One thing I noticed after attending Outdoor Retailer this summer, that the Overland market has really taken off. Several outdoor manufacturers are now using Overland vehicles to help display their products. From Roof Top Tents, to electric coolers, solar panels, batteries and anything else to improve the Overland experience. While other companies showcased compact off-road capable trailers that you could easily haul behind a Jeep. One thing is certain, Overland travel is rapidly growing and becoming very popular among outdoor enthusiasts. I recall someone from Tepui asking me if I had been to Overland Expo yet. With Overland Expo West, held in Arizona, already behind us. And Overland Expo East only months away in North Carolina, I checked my schedule hoping I had availability.

Originally, I planned to attend the Expo with our editor, Scott Witner. Then my wife unexpectedly expressed interest in going too. So we began preparing and fine-tuning our Overland vehicle. The plan was to leave our  Northern Michigan home in our Toyota Tundra and meet up with Scott and his Jeep in Ohio. Then complete our 850-mile journey to Reeb Ranch in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. Unfortunately, Scott was a late scratch for personal reasons so Brandie and I pressed on to the objective and represented the Loadout Room.

As snow flurries began to fall in Northern Michigan, we expected a warmer welcome to the Smokey Mountains. However, what we ended up with were overnight temperatures in the 20’s and daytime highs in the 40’s. Basically no different than what we thought we were leaving behind in Michigan. Except now we would be sleeping in an uninsulated rooftop tent. When we arrived on Friday, it had been continuously raining for 36 hours dumping 2.5 inches of rain on the venue. Creating what became a comical amount of mud. As it turned out, Scott may have had the right idea.

This first of three videos chronicles our road trip from Michigan to North Carolina and some of the sites and experiences while traveling Overland.

Overland Expo East: Part 1

Along the way, we realized that an important part of Overland travel is the journey itself. So often, we find ourselves rushing to get from point A to point B. While the space between those two points could likely become the main attraction. We are blessed to live in a country with vast and varying regions ripe for exploration. Make sure to factor in additional time while traveling the highways and byways of America and research the route. We’re sure you’ll find several points of interest on the way worth your time.

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