Why the Trip?
Snowing in Reno – Big Fish Await – Stay Thirsty my Friends
The Start of the Story
Pan-American Highway extends from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the tip of Chile (14 countries) and started back in 1950. US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama where we hit the Darien Gap which is our southern target which brinks the Pan-American Highway. Sixty miles of impassible jungle, just past Panama City. (You have to take a ferry to Columbia).
Banditos, the cartel, vehicle breakdowns, poor navigation, lousy margaritas … we will try and keep the blue pacific on the right and coming back on the left (we hope that’s right)! Twelve thousand miles or 19312 kilometers round trip from Reno to Panama and back to Reno. From the Mexican border to the first border crossing (Guatemala) is 2,108 miles or 3393 kilometers.
Crossing the US border at Nogales, Arizona our first overnighter will be in Guaymas, Sonora Mexico. From there on you will have to stay tuned…
The Prep Work
We’re driving a 2013 Ford F-150 Crew Cab 4×4 Truck. We didn’t want a vehicle that stands out, so this one should be just right. It’s an older style white Ford that should blend in with the other vehicles on the road at the same time promising to be extremely reliable or so we hope!
We have made a few upgrades to the Ford.
- Truck Covers USA of San Diego supplied us with the toughest best looking retractable aluminum bed cover. Thank you Nels and Kim.
- And from Ranch Hand in Shiner, Texas, we obtained a Legend Front Bumper protection and grille guard.
- Capital Ford of Carson City, Nevada has graciously agreed to examine and check the truck for survivability . Thanks Tim.
- K&N High Flow Air Filter, two high powered Truck Lite LED Flood Lights for the Bull Bar and a box of mini car fuses (100).
- Ten National Geographic waterproof Adventure Travel Maps.
- Lonely Planet Country Guides
- Locking Gas Cap
- Kill Switch on Battery and an extra Battery.
- Go Pro Camera
- Tire Pressure Gauge, Tool kit, spare vehicle parts, hoses, caps, belts and 4 Tires and Rims
- List of Ford Dealers and their telephone numbers of all the countries we’ll be visiting.
- Exterior and interior cab antenna
- SAT Phone and cell phones
- Heavy Duty tow strap with a 30′ Heavy Duty Chain
- 12volt tire inflator
- Steering wheel thief device
- Mexican Dictionary
- Synthetic oil and filler
- Ice chest
- Kill switch (cockpit)
- Starter (backup to battery kill switch)
- Wheel locks (4) Hood lock
- Fire extinguisher (2)
- Emergency triangles and reflective signs
- First aid kit
- 12 volt power inverter
- Magellan GPS Map
- Reflective tape on tail gate and all mud flaps
- List of American Embassy’s and telephone numbers for any emergencies
- Machettes (2), Buck knife 14″ blad
- Extra fuel cans
- and last but not lease… a 5 gallon bucket with a toilette seat
- “Be prepared the Boy Scouts Always Say”
Insurance, Documents and Money
We hope we have it covered!
Health and Welfare
Hepatitis B shots to avoid Yellow fever along with Tetanus and Diphtheria shots to avoid Typhoid fever. Oh and Rabies shots.
We decided to eliminate the 101% chance of painful death in the middle of the jungle and are getting all shots that we can NOW! We can teas mad dogs and try to tame vampire bats. Be sure to check out CDC.GOV for details.