Lessons Learned at Overland Expo East 2015

Dean

Adventurist
Founding Member
#21
Three lessons for me:

1) Just because your tent used to be waterproof doesn't mean it's still waterproof. Thankfully I had an ez-up with me and could upgrade "Camp Humble" to "Camp Taj-Ma-Humble." (It would later be upgraded to Camp Taj-Ma-Humble 2.0 and 2.5 at later events).

2) Just because your rain jacket used to be waterproof doesn't mean it's still waterproof. On the subject, check your spare rain jacket as well.

3) Just because your boots used to be waterproof doesn't mean they're still waterproof. This was the most painful lesson = immersion foot SUCKS. Not having dry boots and dry socks really put a damper on my OEE event.

In short, tent camping in a hurricane in a backpacker's tent is like taking a knife to a gun fight. Seriously considering a better tent - or a trailer - for next year. Already picked up new rain gear, although eventually I need to pick up better rain gear. New boots are also on the list.
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#22
...But each night I had to move the house battery and cassette toilet, before making her bed. I have a new idea for organizing the back of the truck and camping. The center will have a ledge and all the top will be covered in mat. I hope this will lead to less moving stuff around at bedtime. ...
Yes. Having to move stuff constantly to setup and break camp sucks. Having to do all that stuff even for a single night REALLY sucks, because it's so much overhead for just a single day.

I wasn't at OEE, but I've learned this lesson well. Do whatever you can to eliminate this stuff!
 
#23
@Jonathan Hanson, my dad and I had a great experience at the Expo. The classes were excellent and I wish I could have been in more than one place at once. I spent a lot of my time in the various winch classes since its new to me, but next year I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge base and go to some round tables. It was great checking out people's rigs. It would have been cool to have a couple of prizes for people's vehicles. I bet you could have sold hundreds of 8x10s (cruise ship style) at the entrance. I am only half kidding, but with all seriousness I'll make 4 suggestions.

1) It would have been helpful for the volunteers/staff to wear some type of vest that could be worn over outerwear to make them easily identifiable.

2) Larger color flags to coordinate with the classrooms color system.

3) I thought I noticed the same private cars going multiple times through the driving course throughout the weekend. When I went to sign up, all the times (sans one) we booked. I'd hate to think the same few people signed up for every slot...

4) More vendors selling stuff! Steve @ Southeastern Overland was selling things hand over fist. I would have bought an RTT if they brought one. ARB products, TAD gear, Blue Ridge Overland, etc., I'd have bought it all!

We'll be back in 2016 rain or shine.



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Jonathan Hanson

Adventurist
Forum Sponsor
Founding Member
#24
Richard, thanks very much for your comments and good suggestions. I've copied your post for our staff meetings.

All the vendors should have had product to sell. If you found some who were out of stock, or simply did not bring anything to sell, please email me so we can work with them next time. We strongly encourage vendors to bring a sufficient supply, and to offer show specials.
 
#25
We spent the weekend at EXPO and while we did have a great time the weather was definitely a drag. My takeaway would be the following:

1. If you come to an Overland Event, at least be prepared for rain and make sure you own a pair of boots.


2. If you're going to drive your rig in the mud, have some real tires.


3. And if all else fails and everything starts to fall apart, find the nicest hotel is the town you're visiting, because hey that's what anyone over at Expo Portal would do right?


Here's our complete after action report if any of you are interested: http://dirtroadtrip.com/blog/trips/overland-expo-east-2015-after-action-report/
 

Yuman Desert Rat

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#27
Nice teaser. Good trip write-up, too. Nothing wrong with a hotel stay. Maybe if it was a hostel or super seedy joint where you could tell a story within the story about the deplorable accommodations, human riff-raff and unnatural vermin which made actually staying at the mud bog seem equal to a stay at the Waldorf Astoria; that would up the Overland field cred. :p
Good on ya!
 

TangoBlue

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#29
It was my second day at the second East coast Overland Expo and my second weekend in the rain and second week away from home. Pretty soggy day but I've been through worse - at least we had good shelter from the winds and the tents were oriented to withstand the worst of the weather, and I was surrounded by equally prepared travellers who'd just spent the weekend with me before.

That Friday evening while I was sitting under the awning of my OzTent in my new ultra-comfortable JetTent Pilot chair listening to the tympany of rain drops on the canvas reflecting on the day, when I heard a ruckus around midnight from across the lake. High revving engines... lights off the horizon headed for the little known back exit... clearly someone's "fun meter" had just been pegged.

Someone who couldn't handle a little rain and mud. Maybe they had kids or wife that found the conditions too miserable. Perhaps it was some gentle soul that had overlanding visions of red desert vistas and no palpable humidity and decided to throw in the already soggy towel for this trip. All scenarios to ponder but I had more important things to think about that damp evening... like, just where did I put the Yamizaki?

One of the nice things about this event location is it's proximity to cell service - 4G LTE, 24/7/365. For entertainment that night I could scan "the Facebook." It wasn't an hour later when I see a picture of 3 off road vehicles that we had only just seen earlier that day parked in front of the Omni Asheville waiting for Valet service. What? It can't be... as a grin started to grow, which further gave me cause to move from my comfortable seat and alert the rest of the team camped near by. Yes, the very same trio as featured in the picture above, Concierge Road Trip.
 
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Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#31
Gasp! (checks pictures again) Say it isn't so!

You mean the hardy adventurers at @DirtRoadTrip were driven from the field by a little wind and rain?

Surely there was a medical emergency or some other reason to depart with such haste? Perhaps they needed more gray poupon or caviar?

Inquiring minds will want to know!
 
#32
Yep, Alex went there. @DirtRoadTrip FTW!

:like
I just call it like I see it Dave! Good to see you at the Rendezvous, we can't wait till next year.

Nice teaser. Good trip write-up, too. Nothing wrong with a hotel stay. Maybe if it was a hostel or super seedy joint where you could tell a story within the story about the deplorable accommodations, human riff-raff and unnatural vermin which made actually staying at the mud bog seem equal to a stay at the Waldorf Astoria; that would up the Overland field cred. :p
Good on ya!
Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against camping in the rain, snow, perfect weather, but when you've got free hotel stays from work you might as well use them right? I'm not saying the conditions were unbearable, but they were not very enjoyable either. Also, in all fairness the hotel stopped serving steak at 9PM so that was pretty big catastrophe in my book.

A web wheeler, a ExPoseur, and a Bundu Basher walk into a bar...

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...and they stay there getting drunk on 18 year scotch. The next morning they wake up pretty confident that they time traveled from the day before...
 
#33
One of the nice things about this event location is it's proximity to cell service - 4G LTE, 24/7/365. For entertainment that night I could scan "the Facebook." It wasn't an hour later when I see a picture of 3 off road vehicles that we had only just seen earlier that day parked in front of the Omni Asheville waiting for Valet service. What? It can't be... as a grin started to grow, which further gave me cause to move from my comfortable seat and alert the rest of the team camped near by. Yes, the very same trio as featured in the picture above, Concierge Road Trip.
Tim, thanks for the new name but unfortunately Concierge Road Trip is already trademarked by Overland International. We had to settle for Room Service Road Trip instead.

In regards to the vehicles leaving, we watched a group of 3 rigs from the Mid-Atlantic Overland Society leave Friday due to the rainy conditions and just call it quits. This was pretty common throughout the event, and I think a lot of people were surprised that there wasn't a better backup plan in the event of the storm. I mean we all knew it was coming for at least a week ahead of time.

My vote is to move EXPO East to Bristol Motor Speedway for 2016!
 
#34
Gasp! (checks pictures again) Say it isn't so!

You mean the hardy adventurers at @DirtRoadTrip were driven from the field by a little wind and rain?

Surely there was a medical emergency or some other reason to depart with such haste? Perhaps they needed more gray poupon or caviar?

Inquiring minds will want to know!
It was even more serious, we ran out of tail light fluid... plus our TAD gear was getting wet and my dry cleaner never gets my gear back to me in time for cars and coffee.
 

Yuman Desert Rat

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#35
:keyboardSEE this is why I LOVE this place!!!
...tail light fluid...

See, if the weather hadn't sucked there would be none of this entertaining humorous banter.... just the same ol' boring pictures of people having fun in classes and curated overland rigs all clean and shiny, an army of khaki and tacti-cool clad men women and children meandering about the vendors booths, some moron writing an after action bitching about cold showers, having to walk more than 20 yards to the porta-potty, no hot dog and cotton candy cart or how the child care wasn't equipped to handle his 5 HDADHD monsters and their strict Adderall dosing schedules....

THIS is WAY better!!
 

Jonathan Hanson

Adventurist
Forum Sponsor
Founding Member
#38
:keyboardSEE this is why I LOVE this place!!!
...tail light fluid...

See, if the weather hadn't sucked there would be none of this entertaining humorous banter.... just the same ol' boring pictures of people having fun in classes and curated overland rigs all clean and shiny, an army of khaki and tacti-cool clad men women and children meandering about the vendors booths, some moron writing an after action bitching about cold showers, having to walk more than 20 yards to the porta-potty, no hot dog and cotton candy cart or how the child care wasn't equipped to handle his 5 HDADHD monsters and their strict Adderall dosing schedules....

THIS is WAY better!!
Okay, so what I'm getting here is that the next Expo should be held in Kansas during tornado season . . .
 
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