Inflating camping mattress on the road

The Beginner Guide to Overlanding

Written by: Marketing LH



Time to read 3 min

Embarking on a journey into the heart of nature, overlanding has captured the imaginations of adventure enthusiasts worldwide. This unique form of travel combines off-road exploration, camping, and self-sufficiency. In this guide, we'll dive into the essence of overlanding, the gear you'll need, and some recommended routes to kick-start your overlanding adventure.

What is Overlanding?

Overlanding or 4WD Touring is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries. (Source: Wikipedia)

Essential Overlanding Gear:

1. Overland Vehicles:

  • Choice of Vehicle: Opt for a purpose-built overland vehicle like the Toyota Tacoma, revered for its off-road prowess. Equip it with all-terrain tires, a durable suspension system, and protective skid plates.
  • Modifications: Consider essential modifications such as a front winch, rock sliders, and a snorkel for water crossings.

2. Communication and Navigation:

  • Communication Tools: Invest in a reliable two-way radio system for real-time communication with your travel party.
  • Navigation Tools: Equip yourself with a Garmin Overlander GPS for off-road navigation, pre-loaded with topographic maps.

3. Camping Essentials:

  • Tents: Choose a rooftop tent for quick setup and elevated sleeping.
  • Cooking Setup: Portable propane stoves and compact cookware for efficient cooking on the go.
  • Sleeping Gear: Experience the comfort of Lost Horizon's air mattresses, designed for overlanders seeking a restful night's sleep. Whether you prefer a single mattress or a double mattress, our selection ensures a quality sleep experience.

4. Recovery Gear:

  • High-Lift Jack: The Hi-Lift Jack is a versatile tool for vehicle recovery and essential for challenging situations.
  • Tow Straps and Recovery Boards: Equip your vehicle with high-quality kinetic recovery straps and Maxtrax recovery boards for traction on soft surfaces.

5. Tool Kit and Vehicle Maintenance:

  • Comprehensive Tool Kit: Include essential tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, and tire repair kits.
  • Regular Maintenance: Prioritize regular checks, including oil changes, brake inspections, and tire rotations.

6. Electrical System:

  • Dual-Battery System: Install a dual-battery setup, like the National Luna Dual Battery System, for reliable power distribution.
  • Solar Panels: Goal Zero's solar panels offer a sustainable power source for extended journeys.

7. Safety and First Aid:

  • First Aid Kit: Assemble a comprehensive first aid kit, including items like QuikClot for severe bleeding.
  • Fire Extinguisher and Signaling Devices: Carry a compact fire extinguisher and signaling devices like a rescue whistle and signal mirror.

8. Additional Comfort and Convenience:

  • Portable Shower: The NEMO Helio LX Pressure Shower provides a refreshing shower experience.
  • Foldable Furniture: Helinox's Chair One offers comfort without sacrificing portability.

Tips for a Successful Overland Adventure:

1. Route Planning:

  • Detailed Maps: Use a combination of paper maps and digital tools like Gaia GPS for comprehensive route planning.
  • Local Insights: Connect with local overlanding communities for real-time insights on road conditions and hidden gems.

2. Packing Strategies:

  • Organization: Invest in modular storage solutions for efficient packing.
  • Essentials First: Prioritize essentials like water, food, and recovery gear in easily accessible locations.

3. Vehicle Maintenance Checks:

  • Pre-Trip Inspection: Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection, including checking all fluids, belts, and hoses.
  • Spare Parts Kit: Carry critical spare parts such as extra fuses, belts, and air filters.

4. Off-Road Driving Skills:

  • Training: Consider off-road driving courses to enhance your skills in different terrains.
  • Terrain Assessment: Assess the terrain before tackling obstacles, and engage 4WD as needed.

5. Leave No Trace Principles:

  • Waste Management: Pack out all waste, including biodegradable items. Use portable toilets and dispose of waste responsibly.

Recommended Overlanding Routes:

Trans-America Trail (TAT): Experience the diversity of America from the Appalachian Mountains to the deserts of the Southwest.

The Pacific Northwest: Traverse the stunning landscapes of Oregon and Washington, from dense forests to the rugged coastline.

Mojave Road: Conquer the challenges of the Mojave Desert, exploring its unique geological features and historical sites.


As you prepare to conquer the diverse landscapes of overlanding, meticulous gear selection is your key to a successful and enjoyable journey. Every piece of equipment serves a purpose, ensuring your self-sufficiency and safety as you traverse the roads less traveled. Lost Horizon's camping mattresses are the epitome of comfort, offering a luxurious reprieve after a day of exploration. May your overlanding adventure be defined by the precision of your gear and the limitless spirit of exploration.