Overland Expo Mtn West, 2022

   09.01.22

Overland Expo Mtn West, 2022

One of the challenges of standing up a new content subject is getting rapid exposure to new items and vendors in the space. Fortunately, I am required to attend the Overland Expo series as a vendor, which affords me the opportunity to browse many vendors in a contained space. Just like SHOT Show for firearms, Overland Expo is a set of shows that provides excellent exposure.

Good day everyone and welcome to a new installment of AllOutdoor's Off-Road and Overlanding series brought to you by onX Offroad--mapping software for all your adventures.

Overland Expo Mtn West is in its second year and takes place just north of Denver in Loveland, Colorado. This proximity to a large city means a greater pool of people to attend. There were more than 300 vendors and over 15,000 attendees during the show’s three days.

At the Expo, you can choose from a variety of educational sessions on topics like cooking and trip planning. You can also attend driving courses to learn how to handle different types of terrain and recover your vehicle if it gets stuck. Plus, there are vendors selling equipment and gear, so you can try out products before making a big purchase.

All vendors at the show are dedicated to outdoor gear, whether for off-roading, Overlanding, or moto. Some companies take orders on-site, while others are only selling their wares. If you weren’t previously aware, there is a “global supply chain” issue going on… lol A majority of the well-known brands and older companies are based in South Africa and Australia, so getting products stateside is an issue. We are starting to get more vendors here in the US as the popularity grows, and in some cases, US distributors of foreign brands are being created. Off-road and Overlanding gear has always been difficult to source compared to other items.

Every vendor I interacted with was extremely amiable and more than willing to discuss their products in detail. In fact, some vendors will go so far as to recommend a competitor’s product if it’s a better fit for you or if they think it would be helpful for you to make a comparison. The general atmosphere of the market is relaxed and inviting. It is very family friendly–dogs and children are welcome, and as I mentioned in the post for PNW, many vendors have water bowls and dog treats available, as well as candy for kids.

Enjoy this photo spread from the event. If you have vendors you would like us to take a deeper dive into, let us know in the comments.

The all important beer garden that opens as the show closes each night. Badged attendees get a free drink each night. It is a great place to socialize with all of the vendors outside of their booths.
Official show merch to remember your time.
Definitely not the most serious of events. If you are not having fun, you are missing out…

 

Adults aren’t the only ones benefiting from Expo’s education opportunities.

 

Some booths had giveaways. Shanghai’ing kids to pick the winners was always a hit.

 

Some smart people brought bikes to get around the venue. This was a clever place to store a bike.

 

Food truck row. There is not a lot of opportunity to leave for food offsite. Unless you bring your own, your food will be limited to any number of food trucks–all of them were good.

 

You get a chance to see how the components look if you never take them offroad… 🙂

 

Behind the scenes. The public facing side of the booth hides the miasma of vehicles and trailers.

 

Load-in is the part of Expo that attendees do not get to experience. Those booths don’t just magically sprout in place and fill with merch. Hours are spent before and after the show setting up and tearing down.

 

Checking out people’s individual builds is a great way to get ideas for your own build.

 

While the weather was nice, that sun gets brutal toward the end of the day. An awning, like the Rhino-Rack Dome is a welcome respite.

 

Most of the large automotive companies are in attendance (the ones that have offroad vehicles, that is). Most of them have some demo vehicles you can test out on driving courses.

 

The morning rush coming in, ready to start the day.

 

The weather was super awesome and allowed for tons of time to enjoy being outdoors and socializing.

 

There are defined camping areas, and vendors are allowed to camp in their booths. It is not uncommon to see some of the more interesting trailers as people’s camping solutions rather than just a display.

 

Popup, impromptu demonstrations happen all over the venue as vendors show off a feature or product. There really is too much to take in during just three days.

The final Expo of the year is “East” in Arrington, VA, from October 7th to the 9th (we will do another post for that show).

Photos courtesy of Ken Perry Photography.

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Avatar Author ID 94 - 2144667090

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Before that, he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie,” and assaults 14er in his sandals, and engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming copious water. To fund these adventures, he writes all manner of content (having also held editor positions at several publications) and teaches wilderness medicine and off-road skills. He hopes that his posts will help you find the gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it (and the training to use it). Learn from his mistakes--he is known (in certain circles) for his curse...ahem, ability...to find the breaking point of anything. You can follow him at https://linktr.ee/docrader.

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