Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyOverland Skilled Q&A: Clay and Rachelle Croft of XOverland

Overland Skilled Q&A: Clay and Rachelle Croft of XOverland

Overland journey, or overlanding, is a subject that has seen a surge in curiosity recently. It pertains to lots of the preparedness expertise we’re captivated with — land navigation, communications, car restoration, water purification, and so forth — whereas additionally being a enjoyable exercise for the entire household. You possibly can pack up your car and head out to discover the wilderness for a weekend, growing preparedness expertise and attending to know your surrounding surroundings higher. Like looking and tenting, overlanding is each a interest and a method of growing expertise that might apply to actual emergencies. This realization motivated us to begin our 4Runner mission and be taught extra about overlanding.

Whereas studying concerning the matter, we got here throughout XOverland (a.okay.a. Expedition Overland or XO), a group that has constructed almost two dozen automobiles and examined them on quite a lot of difficult adventures around the globe. We spoke with the founders, Clay and Rachelle Croft, about classes discovered on their travels from the desert roads of Baja California to the icy trails of Scandinavia. Learn on for a few of their insights on vans, gear, and beneficial expertise.

Our Interview with the XOverland Founders

Above: Clay and Rachelle with considered one of their three sons. The entire household normally goes on these expeditions, together with their canine mascot Piper.

Inform us about the way you first bought into overlanding. Was there one particular second that sparked your curiosity, or was it extra of a gradual course of?

Clay: After I was youthful, I fostered the love of the backcountry by way of years spent mountaineering. After I bought married and had kids, I began to take small adventures from my truck. After that, two issues occurred. I discovered the sequence Lengthy Means Spherical and thought to myself, “How cool wouldn’t it be to journey around the globe doing that?” On the identical time, I got here throughout Overland Journal and realized there was a complete way of life of touring by car all through the world. I used to be hooked.

Rachelle: I discovered about overlanding from Clay and Lengthy Means Spherical, which we watched collectively. We’d exit on day drives within the truck and began making recollections.

Overlanding is a fancy time period that shares parts with off-roading, tenting, RVing, and numerous survival talent units. How would you outline overlanding?

We spent lots of time speaking about this not too long ago and wrote a weblog put up on our web site about it. Right here’s XOverland’s definition of overlanding:

“Overlanding describes self-reliant journey journey to distant locations the place the journey is the first aim. Usually, however not completely, accommodated by mechanized off-highway succesful transport (from bicycles to vans) the place the principal type of lodging is tenting; usually lasting for prolonged lengths of time (months to years) and infrequently spanning worldwide boundaries.”

How did your loved ones interest evolve right into a full-time job with a bigger forged and crew?

Cinematography was my job, Overlanding was my ardour, and I in some way discovered a method to incorporate the 2. We noticed a possibility the place the 2 overlapped, so we went for it and by no means appeared again.

We get pleasure from the way in which your cinematography helps us really feel like we’re with you in your journeys, however we all know it should take lots of work behind the scenes. What are a number of the challenges of filming your individual adventures?

The problem is being current within the second whereas having the presence of thoughts to acknowledge the place you might be within the story of the journey.

You’ve known as your automobiles different members of the forged. What number of have you ever constructed, and the way has every construct influenced the subsequent?

As Expedition Overland, now we have constructed twenty-three vans of varied levels of complexity. We use every one as a forging course of to enhance the subsequent. Earlier vans did the job, however have been usually inefficient or had an excessive amount of redundancy throughout the fleet, or lacked correct group.

In your opinion, what makes an incredible platform for an overland car? What traits do you search for when buying a brand new rig?

An incredible platform contains the next: 4WD, excessive reliability, and the flexibility to maximise livability to your offroad wishes.

Is it nonetheless attainable to get into overlanding with a car that’s not a purpose-built off-roader — for instance, a two-wheel-drive truck or an all-wheel-drive crossover SUV? What are the professionals and cons of beginning with such a car?

Completely. Individuals have traveled around the globe in a British taxicab and had a tremendous expertise whereas doing it. All of it is dependent upon the kind of journey you’re enthusiastic about and the locations which might be in your listing. If a Crossover SUV will take you to the locations you need to go to on the earth, then you need to go on the journey.

In the event you may solely select 5 modifications to get began on a brand new overland car, what would they be?

Clay: Tires, Suspension, Fridge, Stay-In Camper, and a Lengthy Vary Gasoline Tank.

Rachelle: Tires, Suspension, Fridge, Rooftop Tent, and a Bumper.

What are a number of gadgets you’d advocate everybody carry of their car, whether or not they’re hitting the paths or simply commuting to work?

Med package appropriate for the household, a “get residence” bag, and a self protection merchandise. I personally like my Sig P365 Spectre for my on a regular basis carry. I additionally actually love my Defend Arms SA-15 300 BLK pistol with built-in folding brace and SureFire Suppressor, Surefire Mini Scout Weapon Mild, and Vortex Pink Dot.

Everyone knows that high quality gear could make adventures simpler, however expertise and expertise are what matter most ultimately. What talent units — equivalent to car restoration or restore, land navigation, route planning, medical, and so forth — have you ever discovered most helpful whereas overlanding, and why?

Medical coaching, firstly, is a very powerful talent we make the most of. Extra usually, you’ll have the chance to assist different individuals as an alternative of your self.

The subsequent talent we at XOverland use essentially the most is restoration. Driving is essentially the most harmful factor we do each day and having restoration expertise on the ever-ready has confirmed important many occasions.

Third, overland journey logistics are extraordinarily helpful when overlanding. Overland journey logistics embrace issues like (however not restricted to): when to get meals, when to get gas, how far to go, must you drive at evening, what do the borders appear to be, and so on.

One other important talent is self-defense. Take a self-defense class; you’ll be higher ready in the whole lot you do.

What’s one particularly difficult scenario you’ve encountered in your journeys, and what lesson did it educate you for the longer term?

Probably the most difficult factor we’ve executed to this point was trying to fly throughout the USA in powered paragliders. It taught me to actually consider my bodily capabilities and my precise talent set in an actual means. I bought my butt kicked as a result of overestimation of my bodily and psychological capabilities, which compelled me to audit myself. It revealed an overconfidence in my talent units through which I’ve needed to re-calibrate to a extra life like adventurer.

Our journal focuses on common emergency preparedness, whether or not it pertains to on a regular basis carry gadgets, your car, your own home, and even journey overseas. Has expertise with overlanding translated to improved preparedness in different facets of your life? How so?

Being in a state of self reliance for an prolonged time period will forge anybody to be higher — which interprets to all different facets of life. These areas can solely be really measured in expertise, not simply coaching alone. You simply must exit and do it.

What’s one piece of overlanding recommendation you’d give to anybody who’s simply getting began?

Rachelle: Take what you’ve gotten in your driveway. Begin by doing smaller journeys. You don’t must have “all of the issues” earlier than you go. Embrace the issue fixing alternatives alongside the way in which.

Clay: Start your travels right this moment, however be sensible about it. Make the journey the precedence, then the tools – as a result of the journey will ultimately dictate the tools. Benefit from the course of! It’s enjoyable the entire means, from newbie to superior.

Watch XOverland’s Nordic Collection Expedition

XOverland’s newest journey video sequence is now accessible for streaming by way of Overlander Community. The group traveled by way of mountainous terrain in Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland of their customized Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra. Try the trailer beneath:

For extra details about the Croft household’s newest overland adventures and car builds, go to

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