Instructions and Learnings
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
For many it means “back to school” to learn the necessary skills needed for safe and fun overlanding. It was amazing how little we really knew before we set off on our first overland expedition. We had a seriously steep learning curve but it was fun.
Learning to Drive
- Essential if you have never done any serious off roading. It is best to do it in the vehicle you plan to travel in and make sure it is fully loaded when practising. We took our 4X4 driving and vehicle recovery course with Pieter Du Plessis in South Africa. We highly recommend him as an instructor he wasn’t our first instructor but he was the best.
South Africa 4X4 Instruction
To contact Pieter or for further details click on Off ROAD TRAINING IN SOUTH AFRICA
North America 4X4 Instruction
There are several off road and vehicle training facilities in North America and to find the one closest to you contact the International 4 Wheel Driver Trainer’s Association I4WDTA
- No use buying all the equipment if you don’t learn how to use it safely. Learning to use the equipment safely and correctly such as the high lift jack, winch and other recovery accessories is essential. It is also important to learn how to care for the equipment, don’t want to find your high lift jack all bunged up with dirt when you need it. Don’t know what you need? talk to the experts who actual use the equipment not just sell it.
Assisting Some Mauritanians Stuck in Sand
WILDERNESS MEDICAL AND FIRST AID
- On our first trip we dutifully went on a Red Cross First Aid Course, sure we learnt a lot, we also learnt to dial 911 and wait for the paramedics to arrive. Not much help when you are out in the wilderness days from any help. We needed to learn what to do when we couldn’t call 911.
- Again you need to assess just how remote you may get and how close you will be to medical assistance and facilities. Once you have determined your learning needs you can find the right course for you.
- We did our training with Dave Watt at the Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine, who provided us with an excellent information on surviving in the wilderness when there is no immediate assistance. For more information go to Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine
- When traveling to remote areas where there is no access to medical facilities or physicians it is recommended you are knowledgeable about the medications you may be carrying such as when to use which antibiotic etc
- We do take anti malaria precautions as we have both had malaria so know it is not a illness you want and of course it will spoil any trip. We take dukoral.
- We strongly encourage you to take a few doses of any new medications before you leave to make sure you can tolerate the medications, whether it is antibiotics, anti nausea, anti diarrhoea or anti malaria. Nothing worse then heading out to discover you are highly allergic to the medication.
- Ask you pharmacist to label the medication with expiry date if you are going to be travelling for several months or plan to make multiple trips.
- Take you medications with child proof caps so they won’t open when bashed around. Nothing worse to open your bag and have 100’s of little pills fall out. Yes it happened to me.
- There are medical facilities in most locations so usually you only need enough medical supplies to get to the clinics. Between us we have had fractures, cholera and the usual travels upset tummies but have always been able to get medical attention.
- Knowing the languages just makes you travel experience that much richer and more fun. We struggled to learn French it is a difficult language but it certainly helped to speak a little when traveling in West Africa. The ability to speak with the locals adds significantly to the enjoyment of your experience as a traveler. We committed to learning Spanish for Central and South America. There are certainly lots of organizations in North America that offer Latin American Spanish and it is a wonderful language to learn, much easier for me than French.
- There are so many wonderful translate applications now once again get to know how to use them before you leave.
Getting Directions in French
- The moment you decide on an overland trip get out your GPS and start using it for every where you drive, especially if you are planning to travel across Africa. It is essential if you know how to fully use your GPS.
- GPS technology is changing and older GPS models are not able to be uploaded with the latests maps and routes.
- With new technology, cell phones and google maps one will find it quite difficult to get lost if you know how to use the technology with the best apps
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO
- Photographic or video courses will help ensure you know how to use your equipment and take the best photos/videos.
- We are often asked what camera and video equipment we use. We have both DSLR Canon with several lens and a smaller camera that we can fit into our pockets. Like most travellers we do tend to get lazy about lugging about heavy cameras but it is a big mistake. Better lens do take better photos and everyone wants to have special memories of their travels. Learn how to use the equipment well in various lights, situations etc. We typically don’t edit photos on route our goal is to get it right in the camera.
- Taking photos of people. Strike up a conversation and ask them. It is very seldom we are refused. We don’t pay people to take their pictures, if they ask for money we smile, decline and move on. We are not professional photographers so can’t afford to pay people to take their photos.
- Videos. So many folk take video but don’t edit it and we are so pleased we have such wonderful videos of our trips. There is nothing better to go down memory lane with both great videos and photos.
- BACK UP your photos every day!!
- We use Dropbox a lot while on the road.
- Keep you equipment clean, dust is the enemy. We use children’s soft insulated lunch bags for some of our equipments, they are cheap, have padding for protection and seal well.
- Label your bags so you know what is inside.
Enjoying the Afternoon Laze