Learning about expeditions the fun way

There is an element of expedition planning that needs to be done, but there comes a point when there are things you will never know unless you actually do it. And then of course there are the random events that make expeditions such fun that they make up the tapestry of surviving as a self sufficient unit.

Their Land Rover is key to this by being properly prepared for expedition travel. They might have gotten stuck, but they were prepared enough and had the right attitude to get themselves out. In the future, this will stand them in good stead.

The RGS Go Beyond Bursary is awarded to teams submit a plan for an expedition that centres around a Land Rover Defender. The award is still going today, although it remains to be seen for how much longer since the cease in Defender production.

The award aims to promote a wider understanding and enjoyment of geography and should take the recipient beyond their normal limits and boundaries

The winners get a brand new Land Rover Defender and £15,000 to budget with. It's a fantastic opportunity to start your own Land Rover Expedition and do some good at the same time.

This 2009 winners were the Atlantic Rising team who started their expedition in September to drive 32,000km around the Northern Atlantic at an altitude of 1 metre to document what will be lost if sea levels rise. They will also provide an educational link with schools around the world. The Defender is key to their expedition by providing the ability to travel along these harder to reach areas.

This is an expedition in the true sense of the word as it comprises a journey with a definite objective and also a sense of the unknown. The 3 team members have not experienced anything like this before but are learning about expeditions in Land Rovers the fun way - by getting out there and doing it! In this video they get stuck and you will see that the lessons they learn are incredibly valuable.

If there's one thing that can be learnt about off road driving from this video, it is: Don't spin the wheels when you're stuck in mud. They just dig a holes make the vehicle sink until the chassis or axles sit on the mud - and then you're going nowhere. The best thing to do when you're stuck is to try going backwards, as you've already created a route into the mud this way and the rear wheels may well be on hard ground. If that doesn't work, take a look to see why the vehicle isn't moving. It can either be:

  1. Diff lock isn't on and all the power is going to the wheel with least resistance
  2. There's not enough grip
  3. The axles or chassis are touching the ground

By checking how you are stuck right at the moment you get stuck, you may well find it's a simple case of a few shovels worth of mud to get you free. The principle is to get an axle onto hard ground with diff lock on so that the Land Rover can pull itself out under its own steam.

But don't take my word for it. It's more fun if you learn it yourself...

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