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For the love of driving

Long distance driving is rewarding in much the same way as watering the lawn is. You are getting something done without actually doing that much. If I had to find that Delorean and go back in time I would probably choose a career as either a truck driver or a golf course groundsman (the golf course has a 19th hole which might sway my future past self).

As an overlander you simply have to love driving and, hopefully, be pretty good at it. Here are some tips for making that drive safer and more enjoyable.

1) A well maintained vehicle is a happy vehicle. Do a daily pre-trip walk around the vehicle checking tires, lights, latches and locks, oil, coolant, belts, brake, power steering and windscreen washer fluids. Remember to look at the ground under the vehicle for any larger than usual leaks,

2) Prepare a lunch box with snacks and a sandwich or two and invest in a good flask for cold or hot drinks,

3) Drive at a constant pace which suits both you and the vehicle. If you speed you are going to miss the sights and put unnecessary strain on the vehicle and use a lot of fuel. 60 mph is a decent maximum speed,

4) Carry at least one jerry can of fuel. Those extra 20 litres will give you peace of mind when you misjudge the distance between fuel stops. You will also be able to help other motorists who have run out of fuel,

5) Drive with intent. Being a good driver is about concentration and awareness (I am assuming I am decent driver),

6) Listen to music, audio books or learn a new language to kill time on those boring, straight roads,

7) Indien moeg, stop, rus. If tired, stop, rest. Stopping often for a stretch or snack will get the brain working again. If you are struggling to stay awake and have no options to stop- bite your tongue, open the window, slap yourself around, try primal scream therapy, whatever it takes. Do not put yourself in a situation where you might fall asleep behind the wheel.

8) I find that a long drive is the best to help me get my head in the right place, do some thinking, solve some problems and to literally and figuratively put the past behind me,

9) Keep left and pass right or keep right and pass left, depending on which part of the world you are from

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