Project Overland


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”  – Howard Thurman

I thought it might be time to cover the other side of preparing and planning for the 2016 road trip.  The side that doesn’t include looking at beautiful photography or reading about great vistas from people who have blazed the trail before me.  This side is called Project Overland.  My self-branded term for preparing the workhorse that’s going to serve as my transportation, my lodging, my pantry, my security, and my serenity for this journey.  This project is about taking my brand new 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and cutting it up, and bolting and drilling and wiring, and bleeding and swearing, and transforming it into a moving lifeline that is sure to become a character of its own in this adventure.

You may be thinking, “why do all of this for just one trip?”  Well, I’ll tell you why, because it’s not just one trip.  I discovered long ago that I’m happiest when I’m outdoors.  When I’m unplugged.  I’ve also come to the realization that there are so many campgrounds, state parks, national forests, etc within a few hours of me (locally) that I could literally use this vehicle every chance I get if I wanted to.

Last year when I took the trip to Alaska, we rented an RV and it was amazing.  It left me seriously asking the question, what is stopping me from selling my house and doing this full-time?  Hook up an Internet connection and I can work from anywhere.  When I got home, that thought continued to fester.  It was bugging me that work had once again taken over my life and that I was getting further and further from the balance I wanted to have.  Then it hit me:  baby steps.  If I’m not going to go full RV life, maybe I can do the next best thing and still have the best of both worlds as a daily driver.  I can be that weekend warrior – even if it just means driving to the state park that’s 10 miles away and setting up shop for the weekend to relax.  Then maybe the next weekend I could explore some other spot I haven’t been to.  Point is, I could have my home away from home, all packaged nicely into what looks like your average Jeep.

Then I took my train of thought a step further.  What if I hot spot enable this project?  I could work from anywhere.  I could take conference calls in the middle of a field!  I could send emails or review proposals while staring up at a moonlit sky!   This weekend warrior tactic might be evolving into the Road Warrior!  And the best part is, I would still have my house to come back to “base” every once in a while.This is Project Overland.  This is the new goal.  And this is it’s mission statement:

Project Overland:  To build an off-road capable, self-sufficient, adventure support vehicle that utilizes the latest technologies, innovations, and equipment to not only provide a reliable platform for exploration but also continue as a daily driver, while ensuring that each part of the build process serves as a learning experience to enhance my automotive skill set.   

So there it is.  Between now and May 2016 a transformation will take place.  And while those that know me, know that I already have a pretty good head start on this project, it’s a long way from being my end vision.  Project Overland is just getting started.  The picture below represents my starting point.  The picture at the top of this post somewhat reflects where the target is.  But that is mostly cosmetic.  Project Overland will have on-board air systems, water purification, battery banks, cook systems, the ability to tap into the power grid or run independently.  Communications, Internet, security, it’s all coming with me when I’m done.  And if I do this the way I’m envisioning, most people won’t even notice.

My zombie apocalypse vehicle waits quietly for the zombie apocalypse.