Probably the closest thing you'll find to a modern-day Oregon Trail, Mongol Rally is the self-proclaimed "greatest motoring adventure on the planet," taking you 10,000 miles across five mountain ranges, three deserts, and the Mongolian steppe in a farcically small vehicle with no backup, no support, and no set route.
"If you get stuck or in trouble, you need to solve the problem yourself," the guys behind it explain.
Literally, they give you a start point in the UK and a finish point 400 miles north of Mongolia and "what you do in between is entirely your steaming bag of adventuring magic."
Whether that's skiing in an Iranian desert...
OR SKIING IN AN IRANIAN DESERT...
So how's it work?
First, you'll need that farcically small vehicle
You're only allowed to drive a scooter (with a 125cc-or-less engine), or a car (with a 1,000cc-or-less engine), with exceptions made for comedy vehicles. Like an ice cream truck. Or a hearse. Or a stretch limo. Or a fire engine.
"You must bring the sh*ttest rolling turd of a car you can find," the Mongol Rally guys explain.
So, basically this:
Second you need to know what you're getting into
Approximately three hundred teams enter each year, but somewhere around 25% don't actually finish the race, usually because they can't figure out the ol' "how the f do I get my car across this random lake?" part:
Third, you need some monies
To enter it costs about $310 per person for a three-man car, or $400 for a one-man bike, and that'll get you expert knowledge and months of organization leading up to it from the Mongol Rally crew, plus WAY-MORE-IMPORTANTLY a launch party, pit stop parties, a finish line party, and "route beers" meet ups in the run up to the rally.
So what does your entry NOT include? Your car, your car insurance, visas/paperwork, immunizations, fuel, repairs, food, non-party beer, accommodations, beef jerky, handholding, insurance for when you fall off the roof of your car, OR a $1,500 deposit you get back when you properly either junk your car or drive it back to England.
You need to raise $1,500 for charity to even be eligible to enter, 1/2 of which goes to an environmental charity and the other half of which you can designate for the charity of your choice. It all seems like a pretty fair deal though considering you get to do this for 4-5 weekends straight:
This year's Mongol Rally launches on July 16 (the finish line is open from August 12-September 12) and while signups are already closed, "if you reckon 2016 is your year, send us an email and buy us a gin, we might be persuaded." Entries for 2017 will open at the end of this summer, sign up for an email heads up here.