2020 Overland Skills Weekends

The time has come to get our learning on! For 2020 there will be FOUR Overland Skills Weekends. They will be as follows:

  • March 13-15 = OSW #1: Basic Recovery
  • April 10-13 = OSW #2: Communication & Navigation
  • June 19-21 = OSW #3: Advanced Recovery
  • September 18-20 = OSW#4: Trip Planning and Logistics

Overland Skills Weekend #1: Basic Recovery

This training weekend will focus on basic recovery techniques. We will cover vehicle-to-vehicle recovery using both static and kinetic recovery ropes, using jacks like hi-lift and bottle jacks to preform a recovery, and traction mats.

This is a hands-on weekend, so if you have recovery gear of your own we put it to use. However if you don’t have gear, don’t worry we have gear you can use. As such, this is a great class for people new to the overland adventure lifestyle.

Overland Skills Weekend #2: Communication & Navigation

Hands down the most fun course of 2019. The morning session will be spent going over various communication systems and both their advantages and disadvantages. The afternoon session will focus on Gaia GPS. The day will conclude with a drive into the mountains where we will practice radio communications and record the track with Gaia GPS. We will conclude at a local brewery for debrief, food, and drinks.

This class is co-sponsored by both Midland USA and Gaia GPS. As such, discounts are available before the class to all registered participants. There will also be demo radios available for use during the class incase you want to try before you buy.

Overland Skills Weekend #3: Advanced Recovery

This training weekend will focus on winching. We will cover winch selection, rigging, and building a comprehensive winching recovery kit. This will be a hands-on class at the Overland Experts facility in central Virginia.

Winches and recovery gear are not required for this event, however if you do have a winch you will get a chance to use it. The goal is to work with the gear you have, but if you don’t have any we will show you what you need.

Overland Skills Weekend #4: Trip Planning and Logistics

Rather than this weekend focusing on one single topic, this weekend will cover a spectrum of topics all pertaining to trip planning and logistics. We will cover pre-trip things like vehicle integrated systems and planning a build, as well as things like route selection, budgeting for food and fuel, and different options for shelter and campsite selection.

The goal of this weekend is to be less of a lecture and more of a group roundtable with everyone sharing their experiences and helping each other come up with different innovative solutions to the hurdles of sustained overland adventure travel. Although we here at ECOA have our way of doing things, we know it’s not the only way.

Standard Schedule & Pertinent Information

  • Friday Afternoon: Arrival & Camp Setup
  • Friday Evening: Fireside Roundtable Discussion
  • Saturday Morning: Training Session #1
  • Saturday Afternoon: Training Session #2
  • Saturday Evening: Fireside Roundtable Discussion
  • Sunday Morning: Break Camp After Breakfast

The training sessions will be fairly intensive so be prepared to be on your feat and active for about 3-4 hours each session. Gloves, closed-toed shoes, and appropriate clothing (including rain gear) are the only required equipment you’ll need. However, as mentioned, if you have gear of your own we will give you a chance to use it.

Camping will be onsite and will be $25 per vehicle. Camping is primitive (no hookups) but there is fresh water and bathrooms near by.

You will need to provide your own meals and be prepared to cook on-site. There are no convenient restaurants nearby nor will you have time to leave the site and come back. The only exception to this is the Comms/Navi weekend where we will be driving Saturday afternoon and stopping at a brewery for dinner on our way back to camp.

All registered attendees will receive a t-shirt, patch, and sticker along with a Blue Ridge Overland Gear bag related to the topic of the weekend. There will also be a chance at door prizes themed to the topic of the weekend.

A more detailed itinerary for each class will be sent after registration.

Class size is limited to 20 people.

Register here via the ECOA online store