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Do You Call This Overlanding? The HISTORY Channel Does

Land Rover Brings us an Overlanding Documentary on FYI & HISTORY Channel

Land Rover Defender All You Need To Know: Overlanding documentary

Land Rover North America and A+E Networks worked with Overland International to create a documentary that explores what overland travel is all about. In this 60-minute Land Rover Defender commercial, we’ll see three middle-aged well-off white men drive around in well-outfitted luxury SUVs on some backroads in Arizona and Utah for a few days of car camping. Is this overlanding? The All You Need To Know: Overlanding documentary says it is.

“Popular interest in overlanding is exploding worldwide and set to become the next really big thing in the outdoor and SUV space,” said Christian Murphy, head of Enthusiast brands, A+E Networks. “Through this unique partnership with Land Rover, the Defender becomes a character in the adventure – not only enabling the journey but capturing the spirit of outdoor exploration. We’ve created content that inserts unique expertise into this huge trend, features American landmarks and hopefully spurs audiences to explore the great outdoors.”

The All You Need To Know: Overlanding documentary airs on FYI TV, in the Outdoor block, on April 18th at 10 pm ET, and then on the HISTORY Channel on April 24th at 9 am ET. Check out the sneak peek below.

Land Rover Defender Commercial

To me, this looks like a very well-produced vlog-style adventure through one of the most beautiful parts of southwestern U.S. It also looks to have been carefully curated to showcase the capabilities of the new Land Rover Defender.

Yes, it’s basically an hour-long commercial for one of today’s best off-road/overland capable OEM vehicles. I’ve spent some time on and off-road in the new Land Rover Defender 110 and assure you that the positive hype around the vehicle is worthy praise. The new Defender is by far the most off-road capable Land Rover to ever roll out of the factory. On-road it is also the most comfortable and capable Land Rover Defender ever produced as well. The concerns about reliability and durability are justifiable, but will only be figured out over time as these vehicles are used around the globe.

HISTORY Channel Takes A Swing At Overlanding

Scott Brady, CEO of Overland International, brings a high level of credibility and experience to the show. He’s greatly helped create and curate the overland industry in North America over the past 15-plus years. He’s also driven just about every type of off-road vehicle made in the past 50 years and led overland expeditions across all 7-continents.

“Overlanding brings a unique joy and nuance to travel, providing access to all of the experiences, culture, and natural beauty between points A and Z,” said Scott Brady, CEO of Overland International, Inc. “Using an overland vehicle like the Defender allows us to get off the beaten path, to venture further into the unknown, and the connect with adventure in entirely different ways. As travelers, we need experiences like that more than ever.”

What is Overlanding?

The constant question in the overland space, especially in the past 5-years or so, is “What is overlanding?” While the term overlanding has continued to evolve in the public consciousness and amongst new members of the overland community, the definition created by Overland Journal over a decade ago is one that I like to point to:

“Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.” (Be sure to click HERE for an even more detailed explanation.)

With that said, I also love car camping, off-roading, adventure travel, vanlife, and all other terms that you could call what most people now consider overlanding. If people that do these activities want to be a part of the overland community then I say all the merrier. The more people buying the latest and greatest overland equipment the more innovation and competition we’ll see, which will benefit us all.

All You Need To Know: Overlanding

Will this new “overland documentary” provide an insight into what overlanding is really all about? We doubt it, but we bet it will be a fun adventure show that will introduce even more people to the idea of overland travel. It will also no doubt be a compelling commercial for the new Land Rover Defender.

I will admit that in today’s politically charged climate the optics of this show are pretty rough to see. The auto industry and the overland industry have known diversity problems already, and this documentary solidifies the stereotypes and marketing that we’ve seen for decades. Three middle-aged white men drive three expensive new gas-guzzling SUVs off into the wilderness to get spiritual with nature on a camping trip. If that hits the mark for the type of marketing that we should be seeing in 2021 then I for sure missed some lessons from the past few years. With that said, Land Rover knows its audience and needs to market to its customer base to sell vehicles.

You can tune in to the All You Need To Know: Overlanding documentary on FYI TV on April 18th at 10 pm ET, and then again for an encore on the HISTORY Channel on April 24th at 9 am ET.

About Bryon Dorr

AutoWise Editor-in-Chief Bryon Dorr has been a lifelong automotive enthusiast. From the supercar posters on his childhood walls to the massive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection, Bryon has been dreaming about automotive adventures his entire life. For the past decade+ Bryon has pursued a career in automotive photography and journalism. He's worked for a wide range of the top outlets in the overland, off-road, adventure motorcycle, and general automotive media. His current household automotive quiver includes a custom overland 2013 GX460, a 2020 Ioniq Electric, and a 2006 KTM 950 Adv. He recently sold his 996TT, and is on the hunt for a new performance car.