by | Published on March 3rd, 2017

It seems like a while ago now, but once upon a while ago I was in a war, in a far off place. Like many, that war left its mark on me. Once, when a handsome paycheck came in, I bought myself a brand new paraglider, harness, reserve, helmet and all the Gucci gadgets. Even inflated it in the desert to remind myself how awesome my next R & R was gonna be. It was indeed an awesome R & R. My name is Chris and I am addicted to adventure.

Even back then I knew my post war therapy of choice would be called Adventure Therapy, not opiates or sessions with shrinks. I came home, married my bride, went flying in my new home in Southern Cali, things were peachy. Then some kid ran a red, T-boned me at an intersection, rolled my Gen-II Tacoma and popped my shoulder and a chunk of shoulder related stuff out the socket. All good, no major injuries just and a total ban on flying from the Doc…for a year! The bottom fell out of my therapy program.

I’d met an American Adventurist founder through some work I did on disasters. The new Taco arrived, and I get a Facebook message “Want that Taco lifted? For free?” To be fair, I really had no idea what a “lift” was and less of an idea what overlanding was. I agreed to the lift and found myself two weeks later following a nomadic tribe of vehicle born souls across a desert. Despite my shoulder limitations I was on an adventure, once again, and I know this because I caught myself smiling in my rearview mirror.

Years ago, in another life I had been a paratrooper in the back of a truck, in three vehicle convoys into the splendor of the places where the roads end and the scenery (and backache) begins. Back then I was the payload, the trigger puller in the troop bay of our WWII Dodge vehicles—sweaty, grungy, and unhappy with my lot in the universe.

Suddenly—and somewhere on that first trip through the desert with the crowd from American Adventurist—I worked out what I missed whilst bitching about the driver from the bed of that Dodge all those years ago in East Africa.

If you are a Vet, like me, and struggle with civilians, I know a few people called “Overlanders” you should maybe strive to meet.

Got your TNT? (Tent N Truck) Hit up the folks that overland near you. Adventure Therapy does not need to be skydiving or airborne silliness like I got addicted to. I never was “normal,” but the thrill of planning a gig, packing the gear and supplies, dealing with Mr. Murphy (the Irish God of “there goes ye’s Plan-A lads”). It put me in touch, once again with the thrill of being a survivor. Said it for years…you cannot come home from that much buzz without replacing at least some of that buzz.


Overlanding is working for me. So is exploring new places with new civilian friends. Git in y’alls rigs and head on out to meet your local overlanders. Our glory days lay before us brothers and sisters. Not behind us. Never behind us.

My name is Chris. I am an adventure addict. I highly recommend American Adventurist for all your special therapeutic needs.

Chris Wharton is a former Firefighter & Hazardous Materials Technician who’s worked all over the globe. In 2011 he founded Basecamp Expeditions where you’ll find him passing on his skills in disaster preparedness and crisis management, or during an actual disaster, help out with the relief efforts.

Adventure Therapy was created by and published on March 3rd, 2017

About the Author

Chris Wharton

Chris is a former Firefighter & Hazardous Materials Technician. He has worked in the Middle East, Europe, East Africa, and Asia. A paragliding fanatic, Chris originally started an outdoor company (he wanted to avoid real work by creating an extreme sports utopia.) His experiences during the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami in March of 2011 caused the birth of Basecamp Expeditions and its commitment to saving lives BEFORE a disaster strikes rather than after one does. Chris is opinionated, outspoken and not as funny as he thinks he is. But… he is very committed to passing his skills on to all those he comes into contact with and showing people how simple, inexpensive, and realistic it can be for EVERYONE to be able to master bad situations. Chris is also manager of the Typo Department… it’s all his fault folks. If you need to complain, Chris is your man.

Chris Wharton | Website | More articles »


  1. richard310 says:

    Great read and introduction Chris! Glad you have found an outlet through adventures and through AAV. Keep up the adventuring, whatever form it takes!

  2. Dave says:

    This piece really resonates with me. Veterans have a different worldview than most people and it's important to me that this community is a welcoming place for them when they finally "come home". Good shit.


  3. Borrego60 says:

    Nice write up Chris, we chewed the same dirt camping with you and the American Adventurist. Always good times and no hassles. Proud to be a member of the group. Hey how’s that snake stick working out for you??

  4. Thanks Dave and Crew. My first ever mini article 😉 Its a “buzz” and I am enjoying these new buzz experiences.

    Snake pictures inbound buddy! When I get over my British fear of rattlers! Cannot wait to get confident enough to shoot them… on digital film only.

    Peace n love folks.

    Chris. Out.

  5. bob91yj says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of camping with Chris on several occasions. He’s funnier than he thinks he is in all reality…just don’t accuse him of being an Englishman!

  6. Dave says:

    I've had the pleasure of camping with Chris on several occasions. He's funnier than he thinks he is in all reality…just don't accuse him of being an Englishman!

    Wait a minute… then why was the union jack and not the Welsh colors at DRV? 😉

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  7. Dave

    This piece really resonates with me. Veterans have a different worldview than most people and it's important to me that this community is a welcoming place for them when they finally "come home". Good shit.



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