If the past two years have taught us anything here at Skillset Magazine, it’s that we need more of the good old-fashioned outdoors. With that in mind, when we learned that it was time for another installment of Overland Expo West, we packed up the ice chest and headed up north to the cool pines.
Overland Expo West returned this year to beautiful Fort Tuthill county park in Flagstaff, AZ. This sleepy college town quickly became overrun with thousands of outdoor enthusiasts looking to show off their rigs and check out the latest offerings from the industry.
Everything the world had to offer the average overlander could be found inside the Overland Expo’s massive compound. Whether you were in the market for a new rooftop tent for your ride, a simple set of shoes for your pup, or shopping for the new Ultimate Overland Vehicle 2022, based upon the first-ever 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X.
Motorcycle village was complete with the latest and greatest two-wheeled wonders, including every possible e-mountain bike under the sun. The Ural motor company had a wide selection of vintage-styled bikes on display, and Triumph offered demo rides for brave travelers all weekend long.
So what types of people attend the Overland Expo? Well, pretty much everyone, it seemed. We met up with the recreational city dweller and the full-time nomadic adventurer to whom four wheels and some canvas is where they call home. Some full-time retirees just looking to travel far away from their past life. In contrast, most are working professionals who enjoy the time with their family and friends on the weekends, or sometimes a bit longer.
The event isn’t just a place to part with the dollars in your wallet. It’s a place where people can come together and learn skill sets and techniques for real-world applications. From the basics like tying knots, and navigation, to the more advanced like vehicle recovery and first aid. Instructors in these fields of expertise are world-class and full of knowledge. Fieldcraft Survival, was on hand all weekend offering free seminars while handing out gear from Vertx to all participants.
I know I touched on this a bit, but the rides are the stars of the show. They offer the strong foundation that becomes the building blocks of a badass offroad capable rig. Whether you like a Toyota Tacoma with high-tech gadgets or admire the Earthroamers that tower over the event space all weekend, it is undoubtedly a car lover’s candy store. Ford was on hand all weekend offering people a close-up look at the new Bronco, as well as giving them a ride!