Roots of Overland Adventures

My wife is still confused.

When I come home and babble for hours about overland adventures, spend hours of the evening combing through bits and bytes of internet data on equipment, routes, and travel diaries, spend the weekend modifying our expedition vehicle….she cuts me to the quick with the words, “car camping”.

OK– maybe my elitist soul is creeping in and I wear my adventure persona on my sleeve a bit much. But “Overlanding” is by no means “Car Camping”. To me “Car Camping” is something a guy who wears black socks with tennis shoes and Bermuda shorts does on on the weekend. By gosh– we are Overlanders! We don’t have a station wagon and would never be caught asking a park ranger any embarrassing questions.

When Theodore Roosevelt led his expedition through South America to discover uncharted rivers did people say, “Oh yes, Teddy the fine gent is camping this week in some remote location”. Or when Lewis invited Clark to take on a quest only equaled later in history to lunar exploration say, “Hey Bill, wanna go check out the trails?” No these were all examples of Overlanding.

Here is basically how I have tried to describe it to others

  • It is an expedition- the exploration and pure enjoyment of adventure based travel
  • It typically takes a weekend to several weeks, maybe months, if I get to win the lottery…years.
  • It takes place in remote, seldom traveled areas (Big Bend, Moab, Transatlantic Trail, Canada to Mexico on the CDT, etc.
  • Required extensive planning for all situations including environment, terrain, even politics
  • Camping- mostly dry or self-sustained camping although in extreme situations or where the adventure crew needs rest- an occasional hotel or established camp ground.

Still when I present this as a guideline I am met with the rebuff of “car-camping” by my tormentor, err…wife…

So in an effort to set the record strait for my un-enlightened soul mate, my poor counterpart who is uneducated in the ways of expedition, who just doesn’t grasp the lifestyle, I have decided to devote a series of blogs (not on any regular schedule) to the roots of OVERLANDING.

This will include examples and stories from some of the great overlanding expeditions including Lewis and Clark, the Westward Expansion, African Campaign (WWI and WWII), Continental Divide Trips, etc. My hope is that she will take to heart this legacy of great travelers who were self sufficient in everything and did not have the comforts of maps, roadside diners, or a KOA. Trips done by bicycle, dual-sport motorcycle, jeeps/trucks/uni-mogs, and canoe. My dream is to create fellow fanatics and for my wife…well bring her into the lifestyle with me and for gosh-sakes—-don’t call it CAR CAMPING!

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