Running trails solo as an overlander

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Traxx

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Contributor II

68
Fort Worth, TX, USA
First Name
Carl
Last Name
Grishom
Solo trips are great, and almost all of mine are. I think it is important to know yourself and vehicle. Know your limits and the consequence of passing them.
I have been looking to this overloading as a replacement to rock crawling and extreme Offroad. I got the F-150 for capable comfort, daily driving and workability. I look forward to day and week trips on easy to moderate off highway roads.
 

MOAK

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Traveler III

2,622
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
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0745

I do not likelarge groups (6 or more). There are just to many agendas and they move slow. I mostly go solo or just a couple of others. One more than one I don’t know so we can all get on the same page quickly. If the new guy is THAT GUY it’s his last trip with us. I also know posting this will make me THAT GUY to some.
Agree 100%. I lead a tour in the summer and have let the organizers know that I’ll lead no more than 5 vehicles. Besides that my wife and I are solo. The only others I’ll even consider running with are family with capable skill sets and capable vehicles. Except if we were to venture up deep into Canada. Only then would we want to go in any kind of caravan, but even then, three vehicles, maximum.
 

old_man

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2,827
Loveland, Colorado
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Tom
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Houston
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8300

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WØNUT
I've been "overlanding" for over 50 years. 99% has been alone or with my wife riding shotgun. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado on a ranch in the mountains.
Rules:

Always have someone who knows when you are supposed to be back and check in upon returning.
Try to let someone know where you are going, or at least the general route.
Know your limitations.
Know your vehicles limitations.
Use common sense. Leave your testosterone at home.
Always lay out an alternative route before hand.
Carry lots of spare parts and the tools and knowhow to use them.
Know how to recover a vehicle and have at least the basic equipment; strap, shovel, ratchet cable winch.
Use common sense. Plan your route over an obstacle. Plan your recovery if you get stuck/hung up.
Remember...you may have to come back over the same obstacle.
Consider your self to be on your own. Have survival gear and rations.

95% of the places I go have no cell service. I have a 2m ham in my rig but 90% have no repeater service.
A SPOT or Garmin Satellite communicator has finally gotten more affordable, but when I needed mine most, it didn't work
and I had to walk out 28 miles on bad knees (now both recently replaced)
A SAT phone is a viable option as well. The key is if you are beyond what you can manage to hike out on foot and you don't have all of the above

DON'T GO
 

MOAK

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Traveler III

2,622
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

I've been "overlanding" for over 50 years. 99% has been alone or with my wife riding shotgun. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado on a ranch in the mountains.
Rules:

Always have someone who knows when you are supposed to be back and check in upon returning.
Try to let someone know where you are going, or at least the general route.
Know your limitations.
Know your vehicles limitations.
Use common sense. Leave your testosterone at home.
Always lay out an alternative route before hand.
Carry lots of spare parts and the tools and knowhow to use them.
Know how to recover a vehicle and have at least the basic equipment; strap, shovel, ratchet cable winch.
Use common sense. Plan your route over an obstacle. Plan your recovery if you get stuck/hung up.
Remember...you may have to come back over the same obstacle.
Consider your self to be on your own. Have survival gear and rations.

95% of the places I go have no cell service. I have a 2m ham in my rig but 90% have no repeater service.
A SPOT or Garmin Satellite communicator has finally gotten more affordable, but when I needed mine most, it didn't work
and I had to walk out 28 miles on bad knees (now both recently replaced)
A SAT phone is a viable option as well. The key is if you are beyond what you can manage to hike out on foot and you don't have all of the above

DON'T GO
[/QUOTE, for
You said it all. I’ll add that, for us, our loaded up backpacks including a PLB are our grab bags. Gotta be able to walk away.
 

Dlnuckolls

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OB1

Traveler I

761
Shepherdsville, KY, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Nuckolls
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27074

I've been "overlanding" for over 50 years. 99% has been alone or with my wife riding shotgun. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado on a ranch in the mountains.
Rules:

Always have someone who knows when you are supposed to be back and check in upon returning.
Try to let someone know where you are going, or at least the general route.
Know your limitations.
Know your vehicles limitations.
Use common sense. Leave your testosterone at home.
Always lay out an alternative route before hand.
Carry lots of spare parts and the tools and knowhow to use them.
Know how to recover a vehicle and have at least the basic equipment; strap, shovel, ratchet cable winch.
Use common sense. Plan your route over an obstacle. Plan your recovery if you get stuck/hung up.
Remember...you may have to come back over the same obstacle.
Consider your self to be on your own. Have survival gear and rations.

95% of the places I go have no cell service. I have a 2m ham in my rig but 90% have no repeater service.
A SPOT or Garmin Satellite communicator has finally gotten more affordable, but when I needed mine most, it didn't work
and I had to walk out 28 miles on bad knees (now both recently replaced)
A SAT phone is a viable option as well. The key is if you are beyond what you can manage to hike out on foot and you don't have all of the above

DON'T GO
So from what I understand in this is use common sense!
 

Oregon_trail

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OB1

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404
Medford Oregon
First Name
Micah
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White
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27676

Yeah I do. Honestly if my wife wasn’t super pregnant I would have her do it but she is and doesn’t always have a good eye for the shots anyways.
 

Flipper

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Off-Road Ranger I

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Florida
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John
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F
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5021

We run solo 100%. Anytime it is an extreme backcountry expedition 90% of the time there is no cell svc. or 2M repeater network.We carry a HF unit and sign up on Global Rescue for the time we will be “out there”. Around $150 for 14 days. Cheap compared to an emergency extraction and peace of mind. Sh!t happens.


update: I did some research after posting. There are now websites where you can rent a SatPhone with different usage plans at really reasonable rates. Much more versatile. Throw one in a pelican case and your good to go.
 
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MMc

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San Dimas, Ca.
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McMullen
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We run solo 100%. Anytime it is an extreme backcountry expedition 90% of the time there is no cell svc. or 2M repeater network.We carry a HF unit and sign up on Global Rescue for the time we will be “out there”. Around $150 for 14 days. Cheap compared to an emergency extraction and peace of mind. Sh!t happens.

What is a HF unit? I have a Garmin so my dad doesn’t worry as much.
 
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Flipper

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Off-Road Ranger I

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What is a HF unit? I have a Garmin so my dad doesn’t worry as much.
Sorry, High Freq.Ham Radio. I was considering a sat phone but I don’t think it would be cost effective for us. Good move with the Garmin to keep Dad happy.
 

Jaytperry89

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I've been doing more solo trips with my spouse than group trips. The nice thing about solo trips is you don't have to wait on anyone but you, the breakdowns your dealing with are your own. We've actually come to really enjoy going on our own. We do take alot of precautions. We map out our route and possible camp sites well beforehand. My daughter is a special needs child and its very important that my care giver for her knows where we are. We check in too. As for getting those awesome shots, my advice is get your spouse to either drive or take pictures. We do both, its nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the drive sometimes and take pictures or videos.
 

jeepers29

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Georgetown, TX, USA
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I just got back from doing most of the NMBDR, and will be returning our inreach mini. Probably 2/3 of the preset messages I sent never went through. These were supposed to let my wife know that I had reached camp in the evening and woke up in the morning. Needless to say, the wife was not happy and neither was I. Way to much money to not work as advertised.
 
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MMc

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I just got back from doing most of the NMBDR, and will be returning our inreach mini. Probably 2/3 of the preset messages I sent never went through. These were supposed to let my wife know that I had reached camp in the evening and woke up in the morning. Needless to say, the wife was not happy and neither was I. Way to much money to not work as advertised.
I love mine inreach, it took me a couple of trip to fIgure it out. I was driving around with is so I could track my movements as I drove around, and checking in. The instructions are pretty crappy.
 
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4Wheelexplorer

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Pasco, WA, USA
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There are a lot of things I think about when I am running a trail. I worry about obstacles like boulders that have rolled down onto the trail or fallen trees. Also think about breakdowns. Which could happen to anybody regardless if they're solo or not but my biggest pain it's taking pictures especially when you're on an obstacle. So when I look at pictures I think about how it would be cool to have an extra person on the trail . I wonder how many other solo overlanders feel the same?
I usually end up with a lot of windshield pics or vistas for this reason. Usually to busy navigating to think about the obstacles. :)
 
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RideFlyDiveJeep

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I too travel solo most of the time or with a select few; self reliance and trust respectively. I have all the recovery stuff from when I wheeled, but in overlanding I have been more conservative. I have CB/GMRS been looking into HAM license and the InReach mini. Backups for backups for backups, and a bit of MacGyver x Mark Watney.

On the solo pics. In lieu of a drone I plan to try my 360 cam on a rig-selfie pole?
 
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Billiebob

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There are a lot of things I think about when I am running a trail. I worry about obstacles like boulders that have rolled down onto the trail or fallen trees. Also think about breakdowns. Which could happen to anybody regardless if they're solo or not but my biggest pain it's taking pictures especially when you're on an obstacle. So when I look at pictures I think about how it would be cool to have an extra person on the trail . I wonder how many other solo overlanders feel the same?
I travel for me, for the solitude and the beauty. I take pictures of where I've been, not pictures of me doing something silly. Take pictures of the scenery and other people and enjoy the trip.

Best part of the trip for me is camped on a beach.. or a cliff with a good book and a Rye Coke.

But if you need cool pictures, consider a drone, nothing cooler than a drone video following you.
 
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MMc

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I love having a shared experience with somebody I care for. Life happens, and some of us travel solo now. I chose to go alone rather than wait for another. I am comfortable in my skin and learned to enjoy myself alone. I would much rather travel with my love, or a good friend. If I can’t then, I will chose solo over a unknown or a butt head.