OVERLAND EXPO 2016: “Blowverland Expo”

Blowverland Expo 2016

Weather has been the hot topic when ever people start to discuss Overland Expos. It snowed at last year’s Overland Expo West, receiving the nickname “Snoverland Expo,” while Overland Expo East was a crazy wet, muddy and windy affair, as it was battered with a hurricane. The weather was pretty mild at the West event this year, but high winds did keep everyone on their toes all weekend, and some RTT campers a little sleep deprived. I’d like to christen Overland Expo 2016 “Blowverland Expo.” The way I see it, if you give it a funny nickname, the weather gods might be kind, and provide slightly more favorable conditions for the next event.

With all that said, I love crazy weather! It is one of the many aspects of this amazing gathering of the overland tribe that makes it so memorable. Below are links to the stories I’ve posted about Overland Expo 2016, and a photo essay that will give you a little more in-depth view of what the event itself was all about.

Top 50 Off-Road Adventuremobile

Top 50 Homes On Wheels

Hot Overland Gear

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Gear & Beer, a new event for Overland Expo, kicked off the festivities. What’s not to like about checking out Flagstaff’s best outfitters while enjoying free local craft beer? With a much larger than expected turnout, the beer went quick! Excited to see this event grow next year.

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The first annual Overland Expo Photo Contest was a big success. One of my favorite shots was this one by Ray Hyland, from his drive in a Series I Land Rover, with his family, from London to Singapore, with this shot taken in Iran. See the winning shot HERE.

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Some quick stats for you about Overland Expo 2016: 10th Anniversary, 10,000+ attendees, 250+ vendors and 400+ session hours of instruction.

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The van life is always strong at Overland Expo, especially in the ever expanding Sportsmobile camping area.

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The diversity in vehicle platforms, camper features and custom builds in the 4 Wheel Campers booth is always impressive. The mighty pop-top truck camper seems to be having a resurgence in popularity in the past few years.

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Traveling is really what overlanding is all about. Some overlanders have traveled more than others, and it is always a pleasure to learn from those that have been there, and done that.

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Yep, you need VERY little to travel far and wide. C90 Adventures have traveled over 110,000 miles and 36 countries on their Honda C90 scooters.

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RAM Truck had a press conference, showing off a few new products. The new 2017 Power Wagon is an impressive machine, with lots of quality upgrades, which would make an amazing overland adventuremobile platform.

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It’s always good to catch up with the quality media outlets in the overland space, such as; Expedition Portal/Overland Journal, OutdoorX4, 4xOverlandAmerican Adventurist and the new digital magazine Adventurist Life.

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The Land Rover off-road driving course was busy all weekend, and is always a highlight for many show goers.

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Seminars, discussions and Q&A sessions help industry pros, like the X Overland Crew, and experienced travelers, share their knowledge with the rest of the overland tribe.

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Round Tables are always packed with true experts on what ever topic is being discussed. I think the Round Table discussions are probably the most overlooked, and under valued, classes at Overland Expo.

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Every day you are sure to find a number of quality happy hours around the vendor area. Always one of the best is Beers & Brats, put on by DeLorme, Goal Zero and Ninkasi Brewing.

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You are sure to find impressive raffles at Overland Expo. One of the largest this year was put on by Adventurist Life, 10/20 Outfitters and American Adventurist.

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People LOVE free stuff! Free beer from Ninkasi Brewing kept the crowd hydrated, while all the gear was raffled off.

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Equipt always throws the biggest bash at Overland Expo each year, but this year was especially epic, as it was the company’s 10th anniversary, and the party was fueled by Ninkasi Brewing.

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The Fox party, always at the same time and in close proximity to the Equipt party, is always tons of fun. The warmth from their fire pit this year was a crowd pleaser.

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Sunday morning’s walk about breakfast is always a good way to shake off the beers from the night before, and kick the final day of the event off right. Mojo Griddle‘s blueberry pancakes drew a crowd this year.

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This was the first year KTM came to Overland Expo, and they offered demo rides on a variety of their impressive steeds.

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I had a blast on the KTM 1190R. Incredible bike for sure! My only complaint was that KTM didn’t allow off-road test drives. The bike was great on the highway, but I would have loved to see what it could do on the awesome forest roads surrounding the event site. Shout out to Icon Raiden for the awesome riding gear, which keeps me safe every time I get on one of these 2 wheeled beasts.

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Roseann, and the rest of the staff at Overland Expo, had a little bit of fun getting around the event on Urals 🙂

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This is only a small fraction of the number of ladies I saw ripping around in this Ural. Looked crazy fun!

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Real world demonstrations are a key to learning at Overland Expo. Here the famous Barlow Adventures 4Runner, named “Candy,” as seen on Top Gear America, is put on its side in order to demonstrate how to rite a rolled vehicle.

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LOTS of cute dogs at the show this year.

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Oh yeah, lots of cute puppies as well.

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The Sunday BBQ is always the final gathering of the assembled overland tribe, before they disperse back to the far away corners of the globe.

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One of the main tents might have collapsed from the crazy winds all weekend, but as usual the weather was near perfect Sunday evening for the BBQ.

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You know its really all over when you see the beer truck roll away! Huge thanks to Ninkasi Brewing for supporting the overland tribe, this year hosting more than 8 happy hours all around the show.

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I spotted this sticker at Overland Expo this year, and just can’t stop laughing about it. Many times this industry, as well as individuals in the overland tribe, take themselves WAY too seriously. My suggestion is to take what you have and go find adventure. The life of adventure is calling, and it dosen’t care if you have a million dollar unimog or a $500 scooter.

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