See the opportunities for adventures, not the constraints that get in the way.~Alastair Humphreys
When we decided to travel the world, we wanted to leave as quickly as possible. The reason it took eight months was that I, Karin-Marijke, had a house to sell and that took time.
Initially, we figured to fill our backpacks and fly to Bangkok from where we’d start traveling around the world. However, when we dug a bit deeper into the topic of what we really wanted, the main issues came up: freedom.
Which made me wonder aloud:
“Do you have freedom if you depend on public transport and hotels?”
The short answer: no, not for lovers of the outdoors like we are.
From here it was a small step to changing our trip to an overland adventure, even though we didn’t know the word ‘overlanding’ existed yet, nor that there were overlanders handbooks. We just figured a car would give us more freedom, and it has.
Read More: The Journey
Preparing your Overland Adventure, or Just Go?
Then came the practical questions:
- What about the practical part?
- How do you prepare for such a journey?
- Should you prepare at all?
Short answer: There is no perfect answer.
We bought a beat-up Land Cruiser, took two months of fixing the old rusty beast and to got it equipped, and left.
Others prefer taking their time to thoroughly prepare their trip. Since we have gotten so many emails with questions about this preparation phase – about the vehicle, the paperwork, the itinerary – I thought it would be helpful to put together a collection of overlanders handbooks that may help you along.
Overlanders Handbooks to Get the Overlanding Vibes:
Free E-book – Overlanders Inspired
We interviewed overlanding veterans on:
- Traveling with kids,
- with a chronic disease,
- with dogs,
- without money,
- and other excuses.
These overlanders shared their stories in a photo-rich E-book.
50 Women Share their Overland Story
I am biased about this book, as I was one of the 50 women interviewed for this fantastic, inspiring and colorful coffee-table book: I Can, I Will; Women Overlanding the World, by Sunny Eaton, Laurie Holloway, and Karin Balsley.
Fifty women on a motorcycle, bicycle or by car, talk about their journey. Be careful to whom you give this book before you know it, that person may have bought an overland rig and is off on his/her own overland adventure!
Dan Grec’s Story
Apart from his personal overland adventure through the Americas (The Road Chose Me) and a photo book about his travels through Africa (999 Days Around Africa), Dan Grec wrote two other books on distinct topics.
In Work Less to Live Your Dreams Dan Grec teaches readers how to be mindful of their money and to understand the true cost of money, enabling them to reduce or eliminate work so they can live their life dreams
In Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa, Dan Grec puts commonly-held myths to rest once and for all, and provides practical and real-world information and advice to successfully traverse the coastline in your own vehicle.
The Bell Family – Travel the Planet Overland
In 2016, Graeme Bell wrote Travel the Planet Overland, in which they share their acquired wisdom of life on the road.
Chris Scott’s Handbooks
The Overlanders’ Handbook has been available for a number of years and has been heralded by many overlanders as a perfect guidebook to get you started.
The newest edition dates from 2017. Expect topics on planning, vehicle choice, and outlines of routes.
Tom Sheppard’s Guides
The Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide (4th edition) by Tom Sheppard and co-authored by Jonathan Hanson are 600 pages on everything you need to know about undertaking an overland expedition, small or big.
Life Remotely’s Books
The authors of Liferemotely.com contributed to our free e-book Overlanders Inspired.
As we never traveled to Central America & Mexico, we never got around to reading their book about overlanding in Mexico & Central America, but many overlanders have shared this book in the overland community because it has been so useful to them.
Americas Overland, by Donald Greene
Africa Overland (Bradt Travel Guides)
Oh, Did You Know?
Our first book in English is about to be launched (Jan ’24): Forever Off Track! To be sure to get hold of a color-photo and signed limited edition (and other news about our books in English) sign up for the book-newsletter here.
Tips, Suggestions, Feedback?
What have been great books for you to get your overland journey started? Which books did we miss?
Please share your favorite overland book in the comment section below. Thanks.
First published May 2018 / Updated January 2024
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