In mid-2018, I was devouring everything I could online regarding the overland lifestyle. During that process, I ran across the forum pages on overlandbound.com. Immediately I was entrenched in a seemingly endless hole of overlanding goodness from folks out there living the life. In short, I’d found my tribe.
What initially impressed me was how active, kind, helpful, and non-judgemental the people were on the Overland Bound forums.
2018 and folks were actually nice to one another online? I know, right? You can pick your jaw up off the floor now. It was incredibly refreshing to find a community of overland enthusiasts who were so active and helpful.
But as I dug deeper than the forums, there was much more to the Overland Bound platform. It became clear this was something worth being part of.
What Is Overland Bound?
Overland Bound defines itself as “a vehicle dependent travel organization that creates social software so you can connect to our worldwide community to share information and resources, and help the environment.”
While by true definition, Overland Bound itself might be an organization that created a social software to connect overlanders, to me it’s greater than that.
I see Overland Bound as a movement. To me, it has taken on a life of its own in many ways, becoming a tribe of worldwide overlanding enthusiasts who support one another, provide information, connect in person for adventures, and use the software Overland Bound has built to facilitate this global community adventure.
What Features Can I Expect?
“The Overland Bound forums are full of helpful and (most importantly) nice people happy to share information and knowledge about overlanding. Rally Point is designed to help plan group trips, excursions or simple meetups at a local coffee shop, and the Resource Map helps you find everything you need when on the road.
Corrie Murguia, Overland Bound co-founder
The platform Michael and Corrie Murguia have built is pretty incredible, and is consistently morphing and adapting.
Honestly, there’s so much to the Overland Bound website I simply can’t do it justice in the span of one article. To simplify, I’ll provide the highlights of the platform as it currently stands:
- Forums – This is where it all began for me. As of this writing, there are over 25,000 threads, nearly 400,000 messages, and over 46,000 members who have posted on the forums. To say you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for when it comes to overlanding is an understatement. You can literally get lost on the forums alone for days. One of my favorite things about the forums is Overland Bound has gamified them. You earn badges and titles for participation that are fun to display with your avatar. Okay, that’s the overachiever in me talking, but I really like them.
- Rally Point – One of the coolest features of Overland Bound. Rally Point is essentially a meetup creation tool. You can create any kind of get-together, from a simple coffee shop meeting of overland enthusiasts to a full-scale overlanding adventure. By filling out a quick form, Rally Point automatically creates a shareable summary announcement page and forum post. As if that weren’t enough, you can also send a personal invite to members within a defined geographical region, so they can be notified about your event. This feature is so cool it merits a watch of this video. (Rally Point-specific info starts at 2:49).
- Resource Map – The Overland Bound resource map is filled with all kinds of useful information. Find potable water, trusted mechanics, showers, propane, laundry facilities, fuel, camp sites, hiking trails, off-road trailheads, medical facilities, dump stations, and more. In addition, Resource Map allows you to find other members of Overland Bound in your area and message them through the interface. Rally Points (discussed above) are also found on the Resource Map. You literally have an entire overlanding community at your fingertips.
What Others Say About Overland Bound
Don’t just take it from me. I’ve collected some quotations from others on the Overland Bound platform, which I’ll include in this section. It should be noted Overland Bound did not ask me to write this article, nor was the team aware I was thinking about doing so. I just wanted to wait until I’d used the platform for over a year myself before I shared it with others.
On the Overland Bound forums back in October 2018, I posted this simple question, “Why did you join Overland Bound?” The responses from members started coming in. To protect their anonymity, I’ll keep names off of here. But these are the responses from members of the Overland Bound forums:
“We have learned so much thanks to the folks here. Also connected with local members for trail runs and events. We have never regretted joining OB.”
“I try to be as helpful as I can for people, and in turn, I get so much help, support, routes, trip invites, etc, that come right back to me. It’s wonderful. This community has connected me with so many awesome people.”
“I’ve been a part of many car clubs / car forums and OB is the only place I still feel just as welcome now as I did when I joined a couple years ago.”
“From the time I found the site, it felt like I was home.”
“OB is great people doing what they love and sharing what they know.”
“On here I can join in on conversations and people are alway friendly and helpful. I appreciate that and will continue to enjoy the OB community.”
“I enjoy the build threads, technical discussions, and gear reviews/discussions.”
“Right off the bat the thing that stuck out more than anything else on OB was how awesome the members and contributors are towards each other, vs. almost all other forums that I’ve ever contributed in…no rudeness, no putting down others rigs and gear, and no real attitude. The people on this site rock!”
“This site has far exceeded most expectations thus far. I have already gotten wonderful feedback and everyone I have encountered so far has been great!”
“The day I finally read the core principles of Overland Bound is the same day I purchased a membership.”
Like I’ve been saying, Overland Bound is worth joining. I recommend you take a look at the Overland Bound site yourself, if you haven’t done so already, and consider joining.
Keep reading: Overlanding Resources Newbies Will Love
How Do I Join and What Does It Cost?
To join, visit the Become A Member page. Then select from several levels of membership.
No matter which level of membership you opt for, you get access to the forums, rally points, resource map, exclusive gear discounts, and more. With some of the larger membership packages, you also get vehicle emblems, shirts, and more. If you select a larger package, you’re also helping make the platform better for everyone. Personally, my wife and I selected the largest package available at the time we joined (OB14045).
UPDATE 10/05/2020: Overland Bound used to offer a one-time fee for membership, but one of our readers informed us that had changed. Our reader was correct, the one time fee is no longer an option. As of this update, membership pricing ranges from $29.99 to $79.99. Regardless of which option you choose, your card will be billed $29.99 annually to maintain your membership.
Even with the change to annual recurring dues, I still recommend that you become part of the Overland Bound community.
Come hang out with us on the forums. You’ll find me on the forums at Hourless Life.
What’s Next for Overland Bound?
Michael and Corrie never sit idle. They’re currently working on adding all of the above features to the 1.0 version of the Overland Bound app, which is coming soon.
They’ve also told me they’re already working on what they’re calling “Expedition 2.0,” which will have a whole new slew of undisclosed features. But if you know these two at all, then you can be sure they’ve got some great goodness up their sleeves. Expedition 2.0 should be rolling out in late 2020.
Hopefully this article has convinced you to give Overland Bound a shot. I think you’ll like what you find.
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.
~ Eric, Brittany, and #LittleNomad