, and hundreds of folks will turn a wheel on the Ford Bronco Ride Along off road course. Winches and tow straps will be put to the test at the Camel Trophy Overland Skills area. Be sure to drop by the Redarc, Warn, and Front Runner pavilions, and tell them Overlander sent you. Overlander's Ambassador Jeremiah Oschwald from Overland Pioneers will be showing off his killer Jeep at the Redarc booth. Backwoods Adventure Mods is also a title sponsor this year, so if you have a Sprinter be sure to check them out, too.
But, beyond the striking array of jaw-dropping adventure rigs and drool-worthy gear, the real heart and soul of the Overland Expo is the human element. The opportunities to swap knowledge, stories, and aspirations with your fellow travelers, to share a beverage with one of your overlanding heroes, meet new friends, and simply learn something you never thought you might are unmatched anywhere.
Overlander and Expedition Overland will be at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff from May 19 to May 22. You can still buy tickets - for just a day, or for the full weekend with camping included. It also doesn't hurt that northern Arizona has some of the best off-road exploration opportunities in the country. The stetting is just about perfect. I'll be there myself with my new pickup to teach some courses on overland travel in Africa, and to sit in on a few roundtable discussions. Clay and Rachelle and the rest of the Expedition Overland crew will be front and center in the exhibitor venue, you can't miss them.
Swing by and meet the team, and find new horizons of your own. See you there!
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