Overlanding (van living) and living life on the road has become quite popular lately. There are so many beautiful trails out there that you may just want to grab your car and drive off into the sunset every day. However, if you want to keep yourself in shape, you might want to consider adding some hiking into the mix as well. Staying fit and healthy while overlanding is just as important as driving through the landscape. Not only will it keep you healthy, but it will enable you to enjoy your adventures even more.
Why Should You Stay Fit When Traveling?
This answer should be pretty obvious. Exercise, and maintaining a level of fitness will keep you healthy, reduce your time spent being sick (most likely), and will enable you to take on adventures that involve more rigorous exercise. Therefore, you can enjoy your experiences more thoroughly, and have the ability to choose from an even wider set of adventures.
How To Consistently Exercise While Traveling
A Gym Membership That Is Available Across The Country
Anytime Fitness, YMCAs, Planet Fitness, and other gyms offer memberships that can be used at any location in the country. These are amazing options to not only have a location to exercise, but to shower and use certain facilities that may be harder to come by. Traveling makes it easy to hike, run, and do outdoor workouts, but when weather isn’t permitting, or resistance training is wanted, gyms can be a huge help, and enable travelers to have more fitness options.
Hiking While Traveling
Think about it this way. When you are overlanding, you spend most of the day sitting in your car as you are driving. You might not be as bothered by it because you’ll be seeing many amazing landscapes – but physically, it is the equivalent of sitting at a desk the entire day.
This won’t do your posture or your health any good, so you should also consider exercising. For a few hours of driving, a couple of extra hours of hiking will help you burn some extra calories, reduce sedentary time, and result in dozens of benefits.
Using Hotels Occasionally
Hotels often have fitness centers where travelers can occasionally grab exercise sessions in a hotel they are staying at.
Bringing Exercise Equipment In Your Van
You’ll find climbers with hanging boards, travelers with weights, exercise bands, TRX straps, and other equipment that is small, lightweight, packable, and can enable travelers to resistance train at any time.
Creating A Routine & Program
You can’t treat long term travel like a vacation where exercise isn’t a regular occurance. It should be planned into most days so that you have a proper balance of resistance training, and cardiovascular training that suits your goals and objectives. Planning this into your mornings, evenings, or afternoons is essential. Creating a program is highly recommended.
Tips To Hike While You Are Overlanding
If you are overlanding and you are planning to go on some hiking trips, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips that will help you overland and hike without any issues.
Pick A Good Parking Or Camping Spot
Depending on where you are traveling, there are many amazing places where you can car camp or camp in your van where trailhead accessibility is amazing. Finding these spots is incredibly rewarding and convenient. Utilize online resources and local information to find these locations. Be aware of trailhead car camping restrictions as there are plenty of areas where camping at the trailhead, even in your vehicle, simply isn’t allowed. The more you plan your desired hikes ahead of time, the easier it will be to plan out your parking / camping spot. For example, many trailheads in the United States will have an https://www.fs.usda.gov/ link that gives you this information, or websites may state regulations clearly.
Grab The Right Gear
Think about the type of hiking break that you want to go on. Do you want to stay away overnight? What tools will you need? What safety gear should you consider packing? Also, what about emergency gear?
When you are hiking as an overlander, you have to remember that your car will no longer protect you from the elements. Consider bringing bear spray with you, grab the right amount of food and water, and make sure that you plan for delays.
Map Out Trails & Itineraries While Driving
When driving, you may have a lot of downtime if traveling with another person. The person that is a passenger has ample time to do research ahead of time. Finding camping locations, great hiking trails, food options, and simply doing all types of trip planning while on the road is highly impactful. This allows travelers to make gather information to spend time as efficiently as possible.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about