After Overland Expo West 2021, we chatted with one of our scholarship recipients, Reagan Evans. This is the first in a three-part series that will introduce you to our Overland Expo Foundation 2021 Overland Experience Scholarship recipients. After they return from their trips, we’ll speak with them about how they applied the skills and knowledge they gained from Overland Expo on their journey.
Overland Expo: Before we dive into your experience at Overland Expo, what can you tell us about your upcoming trip?
Reagan: I’ll be traveling to Montes Azules, Mexico. This will be the first time I’ve ventured that far south. I had initially planned to ride my motorcycle on the trip, but after Overland Expo, I’m reconsidering that plan, and I might take my 4×4.
Overland Expo: What can you tell us about your experience at Overland Expo?
Reagan: In spite of years of scheming and planning, this was my first time attending Overland Expo. At one point, I even had plane tickets in hand. I finally made it, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Overland Expo: That’s great to hear. What did you think about your overall experience at Overland Expo West?
Reagan: I was really impressed with the overall organization. I arrived at Fort Tuthill early on Thursday, got checked in, and then spoke with experienced attendees in the camping area. They told me what to expect and shared some helpful tips. Those trends of organization and helpfulness continued throughout the weekend with the staff, instructors, and volunteers.
Overland Expo: What do you think was the most beneficial portion of your experience in terms of your upcoming trip?
Reagan: I was able to train with some of the best in the country, Dragoo Adventure Rider Training and 7P Overland. I spent one day with the hands-on moto training. The instructor would explain the obstacle, ride it, and then we could ride our bike through the same obstacle. This great hands-on model allowed the students to immediately apply the techniques and then receive instructor feedback.
The next day I attended 7P courses that covered vehicle recovery, rigging, and winching. Finally, I wrapped up the weekend with the driving course on Sunday. I tried to squeeze in a variety of courses to take home as much hands-on experience as possible.
7P really reinforced offroading foundations, concepts, and training. Paying attention to the basics and details helps to avoid shortcuts, and they talked about using all of the tools available to you. Even with things as simple a putting your rig into 4wd before you really need it. I like how they discussed proactively putting steps and measures into place that ensure you set yourself up for success. My goal is to keep this mindset throughout my journey.
Overland Expo: We’re glad you had a lot of good takeaways, and thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We can’t wait to hear about your trip to Mexico.