“How to stay safe on the road?”
Lets talk about safety now and the fine print of it. Wikipedia defines the term Overlanding as: “A self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, it is accomplished with off- road capable methods of transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries” This by itself involves accepting the thrill of some new, potential risks. So here I am writing about some of the fine print that comes with overlanding. It’s based on first aid training and if I’m not mistaken, the origins of the bellow come from the survival booklets of the army . All I am doing here is to project them on overlanding. So here is the“the life line rule of three”.
~Rule 1. You have a 3-minute lifeline if you’re involved in a series accident.
~Rule 2. You have a 3-hour lifeline if you’re exposed without a shelter to the elements.
~Rule 3. You have a 3-day lifeline if you run out of water in the wild.
~Rule 4. You have a 3-week lifeline without food.
Let’s try and analyze this when it comes to overlanding. Overloading your vehicle with every item that is on the market might enable you not to run out of food (Rule 4) or water (Rule 3) or shelter (Rule 2) but what about the first rule? Your vehicle has specifications on how much weight it can handle. Overloading might affect its braking systems and top loading might cause it to flip. You get the picture!!! Also, it is great idea to plan your route but be ready to change your course at any time, roads get closed or become impassable and pushing on might seem reasonable but what if you push it too much (Rule 1)? Sometimes your planned route is not doable , your vehicle is not set up for it ,water crossings are too deep because of extreme rain, running out of supplies, someone gets hurt or gets sick, the vehicle breaks down or you simply cannot sleep where you have planned for security reasons etc. In all these cases, you need to stop and evaluate the situation you’re in following the rules mentioned above. It can happen. No sweat!!! Replan and move forward. What’s next? Your shelter, a long discussed topic. Our advice is, whatever you pick, remember Rule 2. You must be prepared for all seasons because you never know the weather that is heading your way. A ground fancy tent that takes too long to set up ,will expose you to the cold, sleeping in or on top of your vehicle using it as a shelter, in case you get stuck in mud or you flip your vehicle, you are left without one (Rule 2). Golden advice here ,what ever it happens do not venture far away from your vehicle as it will be more difficult for others to assist you.Be prepared to face extreme conditions and make sure you stay warm and comfortable while stuck in them.Furthermore, Water & Food supplies.Do not calculate your water according to your drinking demands and keep in mind the amount of water you need in other cases, cleaning a potential wound, putting out a fire, rinsing dishes and finally helping others in need. Our advice is, BRING A LOT OF EXTRA WATER. When it comes to food and kitchen, your vehicle’s setup, no matter how good it is, is not a house kitchen. It is 24/7 exposed to the natural elements like cold, hot, dust and rain. Don’t bring food that will go bad easily. Minimal and practical is the only way to go.
The last topic in our fine print list is money issues. You need cash. While back home, everything can be sorted out with your credit card or bank card, out here this is not the case. Cash is the only way to go. Plan on having a stash of cash hidden in your vehicle or add a compartment that locks, as this stash will get you out of trouble in any given case. When you’re stuck with an engine failure, there is very little that your credit card can do for the locals mechanic that is willing to help you.
As an end don’t forget that what ever is out of site is out of mind .Be safe, be ready, have fun and enjoy Overlanding!!!