JeepMud.com Around the World Trip
This page is the beginning
of a long term goal here at JeepMud.com: to circle the globe
in a Jeep. The tentative plan is to travel the world utilizing
as much land as possible, avoiding boats and aircraft as much
as possible. This trip is in it's extremely early planning
stage. Any ideas or advice that you can lend would be
greatly appreciated. (email@example.com)
Step 1: Research
I have been inspired by others who have attempted to explore the world in this
most basic way. My first exposure to this type of an endeavor was the
around the world trip of two Americans, Jim Rogers and his wife Paige, in a heavily
modified Mercedes SLK/Gelaendewagen hybrid. I followed his trip which was dubbed,
Tour, through his website. Along with
his wife and his custom Merc, he also was followed by a support staff of two men
in a standard Mercedes Gelaendewagen. Though clearly aided by seemingly
endless resources and a ton of connections, a trip like this seemed like an attainable
goal, one that is possible for a couple of guys like us.
His website detailed the things that
are needed in order to get a trip like this started. The first and most
important thing that is needed is money. This necessity is the foundation
to any global trip. For JeepMud.com, I think we would need to investigate
the possibilities of sponsorship.
Another inspiration for me (the site
that actually inspired me to get this process going) was ihana.com.
Two British friends (Tom
and Barry) were tired of the daily grind in England and decided to
take a trip to South America in a modified ex-MOD Land Rover Defender 110 panel
truck. They were not sponsored and footed the bill themselves.
(although I bet they wish they were) What I was really impressed by was
the way they did their trip. There was no real game plan. They knew
where they were starting and that was enough. You can tell that it was a
great trip when they describe it as their trip as, "The story of wicked
travels throughout Latin America". For me, that is inspiring.
Unlike Jim Rogers' trip,
these guys did not look like they were sleeping at 5 star hotels and having gin
and tonics while watching the polo match. They were regular dudes who got
dirty when needed and knew how to have fun. Their website detailed everything
from the best discos in South America, their favorite tracks they listened to
along the way split up by music genre, and even a spread of some of the hot
women they met along the way. This trip was a lot closer to what I would
envision our journey to be like. You have to get by with your streets
smarts and your wits; not your pocketbook.
There are other things that I have
thought would be necessary as well. The most pressing
thing is we would need to acquire is the ability to repair the
vehicle ourselves. We know our way around a toolbox, but
no where near the knowledge we would need for a trip like this.
It would really put a kink in our trip if we were stuck in a
remote area with a broken down truck. I would suggest
that a course in basic repair and upkeep of our vehicle is a
The most recent catalyst
for my desire to do this trip was the book Long Way Down
by Ewean McGregor and Charlie Boorman. They drove around the
world on two BMW GS1150 motorcycles. They started in London
and drove to New York over land except for the Bering Straight
which was by airplane. This was one of the best books I have
ever read. It showed that this endeavor can be completed with
good planning, support, and dedication.
Step 2: Envisioning a vehicle
We started to talk about
the best possible 4x4 to use to circle the globe. The
few rigs that we have in mind are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Land Rover Defender 110 and the
Toyota Land Cruiser. They would need to be heavily modified
and fortified for the long trip. We have tossed around
ideas like a pop top, a kitchen, even bullet proof glass and
minimal explosive protection. Remember, the world is a
dangerous place and we plan on crssing a large part of it.
After some research, there were two
companies that I found that were the types of groups that we might need to hire
to assist us in getting out rig together. The first is called AEV
Conversions. They are based out of the USA in Montana. They
are an aftermarket company that heavily modifies Jeeps. A great resource
if we decide to go American. The other is Mantec
Services Ltd based out of the UK who upgrades Land Rovers, specifically
U.K Ltd was established in 1989 as a family business. Their range of products
were conceived and designed specifically for Land Rover vehicles based on their
experience of preparing a Land Rover Defender 110 for independent overland
travel. They gained a lot of insight on the requirements for this type of trip when
they crossed the Sahara desert into Central and West Africa. Their designs and
ideas for the first products were developed during and after this trip and has
tried and tested on many expeditions following.
I also think that the best power plant
for this trip is
a diesel engine. The majority of the world runs on diesel, especially the
third world, and I believe this would be the most prudent choice.
Step 3: Estimating expenses
The following numbers are very preliminary and are loosely based on a 1 year
vehicle - $25,000 to $35,000
modifications - $5000 (lift, axels, suspension, winches, skid plates, armor,
shipping fees - $2000 (freight for moving the vehicle from continent to
personal transit - $5000 (for us to jump from continent to continent)
living expenses - $10,000 (day to day expenses)
Step 4: Researching possible
e-mail us with ideas
Step 5: Start to plan the trip
The drive would start
in Chicago and end in Chicago. Places that we would like to
hit along the way is London, Cairo, Mongolia, as well as others
to be determined.
More info to follow soon. Please
e-mail us if you have any ideas or suggestions.