Expo West, Flagstaff AZ

It used to be only weatherbeaten Australians who talked about “Overlanding” and then mostly in the context of driving sheep and cattle over long distances. But gradually the term has been seized by a community of travelling people for whom the journey, rather than the destination, is the whole point.

10 years ago Roseann and Jonathan Hanson organised a get-together of like-minded travellers in Flagstaff Arizona. In all, nine hundred people came. This year their Expo attracted more than 400 exhibitors and 22,000 visitors all dedicated to the idea of “Overlanding”. I was one of them and you can see the piece I did for the BBC about it here:


And rather than write that piece again, here are some of the long distance machines that people were salivating over…

5 ton truck ready for the end of the world.

XPcamper before…

And after…

You can go smaller…

Or much, much bigger…

And a whole lot fancier inside…

Induction hob anyone?

Exterior. If you have to ask, you cant afford it

Here’s an electric one

And one with a front deck!

So you get the idea.

There were more than 400 classes available. I did two:

“Cross Axle and Locker Scenarios” Apparently


I also did one about “Overlanding for


It could easily have had half a dozen taglines like “How to drive a long distance without killing each other” or “Why the heck do I always have to navigate while you get to drive?” and “I did tell you to grab those boots before we left it happens every time and you never listen do you so next year we are going to a hotel with a pool”.

It was all good fun, but the best fun was spending a bit of time with one of my all time heroes Ted Simon, author of “Jupiter’s Travels”. The Sunday Times sponsored him to go around the world on a motorbike in the 1970s, thinking he might be the first to do it. He wasn’t in fact, but he was one of the first and his account of the four years he spent doing it is still an absolutely cracking read.

Thanks for the inspiration Ted!

Categories: Overlanding


  1. i just reread Jupiters Travels and discovered Dreaming of Jupiter, Ted Simon is Amazing.


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