The Overland Expo took place in Redmond, Oregon July 8-10th, 2022. It was FLATED's first time experiencing an Overland Expo, and we had a blast. We met tons of new friends and were able to share our new products to this community. If you're unfamiliar with Overland Expo, it’s a gathering of all things overlanding, truck camping, 4x4 Accessories, adventure travel, car-camping and more.
The vendor village had booths from most major vehicle manufacturers including, Ford, Toyota, Dodge, GMC, and every accessory you could think of. We found the most impressive to be the new Ford Bronco experience, where you could test drive the new Ford Bronco on different off-road courses. Roof top tents or RTT's you ask? I have never seen so many different options and had no idea you could buy a roof-top tent the size of a small apartment.
The most interesting part of the event could have been the open camping areas where the attendees and many vendors stayed. It was interesting to see all the different states on the license plates, and how all the sub-communities meet up. There was the Toyota Tundra guys all camped together, the Toyota Tacoma groups, the GMC Sierra crew, trailer campers, tear-drop campers, giant Earth Roamers, Jeep guys, and even saw a group of Subaru's with their rooftop tents. The amount of gear and cool rigs was wild and probably valued over a half billion dollars parked in the grass field.
The overland expo is a great community and we found everyone super friendly, open to all levels of experience, and a solid family atmosphere. I would highly suggest watching the schedules next year and making the trip to one of these events across the USA. Don't be intimidated if you don't have the burliest overlanding rig. Just show up in your style and have a great time. Below is a suggestion of the top ten things to bring with you:
Top 10 things to bring to an Overland EXPO!1. Bring a positive attitude and vibe.
2. Bring your own food and beverages. The event had plenty of great food vendors, but during lunch hours the lines were atrocious, and had typical event type costs.
3. Do your homework before you go and make a list of the products, seminars, and people you want to see.
4. Plan on camping. This is were the community gathers after-hours and where you can meet awesome people, learn from others, and save some money.
5. Bring comfortable walking shoes as you will cover many miles each day. Also, many people had booties on their dogs as the pavement was very hot.
6. Very necessary to pack the sunscreen, sunshirt and water.
7. The Bend Event was hot and dry, but we’ve heard some horror stories about other events when the weather turned…be super prepared with rain gear for this instance.
8. Tent stakes and weights for wind bursts are always a good idea. We saw a few 2 man tents flying through the camping area. If you're a vendor, make sure you have a lot of weight on your pop up tents to prevent the same.
9. Bring Family and Friends. Even if they are not into the overland scene, they will have a great time. We wished we had brought our kids into w to enjoy the experience.
10. Doesn’t hurt to repeat and close out with good vibes and a positive attitude!