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Video of the Week :: X Overland “Nordic Series” EP1

As both a consumer and a creator, I want to preface this article by stating that the content produced by Expedition Overland (XOverland) is truly outstanding. I can’t remember the last time I watched something on YouTube that inspired me on so many levels. The production value is genuinely astonishing, the storytelling keeps you hooked throughout, and the journey and objectives are truly epic. If you’re unfamiliar with the XOverland team, I highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel or signing up for their Overlander Network. The latest series of videos documents their fifth big trip, known as the Nordic Expedition, and will comprise two phases. The first segment sees them explore Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The second stage requires the team to board a ferry to the Faroe Islands before a final crossing to Iceland. It’s a huge undertaking that will see XOverland traverse a colossal 8,000 miles.

The first episode sets the scene and shares an insight into what it takes to prepare for a large-scale international adventure. Vehicle choice can make or break an overland trip. For this undertaking, the team would be utilizing a 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road (“Atigun”), a 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium Edition (“The Clone”), and the latest 2022 Toyota Tundra Limited (“Orion”). They have just eight months to outfit the vehicles, specifically the Tundra, with a selection of current and prototype products from Goose Gear, CBI Offroad, Redarc, Alu-Cab, Warn, and many more. Once outfitted, the rigs are subjected to a thorough trial run to ensure they perform as intended on-road and when the tarmac ends. In addition to the reams of paperwork and complicated logistics, the crew has to navigate COVID-19 restrictions and the sudden news that Russia has invaded Ukraine. Clay Croft (Owner, Director, and CEO) also shares shipping tips; these include the importance of deep cleaning vehicles ahead of departure and arriving at the port with only one-quarter tank of fuel. Furthermore, he suggests carrying a jump pack, as a flat battery on pickup is often expected and was the case for them in Belgium. Finally, the team introduces themselves to the camera, and Expedition Portal regulars will spot our very own Richard Giordano (photographer/videographer) along for the ride.

Episode one of the Nordic Series has you hooked from the start, and I really enjoyed the long-form (42-minute) format on YouTube, which makes the experience all the more immersive. Along with the epic visuals and storytelling, this installment provides valuable insight into the many considerations, logistics, and decisions required before an overseas overlanding expedition can even begin.

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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.