in Overlanding / by
Image courtesy of OverlandExpo.com
When you think of outdoor adventure, your first thought probably isn’t the East Coast — especially if you’re used to the Rocky Mountains like we are. And when you think of overlanding, it’s even more unlikely that you pair the activity with Washington, D.C.
For most of us, our nation’s capitol conjures up images of the White House and the Washington Monument. But head across the Potomac, just a short drive inland, and you’ll find some serious outdoorsy locales: the Shenandoah Wilderness, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, and the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains.
Tucked away in these mountains, you’ll find a hotbed of outdoor adventure: Overland Expo East.
What is Overland Expo East?
The Overland Expo East is the one of the top gatherings of overlanders and outdoor enthusiasts in the world. This 3-day fest brings over 30,000 people and their rigs together for a long weekend of music, food, craft spirits, camping, and hundreds of classes, demos, films, and more — all focused on the overlander lifestyle.
This year, Overland Expo East is bringing the party to Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia. The event will be roaring into action across the 387-acre venue in the Blue Ridge Mountains from October 11-13.
Outdoor enthusiasts can get geared up and ready for three full days of expert-led classes and trade show events covering everything from camping, outdoors activities, and off-road vehicle and motorcycle adventures.
What to Expect at Overland Expo East
At Overland Expo East, you’ll be able to:
- Drool over thousands of overlander rigs on display
- Test drive rigs on an off-road course
- Check out overlander gear from over 150 vendors and exhibitors
- Participate in close to 200 classes to get trained in overlanding and other outdoor fun — everything from how to maintain and upgrade your rig to classes on fishing, bikepacking, and even yoga. There are activities for the kids, too!
- Meet authors, videographers, and experts in overlanding
- Network with a community of like-minded overlanding enthusiasts
- Take in the Overland Expo Film Festival and even present your own overlanding DIY video
What’s on the Schedule at Overland Expo East 2019
The full schedule for the Overland Expo East is truly stunning in its scope, giving outdoor adventurers a little taste of everything the trail has to offer (and more).
We combed through the schedule and put together our own itinerary below to help you narrow down your choices and make the most of your three days of fun.
Friday, October 11th
- 9:00-9:50AM — Backcountry Caffeination: Fuel Your Adventure with Great Coffee
- 10:00-10:50AM —- 10 Essentials for the Novice Overlander
- 11:00-11:50AM — Understanding Tread Lightly and Testing the Myths
- 1:00-1:50PM — Machetes and Large Knives for the Trail (obviously cool)
- 2:00-2:50PM — Overland Hound: Overlanding with K9 Companions
- 3:00-3:50PM — Short Stories from a Long Ride (film)
- 4:00-4:50PM — Regional Q&A: Australia and New Zealand
- 5:00-7:00PM — Happy Hour at the Oasis Bar
Saturday, October 12th
- 8:00-8:50AM — Recovery Yoga (for the previous night’s happy hour)
- 9:00-9:50AM — Q&A: Surviving Overland Travel as a Couple (woah boy)
- 10:00-10:50AM —- Medical Equipment Essentials for the Overland and Backcountry Adventurer
- 11:00-11:50AM — Gas Station Gourmet: Make a Five-Star Meal with Gas Station Groceries
- 1:00-1:50PM — Experts Panel: Borders, Checkpoints, and Bribes (this sounds awesome)
- 2:00-2:50PM — My Overland Vehicle: 1988 Mercedes Benz 1120 AF
- 3:00-3:50PM — Backcountry Trauma Management
- 4:00-4:50PM — Off-Road Mixology: End Your Day with Delicious Portable Cocktails
- 5:00-7:00PM — Happy Hour at the Oasis Bar (Yes, for the second day in a row. And yes, immediately after fancy cocktails.)
- 8:00-10:00PM — Romantic Road (feature film)
Sunday, October 13th
- 8:00-9:50AM — Walkabout Breakfast through Exhibition Area
- 10:00-10:50AM — Q&A: Homeschooling while Traveling (Who doesn’t dream of taking our kids on our overlanding adventures!)
- 11:00-11:50AM — Protect Your Adventure-Based Brand (hey, we have one of those)
- 1:00-1:50PM — Packrafting 101
- 2:00-2:50PM — Rolling Through It: Mental Wellness While Overlanding
Other Activities Around Overland Expo East
Whether you want to extend your trip to Overland Expo East by a few days or just get off the grounds for a few hours to see the area, there’s plenty of outdoor adventure to be found in the area surrounding Infinity Downs, where the Expo takes place.
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are just a 30-minute drive from the expo grounds. This is one of the biggest tracts of public land in the eastern United States, with over 1.8 million acres in the Appalachian Mountains that span Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Sounds like a decent place to take the overlander, huh?
There are a few brilliant off-road trails you can hit near Infinity Downs in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, including:
- Long Run Road (Easy)
- Potts Mountain Jeep Trail (Intermediate)
- Big Levels to the Blue Ridge OHV Route (Difficult)
On top of that, you’ll also find dozens of camp grounds, nearly 2,000 miles of hiking trails, and off-road mountain biking.
Outdoor activities in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests include:
- Bring your boots and explore hundreds of trails throughout the forests
Over 50 developed sites throughout the forests in a diverse selection of outdoors settings, with a variety of amenities. Here are a few recommendations:
Get down and dirty with off-road biking — there’s something for every skill level:
- FR 3034 Trail (Easy)
- Spec Mines Trail (Intermediate)
- Whetstone Ridge Ride (Difficult)
What to Bring to Overland Expo East
Here’s a list of some of the things you might want to bring to the Expo:
• Your rig (apply here to show off that beast)
• Your Roofnest roof top tent to sleep in comfort and convenience on the campgrounds
• Mountain bike for navigating the expo grounds quickly — otherwise some areas take over 15 minutes to walk between
• Propane or gas stove for cooking (charcoal grills and wood fires not allowed)
Get Your Tickets to Overland Expo East Now
Overland Expo East is fast approaching, so get your tickets now. And keep an eye out for all the Roofnest rigs while you’re out there — we’ve already spotted a few on Instagram!
After you’re done with that adventure, start planning the next one. Check out all the other overlander events taking place around America »
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