It all started with wanting to see our Dutch overlanding friends again from our Southeast Asia trip (2003-2006).
Between Turkey and India we had run into each other several times and whereas most of them had returned home after India, we had continued farther east. When we visited the Netherlands – during the first years this was around the Christmas holidays – we got together for a weekend and exchanged stories of the road.
This was so much fun that it grew into a yearly reunion.
From Meeting Friends to an Overland Reunion
If I remember correctly we started out with five or six couples. Each year we stayed at one of our homes for a weekend. But Coen got fed up with going to the Netherlands during the cold, dark days of the winter and suggested we moved our annual visit to spring instead. And so, since 2008, we have returned home in May/June.
This gave reason to the idea to go camping. We checked out campsites in various places in the Netherlands and Landgoedcamping Het Meuleman in de Lutte came out as the winner, mostly because the owner, Niels Stijger, allowed us to camp in our cars/rooftop tents on the campsite itself (contrary to most campsites, where you have to pitch your tent and leave your car in the parking lot). As this was a group of people dedicated to overlanding, this was (and is) a big point.
As this was a group of people dedicated to overlanding, this was (and is) a necessity.
The campsite is a beautiful place in the middle of the forest in Twente, the eastern corner of the Netherlands, bordering Germany. Each year we can use a large area at the far end of the campsite for the overland group.
Coen and I weren’t complaining about this option as de Lutte lies pretty much next door to our parent’s place… For three years we discussed the location with the group and three times we chose the same campsite for the same reasons. We decided we would keep it that way.
Since space was no longer a limitation, we extended the invitation to any past, present, or future overlanders.
When is the Overland Reunion?
Choosing the date for this weekend depends on two things:
- The obvious one: We have to be in the Netherlands, which is generally in May/June.
- We can’t organize the reunion during Ascension-Day weekend (Hemelvaart) or Pentecost (Pinksteren) as the campsite is booked with regular visitors and Niels doesn’t have space for us. As these two weekends general fall in the period of our four-week visit to the Netherlands, this generally limits our options to only 1 or 2 weekends. We will let you know the exact day through a newsletter (sign up at the bottom of this page), generally we know in Jan/Feb.
How Does it Work?
Don’t expect a big organized event. It’s not. It’s a simple get-together of kindred spirits who want to share or gather stories and information on overlanding. The weekend runs from Friday to Sunday and it’s up to you how long you stay.
Some turn it into a long weekend, enjoying the beautiful forest and countryside (great region for hikers and cyclists, by the way). Others drop by for a cup of coffee on Saturday or Sunday, or for the BBQ on Saturday night. The majority tends to arrive on Saturday and leave on Sunday after breakfast.
- Expect to pay around 20 euros per night for a couple and your vehicle. There is a different fee if you visit only during the day. You will pay directly at the reception of the campsite.
- You don’t have to make reservations at the campsite, but when you receive our email announcing the date for the next event, we do ask you to sign up so the campsite will know how much space to keep available for us.
- Everybody brings their own food and drinks. We bring one BBQ so if you have one, bring it too as ours is insufficient for 70-80 people barbecuing…
- We are not allowed to kindle a campfire (it is a protected natural environment).
- So: Bring your car (or a tent, or rent a cabin at the campsite), food & drinks, camping chairs and warm clothes as temperatures generally plummet quite a bit at night.
For Whom is It?
The overland reunion is for past, present & future overlanders. The general idea is that we’re talking about long-term travelers (say six months or longer) by car/truck, motorcycle, bicycle.
We have singles, couples, and families.
So, are you interested, or do you know of anybody who might be interested, let us know or send them this blog post so they can sign up themselves.
Do you want to attend? Sign up for the Overland-Reunion newsletter so you’ll get an email informing you about the date for the next event.
We hope to see you there!
(originally published in 2014 / updated in 2017)