Exploring Indonesia: The Rise of Overlanding Adventures

Overlanding or long-distance land travel to enjoy the great outdoors using vehicles is increasingly popular among Indonesians. One such adventure was undertaken by the Marlia Yossie family, who embarked on a journey from Depok City, West Java, to Pakkodian Beach, on the shores of Lake Toba, North Sumatra.

"The journey driving a Land Rover was filled with tension," Yossie, 47, began her story to Tempo on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

The journey to Pakkodian Beach was particularly challenging as it was undertaken at night, on winding and steep roads. Apart from the concern of encountering highway robbers, Yossie was also afraid of encountering ghosts. However, all anxieties disappeared when she and her family finally reached their destination and enjoyed the beauty of the sunrise from Pakkodian Beach.

That was a snippet of Yossie's experience overlanding with her family out of town. Yossie, a camping enthusiast, shared that she has been fond of overlanding since 2010, initially focusing on areas in West Java, such as Ujung Genteng Beach. In 2013, she started venturing into long-distance overlanding while bringing a tent along.

Now, with two children, Yossie's passion for overlanding camping has not diminished. On the contrary, she and her family regularly go camping at least once a month.

Overland camping, or overlanding, combines light off-roading with camping. It focuses on independent travel by vehicle through rugged terrain to remote locations or exploring new destinations. When combined with camping, the journey concludes with camping at the new destination.

Some call overland camping "sultan camping" because it involves using 4x4 vehicles such as Mitsubishi Pajero, Land Rover, and Ford Everest. Yossie acknowledged that these are indeed expensive types of vehicles, but she assured that overlanding can also be done with Low-Cost Green Car (LCGC) models such as Daihatsu Xenia, Suzuki Karimun, or Toyota Agya.

According to her, the cost of overlanding depends on the distance of the destination, as it determines how much fuel is consumed. As for consumption expenses, they can be saved by cooking meals oneself, and for accommodation, sleeping in a tent (rather than a homestay) can be cost-effective.

"I have stayed in homestays, as well as in gas station parking lots or rest areas. So, it's cheap. The budget depends on the distance, for example, traveling to Sukabumi will be cheaper than going to Sabang," said Yossie on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

In Indonesia, overlanding has surged since the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time, many people engaged in outdoor activities. Consequently, many people also began overlanding using motorcycles, known as motocamping.

According to Yossie, the challenges of overlanding include not everyone enjoying driving long distances for a long time, and not many people enjoying going to remote areas where accommodation may not be readily available. Additionally, rising fuel prices or having to travel by sea, which can inflate travel budgets, are also challenges.

However, the enjoyable aspect of overlanding is that it provides new experiences by visiting remote areas. For example, visiting Jelenga Beach in West Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, which turned out to have many foreigners but few local tourists.

"We can discover great places in Indonesia through overlanding (unlike flying tours). When bringing a vehicle, we can go whenever we want - not dependent on flight schedules," said Yossie. She added that as long as one has a vehicle, a tent, and is prepared to drive long distances, overlanding can be done.

The most important aspect of overlanding is the condition of the vehicle's engine. Because an unhealthy vehicle engine will only cause trouble on the journey. Yossie suggested that if the vehicle is old, it's best to go with a mechanic.

Speaking of vehicles for overlanding, Director of Product Strategy Division at PT Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Sales (MMKSI), Hikaru Mii, explained to Tempo on Saturday, February 24, 2024, that every vehicle intended for overlanding needs modifications and special equipment to be driven on various terrains (especially rough terrain).

According to Mii, the Mitsubishi Xforce is not recommended as a vehicle for extreme overlanding, including heavy off-roading and technical off-roading. However, for moderate off-roading, the Xforce can certainly be used. He explained that the Xforce is an urban SUV type, primarily for city use. However, it can also be used for light off-roading to tourist destinations such as Ciwidey in Bandung or places at certain altitudes such as Nepal Van Java in Magelang, or mountainous destinations like Dieng or Bromo.

Furthermore, Mii stated that for long journeys, the Xforce is equipped with superior features to support performance and driving comfort, such as 4 drive modes (Normal, Wet, Gravel, and Mud) to support driving in various conditions. Additionally, this compact SUV also has a high ground clearance of 222 mm, making drivers more confident when traversing various types of roads.

The Xforce also boasts the best approach angle and departure angle in its class, each at 21.0 degrees and 30.5 degrees, respectively, providing peace of mind when climbing slopes.

This compact SUV not only has high ground clearance but also comes equipped with a Well-Tuned suspension designed for roads in ASEAN countries.

In addition to improving steering feel and straight-line

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