SIMMS: Where are you from, and
where have you been?
Clay Croft: Well... we’ve been
up to Tuktoyaktuk, in the Northwest Territories, and we’ve been
down to the Darién Gap near panama. We’ve traced the western spine
of South America, all the way from Colombia to Ushuaia [the capital
of Tierra del Fuego], and then went back up to Buenos Aires, in
Argentina. But Bozeman, Montana is home. I grew up fishing here, with
my dad and brother, and several of us at Expedition Overland are into
SIMMS: Tell us about your crew.
Clay Croft: The common thread is that
we’re all people who love storytelling. The people who’ve been
involved with us over the past seven years want to see the world, and
they want to tell a cool story.
We travel at about a third of the pace
of someone else, because we’re working so hard at the filmmaking
process. Making the episodes is part of the joy for us. It’s a big
part of the overall experience.
SIMMS: What traits make for a
good overlanding teammate?
Clay Croft: I think the first and most
important thing is character—a high level of it. If you have that,
you can move to step two, which includes the kinds of specific
skill-sets we need on the road; from photography and cinematography
specialists, to people who excel at logistics, to those who are
mechanically inclined. Some of us are jacks-of-all-trades, people who
can fill in the gaps between all the major roles, which can become
just as important in the end.
SIMMS: In addition to some great
people, you guys rely on some great gear…
Clay Croft: Yes, it’s a big part of
it, because it plays into things like efficiency and overall comfort
levels. During our South America trip, we logged about 70 days of
travel. We faced some challenging weather, and that’s when the
right outerwear can really impact the success of the expedition.
We’ve been wearing hard and soft shells from Simms. It’s been a
great match for us.
SIMMS: Speaking of South
America, your no-man’s land crossing between the Chilean and
Argentinean borders had you navigating a complex fluvial river basin,
one side-channel at a time. Did it have you thinking like fishermen,
as far as judging depths and currents?
Clay Croft: Fishing has really played
into our river crossings. Having spent a lot of time on rivers in
waders gave us that insight to be able to bring vehicles across
them—especially understanding water hydraulics in relation to
riffles and deeper buckets. That all comes from fishing.