Hello fellow overlanders!!!!!!
How do we find the places to go on our trips? I am going to answer this question first as we get asked over and over again every time the conversation comes to our travels. It is a question you eventually will be asked as well, when you get to venture out on your own into the world of overlanding and adventure travel. But let’s try to make a rough plan on how everything starts.
Eventually you will reach the point of wanting to plan your own trip. Once you reach that point, you need to ask yourself some questions before you start planning your adventure about what you want to do.
-how difficult do you want your adventure to be?
-how far out away from civilization do you want to go?
-how much time do you want to travel?
-what things do you want to include in your itinerary?
Once these questions have been answered you can begin the planning. For me that begins with the opening of a good paper world map on a big table. There I firstly outline the general area or the geographic region that I am interested to travel in. Then I search places to go and points of interest in that area from a general point of view (archeological sites, beaches, national parks etc). For example, for our present trip I picked South America as a whole because I had been there as a young backpacker and I was impressed by the natural wonders as well as the world heritage sites. So I wanted to share this with Rochelle. Now that the locations have been defined and highlights have been marked on the map, I dive into the local forums to see if anybody out there has already attempted anything similar. Then I look for any type of useful information, their tracks (GPS routes) for the locations, places that are recommended or any other info that can assist in my adventure. Unless you are looking for some no-man’s land to travel to, it’s almost a given that a forum somewhere exists that will address the question you have asked. The internet is a great source of awesome information. Also don’t forget the number of overlanders that share their stories through it. Add all this info now to your already planned region and you end up having a rough collection of points on the map that eventually will create a hypothetical route.
Congratulations, now with your route given you can start looking into it in more detail. Places to stay (an I overlander app is your solution), rules and regulations (if you are going to a restricted area) paperwork needed and transportation methods for your vehicle are some of the fields you need to look into now.
Using these simple tools I am able to create a general picture in my mind about all of the areas that I want to see, clarify any legality issues in going through the area and finally relatively understand what condition and types of road I will be traveling on. I have used these techniques and resources to great success over the years. Knowing where I am going and what the conditions will be like is part of being safe on any unknown terrain or country we happen to go by.