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‘Driven to Extremes’ vehicle adventures are planned, led and supported by Max Adventure Ltd, an ex-military team of expedition specialists with over 20 years’ experience of operating in some of the world’s harshest environments, from -60°C to +50°C and up to 5,600 meters. Across Arctic wilderness and vast deserts, through dense jungles and over huge mountain ranges, Max Adventure have operated vehicles in the most testing conditions across the globe, ensuring that all participants are in safe hands.
As well as AST Systems, Driven to Extremes has support from its ambassadors, including Hollywood Actor Tom Hardy, Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and motorcycle champion (and King of the Jungle!) Carl Fogerty.
Under the strapline of ‘Feel Low…Drive High’, four military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) took part in the first ‘Driven to Extremes’ 4x4 fund-raising adventure, to the most extreme northerly point of the UK. This new annual rally aims to raise funds, to take more veterans suffering from PTSD, on their own vehicle adventures.
The intense exposure to rapidly changing landscapes, climates and cultures bombards the veterans with new and exciting experiences, with the aim of pushing horrific memories to the back of their minds.
On the 18th May 2017, the four veterans (2 x Army, 1 x RAF, 1 x Navy) joined a 13-strong team in Edinburgh, at the start of the 11 day, 1,000 mile adventure. As they travelled in the 6 vehicle convoy, their route took them via the rugged west coast of Scotland, the Orkney and Shetland Isles, before finishing at to Saxa Vord on the Island of Unst, Shetland.
Scotland might seem a safe destination to head for, but huge areas of the country are still without GSM coverage, so the only way to get help from the emergency services, should something go wrong, is by using a satellite phone. Even though the team had their own expedition doctor with them, it was vital that they had continuous communication with the outside world. Lives depend on reliable communications, so it's one piece of equipment that the team never skimps on, no matter where in the world they are operating. For this adventure, each vehicle was equipped with an Iridium 9555.
The combination of operating in a remote and challenging environment and the long journey to embark on, satellite communications, with AST Systems support was vital.