How Dangerous is a trip to Central Asia in a Campervan? - Reassuring worried Parents!

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How Dangerous is a trip to Central Asia in a Campervan? - Reassuring worried Parents!

Postby wakeyjamie » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:22 pm

Dear all,

My wife and I are currently in the process planning a long trip to Russia and Central Asia in a Campervan. We are very experienced camper people having spent the 2 years in 2013 crossing Europe from Eastern Turkey, northern Finland and Morocco living off grid. But now we want to go further. We know there won't be many campsites so we are upgrading our water and solar electricity systems so we can be fully self-sustaining.

One big thing that we are finding hard though is the pressure from our parents to re-think or cancel the trip as in their eyes the region is too risky and dangerous. They think of it as a hotbed of danger, terrorism, corruption and banditry.

Over the course of my research I have read many blogs of families and couples doing the same kind of trip in campervans, cyclists crossing the Pamirs, forums on Caravanistan, News articles, and advice from foreign offices from The UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
And the conclusion I have reached is that yes, of course there is danger, there is in any travel but it's not anymore dangerous to visit these countries, just different. It seems there is a danger from low-level corruption and unnecessary red-tape but as far as I can tell these countries offer something extra special to someone who is prepared to put in effort to get there, beautiful, vast, breathtaking relatively unspoilt scenery and steppe, and a part of the world as yet untouched by mass mainstream tourism. And a people who, from what I can tell are filled with a warmth, kindness and welcome that is truly heartwarming and moving.

So my question to all you lovely Caravanistan people out there is in two parts really -
Firstly, is it a stupid idea to try and visit this place in a camper, what are the real risks that I should be aware of. Is there a real threat from terrorism?

And secondly, what can i say to family members to reassure them and stop them worrying for the whole time I will be away?

Many thanks
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Re: How Dangerous is a trip to Central Asia in a Campervan? - Reassuring worried Parents!

Postby bwv812 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:02 pm

What specific threats are they talking about? How many terror attacks can they name for the Central Asian countries you're going to? As compared to how many in Europe, which apparently they consider quite safe?
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Re: How Dangerous is a trip to Central Asia in a Campervan? - Reassuring worried Parents!

Postby Antonio » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:27 am

I have not slept in the countryside in the Stans except for Derceve. When I was researching the trip it looked like the best spot for jihadis to attack foreigners and record some nasty but photogenic videos with the crater in the back. But then you get there and see how there are checkpoints everywhere, and in general, those countries are saturated with police to a degree you are certainly not used in Europe. And that is only the police you see!

My family is also like yours, but I prefer to tell them the day before or when I am already on the road. You might save them some sleep and then it is a fait accompli. For me, the trick is to call everyday and send lots of pictures via Whatsapp.

When I went to Iran last year, everybody in my department told me I was going to die there, or even the ISIS had entire regions and other uninformed shit. That summer one on my colleages was very close to a bombing in south Thailand and another got mugged in Cuba. It is pretty relative, I know some friends who where in Cambrils a few weeks back.

I would say the big dangers are car accidents and dissease, in that order.
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