We recently packed up a few of our swags, jumped on a plane and ventured out to the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff Arizona. Our plan was to see what the event was all about so we could be prepared for when we attend the Overland Expo East later in the year as a vendor. It was also a great opportunity to show people in the overlanding community our swag tents!
We landed in Phoenix, Arizona and rented a Toyota 4Runner to make to 2 hour journey out the the event near Flagstaff. It was a very scenic drive, with amazing landscapes of arid desert near Phoenix slowly transitioning to green forests has we climbed in elevation as we approached Flagstaff.
We arrived at the event late in the morning of the first day, and we were instantly amazed with the amount of people and incredible overlanding vehicles. As we drove around the camping area trying to find a suitable we spotted a group of vehicles from the Bold Overland guys. I said to my partner "It would be great if we could find a spot near them, I'd like to meet them!" Not a minute later, Kevan from Bold Overland had noticed that we were struggling to find a vacant space and invited us to set up in their camping area. They re-arranged their vehicles so we could fit, we setup our swags and then ventured into the main event area.
The main event area has vendors from all over the country with plenty of amazing overlanding products. It takes hours to wander through the area to make sure you haven't missed anything!
There is also also many other activities and events happening simultaneously that you can get involved with; overland training courses, film screenings, adventure motorcycle riding course, feature vehicles and soo much more!
After you have spent some time exploring the main event area, its good to just walk around the camping area to check out all of vehicles, gear and setups that other attendees have. There is a wide variety of vehicles, people and everyone is very friendly. It's easy to find yourself getting distracted and chatting to people about their overlanding vehicles and experiences.
The site for the Overland expo is an open field on the outskirts of the township, Morman Lake. The area is surrounded by tree covered hills, but the lake and field is quite exposed, so for most of the weekend we had to deal with a relentless wind. There was a few tents and canopies in the general camping area which were destroyed by the powerful gusts. We were fortunate to be sleeping in our Pioneer Swags which had no issue dealing with the wind due to their low profile and robust design.
The Overland Expo event was a fantastic experience for us, and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about attending, even if you need to fly to the event. We can't wait for the Overland Expo East in October and we hope to see you there!