More from Overland Expo East

The 2016 Overland Exposition East in Asheville, North Carolina was our first visit to an Overland Expo – but it won’t be our last. And, there’s so much more to the Overland Expo than just Land Rovers.

Sited on the magnificent and sprawling Biltmore Estate, the Expo hosted thousands of overlanders, campers, and explorers of all stripes for three days of education, skill building, networking, and general camaraderie. Julie and I presented two sessions on our 2015 trip to southern Africa, and participated in an Africa travel roundtable.

There were dozens of exhibitors selling everything from cutlery and portable solar panels, to tents and fully-built global expedition vehicles. Our two-wheeled friends buzzed around on Triumph Tigers, BMW GS’s, and Honda Africa Twins, and hundreds of folks turned a wheel on the B.F. Goodrich and Land Rover off-road driving courses. Winches and tow straps were put to the test at the Camel Trophy Overland Skills area.

The campground was a sea of roof-top tents and expedition trailers – and not even two days of wind, rain, and drizzle (courtesy of Hurricane Matthew) could put a damper on the good vibes at the event.

But, beyond the striking array of jaw-dropping adventure rigs and drool-worthy gear, the real heart and soul of the Expo is the human element. The opportunities to swap knowledge, stories, and aspirations with your fellow travelers, to share a beverage with one of your overlanding heroes, meet new friends, and simply to learn something new are unparalleled anywhere.

These were our people.

img_5663
The Expo offers scores of classes on topics ranging from camp cooking to major expedition route planning – all from folks who have been there and done that.
img_5704
At the Camel Trophy Overland Skills area, you can learn a variety of essential skills from some of the most experienced off-road and adventure travel instructors on the planet.
img_5730
This vintage FJ60 Land Cruiser equipped with an AdventureSole RTT caught my eye.
img_5729
As did this beautifully restored FJ40 ‘Cruiser – an iconic shape.
img_5735
While they were definitely the soggiest bunch, the moto tribe always seemed to be having the most fun.
img_5736
Not your average biker bar – adventure bikes lined up in front of the concessions tent.
img_5721
Dometic was a major exhibitor at the Expo – a 12v portable fridge is a prime piece of overlanding kit.
img_5720
This Syncro Westfalia sports 6-cylinder Subaru power and a trick custom rear suspension with massive amounts of articulation.
img_5717
The owner and builder says he surprises lots of folks on the highway with all that new horsepower out back.
img_7369
Our only complaint? Too many amazing classes and sessions to attend, and not enough time to see them all.
img_7363
Says it all.
img_7366
The bridge spanning the entrance to the Camel Trophy Overland Skills area was built using nothing but logs and manila rope.
img_5660
One of the perks of being an instructor was access to all the amazing educational opportunities at the Expo.
img_5682
Role playing in the “How to Cross International Borders: An Interactive Simulation Experience” course with Peter Sweetser as the Congolese customs agent.
img_5731
This little guy looked familiar.
img_5732
There were a surprising number of military vehicle-based builds. Some of them were huge.
img_5725
Speaking of huge, this GlobalXVechicles expedition rig drew a lot of attention all weekend.
img_5727
Based on an International Trucks platform, it looks ready to conquer the world!
img_5665
Egypt – a classic overlanding destination, but recent travelers there have run into a host of geopolitical and logistical problems moving through the country.
img_5668
This International Scout sported a V8 from a Cadillac CTS-V.
img_5667
I hope it has upgraded brakes!
img_7371
The Mitsubishi Fuso is a versatile platform that has been popular with European overlanders for some time now – the well-respected firm EarthCruiser is responsible for this impressive build.
img_5722
Four Wheel Campers had a large display, including this undeniably cool flat-bed Mercedes Unimog.
img_5687
Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-stocked kitchen to enhance your travel experience. This is a high-end Camp Champ set-up.
img_5699
More from the Camel Trophy Skills area – winching and recovery on side-slopes. Skills instructor Tim Huber is behind the wheel of the yellow Discovery.
img_5761
One of the highlights of the Expo was meeting Overland Expo founders Jonathon and Roseann Hanson, and having Jonathon sign my copy of The Vehicle Dependent Expedition Guide.
img_7381
See you at Overland Expo West in May 2017!

_______________________________
Photos: Julie and Steve Edwards

4 thoughts on “More from Overland Expo East

  1. I’ll have to make my way down to the next Overland Expo. I’ve got some friends in Arizona so I might just make my way down there next year. Theres a great opportunity to take the long way there. Now if I could just get the paper to pay for me to go down there. Probably won’t happen. I’ll have to check out the book you link to as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Arizona is pretty amazing, especially the Flagstaff area where the Expo is held. We’ll definitely be there! Plus Utah, which we can never get enough of, is on the way.

      The Vehicle Dependent Expedition Guide is something to behold – 600 pages of some of the most comprehensive expedition planning and execution information you could possibly imagine. It’s a little bit quirky, due in part I think to the very, very British worldview the primary author (Tom Sheppard) has.

      Jonathon’s updates and additions are much more relevant to the North American reader, and the updated 4th version that came out last year is worth the $75, especially when you consider that used 2nd and 3rd editions of the same book are being sold on Amazon for upwards of $250!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s