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Should You Go Overlanding Alone?

Should You Go Overlanding Alone?

Overlanding with friends and family is great. However, whether through choice or circumstances, you may find yourself with the opportunity or desire to go it alone. Is this a chance to find yourself, be one with nature and finally get some alone time or is it a recipe for disaster? The honest answer is it could be both.

We’ll help you come to your own conclusion about whether Overlanding alone is a dream come true or a pipe dream.

Note: the intent of this article is to point out what you should consider in the decision-making process of venturing out on your own. We will not make a recommendation. That choice is up to you. You know yourself, what you are capable of and where you have weaknesses.

The Negatives of Overlanding Alone

To begin with, Overlanding alone may be, well, lonely. There is no one there to talk with or enjoy wonderful times and unique experiences with. Without a friend (or several friends), campfires and cookouts just aren’t the same.

You get into your sleeping bag early and start thinking about your day– how the sunrise looked that morning– how you made it through that difficult area of the trail– the rare animal sighting. Aren’t they best enjoyed at the end-of-the-day conversation around the campfire?

Then there are the problems with navigation. You’re on your own to find your way if you get lost. Experience a breakdown? You’d better know how to use tools and have some spare parts on hand. You may have a dead battery, run out of gas, or a number of other problems with your vehicle’s mechanical functions.

There’s a good possibility you can get the support you need for repairs or recovery if you’re a part of a group. We can assure you that recovery with just one vehicle and one person is much more challenging.

It’s difficult for spotting too. It’s up to you to cross that rutted trail or maneuver around those rocks. It’s nerve-wracking to back up on a shelf road around a bend. Even with assistance, it’s difficult.

What happens if you get injured? You can manage it and move on if it’s a minor issue. However, life-threatening situations include trauma, heat exhaustion, a heart attack, snakebites, and the like. Have you prepared for what you would do in those situations?

Scenarios in which you could find yourself alone on the trail

  • You begin your journey with a friend, but he has vehicle problems. Your friend stays behind with his car while you seek help.
  • While waiting for a friend at the trailhead, he doesn’t arrive. You make the decision to leave nonetheless. Didn’t you wake up at 4:30 AM and travel 90 miles to get there? The trail is right there waiting for you to take on. All the great experiences ahead of you. You can’t wait to rub it in!
  • While you’re driving down the highway, you spot a trail that is reaching out to you to be explored. Remember, those journeys could be very dangerous. You might not have the necessary recovery gear and emergency survival supplies on hand.
  • You spend a number of days traveling with a group. Everyone leaves (either early or as planned), yet you stay behind. You want to keep going. You continue to travel and explore independently because of your sense of adventure.

The Positives of Overlanding Alone

Let’s now explore the advantages of Overlanding alone as well as why it is not only possible, it helps you learn a lot about yourself as well as boost your confidence. We know people that frequently off-road by themselves. They have a great time. They even claim that some of their most enjoyable adventures took place when they were exploring the wide-open trails by themselves.

Here are some potential reasons for venturing off on your own:

Being free of others’ demands on you is liberating. You choose your own schedule, travel when you want, and go at your own pace. You are free to wake up late, get started late, and set up camp whenever the mood strikes. It doesn’t matter if you don’t visit every location you had in mind when you woke up that morning.

The trail difficulty can also be chosen according to your mood. Maybe one day you just feel like taking a leisurely drive down a little dirt road. Or perhaps you’re feeling a little more daring and a more challenging trail is calling your name. It’s your choice!

You can gain confidence by pushing yourself and overcoming challenging obstacles. Solving your own difficulties helps you learn more quickly.

You and the great outdoors are the only two present. Those travels provide you with time for introspection and have a therapeutic effect on your soul.

Important things to consider before Overlanding alone:

  • Count on all technology to malfunction. Maps and backup communication equipment should be on hand. This can include satellite communicators, SPOT trackers, a HAM radio and personal locating beacons.
  • Inform others of your destination and anticipated return time. Don’t veer off your pre-planned route.
  • Bring the right equipment and enough supplies. Keep in mind the camping supplies, food and water, spare parts, and recovery gear you will need. A ground anchor and a winch are also helpful.
  • Keep to familiar trails. Use a group trip to explore new or more challenging treks.
  • Drive during busy times of the day and popular times of the year. You’re more likely to come across somebody who could assist you if needed.

So should you go Overlanding alone? That’s your decision. However, the time may come when you have no choice. If successful, you’ll build your skillset and increase your confidence level. As with any Overlanding adventure, make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for the journey.

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