EVENT: Overland Expo West 2017

I’ve already shown you the New Gear, Homes On Wheels and Off-Road Adventuremobile from Overland Expo West 2017, but even all that doesn’t fully encapsulate all the awesome that was the largest gathering of the overland tribe in North America. Below is a little photo journey through the 3+ day event, during its first year at Fort Tuthill Park.

The event started off for me with a press day in the latest Nissan Titan XD, with a trip down to the Diamond Creek access on the Grand Canyon. Nissan revealed the Titan “Project Basecamp” overland build (below) and the Hellwig “Rule Breaker XD” (above) was also in attendance. The Cummins powered Titan is an impressive overland vehicle platform! Overland Expo is for the entire family, including the family dog.
A highlight for many is the sponsored happy hours each evening, put on by vendors as well as the large official happy hour put on by the event. The STEP 22 Gear/Squatchboxx Happy Hour served up quality Ninkasi Brewing craft beer this year, and showcased a ton of new products from the company. Lots of classes on offer on all things overland, off road, gear, cooking, camping, etc… Some are put on by the event staff, some by sponsors and some by vendors, like this class by ARB about Tire Repair. Lots of round table discussions throughout the weekend as well. This one was by women for women. Stoked to see more and more ladies finding their own path on the overland trail. The Overland Film Festival always draws a big crowd, and produces some inspiration for future adventures. RAM was at the show in full force, and showed off their updated Power Wagon, an impressive truck all the way around! The adv moto scene at Overland Expo seemed a bit light this year, but maybe they were just more spread out than in years past. Either way, there was still a large contingent of 2-wheeled travelers from around the globe. The Camel Trophy skills area is always a major highlight of the show, and the entrance displays keep getting more and more impressive. The BFGoodrich KO2 test track offered up a JKU, AEV Brute Double Cab and a 2016 Tacoma for attendees to test out on their purpose built track, in order to experience first hand the capabilities of the KO2 tires. Land Rover always has a HUGE presence at Overland Expo, and this year it was even more impressive. They had a test track where you could drive a variety of their vehicles with the guidance of experienced Land Rover instructors and a competition time trial course, pictured, that was a great test of the new Discovery 5 and driving skill. Getting to chat with your favorite YouTube and social media overland personalities is also a big part of Overland Expo. This year there were a number of impressive travelers on hand to talk shop, including Andrew (above) of 4xOverland fame and Clay (below) of Expedition Overland fame. Both of these experts also taught a number of classes throughout the weekend. Many vendors do raffles and giveaways each afternoon at their happy hours, and there is none bigger than the annual Goal Zero/Garmin event.
The annual Saturday night part hosted by Equipt Expedition Outfitters is always an Overland Expo highlight. This year the party was also hosted by Expedition Overland, American Adventurist and Ninkasi Brewing. The XOverland crew also took off from the show to ship their trucks to South America and complete their PanAmerican adventures. The Sunday morning walkabout breakfast is never super well attended, maybe because of the hangovers from the Saturday night parties, but always offers up some delicious grub from some of the top overland chefs out there. Here Mario Donovan and Ray Hyland cook up the breakfast goodness in the AT Overland booth.  The Sunday BBQ always draws a crowd and is a great place to say “see you down the road” to new and old friends alike.The sun sets on yet another gathering of the overland tribe. Keep living a #LifeOfAdventure!

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