American Adventures

The Overland Expo Survival Guide


Be prepared for anything! Most of the time the May weather outside Flagstaff is just about perfect, but we are in the mountains: weather can turn in a matter of minutes. Bring clothing for warm weather, cold weather, dry weather, and wet weather. Bring sunblock, a good hat, and allergy meds (it gets dusty). Bring a light jacket for mornings and evenings, and a heavy jacket for the late night parties.

If you’re camping make sure you bring cold weather gear (night gets chilly up here), and do stake down anything and everything that might get blown around—many a tent, tarp, and eazy-up has been lost in previous years. Check the weather forecast here.

We’re Walking.

Bring a solid pair of shoes that are comfortable for three straight days of walking. True of any convention, it’s especially important at Overland Expo as the event is held outdoors on often uneven terrain. Bring an extra pair of shoes too, you never know.

Pro Tip: Walking the event is long enough to count as one hike in the 52 Hike Challenge.

Happy Campers.

The comfort of the nearby hotels in Flagstaff may be tempting, but the after-show shenanigans are well worth sticking around and sleeping on site.

Be Self-Sufficient.

Mormon Lake is a small village with limited resources. While there’s enough food, drink, and facilities available for all in attendance, your visit will be much more enjoyable with the added comfort of your own supply stash.

Take a Break.

Take many breaks. Beyond the mere physical exertions from wandering the show, there’s an overwhelming amount of interesting people, amazing kit, and farkled-out vehicles. Don’t forget to make time to relax and take it all in. Good places to chill include the Oasis, the Mormon Lake Tavern (in between meal-times), and the observation areas overlooking the training courses.

Cash and Carry.

Many exhibitors at the show will have some pretty amazing, practical, and often deeply discounted kit for sale. Bring extra spending money for the unexpected deal that’s just too good to pass up.

Loose Ends.

If you can help it, try not to plan anything immediately before or after the show. Overland Expo is in a prime location for starting the next adventure, and many a trip has been put together at the last minute with new-found friends at the show.


If you aren’t already signed up, join the Overland Newsletter to keep informed of last minute updates. You can also find venue and event details on the Overland Expo website, and here in the Adventurist Life blog.

And above all: make new friends and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Attendees, staff, and vendors alike are some of the kindest and most helpful folk I’ve had the privilege of meeting. Enjoy the show, we’ll see you there!

Have your own tips from previous years? We’d love to hear them: feel free to share in the comments below!

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