Overlanding is a lifestyle that has been around for ages, yet in the Philippines, it is still considered relatively new.
The Philippines is an archipelago, which means its geographic structure does not conform to the typical and wider overland route. In this regard, domestic overland travel can be quite a challenge considering the country’s geography and infrastructure.
That said, however, the Philippines is one of the world’s beautiful places with equal parts of rich marine life and majestic landscapes complemented by warm and welcoming friendly locals. All that considered, it should come as no surprise that the community of overlanders in the country has been steadily growing each year. Keep in mind, though, that trying the Overlanding lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. For a successful and enjoyable overlanding experience, you need a lot of patience coupled with a good sense of adventure. Similarly, any overlanding endeavor in the country requires utmost fortitude and determination—especially if you wish to travel to far-flung and remote areas.
As the country has a relatively mountainous archipelagic geography complemented by less than ideal infrastructure, it makes for some relatively difficult overlanding excursions. That said, the Philippines is one of those countries where flying makes a significant difference to your travel. Not only is it more convenient, but it takes less time to do as well.
So, if you are not determined to make your surface-level travel expedition work, you might want to reconsider and hop on a plane in lieu of making an overlanding trip. If you wish to explore the merits of doing an overlanding expedition in the country, it is advised that you take the road on the islands and by the sea between them. As safety is a paramount concern, it is recommended to travel with a group. Be prepared, however, as the roads will make for some of the most grueling drives you will ever make in your life. Despite the unforgiving roads, however, you will find that the drive can be enjoyable. As you inch closer to your respective destinations, you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular and beautiful sceneries in your life—all of which you can witness from your vehicle.
So, with all that said, if you wish to dip your toes into this nomadic kind of lifestyle, you may want to begin by gearing up. You can start your overlanding journey by ensuring you have everything you need for your adventure.
Below is a list of the best overlanding shops in the Philippines.
1.) CAMPING GEARS PHILIPPINES
Founded by a team of outdoor enthusiasts led by Wendy and Tina, Camping Gears Philippines has everything you need for any of your outdoor excursions. Whether you need to prepare for your next hiking jaunt, updated your equipment for a camping adventure, or buy gear for your overland travels, Camping Gear Philippines has it all. The team has personally handpicked and curated premium camping goods and equipment from all over the world to provide you with quality and premium products for the best and most enjoyable outdoor experience.
Visit their online shop here: https://shop.campinggears.ph/
2.) ADV OUTDOOR GOODS
ADV Outdoor Goods was carved out of the founder’s love and passion for the great outdoors and penchant for adventure. The shop aims to help outdoor enthusiasts and avid overlanders like you gear up for your next adventure by offering only a selection of products that they personally use and believe in. Apart from offering overlanding, camping, and biking gear and goods, they also offer home service installation upon request. As a company run by individuals who live and breathe adventure, ADV Outfitters believes in providing outdoor enthusiasts like you only the best to ensure a memorable and enjoyable overlanding experience.
You can visit them here: Unit 210-211 Ciannat Complex, Antipolo, Philippines
Known as the pioneers of the Overlanding lifestyle in the Philippines, Mototesto is a family-owned adventure lifestyle company that shares the fun and beauty of the Philippine outdoors via 4X4 or motorcycles. An amalgamation of the words Motor Sports and Testosterone, Mototesto aims to promote the Overlanding lifestyle and make it more accessible to Filipinos. In this regard, the company offers curated, well-tested and sensible products that are effective and easy to use. While Mototesto offers overland products and vehicle outfitting services, the shop is where avid overlanders and outdoor enthusiasts go-to place for extended off-road and overland expedition opportunities. To date, Mototesto is the only lifestyle company to organize Overlanding activities in the Philippines. By introducing overlanding’s unique off-grid and nomadic lifestyle to Filipinos, the company endeavors to make people realize that you need not travel far to see majestic terrains and beautiful sights.
4.) PREMIUM OVERLAND OUTFITTERS
Premium Overland Outfitters is the go-to shop for quality products for 4X4 and Overlanding requirements. While they primarily cater to automative outfitting services, Premium Overland Outfitters offers a myriad of products that would make your outdoor jaunts and excursions a dream come true. They have everything from roof racks, rack accessories, adventure gears, and even camping equipment, making it the complete one-stop shop for any of your outdoor and adventurous pursuits.
5.) RUGGED RIGS ENTERPRISE
Situated in San Juan City, Rugged Rigs is a company that engages in 4X4 motor vehicle and parts dealers. The shop specializes in auto body parts supply and repair, ensuring that your 4X4 vehicles or motorcycles are ready and well-equipped for any overlanding adventure.
With all the shops above, you should be ready to go on your overlanding adventure. However, if you are still on the fence about Overlanding and have been contemplating whether or not to explore the lifestyle, below is a list of reasons why it might be worth the try:
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRY OVERLANDING
1.) You get really do get off-the-beaten-track
No matter how much of an explorer you think you are, the reality is there are some places in the country you probably have never been to. While you may think this can be easy to do by hopping on a plane, there are areas that you can reach only with an overland vehicle. Keep in mind that public transport only gets you so far. If you want to visit places off-the-beaten-track, your best option is to go on an overland expedition. Sure, you can opt to go on an organized tour or hire a car, but both can be quite time consuming as well as relatively expensive.
2.) Get the real feel of a place
Unlike traveling, Overlanding often compels you to stay in a particular place for quite a while. You do not flit in and out of small villages but stay in and get a feel of the place. As a result, you understand the people better and get a feel of how they go on about their daily lives. In a sense, it gives you an insight into the culture of the places you visit and the lives of the people who inhabit them.
3.) Immerse yourself in nature
Overlanding is an avenue for you to explore and enjoy the outdoors like you never had before. Some of the activities you can enjoy during an overland expedition are camping, swimming in a lake, sleeping under the stars, sitting around in a campfire, waking up to the sound of birds and the like. In a perpetually busy life, these are the things we often overlook and neglect. Through an overlanding expedition, we get to revisit and experience it all over again.
4.) Interact with the locals
One of the best aspects of Overlanding is the local interaction you will inevitably do with the locals. As you will likely be camping for your excursion, you will often make several stops in small villages to shop for supplies or food. That said, you can often find yourself bargaining with the merchants or striking up conversations with the locals. These interactions can be quite enlightening and eye-opening, which can leave room for some introspection on your part.
5.) It is an adventure
Overlanding is a grand adventure that is not for everyone. It pushes you past your limits, takes you out of your comfort zone, and allows you to indulge your adventurous side. That said, it is also probably the most enjoyable trip you will ever have in your life. After all, the experience is quite unique, and frankly, commercial travel does not compare to it. If you dipped your toes into the lifestyle and experienced it for yourself, you will soon find that overlanding expeditions are the kinds of adventures and trips you will be talking and reminiscing about for the rest of your life.