1. Check Someplace Off Your Bucket List
Maybe 2024 can be the year you take that sabbatical, ship your vehicle to South Africa, and complete the African Transit you’ve always dreamed of. But even if it’s not possible, and let’s be honest, it’s not usually an easy feat for anyone, perhaps consider taking a small step towards that journey. While bucket lists are fun and inspiring, the pressure of thinking of a trip as a “once in a lifetime” experience and making them epic in length (and budget) can feel paralyzing.
One way to move past this is to book a mini trip covering part of your dream journey. There are now entire fleets of rental vehicles equipped with roof tents and camping gear all over the globe, from Chile to Mongolia. Taking a two-week trip with a rental vehicle will help you get your feet wet for that multi-county journey. You’ll get a feel for how long you like driving each day, what grocery shopping will be like, and how to handle land borders and authority, all things that will help you better hone your budget and itinerary for that epic overland.
2. Learn Something New
Make 2024 your year of picking up a new skill or two that will add to your enjoyment of overlanding. Overlanding encompasses a vast array of skills, everything from driving and vehicle recovery to camp cooking and wildlife watching. Sign up for an EC Adventure, or take a local workshop in basic mechanics. See if anyone near you offers a master class in barbeque cooking. Your local Audubon Society probably offers beginner birding walks; you might be amazed at how much learning about birds increases your enjoyment and awareness of the places you overland. One can never over-practice navigation, and a fun way to push your skills is to sign up for a local orienteering event. Community colleges are a fantastic resource, offering classes in everything from mechanics to cooking.
3. Organize Your Rig and Gear
When your gear and vehicle are well-organized, you’ll save time on the trail, and it will help you get out the door, too. Knowing your rig has everything you need or that all it will take is moving a few bins from your garage into your vehicle can make the difference between having an adventure and opting to stay home. Invest in quality gear for your vehicle and have a specific place for everything you need. Bonus points if your gear serves multiple purposes and saves money and space.
One EarthCruiser owner told us that he put a small sticker on every item when he first moved into his vehicle. The first time he used each item, he removed the sticker. A year later, he went through his vehicle and jettisoned every item that still had a sticker on it. Genius.
4. Get out of your Comfort Zone
If you’ve been overlanding for a while now, it might be time to try something just a little bit different. Plan a “stretch” trip to broaden your skills, increase your confidence, and perhaps serve as an introduction to something you hadn’t realized you’d enjoy.
This might mean tackling a trail rated a bit more complex than usual or visiting one of your favorite destinations at a different time of year. It will give you an opportunity to hone your skills, try out new gear, and explore new destinations. Who knows, you might just fall in love with overlanding in the winter. We sure have.
5. Visit Bend, Oregon
Finally, if EarthCruiser’s hometown of Bend, Oregon, isn’t in your 2024 plans, consider adding it to your list. There’s a reason we selected Bend as our home base. We are surrounded by some of the most scenic landscapes around, with seemingly endless public lands at our doorstep. We are nestled against the Cascade Mountains on one side and the expansive high desert on the other. From world-class fly fishing to mountain biking, skiing, paddleboarding, hiking, and more, there are more activities here than one could explore in a lifetime. Bend is pretty good at making beer, too.
While you’re here, if you’re considering purchasing your next overlanding vehicle, drop us a message; we’d love to show you our vehicles and our ‘home.’ We can’t wait to see you in 2024.
Happy New Year!