You should have been at the Flagstaff Overland Expo West this year. If you have never been to an Overland Expo, you are missing out. Expo West is held in the spring, and Expo East is held in the fall. Overland West was three days of fun in the Arizona mountains. It is a great place for meeting adventurers, seeing new gear, camping, and relaxing. The Expo focuses on overland adventure traveling (lots of roof top tent systems). There was gear for overland motorcycles, cars, trucks, and trailers. There were vehicles for sale from expedition jeeps and vans to the monstrous Earth Roamers.
The camping was amazing. Just drive in, find a spot under the pines, pop out your roof top tent or drop your ground tent, and you were ready to ‘expo’. The camp sites were just a short walk to the Expo. For those not able to camp, there were shuttles running between the Northern Arizona University parking area and the Expo.
There were around 400 classes, programs, and professionally led clinics. There were about 400 different vendors. The presenters and vendors were spirited and willing to answer everyone’s questions. Many of the vendors gave out free swag and passed on great savings through their Expo only deals. Throughout the weekend there were competitions like: the Expo Chef Competition, Slow ride Competition, Scavenger Hunts, and, after practicing on the skills course all weekend long, the “Silk Road’” trail competition.
It was a lot of walking, but there was plenty of places to relax. There was the map room, and there was a Film Festival of short films and featured the film Beyond Siberia: Riding the Road of Bones. When we started to wear out we opted to test drive a Jeep.
I can’t see how anyone could leave the expo hungry. The food court had a large range of items; the kids like the brisket and snow cones best. The bar service featured local brews, wine, and unique cocktails. Many vendors were gracious to provide happy hour beverages, and prepared us breakfast on Sunday morning.
The Expo was dog and kid friendly. The kids enjoyed talking to the vendors and liked the food. There was a kid’s adventure area where the kids could earn a Junior Overland Explorer patch by participating in the activities and programs. There was also a ropes course area for kids to test their courage.
There was so much to see, and do, that it was impossible to get to all of it. Reading the information online before attending helped with planning the activities and programs. On Sunday, we were exhausted for our drive home, but it was worth it. We hope to see you and all inTENTS Nation there next year.
Get to Overland and get out there,