Before You Hit the Road
As you plan your overlanding expedition, think about every possible scenario you could come across. What type of terrain will you be traveling over? What types of animals live in the areas you’re traveling to? Are there any hazards you should plan for?
Thinking about these types of questions will not only help you pack appropriately, it can help you anticipate and prepare for situations you may encounter along the way.
While you may not always know exactly where the road less traveled will take you, it’s critical to let someone know the general area you’re headed to and how long you plan to be gone. Many GPS trail map apps such as GaiaGPS, allow you to download, email or print your route so it can be easily shared with others. Plus, if you are able to, you can send a link sharing your location to get help fast. If there is an emergency, you’ll be glad someone knows where to start looking for you.
While you’re in the backcountry, whether alone or with a group, it’s always good to have a way to communicate if help is needed. Something as simple as two-way radios can be helpful in situations where you are less than a couple miles away from others since they are limited by range.
CB radio systems are a popular way to keep in touch with access to various radio frequencies. Satellite phones, which rely on satellites rather than cell phone towers, are also an option and can be used anywhere in the world. Whatever the option, be sure you have a way of communicating if needed.
Know Your Gear
Owning the best gear such as a handheld GPS system or rope retention pulley is great but it’s a problem if you don’t know how to use it. Make sure you know exactly what gear you’re packing and take time to learn how to use it properly. It’s also a good opportunity to check everything over to make sure things are in good working order. You can also take a look at our recent post, “Packing for Your First Overlanding Expedition” for ideas on what essentials to pack.