Two items that should not be forgotten when packing: Books & an Ipod (MP3 Player).
There are times during an overland trip were you just need to chill. Picking up a good book, listening to an iPod or simply typing up the next blog is just one of the ways to relax.
There are only so many oil checks you can do on a vehicle before the need to stretch out in your favourite chair :-)
Traditional Media (books & CDs), along with digital media (iPods & laptops) form part of the relaxation process. Downtime during an overland expedition is important - if in your planning phase consider the following items:
Picking up a good novel, reading it and then trading it for the next is a simple pleasure.
During my overland trip, I read everything from the Zulu & Boer wars, through to the latest Wilbur Smith novels.
One author I am currently enjoying is Tony Park. Tony Park writes about Southern Africa and his novels have a good mix between adventure, a bit of love and the African bush. For more information on this author, visit his website or read his blog.
One of the best devices this past decade has to be the mainstream introduction of MP3 and the Apple iPod. Linking a device like this to you car radio makes for a perfect listening experience. Enough said on this topic as majority of overland trips already have an iPod or similar device.
One key element of digital media is the ability to expand on your listening pleasure. Adding to your music collect with a few downloaded audio podcasts, or a few audio books. Listening to an interview or listening to the 48hours of Harry Potter is a good way to keep the driving from getting boring!
In summary, make sure you have a space for those books and that your iPod can connect to the car stereo. Buy a good selection of audio books and printed ones. Scrounge the internet for podcasts you enjoy and download all the back issues.