If you’re a car camper, an RVer or a moto lover who thrives in the out-of-doors trekking through the wilderness, you just might be an overlander. A burgeoning industry with products and services catering to do-it-yourself outdoor enthusiasts has taken root in America and is coming to Infinity Downs in Nelson County, Va., Friday, Oct. 11 through Sunday, Oct. 13. The event, now a decade old, is attracting followers by teaching skill building and outdoor lifestyle techniques in a festival-style camping setting. Camping, music, food and fun are all part of the entertainment.
Jessica Kirchner, vice president of Overland Expo, gives Recreation News the low-down on what to expect this month less than two hours southwest of Washington.
Recreation News: What do you want potential visitors to know about your event?
Kirchner: The event is the greatest collection of outdoor lifestyle, camping, overland and off-road vehicle, adventure motorcycle equipment and services east of the Mississippi River.
Overland Expo hosts hundreds of session hours of classes, demonstrations, films and presentations that inspire attendees to get going on their next journey.
Recreation News: What do you think is most important for readers to know about the travel trend of overlanding?
Kirchner: For overlanders, the journey is as important as the destination or the activities they do when they get to the destination, whether that’s hiking, nature watching, kayaking, mountain biking, etc. They are a respectful group of people who believe in taking care of the natural environment.
Recreation News: What are some examples of classes Overland Expo will offer participants?
Kirchner: Overland Expo classes range from overlanding essentials to driving, riding and navigation skills, to campfire cooking, nature photography and overlanding with kids. World travelers and adventurers like Ted Simon share their inspiring stories of adventure travel in remote places.
A corporate attorney will present information about protecting your adventure brand, copyrights and trademarks. Since so many content creators register for the event, we will provide a dedicated Wi-Fi connection.
Recreation News: The event brings together outdoor recreation vendors from as far away as Australia. How many will you have showcasing their products?
Kirchner: We have more than 175 vendors signed up for Overland Expo East in Nelson County. Local exhibitors include: Trailtec 4x4, Explmore, Triumph of Harrisonburg, BlueStone Overland, Sarek Autowerke, Virginia State Parks and Outback Motortek USA.
Recreation News: Tell us about the film festival that takes place within Overland Expo.
Kirchner: Films and videos up to 15 minutes long will be screened, theater-style, under a tent in the early evening.
Recreation News: How/why did your organization decide to hold Overland Expo in Nelson County?
Kirchner: Nelson County is nestled in the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, perfectly situated between large mid-Atlantic markets. After visiting Infinity Downs during the Lockn’ Festival and seeing the beauty of the property matched with its event-capable design, we knew it was ideal.
Recreation News: All participants must register for the event. How do you obtain tickets?
Kirchner: We offer everything from premium education packages to general admission for the weekend or a day pass. Kids 17 and under are free with any camping package. For general admission (day passes), kids 14 & under are free.Visit overlandexpo.com/tickets-east
Discounted passes are available for military veterans with a special registration on the site.
Promotional discounts are also available through some major sponsors.
About Nelson County
Nelson County, Virginia has an enviable reputation for craft beverages, music events, locally-sourced foods and the excitement that comes with celebrating with a crowd or on your own next to mountain streams, in the valleys or on a mountaintop. The crisp, clear days of October in this picturesque place offer Insta-ready photo opps.
For more information:
Nelson County Visitors Center at 434-263-7015 or visit nelsoncounty.com