Off-Roading vs Overlanding

off road jeep


If you’re an auto-enthusiast, professional driver, collector or just looking for the next rush of adrenaline, you might be looking into offroading, or perhaps embarking on an overlanding adventure. Experienced drivers know that these two terms are often misunderstood. Some people think they’re interchangeable, but the two are very different means of transit.

If you’re pondering overlanding vs off roading, the Devolro team can help weigh in with some upgrade options for your new hobby or adventure. 


What is Overlanding?


long open road


Overlanding is a journey. It’s about taking a self-reliant expedition to see new places and enjoying the ride the whole way. It can be on-road or off-road, but it’s often a healthy mix of both.

One key component to overlanding is the distance. An overlanding trip happens over the course of many days - or even weeks and months. Sometimes you’ll cross the borders of your state or country to see oceans, deserts, mountains, or canyons.

What is Off-Roading?


off road on beach


Off-roading is traversing rugged terrain or unsurfaced roads & trails. It means going off the beaten path with a vehicle built for punishing driving conditions. Many drivers have an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a truck with custom-designed parts that can handle them.

Vs overlanding, off-roading is typically done over a shorter timeframe and over a shorter distance than overlanding. You might take your truck offroading as a day trip, or as a means to get to and from a remote campsite.

How to Know When You’re Offroading vs Overlanding

If you take a trip 100 miles down Route 66 to the Grand Canyon, you’re overlanding. If you then take your truck along the Diamond Creek Trail, about 25 miles down to the base of the Grand Canyon, then you're off-roading. If you do them as part of the same adventure, then the word overlanding can be used to describe both, in the same way you might consider the destinations to be part of your road trip.


  • Typically done over shorter distances of less than 50 miles.
  • Often a single trail or destination.
  • You’ll most likely want vehicle recovery kits cases like tire repair, or a tire traction device for getting unstuck.


  • Typically done over longer distances of more than 50 miles.
  • Often covers multiple destinations
  • You’ll often need food and other supplies for the road when you go overlanding.

car trip


Overlanding vs Off Roading: How to Get Started

If you’re ready to try out either of these amazing driving challenges, there are a lot of resources to help you get started.

Those on a shorter timeline may opt for a day or weekend of short off-road adventures. If you have more time, you may choose a modern overland trip and invest in an RV or other road-friendly vehicle and customize it to your needs. Let’s take a look at how you can embark on your first off-roading or overlanding adventure!

Find an established community: Finding other off-roaders to share your passion with will help you learn the rules of the road. There are dozens of online communities and local groups who will share your interest.

Get some coaching: Getting out on the road with an experienced friend or coach will get you a great start. Consider doing this first to learn trail etiquette and tricks of the trade. 

Choose your route: You don’t have to traverse the silk road to get started. Modern overlanding pilgrimages include Route 66, the Gringo Trail or Highway 1 Australia. For off-roading, there are mountains to conquer and hurdles to overcome! Take your pick of the trail and get ready to push the pedal.

Don’t have the right vehicle?: Good news! Overlanding vs off roading vehicles actually have some commonalities. If you’re off-roading and set on a certain vision, you may consider renting, leasing, or buying the vehicle you want second-hand. Or, you can even customize a vehicle you have already for off-road adventures.

Get Ready to Hit the Road!


road and rainbow

There’s nothing like the thrill of reaching your final overlanding destination or venturing on an off-roading expedition in the backwoods. Ready to dive in? Devolro helps customize your vehicle to suit wherever your adventures take you. Reach out online today and our team will create your inspired vehicle look with add-ons you’ll love for the road ahead.

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