Interviewing Duncan Barbour, Camel Trophy Coordinator and Global Overlander
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #62
Interviewing Duncan Barbour, Camel Trophy Coordinator and Global Overlander
Matt Scott and Scott Brady interview Camel Trophy and 7P Overland legend Duncan Barbour. Duncan shares his joy of international travel, working with a team, and learning about the essentials of adventure. Duncan digs deep into the importance of training and keeping our skills current, while also reinforcing a minimalist mindset.
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Full Transcription below:
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady, and I'm here with my illustrious co-host Matt Scott.
Matt Scott: Hi, I'm here in the corner.
Scott Brady: And we are not only at the Overland Expo West, but we are in because of the gracious consideration of Mike. We are in his beautiful earth roamer, LTI. A beautiful vehicle, and it gives us the chance to have a little more space. So we're recording it here at the event, and we have Duncan Barbour with us. Duncan is someone who I have looked up to for well over a decade since I heard his story. And I learned about his involvement with the Camel Trophy. He's known as one of the true gentlemen within the space. I've never heard an ill word spoken about him because he's really built a reputation of not only experience, but global travel. Duncan was the global event coordinator for the Camel Trophy and now he's part of the Seven P team and he literally launched vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler in [00:01:00] Africa and other events around the world. Traveled around the world. Duncan, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Duncan Barbour: Thank you very much, Scott. That introduction is way, way beyond what I would expect, and I feel very honored that you say that.
Matt Scott: We can start over and be more insulting...
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Duncan Barbour: I suppose it's kind of a... it's a long story obviously, cause I'm sixty years old now, but what led up to that? I mean, the first thing that happened was. I mean, I come from a family of petrol heads anyway, so I've always had an interest in vehicular travel and that kind of thing. My great, great uncle was the first person to drive a vehicle up Ben Nevis. Which probably you could almost describe as one of Ford's remote off-road PR exercises, not that Ford had anything to do with it. But that part, my family ran the Ford dealership in Edinburgh during the war and stuff, so they had a lot of military vehicles coming in and things like that and the board table one day, I suppose he would have been my great, great, great uncle [00:03:00] turned right into his seven sons who were also part of the business and said we need to do something to promote how good the model T Ford is. I want you to drive it up Ben Nevis.
Matt Scott: And how tall is Ben Nevis?
Duncan Barbour: Oh, it's not tall compared to your mountains, but it's the highest mountain in the UK. Height-wise I can't... I should know how high.
Matt Scott: I know I've been driven by it.
Scott Brady: It's at least a couple of hundred feet.
Matt Scott: About the height of this Earth Roamer that we're in.
Duncan Barbour: Yes! But anyway, it's a pretty major feat. There is a track that goes up... or at that time there was a... there still is a track that goes up because lots of people walk up it, but there was a kind of horse train that went up to top because there was a meteorological station up there.
Scott Brady: Okay. But a vehicle had never done it.
Duncan Barbour: A vehicle had never done it. It's always been horse and car. So uncle Patty was tasked with that, and he went ahead, and did it and it was pretty... I mean, even today... I mean, there's only been a handful of [00:04:00] people who've done it. He was the only person to have done it twice. Because 10 years later they decided to do it again. Yeah, so that's kind of my, you know, I kind of feel I've got off roading in my genes based on that pedigree. But it was a major feat. It would be a major achievement now in a modern-day vehicle, you would still have quite a few problems in a few areas. I mean, he made bridging ladders to get across bits of the burn. They were blowing up pit hangs to try and create a route through them. Obviously, you couldn't do that now, but there is some archive material on YouTube, which is one in one of the BBC archives and you can actually Google it and see them doing it. There is a shot looking from a distance looking at some guys booking it to the shelf of this pit hang and the next thing scuttling away, it's all like it's all in high-speed motion scurrying away and then they blow it up.
Scott Brady: And that's how you get to the top.
Duncan Barbour: He was using traction aids. They weren't Max Tracks I'm sorry [00:05:00] to say.
Matt Scott: We weren't there at the time.
Duncan Barbour: Well, if you had been that would've done the job. They wrapped rope around the rear wheels of the thing as an extra traction aid and there were places where... I remember dad telling me some of the story. There's places where they were so steep, they reversed up because reverse gear was lower than first gear. So they'd reverse up bits and pieces.
Scott Brady: Well, and that would also help get traction essentially to the front, which is where the weight would be as well. So, yeah, they loaded up the back of it.
Matt Scott: Didn't the model T have a hand throttle, like they're different to drive than a modern car.
Duncan Barbour: I've never driven one, but I've heard they're really complicated, actually. Quite hard.
Scott Brady: You have to adjust the points and stuff as you're going along. I think it's quite a feat. That's amazing.
Duncan Barbour: So yeah, that's kind of genetics, but that kind of gets away from your question which was what led up to Camel Trophy and I guess that, you know, my first experience in a four-wheel drive was back when I was 10 years old. My dad took me out in [00:06:00] a Land Rover, an old series three that we had in a field and just ragging it around there and gradually because he worked in the plant... he had a plant hire company. I, you know, I had access... I used to go in on a Saturday morning and work with mechanics in the workshop there doing all the, you know, kind of grotty jobs, scraping rust off chassis and power washing things. But I had access to seeing them rebuilding engines and we were putting tracks on machines and all sorts. So as an aside to that, I was able to drive whatever was in the yard at the time now that's where, you know, a lot of that driving experience came from. Then moved on to working on farms and driving tractors, anything up to combine harvesters P-Viners, that sort of thing. It wasn't until, I mean, you know... I was off-roading at my job, but I mean, the UK isn't a big place to go off-roading, especially in Scotland because all the land is private. So we don't have access to the kind of amazing spaces [00:07:00] and drives that you guys can go on in the US, we just don't have that in the UK.
Scott Brady: Don't you have a green lane?
Duncan Barbour: There's green lane stuff in England, but not in Scotland. In fact, the last one, which was the Kodiak pass, which was an old part of the General Weights military roads, that was eventually closed down, and I think my brother was one of the last people to drive that. There's really nothing left to do unless it's on private land. But 1985, I saw an advert in a four-wheel drive magazine in Scotland, and it was a full page advert with Camel Trophy laws at the top, which of course in its own right immediately pulls your eyes to it. And it was an advert looking for applicants to apply for the first British team on Camel Trophy in 1986 in Australia. So that kind of caught my eye and I thought, oh, because of course it all started off thousand miles of adventure, you know, the ultimate off-road challenge kind of thing and I thought I'd like to try that, [00:08:00] So I applied for it and was lucky enough to get chosen to be one of the final... Well, not the final one, but I got down to the last, I think it was about 40 of us and the information came back. All they gave you as a map reference, you have to be at this map reference at this time in the state. Yeah, that was it and I remember I mentioned it to a farming friend of mine, a guy who I used to service his rally car for, and I knew the family, they were a big farming family. And I said, oh I'm heading off to this thing called Camel Trophy. He said, what do you mean by the selection thing? I went, yeah. He said, I applied for it. Well, he hadn't applied for it. His wife had applied at a forum and so off we headed, we headed to that together. And actually that was for the 86 event and actually Ronnie and I find out afterwards when I was working on the event that they were looking at Ronnie and I is quite a strong team and we both got down to the last six, but never made the cut as the final two members or the two standby members of the team and it wasn't until many years [00:09:00] later when I actually was working for Camel Trophy, I find that part of the reason was that they felt that they couldn't from an advertising and PR perspective, they couldn't have two Scotsman in the British team.
Scott Brady: Well, that was a different time...
Duncan Barbour: So that's kind of how I ended up on Trophy. I was a finalist for the British team three years on the trot each time getting down to the last cut of six, and eventually I kind of said, well, you know, three times, if I can get into the team now, I don't think I'm going to get that far. I knew they would keep asking me back if I wanted to apply. But I felt no, it's time for me to step down and let someone else have that chance because that's the way I looked at it. I said, well if I'm getting this far, but not making the final cut, then someone else might be able to meet that and actually get in. And I said some, you know, I'll step back from this, but if you ever need any help with, you know, selections or training or anything like that, because by this time I've been through three rounds of training with Land Rover and all the guys [00:10:00] there, and obviously been learning more and more about the basics of driving properly off road, and I thought well I think I'd have value for them as part of the selection process.
Scott Brady: What was your first job? What did they hire you to do first?
Duncan Barbour: Well, I mean after that I ended up heading out to South America. I went to the Middle East first and then South America working for a company called Exodus Expeditions and I was driving an overland truck for them, actually probably what you could describe as the first Overland vehicles like this. So it was a Bedford truck, probably about 10, 12 ton rated. It had a big box on the back, really primitive compared to what we're sitting in today. A big box in the back with bench seats, windows like this. Up above, there was kind of just hanging nets for soft stuff and under each of the seats, each passenger had some room to put their bag and their belongings, and then the other boxes were taken up with dried goods for food. When you went outside the truck at the front of the main passenger [00:11:00] compartment, or maybe I should call it the habitat as we do. It had a, what we call the dog box that was full of tents which the crew, the people on the truck where we're using to sleep in and then we went to the side, there's also water tank there, which proved very useful once when we were getting shot at down a nasty track somewhere in Argentina, or it might be in Venezuela, went back a long time. So you had the water tank there for potable water and then down below the truck hanging alongside the chassis, we had a cook box, which you opened out that had all the pans in it, and if you pulled the door out four burners for gas. That was it. You know?
Scott Brady: So you were the driver...
Duncan Barbour: I was a driver and guide.
Scott Brady: Driving around South America... amazing.
Duncan Barbour: We started in Bogota, Colombia, and we would do, I think it was nine countries in... you'd start one trip going clockwise and the next trip anticlockwise and each trip was about four months.
Scott Brady: And how long did you do that for?
Duncan Barbour: I did that for just over a year and then I got a call from Ian [00:12:00] Chapman. Who's one of the guys that I'd been through selections with who's working on the event. He was the event manager and he asked me if I could help with bringing in trucks and he knew I was out in South America and asked if I could help with bringing the Land Rover vehicles into Manaus, which was where the event was starting from in 1989. And I said, well, yeah, I'd love to help Ian, but I'm in the middle of a trip and I can't really just... I can just step off the truck and leave these passengers in Brazil when I've got to get them up to Columbia and he said, well listen, we're looking for someone to assist me. And he said, I think you'd be ideal for the job when you're back in Columbia, when can you be home? And I said, well, if you think there's definitely a chance of a job, I'll send my resignation in now to Exodus and I said, I'll be back in Columbia whenever it is. I'll fly home and come straight into the offices in London for an interview. That in itself was strange, cause I remember Ian saying to me, he said, you know, when you first arrived, because bear in mind I've [00:13:00] been out on the road for over a year. So I arrived with a backpack and a Venezuelan style cowboy hat on, I was probably looking pretty scruffy and that was me walking into RJ Reynolds tobacco, RGR tobacco in London in a place called Midian house, which was right next to a climbing space where the queen mother was staying, and I walked in and said I'm in for an interview with Ian Chapman and the secretary looked at me and went really. And she phoned up and said, there's someone very scruffy at the front desk wanting to see you and he said, oh, that'll be Duncan. So I went up and had my interview and Duncan Lee who's in charge of sponsorships and special events said, yeah. And that was me starting a week later, literally probably a fortnight later I'd gone home, seen the family and a fortnight later I was stepping onto a plane heading out to Moscow and then out to Irkutsk [00:14:00] Oblast in Siberia to start working on setting up the event for 1990.
Matt Scott: And there were mentions of KGB at that event.
Duncan Barbour: Well, yes, because that was right at the start of that whole Perestroika and Glasnost thing happening in Russia or the Soviet Union as it was at that time, because as the event progressed, we went through that whole cusp. It was a difficult event to set up as well because the Russians obviously saw us coming in as an American tobacco company. There were dollar signs there for them and we clearly had money to spend, to set the event up. It was the first motor sports event ever to happen there. We were bringing in journalists from all around the world, which was completely alien to the Soviet Union as well. We were bringing all our satellite communication stuff, radios. So naturally there was quite a big interest from the KGB, and we know for a fact that there were KGB people assigned that were there with us, although nobody ever said, you know, so-and-so, [00:15:00] you know, Yodi there is from the KGB,
Scott Brady: You wouldn't expect it.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. You knew because he was packing a gun and...
Scott Brady: It was for the bears.
Duncan Barbour: Yes. That's what they used to say, actually. But that was a really interesting event, and it was going up... the permissions and stuff were going up as high as Boris Yeltsin at that time. So yeah, we had some very strange meetings, you know, I remember the Russians trying to charge pencil fees for journalists. So they wanted to charge for everything. Oh yes. Journalists have a pencil to write with. So we'll charge you a pencil fee for that and then there'll be a camera fee for that, and I remember some of the negotiations starting off at millions and millions of dollars and gradually working them down to lower figures. We secured things like... we hired two Antonov 124s to move all the vehicles from the UK out to Bratsk where the event started and that was a major number in itself when they arrived at Farnborough airport that was the first time Russian military aircraft had ever landed on British soil.
Scott Brady: Incredible.
Matt Scott: That's crazy. [00:16:00] We need to get you a T-shirt "I've hired an Antonov".
Scott Brady: Can I get one too please.
Matt Scott: Oh yeah, you've done that. Apparently, I'm the only one that hasn't.
Scott Brady: Soon enough, soon enough.
Matt Scott: Look, it's raining for the people outside of the Earth Roamer.
Scott Brady: Oh yes and we didn't even notice.
Duncan Barbour: So yeah, I mean that was a major achievement. They brought their own brass band with them because it's such a big thing for them as well. It was piloted by top brass from the Russian military, of course, in Russia, the military run the air force as well. They were virtually brand-new aircraft. So they were all spic and span when they arrived. I mean, at that time they had no credit cards, no mobile phones. In fact, I didn't even have a mobile phone at that time. And they weren't even around in 90 if I remember it was a wee bit later then the big bricks. Yeah. They arrived and we put them up in hotels. We gave them money. We took them to a supermarket and that was apparently... I wasn't there when they did it. But the PR company for the mighty supermarket spent some of the money that they'd been given and [00:17:00] when they opened the doors, everyone just went in different directions. They thought oh my God, actually, what if some of these folks decide to defect. There was that kind of concern.
Scott Brady: No question. Yeah. They just would fade into the distance. Yeah.
Duncan Barbour: But they all came back. But that was a hell of an event. I have to say.
Scott Brady: Oh, I can imagine, and what were some of the highlights of the Russia event that you can think of?
Duncan Barbour: Things like staging all the teams and all the vehicles by this time were out in Bratsk because we'd flown them there, but the teams came into Moscow before going out to Bratsk for the start of the event. I think having that whole... We managed to close off Peter Square, where the big churches with all the beautiful balls on the top.
Scott Brady: Red square.
Duncan Barbour: Red square. So we closed that off and were able to have a big function there and
Matt Scott: I think I've seen that photo with all the.
Duncan Barbour: You will have done. So that was [00:18:00] special and then as far as dramatics starts, it wasn't quite the same as lakes of Tanzania, where we drove for two hours out to the city and the roads were just lined with... they wrecken there was millions of people lining the roads as we drove out of the city for the Donna Salaam for the start of to the event. But Russia was... no one kind of ever dreamed that you could go and do that in Russia at that time. So from an event organization perspective, that was pretty incredible, especially when the thing it was, you know, it was quite a really small core group doing it all and setting it up.
Scott Brady: And what area of Siberia was that?
Duncan Barbour: Well, that was Eastern Siberia I think it was. So we went, flew out to Bratsk and then we basically went... It was Lake Baikal. So we started in Bratsk and basically worked our way around Lake Baikal to Yakutsk.
Scott Brady: And then you flew them back out of Yakutsk.
Duncan Barbour: And then we flew them back out of Yakutsk.
Scott Brady: And you would have had to have taken. The fairies across the river Aldan at [00:19:00] that point?
Duncan Barbour: Well, we never actually... we didn't go that way. I think we went to the Southern... a long time ago, not even sure... the southern route around Baikal, and it kind of followed existing tracks and then we used a lot of the old kind of ghoulag roads built by prisoners of war. So at one point we're driving along tracks where you could see the remains of the wood that was underneath there, and part of that was really difficult because normally nobody drives in those areas because they're called winter roads because they're all frozen in the winter. You can draft them, but come in the summer, they're not great. I mean, we did spend two days driving a river at one point to try and avoid a section that was almost impassible, but true Camel Trophy style, we always managed to find a route around the most difficult bits so yeah, that was quite good. There's pictures of long streams of Camel Trophy vehicles going down a river with people sitting on the bonnet, spotting the big rocks and things underneath the water.
Matt Scott: Like, you just couldn't do that now.
Duncan Barbour: No, absolutely.
Matt Scott: It's crazy. It's just like perfect timing. Perfect place.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah [00:20:00] and in fact, you know, recently I had a question posed to me by my manufacturer, which was, if you were to run a Camel Trophy event now, or in 2022, for instance, what would it look like? So you think back to all those classic pictures on Trophy and the things that made it look spectacular, like, you know, vehicles are on a side slope with, you know, a big banking on one side and everybody hanging off the side of them to try and keep them on four wheels. We couldn't do that now because of health and safety, you know, all those kinds of things, you know, people jumping on the top of the roof racks and things like that. You can't do that. Even the closeness of winching operations and stuff like this and where we're trying to move vehicles quickly through areas because of health and safety you'd have to be going well, you can't really do that, or you as the organizers would have a duty of care to ensure that nobody got hurt and of course we had that duty of care back then, but the health and safety side of it wasn't as robust as it is now. So you wouldn't... you know, [00:21:00] someone jumping onto the side of a 110 and holding onto the roof rack, you just couldn't do that right at the beginning of the training, you'd have to say, well you can't jump on the side of moving vehicles.
Scott Brady: I would also submit that you had some of the most accomplished drivers and athletes in the world. Did you really have that many bad injuries?
Duncan Barbour: No, we didn't actually. I do think that was down to the training that we got from Land Rover. So the driving training side of it, and also the training that was done by all the individual Camel Trophy markets and the training that we did at the international selections, where we brought them all into one place and put them through various selection processes to assist each of the markets to work out which two out of the four that would be the actual team members and safety... we did drum safety in there all the time and awareness and try to make sure that, a bit like what we do with the Seven P training as well, is trying to get people to make good decisions about what they're doing. We're also talking about good decisions about what equipment they're buying as well. You know, with [00:22:00] regards to the Seven P side of training. On Camel Trophy, you didn't have to worry about that because all of your equipment was supplied to you. We didn't have... the majority injuries on an event would be cuts, some lacerations, which would be stitched up, but at the time, lots of bruises, you know. I mean, the guys were fit because they had been training for it and I even remember going back to, when I suddenly realized that getting selected for Trophy you had to be an old ranger on a variety of things, but you also had to be fit so I would do a lot of running training and stuff like that for a selection, the teams were generally... They were pretty fit and they were looking out for each other. I mean, you know, the one thing about the trophy was this brotherhood almost. People were looking out for other people on the trail, you know? In between competition time, everybody in the Trophy was one big team. You know, the Camel Trophy was able to get through some of the conditions that we got through, you know, whatever nature threw at you, whatever that country threw at you with regards to how difficult the roads could be [00:23:00] be. We got through because we had the manpower to be able to build bridges or rebuild bridges. We had the manpower to pull vehicles. I mean, I remember on the Tanzania event, we started off, the rains hadn't come and within 24 hours of starting the event, the rains came, they hit that black cotton soil. And that just turned to, you know, massive amounts of gloop and I remember on I think it was the second or third day of the event. We were going through a section where there was nowhere to put winches out to. No proper anchor points. The ground was really too heavy and thick to be digging ground anchors and plus you would be doing it all the time anyway, we didn't have the likes of the pull pals or anything like that. Although I think the US team carried a pull pall. And I remember coming across the Canary Islanders and I saw these feet sticking out the windows cause they'd been trying to drive through the night. They were absolutely knackered, and I got up to the car and I said, what's going on guys? And they went, oh, well, you know, we're a bit tired and there's nowhere to [00:24:00] winch to. There's not another vehicle there I said, but you know, you've got straps and ropes in the car or what can we do with them? I said, you're going to pull it and that's what I did. There were quite a few teams kind of stuck back to back and I rallied them all together. And I said, right, the only way through this is you're going to have to pull your cars and that's what they did. But that was at the beginning of the event, by the end of that event, you know, we went from all these fresh looking fairly pale looking folk had not been in a jungle environment like that and by the end of the three weeks of that event, when you came out to the other end and the Burundi at Bujumbura, they looked completely different. The transformation was amazing. You had a really cohesive group, a team and, you know, further on they wouldn't have thought twice about, oh, we'll just get those ropes the same, and we'll just pull these vehicles through this.
Scott Brady: Oxen.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah, oxen. Exactly.
Scott Brady: Man there’s gotta be some questions burning in your mind after loving the Camel Trophy.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean, how did you choose the [00:25:00] route for that? I mean, you know, the Camel Trophy... I was alive, but very little. Very young. So a lot of it for me, I never got to follow it, necessarily. I was more like G4 that I could follow and that kind of stuff, so when you're going to a country, like let's say Tanzania, what did you look for? I mean, were you going on roads where you cross country, you know, no road travel, like what were the objectives? How are you planning that?
Duncan Barbour: I mean, obviously, it was a PR event originally for cigarettes then laterally after 1992, when they went through the whole trademark diversification thing because of the ban on cigarette advertising in Europe it was an event to promote Camel Trophy watches, adventure wear, boots, banks, clothing, etc.
Matt Scott: Adventure watches.
Duncan Barbour: Adventure watches.
Matt Scott: Aimed by cigarettes.
Duncan Barbour: Yes, I know. But they were quite clever in what they did, because they knew the camel trophy itself. I mean, even when the first event started in 1980, which was run [00:26:00] by RGR Germany, as soon as that Camel Trophy brand came out... that was put on clothes and other items, people were desperate to get hold of it because they knew if I have this badge on my, you know, on my t-shirt people are going to associate me with that great adventure that happened out there. It was subliminal advertising, obviously for the company, but some of the people wearing it probably didn't even smoke. I don't know. But certainly there was a hunger for being associated with the...
Matt Scott: For the longest time I had no idea that the camel trophy was a cigarette thing. I had no idea. I thought it was just like, I dunno, like camels... like it was in Africa. I was a kid from the Midwest. Like, I dunno... there's like camels there. Right?
Duncan Barbour: That's interesting. Yeah. So anyway, they saw that value in it. So choosing where the event went. Obviously, it had to be a challenging route. The countries themselves [00:27:00] had to... our first point of call, when we started thinking about where we would take it, would be to try and get in... go through the tourist side of things, because obviously the promotion of the event would promote the country as well. So you'd go straight into the tourist department of the government and try to get to whoever was a director or whoever was in charge of tourism and then it would be a matter of looking at where it looked remote. I mean, quite often it was literally, it was just a map on a desk, and you know, where could we go? What's going to take three weeks, you know, go out and start wrecking the routes. Tanzania Burundi was actually quite a rushed event because prior to that, we'd been looking at going to India up into the Himalaya type area up there and they went out and did Iraqi and proved, just proved to be too busy. There were just too many people about, and it was difficult to get that feeling of remoteness, although it is there. Of course it's there, but it just didn't work for the event. So India was kind of knocked on the head very quickly and I remember Ian going [00:28:00] straight... literally he came out of India back to the UK for less than a week and straight out to Tanzania to look at a route there.
Matt Scott: Where did you guys go in Tanzania?
Duncan Barbour: We started off in Dar es Salaam and went through the Sula game reserve and then we went up into another one that kind of headed to north Northwest up towards Burundi and we just kind of kept on going in that direction.
Scott Brady: Matt just returned from Tanzania.
Duncan Barbour: Fantastic place.
Matt Scott: So many animals...
Duncan Barbour: There's times where we saw animals, and certainly in the morning after campus, you would see lots of footprints. Tom Callins got some great stories about elephants walking through camp, but that was a challenging event because the rains hit so hard and then the convoy became split up. We spent literally days and days winching getting through and at one point. Kind of passed fairly close to a railway track, which was quite handy because one of them, we had a gear box [00:29:00] going on a vehicle, and that had to be brought out from Dar es Salaam, a spirit gearbox, which we changed in the field. They brought... it's one of those little kinds of ee er carts that you know... inspection carts.
Matt Scott: It's a different world...
Duncan Barbour: It is...
Scott Brady: That's incredible.
Duncan Barbour: Guys made a cat scrape in the ground, pulled the vehicle over the top, dropped the gearbox out underneath. We got the spare one in.
Scott Brady: Did you make the team responsible for swapping that out? Or did you have technicians there too...
Duncan Barbour: There was a workshop vehicle which Land Rover had certain kits in, you know, we didn't expect to lose a gearbox otherwise they might be carrying one with us, but then again, we could always fly one in if we could. Getting helicopters in Tanzania was a difficult one and in fact, the last time I saw the helicopter there he'd come in, I think dropped Ian Chapman off, who was well in advance of all of us. He'd come in because something went away again and then that helicopter flew off and then crashed. So that was quite a close one, you know, losing you know, a major [00:30:00] member of the team. Where was I going with that one?
Scott Brady: Oh, good stories.
Duncan Barbour: So yeah, we got split up completely. Oh yeah, winching. We were in a big marshy area, but there's a railway running alongside it and that was really the only place where we could get an anchor point. So we pulled ourselves up to one side of it. We're hooking onto the ties on the railway and winching themselves, along the side. Eventually we got some firmer ground and were able to carry on driving, but you ended up in a survival situation there. We ran out of water. Well, ironically, because it's so wet, I remember filtering water through socks and t-shirts to get all the stuff out of it and then we'd catadine into it. And that was just water running down the trail. And then we catadine into our Jerry cans to keep us going.
Scott Brady: Incredible... Thanks to this week's sponsor GCI Outdoor, whether you're heading out for a weekend of adventure in the woods or to your backyard fire pit, GCI outdoor gear is ready for whatever you have planned. GCI [00:31:00] outdoor has been around for 25 years, so they know what they're doing when it comes to the best in portable recreation gear. GCI has innovative products ranging from outdoor rockers to complete camp kitchens and everything in between, and with a limited lifetime warranty you know they stand behind everything they make. GCI outdoor gear is comfortable, durable, and built for adventures big and small. Try them out for yourself. Head over to their website gcioutdoor.com and save 10% off your first purchase when you sign up for their email list. Thanks again, GCI. There is a story that I've heard about the Camel Trophy that I'm sure you can verify or dismiss. There is a technique that I heard that was used for a river crossing, where you have all the vehicles on one side of the river and the river is essentially too deep to drive. And so they would get a boat, or they would get people to get across the river to a big pulley block and there'd be a huge rope. So the rope would be now through a pulley block on a tree on the other side of the [00:32:00] river, and they would hook three or four Land Rovers together. They would connect to the front end of one Land Rover, they'd all hall, but away from the river and that would essentially ski the Land Rover across to the other side and I'd love to know if that actually happened.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah, I don't... it could have done and certainly that's a technique that you... well, not so much to ski it, but a technique that you could have used to ensure that you got your first vehicle across because you're using a much bigger anchor on this side. But certainly we were on really deep crossings where there was a risk that you might not get across, or you're worried about the vehicle beginning to float off, down the river. We would certainly have one vehicle going through with a line attached to another one at the bank to either pull it back if we had a problem or for it to be an anchor. I never saw that system of a pulley bolt being put in the other site and then it stays attached to three vehicles to pull the first one through. But certainly if you think about it, that actually is quite a good idea if you had no other option of being able to get your vehicle [00:33:00] through.
Scott Brady: Cause if you got it low enough, like on the front axle for example, it would actually kind of pull like...
Duncan Barbour: Yeah, I suppose you could almost...
Scott Brady: Conceptually.
Duncan Barbour: But remember those vehicles were so heavy.
Scott Brady: They were so heavy.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. I mean four people in them, all the food for, you know, up to three weeks, water, some spare parts. They were heavily loaded vehicles. Well over what they should have been really.
Scott Brady: How much weight would be on the top.
Duncan Barbour: Well, the top actually didn't have a lot. It looked like it, but it was a pretty heavy roof rack because the whole thing was designed that we potentially could pick the vehicle up by the roll cage and roof rack, because that all went through to the roll cage underneath and the roll cage went through to the chassis, so it was designed specifically like that, so if you had to, you could pick up a Trophy vehicle up by the roof protection. But the roof rack itself just had four Pelican cases in it, a spare tire, a kind of caged area with a bit of a tarp over it that you could put some of your [00:34:00] recovery gear in like your hook ropes that we carried, and propelling ropes with hoops on the end, which were designed as for towing or for using rain to tree and stuff like that, in fact our recovery gear was pretty basic, when looking at what we can get now.
Scott Brady: The innovations in the last 10 years even.
Duncan Barbour: Exactly. None of it rated. I mean, I look back on it now and go oh my God, we were using unrated equipment. I mean, it did work, and we didn't have... Tanzania was another one. We did break quite a few winch wires. And I remember afterwards sending the wires back to Super winch and saying, some of the ones that were broken, can you check these, and they all checked out okay. They then did a test on the Husky super winches we were using, came back and said, actually our winches were pulling way more than what the cables were rated for and that's why we ended up breaking so many on the event.
Scott Brady: So did they uprate after?
Duncan Barbour: Immediately Super winch was fantastic to work with on the event?
Scott Brady: That's quite a winch for the Husky.
Duncan Barbour: Yes, it's great. It really is.
Matt Scott: [00:35:00] Worm drive, right?
Duncan Barbour: It's a worm drive winch. So it was slow. I mean, you know, previous to that, we'd been using Warn 8274s, which are fantastic as well, but a very fast winch and actually for what we needed, especially with, with so many hands going into so many areas and so many people using the winches, having something slower was better. Although at times I can remember one section, it seems to always go back to Tanzania, Burundi. We're winching across an area, probably 150-200 meters long. It took us the best part of 20 plus hours to get the whole convoy through there. You know, we managed to get the first vehicle across and as that started moving across, you'd move another one and attach a winch wire to it. He would then pull that out, once that vehicle had stopped driving, he'd pull that out, then you'd engage the winch, winch yourself up to that. The next one we winch forward, and it was kind of a whole piggyback operation to get everyone through.
Matt Scott: What vehicles were in the convoy?
Duncan Barbour: So you had roughly 18 [00:36:00] to 20 competitor vehicles. Then we had two films, because we were filming on 60 millimeters for advertising purposes and cinemas and stuff like that. So you had a film crew in those two video vehicles. So that was all the PR and press release stuff that was going out immediately from the convoy. We had the ambulance, we had the communications vehicle, which was, you know, SAC Com, HF and VHF radio. We had three coordinator vehicles. So one, two and three, lead scout, event manager, PR vehicle. Oh yeah, we had two photographer vehicles as well. So we had the basic PR photographer, Lee Farren, there at that time and then we had one for advertising photography. So there was a Tanzania Burundi, it was a guy called Tyna Schmidt. Who still is a high-end fashion photographer, and his assistant in that car... I kind of lost count there. So it was somewhere in the region of 28 and then you'd have your raft unit vehicle if you needed a raft unit. So that was another vehicle and later [00:37:00] convoys, they had two of those and then the workshop vehicle, which had the Land Rover mechanics and so, yeah. I mean, it was a big circus.
Scott Brady: One of the things that's interesting to me is people can get so focused on heavily modifying their vehicles, but when you look at what was accomplished with the Camel Trophy, it's often said that the discovery one in vehicles like that were this kind of perfect combination of wheelbase and the way that they design the body and everything else, they were just very effective from the factory already for a technical terrain, but it had essentially changed the Springs to take the load but not really to lift it, only a little bit. As I understand it, they swapped out the XEL tires. They fitted safety equipment and winches, and they went on some of the most remote, rugged tracks of the world, basically as a stock vehicle. So the question that I have for you is what do you see as the most essential changes? If someone goes out and buys a new Ford or Jeep Wrangler, or if they go buy a new Forerunner, what would you say about these decades of experience you've had traveling around [00:38:00] the world, what should people consider if anything to do with those trucks?
Duncan Barbour: That's a really good question. I mean, you're, you're absolutely right. Our vehicles weren't heavily modified, it was standard...
Matt Scott: In what? 30-inch tires?
Duncan Barbour: No, it wouldn't even be 30 inches.
Scott Brady: Not nearly that. Seven inches wide seven... weren't they 7.0 R16s?
Duncan Barbour: Yes. It was a 16-inch rim and a skinny tire.
Scott Brady: 16 plus 14. Yeah, so it is 30… or 30-inch tires.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. So maybe, maybe it was 30 inches. So they had XELs on them. They had a front skid guard for the steering. There was no armor on the axles or anything like that. Standard heavy-duty shocks built for a normal, heavier duty cycle in the UK on roads and whatever Land Rover would consider someone buying that vehicle would use off-road, which wouldn't be very much. Underbody protection on the fuel tanks. Nothing really elsewhere on the vehicle. The roof roll cage, safety devices roll cage, [00:39:00] the bull bar and winch and that was it... a roof rack.
Matt Scott: You talked about, you know, could you do this event... could you do a camel trophy in 2022 or something like that? I mean, would you be able to get those iconic images because, you know you had to put those vehicles in those precarious situations to get them through and now like... well, we would take a four-door Jeep and it's, I mean, compared to...
Scott Brady: It would be very... a four door Jeep would be much more capable. Although I'll say, this is something that you are famous for, is that launch of the four-door JK in Africa? The number of journalists that still speak in hushed tones about your trip, because they said it was unbelievable. So challenging. So technical... for a journalist's trip, it was really unbelievable.
Duncan Barbour: Well, the brief that was given to us was we won a Camel Trophy, type trip for the pre-production launches of this vehicle.
Matt Scott: Where [00:40:00] was it?
Duncan Barbour: It was in south Luangwa, a national park in Zambia, which is a beautiful, beautiful remote area which is almost... It's almost the same as when Livingston walked through it and it's just beautiful. We started up on the Muchinga Escarpment, drove down from there, and did some off-roading on the way. They were flown in a private plane, and picked the vehicles up. We headed down the escarpment. We did some off-roading on the way, and then headed to a river camp on the Luangwa River, which had been set up and then that camp moved the next day and then we got to the game lodge where we then did more... well we off-roaded all the way down. It was amazing. It was amazing. And yes, it was challenging, and we had some instances... but that's what they wanted. They wanted a tough event.
Scott Brady: So I guess to answer your question that if the OEM has enough fortitude to ask the question, it can be done. Jeep as far as I know, Jeep is really the last one to ask that question. [00:41:00]
Duncan Barbour: Oh yes. Yeah. I mean, I haven't had another manufacturer ever say that to me, and Jeep they wanted to prove that that vehicle is good, and I did the previous launch that vehicle in Argentina actually, which I run across journalists who were on that trip and they still talk about that one as well, but it was a great trip. I mean, anything in Africa like that is just...
Scott Brady: I distracted him from that important question. If you were to take a Forerunner or a Wrangler, what would you do? What would you recommend as Seven P, what would you recommend people consider if anything at all, or you just say, go see the world?
Duncan Barbour: You know, we're kind of a simple team, I mean, look at our own vehicles. None of them are really, really heavily modified, you know, next Land Rover 90, for instance, I mean it's lifted... probably got a two-inch lift on it maybe. He's got diff locks on it. On the trophy, we didn't have any differential locks. There were no slippery differentials in them or anything like that. They were open differential vehicles. You know, when we ran... we were old [00:42:00] school, left foot braking. You know, you want to stop that wheel spinning, use the brake, a bit of throttle, off you go. We still teach that technique now.
Scott Brady: No one knows how to do that.
Matt Scott: I have not heard of that technique. Like I've heard of it. I've done it. I had to do it. You never hear that stuff anymore.
Duncan Barbour: Because you don't have to, you've got traction control. Most vehicles have got a diff lock in them, at least one. You know, I think people can go out in the most basic of vehicles. I mean, yes, you have to prepare. You want to make sure that you're running gears well. You know, you don't need it... probably the people at the expo would hate me for saying this. You don't need a lot of the jingle jangles out there. I mean, we see so many trucks coming through and you sometimes think they've just gone through the vendor, the Velcro
Scott Brady: Giant magnets.
Duncan Barbour: It just dragged everything on. I mean, I'm sure I saw a truck come in the other day towing what looked like it was a trailer and it looked like it was a shower unit. There was an air con thing in the tap, it was kind of square. I'm sure it was a shower unit or a sauna or maybe a [00:43:00] Turkish bath.
Matt Scott: Does this Earth Roamer have a Turkish bath?
Scott Brady: I don't believe so.
Matt Scott: Check that door.
Duncan Barbour: But going back to your question, I think for me, the most important thing is training. Get trained before you get out there. You've got to be, be able to make, you've got to have some information there to be able to make the right decisions when you're on the trail and be able to make the right decisions about the equipment to buy as well. So that for me is the most important thing. The vehicle itself, the running gears got to be good, you know, make sure that, tires, wheel bearings, differentials, your engine gearbox, etc. I mean, that's what moves you or that's what moves you once the floppy link is sitting between the seat and the steering wheel and really, you know, the vehicle as it stands there, you know, looking out the window, we've got lots and lots of capable vehicles around us, but they're only as capable as the floppy link in there. And actually thinking about it, some of the vehicles we see now are so capable that they can get you quite far, but then into really difficult positions and now you've got to work out how, you know, I'm [00:44:00] halfway up a hill. No, because it's vehicle with brake traction control or differential locks has crawled me all the way up here and now. I'm sitting sideways on this slope and I can't go any further. How do I get back down safely without rolling it? You will only know that if you've been taught the correct procedure to do it, or you are a Lux on your side, when you actually decide to come off the clutch and the brake, and you've forgotten to put it in gear, and you'd career like a toboggan all the way down the slope.
Scott Brady: And that is... the evidence from Camel Trophy is well-trained individuals in a solid stock vehicle on some of the most remote and technical tracks in the world, and so that's evidence of that and then it's also just more reinforcement of the fact that if you can get good training, like what you offer at Seven P Overland then people can do so much more with less they'll understand what left foot braking is.` They'll understand what to do in a failed hill climb. They'll understand what to do when they need to actually put that winch to use and anchor to get themselves out of something. We talk about that; Matt and I talk about that a [00:45:00] lot on the podcast. That's why we talk a lot about Seven P. A lot on the podcast is that people need to get trained and you're one of the few organizations that has multiple trainers available. That means you've got this broad spectrum of knowledge. I was talking with Nick, your partner in the business the other day and I said, Nick, even though I've done this for so long, I only know 5% of what I want to know, but if you take a bunch of 5% and you add it together, you have a very powerful team. So you have Nick that has all of this experience in the Sahara and in the sand dunes and then you have you with all this experience with teams and people in technical challenges with stock vehicles, and you just add up all of this wealth of knowledge, and you put all these guys together and ladies as well, you have many ladies on your team as well. It's an impressive result, I think.
Duncan Barbour: No, it is and it's kind of that whole thing of the sum of the whole parts. I feel very honored to be working alongside so many people who've got so many varied skills, I think, as a...
Matt Scott: You're also [00:46:00] nice.
Scott Brady: When you let the ego go a little bit.
Matt Scott: Yes. I know a lot of four-wheel drive trainers and most of them are really nice people. There's some that are just like, not the nicest people to be around. Like they're very preachy. They're very yelly and I feel that can be intimidating to a lot of people. I think that's one of the things I appreciate so much about Seven P is that you're all just friendly.
Duncan Barbour: I always say treat people the way you want to be treated yourself. Number one. You know, we're not a military organization. You don't teach people well by yelling at them, cursing at them or anything like that. We potentially are already in a high-pressure environment, anyway, trying to solve something. You're not achieving anything by getting mad at them. You know, that's how we kind of look at it, and also, we also look at it, you know, for me every day is at school. I was in a class yesterday doing advanced bush mechanics and actually as soon as I started the class, as soon as I started the class, I was asked a question about repairing cylinder head gaskets. Do you know about doing it with Savanna grass? And I went, no, I don't actually tell [00:47:00] me more. So the class started off with one of the pupils actually. Talking about something he read in an old book, I think it's series three in the Africa manual. Repairing a cylinder head with grass. Now I've never seen that. I'll have to go out and have a look at it.
Matt Scott: How would that work? You just like, kinda like cut it up and...
Duncan Barbour: I think it would be about weaving rings.
Matt Scott: Weaving it around, yeah.
Duncan Barbour: And then just pulling the head down tight on those rings, separating your Boston chambers or your cylinders...
Matt Scott: I guess the piston would just chew through any of the grass that was, you know, if it was inside.
Duncan Barbour: And it probably works. Someone's done it. But that's how the class started. So the class started immediately with me learning something new. And that's the other thing about all of us within Seven P is that all our instructors look on it as if every day is a school day. We can also learn from you guys. There's no question in our world that's a stupid question [00:48:00] because very often that question that sit in the back of someone's brain that they want to ask and they think, I'm not an ask that because it's stupid actually leads on to, you know, questioning what's going on or could that work, or what is that piece of equipment for? So you've got to be open to all these things and you've got to be able to debate them and go through the pros and cons and go well. Maybe that'll work fine for you.
Matt Scott: There's always this feeling that people get that they just have this God given ability to drive, right? Like they don't need training. Oh, I grew up on a farm or this or that and I was talking with Chris Walker last night about even doing some more training, continuing education. Well, Scott just did Trek and how long had it been since you used a high lift jack? Then I realized, oh God, it's been like years since I've used a high lift jack, I've forgotten so much about that kind of stuff, and even if you are somebody that has been overlanding for a while has been four-wheel driving for a while, it's been a lifelong hobby, you can always learn more.
Scott Brady: [00:49:00] Absolutely. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, hired a trainer to show me how to use a map and compass again, I used to know how to do that, but to triangulate and how to pull a bearing on a map and I needed to relearn all of those things, and it was totally a joy for me to retune those skills.
Duncan Barbour: We all get rusty with stuff. You know, I found coming into this show, having not done any off roading and teaching for nearly two years, I kind of felt a bit rusty coming into this show, you know? And as we went into the first classes of the day, I was actually really nervous.
Matt Scott: There's a lot of awkward handshakes when everybody gets in like... Hi, are we shaking hands? Or are we fist bumping... I'm uncomfortable.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. I mean, there is a lot to that. People still are a wee bit standoffish and stuff like that, and that's fine, but no, I felt nervous going in first class because I haven't done it for two years. Fortunately it kind of... it feels like jumping back onto a bike and because the people who come to the show as well are here, they're here for one reason. That's to [00:50:00] learn. So we don't get numpties in the classes, you know, they want to learn and again, we're very honored that they're coming to us to learn about it as well and that means that when generally when you go into class, you know, you're going to get questions and the more questions that come out of the class, the better. We've just got so many rabbit holes we can disappear down and then pop back out of, and back onto the main subject of the class and everybody goes away with stuff. I mean, at the end of yesterday's advanced bush mechanics class, I said guys, one hack that I must tell you about, which is the super glue and baking soda one and several of them were. Oh, my God, the money I've spent on this alone has been just worth learning about that super glue and baking soda.
Scott Brady: You gotta tell us the hack.
Duncan Barbour: You don't know it? So you know sometimes when you use super glue, you go, oh God, I wish you'd fill that space a bit better or a wish I could build it up. Well, if you take a drop of a superglue... the first time I saw it was with someone repairing the little nodule that holds the arms on [00:51:00] Oakley sunglasses. All right. You know how that wears? And then finally the leg just falls off. Well, this guy took a drop, a super. On to where that peg was dropped superglue, and then he dropped some baking soda on top of it, and then he did it again. And as soon as the baking soda touches it, it goes rock hard, and I mean rock hard. And so he built up... he just built up a little column of super glue and baking soda, and then he filed it down to a peg and clipped his, the leg of his sunglasses back on.
Scott Brady: So you can build plastic essentially.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. You can build plastic with it. It is absolutely genius and I said, you know, cause we were talking about, you know, what would you put in your kit to go along with your tools? So, you know, we're talking about self-modifying electrical tape, electrical tie wire, you know, as you know engineers tie wire they use for drilling through bolts and holding them in place, cable ties, plastic and stainless steel, gaffer tape, of course everybody's gotta have gaffer tape in there. All those bits and pieces, and I said I now carry a [00:52:00] small pill bottle with its super glue in it and some of this baking soda.
Scott Brady: Incredible. So now we know.
Duncan Barbour: Now, you know, it’s all over YouTube.
Matt Scott: Pill bottle of baking soda could be a little bit awkward, military inspections in Baja.
Duncan Barbour: Funnily enough... because I normally keep it in my day pack. And funnily enough, as I was going through the day pack prior to getting on the plane. I pulled it out and went hmm. White powder...
Matt Scott: You could also roll it up in like a little bit of cellophane that would never...
Scott Brady: Oh, that's funny.
Duncan Barbour: But the one thing that we thought would further reinforce the scary white powder in the pillbox is because I keep a big top in there. Cause you can use the end of the big top as a tiny wee spoon to drop it onto something fine. You know, if you're doing something really fine. And of course that in itself looked a bit sketchy. I thought, no, I'm going to leave that home in case customs... [00:53:00]
Scott Brady: Matt, what other questions did you have for Duncan?
Matt Scott: Man, I've just been a fly on the wall here.
Scott Brady: It's amazing. It's been amazing.
Matt Scott: Gee, I don't even know.
Scott Brady: Well, maybe we, maybe we ask that the one that we love to ask, which is, if someone is about ready to go out on an Overland journey, let's call it down to Ushuaia and they don't have a lot of experience and they came up to you to say, Duncan you've been around the world. You've been doing this for decades. You've taught people to travel around the world. What couple of pieces of advice would you give me before I left?
Duncan Barbour: I would say, be ready to go with a sense of humor. You've got to have that. Treat people the way you treat yourselves and that's really important when it comes to things like border crossings and things like that. You've got to remember that, you know, these folks probably aren't getting paid a lot of money. They sometimes get out of bed on the wrong side, or maybe something's happened at home when they may not be very pleasant when you meet them there. So you've got to be able to work with that. You've got to be flexible. You've definitely got to know plan A, plan B, plan C maybe plan D. Be aware, [00:54:00] you know, not everybody's nice, but the majority of people in this world are nice people and want to help, but you do need to have a bit of awareness about you. Speak to other travelers on the road, cause they've always got current information, engage with the locals. That's important. Try and learn a little bit of the language, you know. Start off with good morning. Good night. Good afternoon. Some of the numbers, trying to get that. Try and immerse yourself in that local experience if you can. Be prepared, yeah. Expect the unexpected, get trained, get some training, if you can. And learn about your, especially if you're traveling in a vehicle, learn about your vehicle, I've said this quite a lot of times over the last few days, get down to your local garage, you know, who would let you get underneath the vehicle. If you don't have a lot of mechanical knowledge, go and do a service on the vehicle with them, have a look at the bits and pieces underneath.
Scott Brady: I don't know if you remember this Duncan, but this was 2012 and we had the expedition of seven trucks at the Overland expo at [00:55:00] Mormon Lake. And we were about ready to leave. We were... we were ready to leave. We had already gone down from Prudhoe Bay, but we were ready to head off to St. John's and start shipping the trucks around the world and I asked you that question. I said, I said, Duncan, what advice would you give me? We were standing there right in front of the Land Cruisers. And you said, good with the locals and you said, make sure that you have a good time. Those are the two things that you told me and what it made me realize was I had spent so much energy and planning and so much energy training all of these things I had focused so much on execution of a plan, that what I really needed to hear at that moment, and that's what you told me. And it's probably because you knew that you knew me well enough that you said, make sure you have a good time, make sure you stop, and like they say, smell the roses or take a look at that sunset and enjoy the adventure, and I was very grateful for that advice because it was something that I needed to hear at the time,
Matt Scott: You had a lot of responsibility on that trip.
Duncan Barbour: And you do get bogged down with the planning. I think even solo [00:56:00] travelers heading out can get bogged down in the planning of it and wondering, you know, how are we going to manage this? How are we going to manage that? Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow of what's happening.
Matt Scott: Yeah, I think sometimes people can over plan.
Scott Brady: And I definitely did, and I just remember you saying, I think you put your hand on my show and you're like Scotty just remember to have a good time.
Duncan Barbour: Have some fun. Yeah, and you started to look like you had fun on that trip.
Scott Brady: It was an amazing journey for sure and I'm so grateful for it and we're so grateful for you having been on the podcast. I think we could have about 11-70 more.
Duncan Barbour: Yeah. Well, I'm always happy to do that. It's been great fun and it's you know, again, it's just fantastic to be able to take my experiences and hopefully, you know, through the podcast, people are gonna listen to this and they'll think about Camel Trophy and by the way, there’s a great book just now... Big Dumblebee.
Scott Brady: Ours should be at the office by the time we get back. I think.
Duncan Barbour: I actually help... Nick sent me the [00:57:00] proof of it and I kind of did the bit for... or read through and added more detail and corrected a few things from 1985... 85? 86? Onto 94, 95, which is kind of when I left the event and I put in touch with some of the old competitors, like Bepe Lahigo who I'm hoping to bring to the Overland expo next year, who was on the 85 event, and also Bepe stands in two camps because he's a four wheel drive expert, but he's also motorcycling expert and having done... he's got the world record for having competed in the most African safari rally on bike and he's done 10 Dakar's.
Matt Scott: 10?
Duncan Barbour: 10.
Scott Brady: Incredible.
Duncan Barbour: Back in the day when it was...
Matt Scott: Does he still have knees?
Duncan Barbour: Yes he does. He's still instructing. He does a lot. He's a kind of brand ambassador. He works for Ducati, he also runs his own company, but he helps the development of the Overland bikes.
Matt Scott: There's that new one that's coming out from Ducati. Did you see that?
Scott Brady: Yes, I did. I saw [00:58:00] the tease. That looks really interesting.
Duncan Barbour: Bepe would have been heavily involved in developing that bike.
Matt Scott: It looks good. It looks like a Dakar.
Scott Brady: And what's the name of Nick's new book?
Duncan Barbour: I think something about the Camel trophy. It's got the camel trophy in the title.
Matt Scott: Is it a camel trophy through the years?
Scott Brady: Might be... yeah.
Matt Scott: Or is that just...
Scott Brady: We'll put that in the show notes just to make sure that people can look it up.
Matt Scott: It will go here.
Scott Brady: We'll put it on a title right there.
Duncan Barbour: They certainly got the Camel Trophy in the title. It's out now. I think you can pre-order it on Amazon, but he's got a whole load of photos on it which have never been seen before. I mean, I've found stuff in my archives of things I picked up when I was at Camel, which aren't even... I don't even think that the negatives still exist for them. So I sent them down to... so there's a whole load of unseen photos there. A lot of unheard stories because Nicks interviewed a lot of the older competitors... or not the older competitors, you know? People who haven't been interviewed, and that includes interviews with people like Duncan Lee. Who was my boss [00:59:00] at Camel Trophy who was looking after formula one and Camel Trophy. So some behind the scenes stories from there.
Scott Brady: How do people find out more about you Duncan and how do people find out more about seven P Overland.
Duncan Barbour: Our website, basically just a sevenp.io or just Google 7P Overland. The information will come up there. I think we're revamping quite a lot of the websites at the moment. But any of the information on our trips and our training and stuff like that, are there you know, from a training perspective, we do anything from really basic to advanced. We can tailor make training for people or companies. Same with holidays and stuff like that or expedition style trips. So yeah, the information is there or you're listening to us here and we're out at the show. But yeah, that's the best way to...
Scott Brady: And then how do people find out more about you? Do you have an Instagram or are you a much wiser soul than I am and not have one?
Duncan Barbour: Yeah, I am on Instagram, but I haven't kind of worked out how to use it properly [01:00:00] yet.
Scott Brady: Good for you.
Matt Scott: More reasons he's awesome.
Duncan Barbour: I do Twitter and it's just... I think my Twitter handle is just Duncan Barber. It's usually quite often that the view from my office is"... I think the last one was a picture out of a Caterpillar D4 as we were making the track. So yeah, I do Twitter stuff and obviously some of that film related and off-road related, but it's finding something to...
Matt Scott: We found someone at Overland expo that is not on Instagram.
Scott Brady: The original influencer right here. Well, and if you all didn't think Duncan was already extremely cool, just based on this conversation, he also was part of the film crew for Game of Thrones.
Duncan Barbour: That's one of them.
Scott Brady: So yeah, I mean what an amazing life you have lived, and this will be the first of many conversations we will have with you on the podcast. Duncan, you're such an inspiration you're a true [01:01:00] gentleman. You encapsulate so much of what we want this industry to continue to be, which is people being good to each other, not buying too many things... jingly janglies for their vehicles and going and seeing the world, and you've done that for a lifetime. So thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Duncan Barbour: Absolutely guys, thank you very much for having me and I feel very humble with the word. So you've said I've died, you know, I really do. Thank you and I just want people to go out there, have fun, be trained, make good decisions as to what you're doing and have fun.
Scott Brady: There you go. Thank you for that.
Duncan Barbour: You're most welcome. Thank you.
Scott Brady: Thank you, Duncan. And we will talk to you all next time.