Where Do I Start?
What is the Mongol Rally?
It had come to the attention of The Adventurists that ‘adventure’ was being bandied around beside activities with rigorous planning, totally risk-free and sanitised. Bollocks to that. Adventure means venturing into the unknown, getting lost, mitigating catastrophe and flirting with mild peril.
The solution? From a massive party in England set hundreds of teams forth eastwards towards Mongolia over roads that would barely pass for goat-tracks in cars suited mostly for grocery shopping.
It's not a race. We don't celebrate who comes first (generally we mock them). We actively encourage breaking down, getting lost and collecting anecdotes so outrageously absurd they make Hunter S Thompson sound like the village vicar. Incredible things happen when you’re stuck under the unrelenting sun of the Kazakh desert with an engine pissing oil all over you and nothing to help you but a half complete tool kit and a dental hygiene set. Trust us...
Count me in
Bravo, so you've decided to drive to Mongolia in a piece of shit 1L car... It's a terrible idea. Your summer will be saturated with dirt, stale sweat, cheap vodka, bacteria ridden food, non existent roads, tetchy armed border guards, flat tires, fucked suspension, corrupt officials and a whole load of completely unpredictable and utterly stupid events without even a whiff of 'health and safety'. However if you insist...
So where do I start?
While there is a case for a certain amount of planning, control freaks do not prosper on real adventures like this. After a decade of adventuring all around the world we can very safely say that if you want to succeed you need to be clear of only a few objectives and go with the flow with just about everything else. Much like in life I suppose. Focusing on all the details will cloud your experience with unnecessary stress.
The aim of this handbook is to clarify what matters and what is just silly faff that you ought to forget about. It has lots of information that will get you to the start line and some (but not all) of the information which will get you to the finish line. It's not a package holiday, it’s your own adventure – and to that end this guide is exactly that; a gentle prod in the right direction.
What about the Rules?
As we previously explained, an adventure requires the unknown, plenty of circumstance and serendipity, and at least a little jeopardy, thus the Mongol Rally is not a rule heavy event. Bar the occasional caveat that have come and gone with various Rally editions, this adventure has just three rules that define it, and they are;
1. Cars must have an engine size of less than 1(ish) litres (and motorbikes less than 125 cc)
When you drive to Mongolia in a small unsuitable vehicle peculiar things happen. You get stuck in mud and sand dozens of times, you break-down (possibly catastrophically), you become stranded in the middle or deserts hundred of miles away from civilisation, you learn about the kindness of strangers and actually experience the inhospitableness of the terrain they live in and visit places that you may never have heard of before (or will ever hear about again).
That's why vehicles on the Mongol Rally must be small. No SUVs, no large engines, nothing even remotely ‘suitable’ for the task at hand. Thus engine sizes for the Mongol Rally have a limit - 1.2 litres for cars and 125 cc for motorbikes. For more information about this rule see the vehicles section of this handbook.
2. There is no support from The Adventurists. You are totally on your own
Yes, we really do mean this. If you are taking part in the Mongol Rally once you have left the start line you are entirely on your own. What sort of adventure would you have if Team Adventurists came flying to the rescue every time you got yourself into a pickle?
If you’re stuck in the middle of the Gobi Desert with a hole in your fuel tank, three flat tyres and a broken axle it’s your job to get yourself sorted - even if you have nothing but a stick of chewing gum, a pair of dirty undies and a bag of dried whole wheat pasta with which to sort yourself out. Just think about how much you’ll learn about yourself. It may be horrendous at the time, but trust us - you’ll thank us for it later.
3. Your team must aim to raise at least £1000 for charity
The Adventurists’ mission statement is simple “make the world less boring and save a bit of it too”. We think it's only fair if you’re going out of your way to see all the world has to offer that you make an effort to give a little something back. We’ve been doing rather well having raised at least £5.5 million for charity so far.
Each team should raise £1000, with at least £500 raised for the Rallies official charity Cool Earth (an international charity dedicated to protecting the world’s rainforests from destruction). Visit the fundraising handbook for more information on how you might go about raising this money.
Warning - boring but important stuff:
We'll update the handbook as information which is important to you becomes available to us so please check back regularly and keep an eye on your email inbox.
Despite its relative simplicity the event does also have a reasonable terms and conditions on sign up to clear up what to expect from each other and to ensure the adventure’s longevity. Please read and be familiar with its contents.