WE ARE MORE!

WE ARE MORE!

In the beginning, this thing called Overlanding USA was developed out of 2 strong passions, cars and the outdoors. Both things are still true today!

The movement called Overlanding here in the US has taken on a life of its own, there is always the great debate, what is it exactly? I am not much of a fan of labels, they are much too confining and can tend to lead to burnout in the activity as I have experienced many times in my life.

Overlanding can be many things, it is after all, just a term to describe a base activity. To see remote places and enjoy the journey along the way. Never does it confine you to just one mean the only constraint is the “journey” and “destination” something that can be accomplished by so many means.

With that being said, we are going to change things up a little bit here at OUSA and take Overland based travel to the extreme, extrapolating the term out to its utmost.

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The accepted definition of Overlanding is as follows, “Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.”

Now we pose a question, where does it say it has to be with a 4x4, or in a vehicle, or on wheels at all? To us Overlanding is just that a conjunction of 2 base words “Over-Land.” Overlanding is the blanket term that defines a style of travel not an activity and therein lies the point.

Overlanding to us is many things, its travel via 4x4, its travel via dirt bike, hiking, climbing, biking, and yes, even canoeing, as believe it or not, that water is still over land! Okay that one may be stretching it a little, but I like my canoe, sue me.

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My point is, to limit overland travel to just one type of socially accepted and inevitably trend defined activity is to be in-just to the term itself, only extracting a small amount of what it is truly capable of.

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If you follow along with us because you like our trucks, or you like to see us talk about mods, that will still be there, but if you follow along because you like to see people on adventure, like to daydream about what is possible and places you can go no matter what form that takes then you are going to love our new direction!

Welcome to the new and Improved Overlanding USA!

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Season 2 and the Utah Traverse

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Season 2 and the Utah Traverse

As overlanders we have a lot of different goals and quite honesty that is why the term is used so broadly.  Rock crawling, trail riding, camping with the family, or just to get as far away from everyone as possible, they are all reasons to drop the Overlanding term.

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As some of you guys know around a year ago we ventured into the realm of YouTube to follow the proverbial white rabbit of “making it as an overlander”  While what has transpired in the past year can be scene as mild success for some hacks that have no idea what to do with a camera. The main objective was always to grow as overlanders, off road navigators and as people.  

Through trials an tribulations, through mud and snow we have accomplished that goal, some winching required.  We have build overland rigs to travel the world and as a great man/woman once said you truly know your truck is ready when you take off the last thing you don't need, we have come to a point where we know what we want to do.  

Well what is that Ruston your yammering with no point. Okay okay, the point is we have found what we like to do and what we are good at.  Finding remote routes that take you to amazing places close to home that you can accomplish without a huge budget and 4 weeks of paid vacation from your job. Which brings me to the main point.  

As some may know we have been working really hard to bring you guys something different.  Finding that ohh so sweet combination of familiar and easy to get to with spectacular destinations, views and camp spots that can be achieved on a budget and on a time crunch.

Which leads us to Season 2 of our “Weekend Warrior" YouTube series.  We are going to spend 4 days over Labor Day weekend navigating the 600+ miles of the Utah Traverse route.  This amazing section of earth will take us from Colorado to St. George Utah, hitting places such as Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Grand Staircase, and Zion to name a few.  We will be producing a 4 part Youtube series and releasing them along with each videos GPS tracks as they come out starting this October.  

This will hopefully inspire you to get out and explore the vast expanses of wilderness this world has to offer!  

Hopefully season 2 will show you that everything and anything you dream of is possible.  

We will also let you in on a little secret about season 3, yes we already have it planned, yes it is going to be very different but what I can say is that we will be giving our home state of Alabama an overland route and experience that it has never before scene!

Stay Tuned!

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#backtobasics

#BacktoBasics

As many have experienced there has been a massive explosion in the overland and off road based adventure market in the past few years.  More and more often the narrative goes as follows; Buy expensive overland vehicle, 4runners and Tacoma's being some of the more popular, precede to purchase every after market part available and in the legendary words of John Hammond from the 1993 classic Jurrasic Park “spare no expense”

I think at one point or another we have all gone down the rabbit hole, jump on “insert vehicle or community forum here” and drool over the amazing rig builds and let strangers tell you how to spend your money.  

Now all of this being said there is nothing wrong with doing that, to each their own and as long as its not taking food off the table for your family, more power to you! 

But Ruston, what is the point of telling me this?  

Well the point was to establish a precedent.  This has become the norm for so many people, and seems to be the standard for “Instafame” in todays society.  The crazier the build the more people drool.  Slap a random “overland or expedition” in your insta handle and you have hit the big time.

Okay, but Ruston I still don't get why you are still writing.

I set all of this background up to be able to challenge it.  One thing that seems to be so common is once the truck is built and the name is hashed out there is an inherent lack of adventure.  Now if your goal was to simply have a cool truck then awesome!  But if you were lulled into the idea that you “need this truck super built” in order to have an adventure then I think you are missing the point.  

Adventure travel is about the experiences, places and people you meet and visit along the way, the scenic vistas, that ohh so eclectic delight you found in the mountain pub or back country kitchen.

I will admit, I am guilty of all of the above.  I started an Overland account and business, I bought a brand new, way to expensive, overland vehicle, I began to modify this vehicle into something that no longer resembled the cheeky mug that I fell in love with.  I have had 4 different roof top tents, 3 different roof racks, 3 different front bumpers, 4 sets of tires, 2 sets of rims, wheel spacers, no wheel spacers, I am on my 4th suspension set up since purchasing the truck, and a cold air intake that only lasted a month.  Do you want me to let you in on a secret?  None of it made the adventure more exciting, none of it made the places I wanted to visit and more or less than what they have and always will be.  

Through the years I have learned so much through the vehicle of overloading, most of them have been about myself.  I recently have been swimming against the river of overland society, leaving the roof for the ground, putting back the sway bars I had removed, removing a front bumper built for rock ramming and an amazing thing happened, I can still go all the places I have wanted, things stopped breaking on the truck, I saved so much money on gas, and found myself worrying less about what people thought of my truck and valuing the experience and adventure that much more!  I am calling it our journey #backtobasics. 

So I challenge you, do you need that long travel, all that armor, a king sized roof top tent, 700 miles of fuel range?  Or do you need more fresh air, adventure, silence, and road trips with those that you care most about? What is your answer?

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TreadWright: The Best Tire we have ever used!

We recently starting using TreadWright Guard Dog Mud terrain tire on our flagship 2015 Toyota 4runner.


TreadWright is a true blue American company based out of Houston Texas.  They use a process called re-casting tires where they take old casings from used tires, and apply freshly recycled rubber and press it into the molds they use for making their specific tire.

This is the exact same process as all other manufactures, only this way we get a tire that is made of 80% recycled material and a fraction of the cost.

We are currently running a 285/70r/17 tire on the 4runner.  In a short amount of time we have managed to put on some 10K miles, yes we drive a lot, but the truck is my daily driver.

After 10K miles with regular rotations every 5k miles we have noticed very little wear, especially for a mud terrain tire.  I am personally hoping to get 50k out of these tires, which would be amazing.

So we will break it down into on and off road performance

On road:

With over 85% of our miles being on road we were a little hesitant to put on such aggressive mud terrain tires thinking they would wear quickly.  So far we have been pleasantly surprised.  The Guard Dogs are loud, with a little higher pitch noise than other mud tires, but that is to be expected as aggressive as they are. Other than that they balance rather well and provide a very smooth ride for our daily commute to and from work.

Off-Road:

We have put these tires through a beating.  Mud, sand, slick rock and even lava rock in Utah at full psi!  So far they have been nothing but spectacular. Coming from the world of all terrain tires I can comfortably say that we will be using a mud tire from now on and a mud tire from TreadWright at that.  The grip is just immense, especially when aired down.  The ride is sublime even over the most rugged terrain, giving us the confidence to move quickly and safely down the trail.  They also look bad-ass to! Fitting the aesthetic bill as an aggressive mud tire.

For us though they check all of the boxes with the sustainability and the fact they are made in America!  As overlanders we owe it to the world to be as conscious in our endeavors as possible.  We are driving vehicles and burning fuel in the woods after all.

For me the ability to use a tire that is recycled is a no brainer and a huge bonus.  Tire waste it becoming a true problem domestically and internationally as tires fill our landfills.  Other companies could take a note from TreadWright and their promise of sustainability.  They are a company we will continue to due business with in the future and a company we stand behind for many reasons beyond the product itself.  I can only hope you will to! 

For more information please visit Treadwright.com

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