Here are some random suggestions from us:
Start early – there are lots of tedious tasks like scanning, photocopying, doc prep etc. that take far longer than expected> Also, some courses, like medical preparation, only happen a few times a year. And some vaccinations require several shots over a number of weeks.
Make lists – lots of them! Identify what to take, what you have, what you need to get, things to do before you leave…. There may be some hope you avoid saying “oh no, we’ve forgotten the … ” too many times.
Hoard small plastic fruit & veg bags from supermarkets and ziplock bags- great for wrapping liquids.
Hoard clear plastic takeaway boxes – great for packing cables, batteries, electrical stuff and anything else that needs to be neatly organised and dust-proofed.
Medical training – we did ours with Wilderness Medical Training (the Far From Help course). It was a combination of First Aid and what to do for more serious situations when in remote areas. It lacked specific focus for hot weather conditions. However, they have a good link with Nomad Travel Clinic and give you authorisation to obtain a number of prescription medications for your trip. Jason Gibbs at Nomad Travel Clinic is very good at helping put your medical kit together. You also get a handy reference booklet which accompanies the course. www.wildernessmedicaltraining.co.uk
Off-road driving training – Peter Morgan was really helpful in off-road driving and recovery techniques. Based in N Wales. www.motor-safari.co.uk
Vehicle maintenance and on-the-road mechanics – Footloose 4×4( www.footloose4x4.com). Paul Marsh has unparalleled experience in the field and is incredibly thoughtful and friendly. Wholeheartedly recommended.
Meeting other overlanders – The Royal Geographical Society holds an Overland Workshop every year, usually in Terrington near York. Run over a weekend in May, with camping on site and B&Bs close by, it’s a relaxed, friendly environment to meet people who have or are about to do vehicle-based travels to various parts of the world. The main focus is learning and sharing experiences. There are also talks from people over the weekend, such as inspiring explorers and experts in on-the-road safety. And many of the vehicle outfitters will be there to chat to. A web search will give you the latest dates. Sam Watson is the current RGS contact. We also made interesting contacts on almost every visit to Footloose 4×4 when our paths crossed with others having their vehicles prepared or those just back from travels.