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The Gearzette


- January 18, 2024

We look into our crystal ball and identify the top five overland trends for 2024. ​

© Lennart Pagel

Automotive market shake-up​

At the beginning of 2024, the first US customers will take delivery of their INEOS Grenadiers. Hopefully, they would’ve been inspired by Scott Brady, the founder of Overland Journal, who’s currently driving a Front Runner-kitted Grenadier on a south-to-north crossing of Africa. One must remember that even when off-the-showroom-floor old Defenders were still being sold worldwide, that was pre-2016, Americans couldn’t buy this iconic utilitarian vehicle due to its lack of airbags and ABS. So, the arrival of the Grenadier, which some call the true successor to the old Defender, on the global 4x4 and overland stage is a rather big deal. Will it make the same worldwide impression as a VW Transporter or a Toyota Land Cruiser? Only time will tell. ​

2024 is also when we will see fully electric versions of some Land Rover models. Will we suddenly see these electric Landies taking on the Atlas Mountains of Morocco or the gravel roads of Namibia? We don’t think so because the supporting charging infrastructure doesn’t exist in those remote places. However, those who do buy an all-electric new Defender or Rivian can safely carry the necessary adventure gear by installing a Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack onto their electric carriages. Then, the only limiting factor to their adventures will be range anxiety.   ​

© Craig Kolesky

Back to basics  ​

One can’t help but smile when you see overland convoys going on expeditions with big trailers, trucks, storage boxes, and tents that weigh more than a heavyweight boxer. All that extra weight means you need to upgrade suspension, bushes, and other components; whatever happened to driving off into the sunset in a standard old Hilux pick-up or old Defender plus a jerry can for fuel, a water container of sorts, ground tent, cooler box and passport? Are those days gone? ​

​Early motor vehicle travelers never had a Garmin GPS, smartphone, or satellite phone. Yet they still somehow managed to get to their destination and back. We think the trend might shift back to this minimalist overlanding style. Get the basics right. Have a Pro Water Tank and Double Jerry Can Holder (and full Jerry Cans) on your roof rack. Plus, a few Wolf Pack Pro boxes to help organize your kit. With water, fuel, food and shelter, you can go anywhere.

© Alex Shapiro

Explore Local 

During the global COVID pandemic, when travel was restricted, people happily explored the areas near where they lived. Once travel restrictions were lifted, these people started ticking off the items on their global travel bucket lists. Unfortunately, we’re back in the eye of a perfect travel storm. The high fuel and food costs have forced people to look for holidays or adventures closer to home. If your vehicle is geared up, there certainly are new and nearby adventures to be had. Use the Pro Bike Carrier to load any size bicycle to your roof rack, then go and cycle a new route or trail. You don’t need big rigs or heaps of money to use your gear or go on an adventure; willpower and some get-up-and-go will do the trick.     ​

© How Far From Home © Craig Kolesky

Products ​

Size is everything when it comes to camping or overland products. If it rolls up or folds away or can be stowed in a plastic storage box, you’re onto a winner, especially if you drive something with spatial challenges like a Suzuki Jimny or Panda 4x4. Collapsible bowls, kettles and washing-up buckets are all the rage. We expect this trend to continue, which is why the Wolf Pack Pro, Camp Kitchen Utensil Set, Expander Chair and Front Runner Roof Rack are such popular items. They are some of the best space savers and gear organizers available today. ​

​On the Friday of the 2023 Overland Expo West in Arizona, the heavens opened for several hours. To stay warm, many of the traders fired up their gas-powered Fire Pits; these also pose less of a fire hazard than using wood on the ground. Could a gas-powered firepit be the must-have overland accessory of 2024? ​

© Front Runner

Events ​

It’s great to attend some of the world's biggest overlanding and camping shows, but once you’ve ticked those boxes, you surely start to look for alternatives. Australia and South Africa recently hosted massive gatherings for Suzuki Jimny owners; now, while this is a niche, they were both enormously successful. What about an event like Africa Burn or Burning Man in the USA? The mud and rain wreaked havoc with the last Burning Man, and all those who made it out there will most certainly forever remember it. For those that don’t do crowds, drive your overland rig to Turkey and park it up at Cappadocia for a few days while seeing a sky full of hot air balloons. We predict people will attend smaller, boutique events once they’ve been to the big overland shows. So, wherever you find yourself in 2024, try ensure that you see beautiful places, lots of smiling faces and have the right gear to make your adventure dreams come true.