MY TRIBE: Overland Expo East 2016

Overland Expo East 2016overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-1Now this is a driveway I’d like to camp out in for a while!

I’ve now attended 7 Overland Expos (West: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & East: 2014, 2015, 2016), since becoming a member of the overland tribe. This year’s Overland Expo East was the culmination of 5 years of hard work, travels around the globe, networking, Exploring Elements tribe building and a lot of photography and writing work. I went into the event with one possible photo shoot, featured vehicle placement for the EEXP, moderating four roundtable discussions, managing two brand’s social media and some loose business meetings. In the end, I managed to squeeze all that in and add; four more photo shoots, helping with another brand’s social media and locked down a few fruitful business meetings. Even with all that busy awesomeness, catching up with the amazing people that I’ve met along this crazy ride called life, and meeting some new ones, are what keep me coming back to these special events. There are few other places where such a large cross section of the overland tribe, both industry and intrepid traveler alike, gather to share skills, experience, new gear, adult libations, quality eats and above all good vibes. This tribe is all about living a life of adventure, and that is why I love it so much.

overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-2Wouldn’t it be awesome to have an indoor basement pool like this!!!

Overland Expo East 2016 went down in epic fashion, as it was the first year on the luxurious Biltmore Estates, easily broke all Expo East attendance numbers, offered more hands on skills training than ever seen before and had a touch of the extreme weather that seems to be attracted to these events. My honest opinion is that the weather events at these gatherings just helps to sear the great memories into the mind all that much more, and highlight so many shining stars in this tribe who aren’t easily dissuaded from having a good time. I’ve already showcased the 20 Top Adventuremobile from this year’s event, a piece I put together for GearJunkie.com. I’ve also tried to highlight some of the diverse overland adventuremobile in attendance below. While I know everyone wants to check out, and drool on, the very cool overland vehicles, I really want to highlight the people in this tribe that come out and inspire us all. One of the best parts about Overland Expo, is that you are sure to find inspiring people that you can relate with, whether that be expedition legends like John Blashford Snell, extreme global overland travelers like Simon and Lisa Thomas or new faces on the scene like the first Change Your World Fund grantee Mallory Danger. If you can’t find inspiration from people like this, who all attended this year’s Overland Expo East, you are going to have to dive VERY deep within yourself to find that inspiration.

overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-3While I could wax poetic about the quality gear, rigs, people, classes and meet ups at Overland Expo East 2016 for ages, I’ll let the photos and captions below help tell the story. Hopefully they give you a tasty nibble of the action, which will entice you to come check out one of these events for yourself soon. When you do, be sure extend your hand, smile and say hi, as myself and many others are excited to welcome you to the overland tribe.

For more information on the Overland Expo events, be sure to visit their website: HERE.

overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-4The Camel Trophy Skills area is always an Overland Expo highlight.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-5When the weather gets ugly, just pile 13 people into the back of a Four Wheel Camper, in this case a flatbed Granby model on a Unimog, by Main Line Overland.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-6Always beware of Ruined Adventures “Poisonous Radioactive Explosive Snakes.” Security on the road can be handled in many different ways 🙂overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-7Sam Manicom is a truly inspiring adventurer. I think his audio books might just be the ticket for my next big road trip.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-8How many overland royalty can you squeeze into one tent?!?!overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-9So honored to moderate a roundtable with these legends. Remember to always surround yourself with amazing quality people.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-10Standing room only for the Operation Moto Dog presentation.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-11Mallory and Baylor the Dog are on their own path of adventure, and aim to inspire others to find theirs.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-12Fun for the whole family! Lots of kids activities this year.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-13Where else can you drive a built Tacoma, JK, Defender or Brute off road, for free?!?! The BF Goodrich off road tire test track was a popular attraction.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-14Vehicle roll over recovery demonstrations always draw a crowd.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-15ALL Land Rover are capable off road, even the new Evoque Convertible. Off roading with the top down, yes please!overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-16The Maserati Levante would be a fun overland rig! I’d love to see one of these with a small lift, undercarriage armor and some good tires.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-17I think Engel Coolers might have missed the mark with the overland crowd on this build. My guess is that it was build for the high end fishing and hunting crowd though.
overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-18Home built plane overland rv trailer, on a jet ski trailer frame, pulled by a Wrangler, why not?!?!overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-19The Griffin Pocket Tool looks like quite the handy EDC tool.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-20Bomber Products showcased their new locking Hi-Lift tool mount, called the Shov-Lock. While it isn’t inexpensive, at $130, it is extremely high quality and secure.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-21DeLorme not only showed off the inReach and Gazetteers, but also a number of new Garmin products, their new parent company. The new GPSMap 276Cx looks like an awesome off road/overland GPS unit, which would be just at home on a moto as in a truck.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-22Blue Ridge Overland Gear is always innovating. These new Action-Pack Covers look durable and secure. overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-23It’s always good to see mainstream companies getting into the overland world. Yakima now offers a line of RTT and awnings.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-24Cummins plans to offer this 2.8L 4cyl turbo diesel as a crate motor option very soon. It currently offers up 26+ mpg, 160 hp and 267 ft lbs of torque on their 2000 Jeep TJ test mule.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-25Goose Gear continues to elevate overland vehicle storage and living systems. This is the new Habitat truck bed living system, designed specifically to work with the AT Overland Tacoma Habitat topper, shown below.
overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-26 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-27New CVT Trailer.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-28The Dub Box blurs the line between van life and trailer life.
overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-29The mighty transforming trailer, that is the Conqueror, is now available in North America.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-30 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-31 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-32 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-33 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-34 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-35 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-36 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-37 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-38 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-39 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-40 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-41Love this van life/whitewater kayaking/hardcore off roading setup. The van flat tows the Samurai. Funny enough, I use to be the distributor in North America for that kayak, so that specific boat is one I imported and sold many years ago.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-42The featured vehicle area was loaded with well traveled and impressive rigs.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-43Probably the most common, and many times accessible, overland rigs out there right now, a Tacoma with a slide in Four Wheel Camper.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-44 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-45Tiger did not display this year, but their owners had a quality gathering in general camping.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-46 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-47Lots of new companies trying to tackle the large overland style truck camper market.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-48 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-49Military vehicles make solid adventuremobile platforms.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-50 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-51The sexy new 2017 BMW R NineT Scrambler.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-52 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-53Mosko Moto luggage and KTM, both at the top of their game, and in attendance at Expo.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-54Very cool custom GS by Staubwolke.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-55 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-56Is it a street bike, or an adventure bike? Honestly building something like this is a better option for most adventure riders than buying a GS, as it is much better on the street, where most people ride most of the time.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-57 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-58 overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-59I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When in Asheville go to Sunny Point Cafe. The bacon and the biscuits are a must, and the rest of the food is really good.overlandexpoeast2016exploringelements-60A little “stealth” camping in downtown Asheville after the Expo with friends. It’s so hard to say goodbye to awesome people from the overland tribe.

See you down the road less traveled. Keep living a life of adventure!

 

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