COOL RIDE 2018 WEST GRAND PRIZE WINNER!

 Left to Right: Cool Ride Grand Prize Winner Blue Nelson, Volunteer Coordinator Cyan Samone and Traffic & Campground Manager Isaac Barley

Left to Right: Cool Ride Grand Prize Winner Blue Nelson, Volunteer Coordinator Cyan Samone and Traffic & Campground Manager Isaac Barley

BLUE NELSON'S 1982 MERCEDES DIESEL THE "BRAUNER BENZ"

Jett Scott and Blue Nelson recently rescued this lost, but not forgotten 1982 Mercedes 200 Diesel behind a shipping container near Long Beach, California where it sat languishing in the open for more than a decade. It was slated to be parted out then scrapped but Blue decided to try to get the well-travelled Diesel back on the road again in as close to its "as found" condition as possible, complete with the camping gear, maps, Saharan sand ladders and bullet holes. Blue delivered the car to the Mercedes Classic Center in Southern California, where much to the surprise and delight of the staff, it was verified and officially high-mileage-awarded as, indeed, the missing "Brauner Benz" driven by Markus Besold for nearly 600,000 kms throughout Europe, Africa, South, Central and North America and beyond. Markus chronicled his arduous and high stakes adventures in a very detailed journal online as far back as 1994 as well as in a published book. 

When asked how he would spend his $500 Overland Expo Cash, Blue surprised everyone by stating he had everything he needed to travel comfortably already in the trunk of the car and proceeded to give his winnings to the other finalists present. Thank you Blue for bringing us this artifact of overlanding history and for showing everyone you don't need the biggest or fanciest rig to have the coolest ride!

 Isaac applies an Overland Expo decal at Blue's request. This will be the final addition before the Benz is entombed in a museum.

Isaac applies an Overland Expo decal at Blue's request. This will be the final addition before the Benz is entombed in a museum.

Sign up for our newsletter for announcements on future Cool Ride Contests and more: www.overlandexpo.com/overlandnews

Overland Expo BEST SHOT Photo Contest 2018

Our 2018 photo contest drew a record 825 entries and over 9,600 total votes between our qualifier and finalist rounds! You helped the judges whittle down the stiff competition to 8 gorgeous finalists:

The final decision was made by a public vote and our winner was. . .

  Epic Winchline Pull - Ryan McKee   While winter wheeling with a friend in New Hampshire’s White Mountains my Jeep broke through thick ice of a frozen-over river, requiring recovery from my buddy’s JKU. I took a moment to photograph him pulling the FlatLink at the end of his winch line towards the Grand Cherokee to pull me back safely.  Thanks to Warn, Factor55, and Black Oak LED for making this a painless process despite the cold temps, fresh snow, and pitch black night!   Follow Ryan's adventures:  Instagram @2180miles  ,  www.2180miles.com    Equipment: Handheld on a Canon 6D, 24-70mm at 70mm, f/2.8, ISO200, 1/50” exposure.

Epic Winchline Pull - Ryan McKee

While winter wheeling with a friend in New Hampshire’s White Mountains my Jeep broke through thick ice of a frozen-over river, requiring recovery from my buddy’s JKU. I took a moment to photograph him pulling the FlatLink at the end of his winch line towards the Grand Cherokee to pull me back safely.  Thanks to Warn, Factor55, and Black Oak LED for making this a painless process despite the cold temps, fresh snow, and pitch black night! 

Follow Ryan's adventures: Instagram @2180miles , www.2180miles.com 

Equipment: Handheld on a Canon 6D, 24-70mm at 70mm, f/2.8, ISO200, 1/50” exposure.

Ryan plans to use his Grand Prize of an Overland Experience package + Guest to attend Overland Expo EAST 2018 with his wife!

Thank you for the spectacular and inspiring entries everyone, you make our jobs harder every year. And huge thanks to everyone who voted for helping us decide.

To enter next year and keep informed about other great contest opportunities, sign up for our newsletter: www.overlandexpo.com/overlandnews

More Great Gifts for Adventurers

Still need some unique gift ideas for people who like to get out there? Check out our staff picks below or scroll for great gifts through our exhibitor pages for Overland Expo EAST and WEST.

One gift sure to please? Tickets to Overland Expo WEST or Gift Certificates for either show!

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Denali Electronics DM 2.0 TriOptic LED Light Kit - $275

Don't let their size fool you, like the arms of a T-Rex, these lights are more powerful than you assume at first glance. Optimally designed to improve your riding visibility, the Denali DM LEDs pack a powerful amount of light into a mini but rugged housing. Perfect for those nighttime adventures, be it urban wildlife or Jurassic jungles. - Alison DeLapp, Assistant Director

 

Shiftpod2 Tent - $1499.99

A tent fit for Santa himself. Super-roomy and sturdy enough to stand up to the harshest climates, SHIFTPOD2 is the ultimate portable shelter. Combining high-tech fabrics and an integrated frame system, the SHIFTPOD is quick and easy to set up while being waterproof and windproof. Weighing in at 60 pounds, it’ll take up a fair amount of room in your sleigh, but it’s worth every ounce! - Eva Rupert, Logistics Associate 

 

Wacaco Minipresso Gr - $59.90

Real espresso on the road. Just 360 grams (3/4 pound), this little coffee maker cranks out real espresso—with crema—in a few minutes using boiling water and a hand-operated pressurizing button. It’s even compact enough to take on a motorcycle. Heat up some milk and use a little battery frother and you have great lattes . . . ingenious. 

 

7P Overland Recovery Kit - From $925

There are many recovery kits on the market, but not all are equal. The Camel Trophy veterans on the 7P team use this gear almost exclusively and have selected its components from the best available in the world. This winch recovery kit has all you will need when the going gets tough, when time is short and exhaustion is setting in, all of the gear is rated and marked so you know it will work when you need it. - Graham Jackson, Training Director

 

Mosko Moto Backcountry 40L Duffle/Pack - $224.99

A fully waterproof duffel for the back of your bike that becomes a comfortable backpack for when you want to hike up to that really sweet camp spot just a -little- further out. Mosko’s attention to detail, well thought out design, and high quality materials are unmatched. - Cyan Samone, Community Relations Coordinator  

Inspiring Gift Ideas for Overlanders

Forget about candy canes and sweaters, give the overlanders in your life what they really want. . .tools for more adventure! Check out our staff picks below and peruse our exhibitor pages for Overland Expo EAST and WEST for more great ideas. 

Or give the gift of hands on training with Overland Experience tickets to Overland Expo WEST!

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Fenix TK 120R Flashlight - $130

A Fenix TK15 has been my standard briefcase flashight for several years, but I always wished it were rechargeable. The new TK20R grants that wish with a micro-USB port—and bumps up the maximum output to a full 1,000 lumens. It will run for almost two hours at that level, or up to 160 at the lowest of its four constant settings—a reading/walking 10 lumens—making this a true do-it-all flashlight. - Jonathan Hanson, Director and Curator of Overland Tech and Travel

 

Dirty Dining: An Adventurer's Cookbook by Lisa Thomas  - $39.99

As the title describes, it’s a cookbook suitable for those on the road with limited utensils as well as those with a full stocked kitchen at home. Meal ideas range from deliciously carnivorous meats from Argentina to fresh fish from the coast of Senegal. Littered with pictures and stories from their experiences around the world, this cookbook is sure to make you salivate not only for the recipes inside but for adventure in distant lands. - Alison DeLapp, Assistant Director 

 

Ducati Desert Sled Scrambler  -  From $11,395.00

I’m a sucker for vintage, but this is even better: the best of modern technology on a bike that has the heart of Steve McQueen desert riding . . . it’s just damn sexy, too. Please, Santa? - Roseann Hanson, Director 

 

Mosko Moto Fatty Tool Roll  -  $69.99

Taking out the tool roll to patch a tube or rewire a kickstand switch is par for the course of off-road motorcycle riding. Designed to secure everything from the the tiniest hex key to the bulkiest of wrenches, Mosko thought of everything in this artfully engineered tool roll. What could be better than finding this waterproof, welded-seam kit in your adventure stocking on Christmas morning? - Eva Rupert, Logistics Associate 

 

ESEE Knives: ESEE-4  -  From $143.50

This 4” workhorse general purpose fixed-blade camp knife is available in 1095 Carbon Steel or 440C Stainless Steel with multiple finishes. The ESEE-4 might be the perfect knife– lightweight, durable, and an efficient cutter. This is a great everyday carry option that will get you through any of your knife needs in the field. ESEE Knives are available in multiple sizes, but I like the 4” option the best. - Anthony Sicola, Sales Manager

Storm Relief Donation Collection at Overland Expo EAST!

The Overland Emergency Response Network is an organization dedicated to helping first responders and families alike deal with the aftermath of a large scale storm. The network's ultimate goal with time, is to deploy teams of overlanders versed in a multitude of disciplines that will make them a valuable tool to first responders.  At the moment, they’re organizing donation drives on both the east and west coast. Overland Expo has donated a booth space at our east show for them to collect goods for their current relief efforts and make connections which will help their vision for the network reach its full potential going forward.

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Overland Expo's COOL RIDE! Contest is Back

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We just opened the Overland Expo COOL RIDE! Adventure Rig Contest this morning and we already have some amazing entries. The contest is open from now until September 19, 2017, to anyone, anywhere in the world, 18 years of age and over, so get your entry in soon! Finalists will be announced September 22, 2017. Click here to enter.

Overland Expo continues to celebrate the diversity of vehicle-dependent overland travel. Whether large or small, from two wheels to four (or more), we want to see what moves you! Send us a photo of your rig. Prominently feature any customizations, modifications or decorations that make your vehicle unique. Talk it up in your caption, tell us about it, and why you think it deserves to be the Coolest Ride and win the Grand Prize of $500.00 in Overland Expo Cash!