Tips for Preparing for an Overland Expedition
We all want to experience an overland expedition, a journey to a remote location where you need to be totally self-sufficient and if you are lucky enough to be planning such a trip, there’s a lot to take onboard, quite literally. Once you are away from civilisation, there are rarely any second chances when you are taking on rough terrain in harsh conditions and preparation is an essential aspect to a successful overland expedition.
Here are a few tips to help ensure a smooth and safe passage.
- Vehicle suitability – If you are not sure that your current vehicle is up to the challenge, check out the range of specialist overland vehicles at Nene Overland, UK specialist vehicle supplier and customiser who has all the solutions. Why not drive your vehicle to their dealership and ask the experts for their considered opinion? The last thing you want is an axle breakage because the vehicle isn’t designed for such travel; rather ask the professionals before you go any further and see what they have to say.
- Visas & insurance – Of course, you need to obtain the necessary visas, which can all be done online; make sure you allow ample time for visa processing and most visas are valid for 6 months prior to use. Vehicle insurance is compulsory and this documentation should always be handy, ready to present to police or border control officials, and you should consider a form of vehicle recovery or foreign support. Health insurance is something else to arrange, plus make sure you have a comprehensive first aid kit onboard, which we hope that you never need. If you are planning to be the mechanic, here are some home vehicle maintenance tips to hone your skills.
- Make good use of the Internet – Using Google Maps, you can plan your route and check to see if there are any obstacles, while a Google search will tell you all you need to know about any region of the planet. Pre-set all the GPS data into your onboard data system and that can also help you by suggesting alternative routes and keep your eye on the weather at all times, especially when travelling to very remote areas.
- Spares, spares and more spares – You can never tell what might break or simply give up the ghost, which means taking as much in terms of spare parts, as you can. Prioritise based on some research and there are many fix-it kits that you can order from the online supplier, which covers you for every eventuality. Things like water and fuel containers need to be adequate for where you’re going and a complete set of engine belts and hoses is a must, along with the tools to carry out the repair. Space is obviously at a premium, so larger parts should be minimised; most towns have at least one shop where they can fix everything, although you can never rely on that being the case.
If you are planning an overland trip into Europe, things have changed since we pulled out of the EU, click here for travel information. This is one of the downsides to Brexit and it would add red tape to your expedition, which can’t be helped.