Poles of Inconvenience

The Details - Poles of Inconvenience: Europe Edition

The Poles of Inconvenience is back this summer with a brand new format. In the most modest terms we can muster we’ve completely re-invented the road trip format.

Our Founder and Chief Idiot Mr. Tom says “it’s like a bag of adventuring whoopass to open in your own face. Think adventure meets gameshow. Both dangerous and inconvenient. Who doesn’t need that?”

The poles are carefully crafted nuggets of spectacular inconvenience you have to try and reach in the most unsuitable vehicle you can muster. You get points for every pole you bag – the more inconvenient the pole, the higher the number of points you score.

From the northern tip of Scandinavia down to Western Sahara and all the way over to Turkey and Georgia in the east, they include salt flats, mountains, deserts, ghost towns, and many other flavours with varying degrees of adventuring spiciness.

If you’ve arrived here first check out the main website.

1. What's new in 2024?

Here's how we've dialled up the stupidity for the 2024 edition:

  • Any vehicle allowed as long as it's unsuitable - aim for the smallest and crappiest adventure chariot you can get your hands on
  • Points for every pole - the harder the pole the higher the points
  • Randomly announced Golden Poles - worth shedloads more points
  • Bigger prizes for the winners including a Venturo motorbike worth £5,000
  • Live leaderboard updating every team's score daily
  • Bonus points awarded to teams who bring comically unsuitable vehicles
  • Points penalties for anyone trying to make their adventure too convenient
  • Daily updates and expert punditry from Inconvenience HQ on who's winning, who's gone missing in the Sahara and who got stuck in the middle of an Algerian salt flat
  • Start from anywhere - Mr. Tom and Buddy will host a live broadcast to officially open the network of poles
  • Poles of Refreshment - official meeting points to have a few shandies with your fellow teams, and rivals.
  • Festival style finish party in a former missile silo just out Prague - our favourite venue for a suitably ludicrous climax of inconvenience

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2. The dates

LAUNCH: 12th July

The Poles of Inconvenience kicks off with a live online broadcast at 19:00 BST so you can join in with all the other teams from anywhere you like that has an internet connection. The network of chaos will officially open during the broadcast which means you can start bagging poles and they'll count towards your total.

If you prefer you can start later, but we recommend spending the full three weeks seeking glorious inconvenience.

FINISH: 7th August

The finish line will be at Junktown, a sort of post apolcalyptic former missile silo just outside Prague in Czechia. This place is spectacularly weird in all the right places, including the crew who run it.

Poles of Inconvenience 2023 finish line
The awards ceremony and prizegiving will be followed by a festival-style finish party with live music and other shenanigans. Teams can camp on site overnight.
Poles of Inconvenience 2022 finish party
Poles of Inconvenience 2022 party

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3. What are the Poles of Inconvenience?

POI used to mean ‘Point of Interest’ on a normal, boring map. Not anymore. Now it stands for Pole of Inconvenience - a beacon of hope in a world being suffocated by sensible-ness.

POIs deliver proper old-fashioned adventure via the noble search for glorious inconvenience. We scour the planet for the most ridiculous places we can find, then you try and reach them in your rolling turd.

Watch your car sinking into a Tunusian salt flat. Get stuck on a dirt track in a remote corner of Serbia on a 50cc Vespa. Wild camp at the top of the Atlas Mountains while you ponder how you’re going to reattach your exhaust that recently lost an argument with a big rock. And how to tell your Auntie Barbara the Skoda she lent you her Skoda for the trip has taken a shoe-ing in Morocco.
Team Three Litl Celts and The Seamen at the Pole on Abano Pass in Georgia
Team Three Litl Celts at the pole on Abano Pass, Georgia
Team De Sloekertjes at the pole at Tizi n'Takchtant, Morocco in 2022
Team De Sloekertjes at the pole at Tizi n'Takchtant, Morocco

Every pole has a distinct flavour and reason to exist. It’s an adventuring cocktail designed to deliver the kind of adventure our ancestors had back when there were still edges on the map you could walk off…

Each pole is assessed and selected based on a scientific formula includes variables such as:

  • It’s hard to reach
  • It’s stupid
  • It’s miles from anywhere
  • It’s potentially impossible to get there at all
  • It has a silly name
  • It will bestow upon you glorious inconvenience
  • We chucked a dart at a map and it landed there
  • Because why bloody not?
As you can see, these are all serious and highly important reasons.

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4. Where are the Poles of Inconvenience?

Poles of Inconvenience 2024 - illustrative map
The poles will be spread across the new and improved 2024 network of chaos. It starts at the top of Norway and stretches across all of mainland Europe.

The southernmost point will be Western Sahara, with cheeky poles in Algeria and Tunisia.

Over to the east the arena of mayhem will stretch to Turkey and into the remote mountains of Georgia.

No set route

You choose which poles to aim for in whatever order you want. You’re completely free to go wherever you bloody well please.

Pitch a pole - win a free adventure

We need your help finding new Poles of Inconvenience for this year's adventure. The best pole submitted wins a free place on the adventure, valid for this year or the 2025 edition.

That's £695 of adventure for telling us the most stupid place you can think of for teams to try and get to in their splendidly unsuitable chariots.

You know the sort of place we want:
  • Everyone else says you need a 4x4 to get there.
  • The guide books say you shouldn't go there at all.
  • The approach road has rocks with pointy bits ready to kick unsuspecting Nissan Micras right in the vehicular chutneys.
If we don't win but your pole is approved and added to our network of chaos we'll name it after you. Unless you have a shit name. Like Wayne. Or Tarquin. In which case we'll call it something else. Sorry Wayne. Not sorry Tarquin.

The deadline to enter is 30th April.

Enter by submitting a what3words address and tell us why your pole is gloriously inconvenient.

Comment on this Instagram post or this Facebook post. Or you can send it to us direct using this form:
Team Tourican on the Poles of Inconvenience 2022

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5. How to officially bag a pole

what3words mapping example
what3words example map image

Three words mark the spot

The navigational gears to this wondrous chaos engine will be provided by the what3words app. They’ve basically turned finding places anywhere on the planet into poetry.

The whole of the earth has been split up into three metre squares, and each one has a three word name. For example one of our favourite poles in the middle of a giant Tunisian salt flat has this splendid address: ///largeness.sniggering.freelance (and yes, this corker of a pole is confirmed for the 2024 edition - good luck).

The what3words app doesn't have integrated navigation, only a compass, just as it should be. This not only makes it the greatest un-navigation mapping system in the world, it helps preserve the joy of getting completely lost.

Live tracking map verifies your arrival at the pole

When you arrive at the exact location, the Poles of Inconvenience live tracking map will automatically record your achievement and award the points to your team. The harder the pole, the higher the points.

You also have to take a photo of yourself at the pole using the what3words app and tag it the correct three word address.

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6. Poles of Refreshment

Spread across the network, these are designated mustering points to meet up with fellow teams and share tales of chaos from the road. Positioned near poles like welfare tents for Adventurists, they'll provide an evening's worth of beer-flavoured respite from the overland carnage.

After spending the day getting stuck on a remote mountain pass there's nothing quite like comparing notes with other teams on which bits of their car fell off that day.

We'll start announcing the Poles of Refreshment very soon. If you know of a difficult to reach pub or inn, ideally managed by one of those 'eccentric' landlords that has a slightly-too-jolly demeanour with the whiff of a criminal record, let us know.

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7. Leaderboard and prizes

The leaderboard will be constantly updating as teams bag poles and win points. The harder the pole the higher the points. Hitting a Golden Pole will bestow a bumper load of points because they'll be the toughest nuts of inconvenience to crack.

Valiant acts that show a team’s dedication to getting lost and stuck will be rewarded with bonus points. Any attempts to make the adventure too convenient will be met with points penalties

The team at the top of the leaderboard after everyone crosses the line at Junktown will be crowned Champions of Inconvenience 2024.

But there are also a whole bunch of prizes up for grabs for other categories that aren't awarded based on points.

Some of them have obvious parameters like 'Least Suitable Vehicle'. Others will be subject to the whims of the judges who sit on the Supreme Council of Inconvenience.

Council elders will take a holistic approach to the entries. This doesn’t mean they’ll light some incense, and smother you in ylang-ylang oil whilst banging the gong of truth. But they will take the whole picture of your adventuring search for inconvenience into account. Teams who make that little extra effort, like serving high tea to some locals each day at 5pm, or somehow add a touch of panache and style, will increase their chances of winning a prize.

Here are some of the prize categories confirmed for 2024...

The Champions of Inconvenience

The legends at the very pinnacle of the leaderboard once all teams have crossed the finish line on 7th August at Junktown in Czechia.
2022 Champions. Classy fellas Tim and Jordan.
Even Champions get stuck.

Runner Up

The nearly team. They will be legends, but second placed legends.
Team De Sloekertjes - 2022 Runner Up
At the Pointy Rock Thingy pole, Spain

Best Adventure Vehicle

The finest machine employed in the search for inconvenience. The admiration of inconvenience seeking ralliers for generations shall be theirs.
2022 Best Vehicle winners Team Gear Knobs
Team Gear Knobs on the Poles of Inconvenience - Zelengora Pass, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The mighty 1958 Oxford Morris on the POI 2022

Charity Champions

The team who raises the most for charity. To win this prize the team must have raised the minimum £500 for the official charity Cool Earth, even if the bulk of their world-saving cash is donated to a different charity.

Prizes include limited edition Venturo worth £5000

There'll be a bunch of prizes up for grabs for various categories... One of the prizes we've already confirmed is an absolute belter - a highly limited Mark 01 Venturo motorbike worth a shedload of money.

Our new manufacturing division Venturo has recently delivered its first batch of re-invented monkey bikes, designed by our founder Mr. Tom to deliver giant adventure in a tiny package.

The first batch of bikes sold out in minutes and the Mark 02 already has a long waiting list.
Venturo Mark 01

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8. The rules

Team Subarians Poles of Inconvenience 2022
Team Subarians enjoying a breakdown in Georgia on the 2022 Poles of Inconvenience

Rule 1: Any vehicle allowed (but aim for unsuitable)

You can take any vehicle you like as long as it's unsuitable.

Think small, crap and underpowered. Something with zero comfort and no mod cons is heartily encouraged. As is anything that’s just completely bloody stupid, such as a tank, a cherry picker, or a segway.

Bonus points will rain down on you if you choose to partake with something that has no motor at all, such as a penny farthing, a pogo stick, a camel, or by lashing yourself to a kite.

If, on the other hand, you’re a massive wuss and want to come along in a giant 4x4 or something else way too accomplished then we’ll try to talk you out of it.

If you’re as stubborn and come along in it anyway, then prepare to for brutal points penalties issued by the Committee, alongside a 'we're not angry, we're just disappointed' look from your fellow teams.

Rule 2: No set route

Bag as many Poles of Inconvenience as you can in any order you like, in any direction you want. Go backwards if you want. Or completely in the wrong direction, that always ends up with something funny. Or crying. One of the two. There’s no minimum or maximum number of Poles you need to reach. Where you go is entirely up to you.

Rule 3: You're on your own

You're on your own. If it's not dangerous and you aren't lost, you're not on an adventure. That means no backup or support. If you get stuck or in trouble, you need to solve the problem yourself. Any ‘Help! We’re broken down in Algeria,’ type phone calls to Adventurists HQ will be met with a snort of derision and a click of the receiver.

Rule 4: Raise £500 for charity

It only seems fair that if you’re having the mother of all adventures you should give a little back, so we ask teams on the Poles of Inconvenience to raise a minimum of £500 for the official charity Cool Earth.

If you'd prefer to raise money for other registered charities too that's all good. Anything over the £500 minimum for the official charity can be donated to your own causes.

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9. Entry fee and what you get

2022 Poles of Inconvenience at Junktown, Czechia

Entry fees discounted until 14th June

A car team entry fee is £595 - includes £100 discount.

You can have up to 4 people squashed into your tiny steed.

A motorbike entry is £295 per bike - includes £50 discount.

A non-motorised vehicle is £245 - includes £50 discount.

For the heroes who want to propel themselves towards inconvenience using human or animal power. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Penny Farthing
  • Donkey
  • Cherry picker
  • Bicycle
  • Tandem bicycle
  • Camel
Here's what you get for your dosh...

Launch broadcast hosted by Mr. Tom

  • Join in from anywhere with all the teams and Mr. Tom, founder of The Adventurists

  • The Poles of Inconvenience network of chaos will officially open during the live broadcast

Live tracking map and rolling online coverage

  • Tracking on the live Poles of Inconvenience map.

  • A rolling newsfeed of coverage including your teams updates and photos posted for the world to be jealous.


  • Leaderboard showing all teams' points updated daily.

  • Omni-present Council of Elders awarding bonus points and penalties based on teams valiant acts or moments of convenience-seeking shame.

Epic Finish Line

  • A finish line to mark the end of your adventure and a free beer on arrival from the crew.

Official Finish Party

  • A suitably enormous and chaotic party to finish an adventure.

  • Overnight camping on the 7th August included.

  • On site catering for survivors breakfast (pay cash on site).

Adventure Swag

  • POI decals for your car or bike.

  • Poles of Inconvenience patch for each team member.

  • Team t-shirt for every inconvenience seeker on your team.

The Poles of Inconvenience

  • The sprawling network of carefully crafted and curated Poles of Inconvenience - or POIs

  • Golden Poles - randomly announced during the adventure.

  • Listed in your handbook, on a google map and inside your tracking app.

Adventure Handbook and Team Chat Group

  • A team handbook full of info.

  • Teams only chat groups to meet your fellow inconvenience seekers.
Poles of Inconvenience 2022 at Junktown, Czechia

Saving the world

Not only is the Poles of Inconvenience an industrial dose of adventure, it’s also about Saving the World. We ask every team to raise a minimum of £500 for the official charity Cool Earth, who work alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.

Anything above this can be raised for any other registered charity of your choice.

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10. Follow the Poles of Inconvenience

Follow The Adventurists too - we're the organisers

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11. Contact us

Give us a shout if you have any questions.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44(0)1174223400

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12. The Warning

The Poles of Inconvenience is a genuinely dangerous things to do. The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.

This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.

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