Outdoorsmen love nature and want to spend every possible second on a trail, on a boat, hunting, fishing, or on some other kind of adventure. While you can easily do that when you live in a state as geographically diverse as Texas, sometimes you need to do more than just visit the great outdoors in your free time—you need to live there. Van life and overlanding are two versions of living outside that more and more people are embracing, and you can too. Keep reading to learn about the differences between van life and overlanding so you can pick the option that’s right for you.
Van Life Definition
You’ve probably seen videos on social media where people share about their van life. They either bought or fixed up some type of van so that it was more of an apartment on wheels than a vehicle, and then they set out to live on the road. People from all walks of life are embracing this comfortably nomadic lifestyle, outfitting vans with internet access so they can work remotely, training pets to enjoy the great outdoors, and even homeschooling their kids so that little ones can grow up adventurous. For most of these people, there is no end destination in sight. Their aim is to travel and try new experiences, possibly enjoying adventures like rock climbing and fishing along the way, but not necessarily planning for them.
Overlanding focuses more on the adventure side of travel, and people who overland may use different modes of transportation to get to those adventures. You may or may not have a final destination in mind when you set out overlanding, but you definitely know where you plan to rock climb, fish, hike, and hunt. Most overlanders drive vehicles designed for off-roading and just plan to camp as they travel towards their adventurous destinations. However, depending on where those adventures are, you may start on a plane, rent an off-roading vehicle, and then set out overlanding. You might also ride a boat somewhere, leave it docked, and set out on a shorter overlanding excursion with your supplies. No matter how you get there, overlanding focuses on bunking down in the elements and finding adventure.
Which Is Best for You?
Your choice between van life and overlanding will be based on many factors, such as your lifestyle and finances. The costs of van life can quickly add up, since you’ll need fuel and insurance for the van, food while on the road, and will probably have to rent out a campsite. However, you’ll also be more comfortable and be able to bring more of your life with you, like your work.
Overlanding will have its own costs associated with it, but bringing your own camping supplies and only buying food you can cook on a campfire will keep your costs much lower. You’ll also have a better opportunity to experience nature and have the adventures you want. However, you may find it more difficult to balance work and other life needs with an overlanding lifestyle.
The differences between van life and overlanding are that van life is more comfortable and designed to accommodate your lifestyle, while overlanding gives you a better opportunity to experience nature and enjoy adventures. Whichever you choose, van life and overlanding are both great ways to break the mold and live out your outdoorsman dreams.