July 07, 2022
Midland Radio works closely with its partner in the off-roading and overlanding industry.
According to KOA's North American Campign Report, more and more people are interested in taking up off-roading or overlanding.
If you're new to the activities, it may appear intimidating, but with the proper safety instructions, it's a great way to get outdoors with others.
To get you started, Midland Radio's off-roading and overlanding partners are sharing their top tips with you.
This overlanding and camping family has been involved for about 27 years on and off. However, the family has gotten more involved in the last 10 years.
Anderson Overland's favorite place to hit the trails is Ouray, Colorado.
“Imogene Trail is one of the best off-road trails in the USA and is a great way to expose even the most inexperienced off-roader to some intermediate and challenging spots! Last Dollar Road is great and fairly easy for insane scenery and Black Bear Pass for the white knuckle adventurer," Joey Anderson said.
While he feels the most important tip for someone just starting out on the trails is to always carry a first aid and/or trauma kit, he also said it's important to treat the outdoors with respect.
"Always drown your camp fire pits! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve come across campfires that were just about to start a large fire because someone didn’t drown their fire and cover it up with dirt. This keeps any embers from taking off in the event that the winds pick up after people have left camp," he said.
Tammy Robert and her husband, Robert have been off-roading for about 10 years.
While they have been to more off-roading parks and more National Forest Trails than she can remember, her favorite memories come from old backroads.
The Roberts love taking their Jeep to the Texas Hill Country between Fort Bend.
"That whole area covers three different topographies, can be covered completely on backroads, and gets more beautiful/interesting the further you go in either direction," she said.
Robert's number one tip for newcomers is to make sure you're not wasting your money. She recommends doing your research before purchasing or adjusting your rig.
"Gather some basic safety gear like a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, GMRS radio (CB doesn’t have the range), a cooler with snacks, and some other folks to tag along. Then, go get a little dirty," she said.
Roberts also added that as you gain more experience, that is when to start investing more into your vehicle.
"As you reach the limits of yourself and the rig, determine whether you need one-ton axles, 40” tires, coil over suspension, or a hotel on wheels, complete with kitchen and bath house. Chances are, you don’t need either.
She said it's important to develop a plan of attack with your build before making important decisions.
"If you do all your shopping first, you might just pigeon hole yourself into a segment of overlanding/off-roading you’re just not that into."
Bridget is relatively new to off-roading. She took her Jeep out for the first time about a year and a half ago.
Her favorite spot to off-road is S.M.O.R.R. in Seymour, Missouri.
"I love that it’s right here in our backyard, has beautiful scenery, obstacles and trails for all levels, and it’s a very well maintained off-road park," she added.
While she is still new to the sport, she says her best piece of advice is patience.
"I would tell any new wheeler that seat time is key, trust your instincts, trust your rig, but, most importantly, HAVE FUN! Wheeling for our group is about being out, enjoying nature, spending time with our friends, our family, and just having a good time," she said.
Justin has been off-roading and overlanding for our four years.
He said he's still learning about the sport each and every time he heads out. That hunger to learn means he's not picky about where he off-roads.
"The best place to go is overlanding/off-roading is anywhere that allows it. Staying on marked trails is something that should always be remembered while out exploring. The Southwest is a good place to explore. It offers all types of landscapes and trails for any skill level," Brown said.
Even though Brown continues to learn as he spends more time off-roading, he still encourages people to stick together as they try the sport out.
"Don’t go off-roading/overlanding alone. Try and go with someone that has off-roading experience so they can help you when you’re just starting out," he said.
Brian Lau has been camping since he was a Cub Scout in first grade, but he began overlanding and off-roading consistently about three and a half years ago.
Lau has outfitted his Mercedes Sprinter Van for overlanding and said his favorite spot to overland is anywhere far, far away.
"Push your limit of comfort and you'll enjoy and appreciate the destination more. Go to destinations that are suitable for the season. A body of water such as a lake, or beach are great places because they offer other activities aside from just camping. However, remote destinations such as deserts and forests can be beautiful and a pleasure as well," Lau said.
Lau also enjoys taking his kids with him on as many adventures as he can.
"I want to make sure the kids not only have a great time, but they're creating memories, socializing with kids outside their everyday circles, and becoming in-tune with their sense of curiosity, confidence, and independence," he said.
His number one tip for newcomers is to relax.
"Leave the ego at home and humble yourself to those that have more experience that are offering to show you new things related to off-roading/overlanding. Relax. Take in nature and remind yourself how insignificant you and your problems are in the grand scheme of things. Camping is the great reset everyone needs," Lau added.
Ashley Oldham has been overlanding for about three years.
She loves exploring the back roads in the Ozarks.
"The overlooks are amazing, water crossings and trees galore, and more places to camp than you could ever imagine," Oldham said.
She encourages people to try new things, but to understand their limits in order to explore safely.
"Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. At the same time, don't do something that you aren't comfortable with just because everyone else is going that route. It's very much a fine balance. Learn, experience, and grow from it. Find your own path and blaze it," she added.