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Video of the Week :: Be Old Later, The Pan-American Highway – What do you really need?

In 2018 Candice, Jordan, and Nugget the Dog set out to travel the Pan-American Highway. Their journey would take them from Vancouver up to Tuktoyaktuk and then all the way south to Ushuaia, Argentina, in their overland-ready 1997 Mitsubishi Delica L400 4×4. Their epic adventure is well documented on their website, social media, and Youtube channel. The couple also joined Ashley Giordano for an episode of the Overland Journal Podcast.

The Pan-American Highway stretches across the Americas for a total of almost 19,000 miles, and with the exception of the Darién Gap, the route is almost entirely driveable. Passing through 14 countries, it’s considered the longest road on earth by Guinness World Records. Due to the vast distance, travelers can expect wildly diverse landscapes and climates, with some sections of the route only advisable during the dry season.

In today’s video, Candice and Jordan discuss what you need to complete the Pan-American, although much of the advice is applicable to any long-term overlanding adventure. Be Old Later is a fantastic case study because they offer a relatively cost-effective and thus accessible approach to vehicle travel. Their rig is tastefully modified, carefully considered, and well-equipped but is not extravagant. The couple has fine-tuned their setup for over two years on the road, and this 18-minute roundup does a wonderful job of sharing some of their real-world wisdom.

The video begins and ends by stating that first and foremost, you require “the desire to do it.” You’ll always find excuses not to leave, so crucially you have to commit. You don’t need it all figured out, and part of the fun is learning as you go, while your setup and gear can be adjusted en route. Candice and Jordan completed the journey in a 4WD vehicle but met many people traversing the route on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle, and even tuk-tuk. This was followed by thoughts on budgeting for the Pan-American, which, of course, varies drastically depending on your personal needs and mode of transport. A quick Google search will provide some rough estimates, with Be Old Later disclosing they set aside approximately $30,000 CAD. Two years is a long time to be traveling, and the couple stresses the importance of planning fun activities along the way. These included hiking, mountaineering, and climbing, with the hashtag #panamericanhighway on social media being a source of inspiration for activities and destinations. In addition, they reveal some of their favorite apps for overlanding, including Ioverlander, maps.me, Google Translate, and OnX Offroad. The video also shares the modifications made to their Mitsubishi L400, both externally and internally, and what recovery gear, tools, and spare parts they carry. Safety is another topic, with thoughts on medical kits and training and a brief overview of their Garmin inReach, which shares GPS location, sends and receives messages with loved ones, and can trigger an SOS. If you seek further inspiration and advice, I recommend checking out the Rad Humans section of their website, which details the accounts of other overlanders the couple met during their journey.

The video signs off with their tagline, “Get out there. Be old later.” I couldn’t say it better myself.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.