Our big trip is coming up in one week. Our route will take us all the way up to the top of Montana and back down again. We will be traveling up through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.
Sherry has made reservations for us along the way at various National Forests and state parks, and we have purchased the appropriate off-road permits where applicable.
We’ve been preparing for this trip all summer, and the last overlanding trip we made was to test our loadout and was our last dry run before the big trip. We learned a few valuable lessons, and we’ve already made some changes leading up to next week including how we load the cargo area in a way that keeps items from falling forward in the event of hard braking (learned this the hard way), and also found a better way to load up the cargo area that utilizes the space better. We also learned that it’s necessary to have a smaller container that holds lunch support items like plates, forks, knives, napkins, and a cutting board so we don’t have to unload our kitchen box every time we stop for lunch (which, in our optimized load plan, is at the bottom of all the items we pack in).
Sherry already has all her clothes packed and ready to go, while I’ve been concentrating my efforts on preparing the logistics of the vehicle and all the camping equipment. I will be taking the Gunship in for an oil change and tire rotation next week as it’s just about due (about 300 miles early) and I’d rather do it before than after the trip.
I will begin packing up my clothes early next week. I used to travel a lot for work, so I have a pretty good workflow as it pertains to packing up. I also use checklists, and I’ve been working on mine for weeks to ensure I have thought of everything. Of course, I am certain that a few things will have slipped through the cracks, but the intention is to try to reduce the number of things I need to buy on the road once we get going. If I can make it for the entire two-week period without having to buy anything to supplement our loadout, then I’ll be happy.
I know that through this two-week trip, Sherry and I will learn a lot about Overlanding, our loadout, and we will optimize further. I’m also certain that when we’re done, we will have identified areas where we can eliminate or down-size certain items while also finding areas to improve in. That’s part of the fun of Overlanding: finding your optimal setup. What works for me may not always work for you, and vice-versa. That’s why there are so many different builds out there.
I am looking forward to being out in nature, seeing amazing sights, and spending time with my favorite person on the planet. We always have such a great time together, and this will be a great time for us to work together in a way we rarely have to. Setting up and tearing down camp is definitely a two-person job, and we have our roles and our rhythm to perfect. Oh, and we will need to take pictures. Lots of pictures.