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The Gearzette


- April 07, 2023

Photographer and Content Creator Gabriel Bascou (aka Eperdumence) was born in Montpellier but spent his teenage years in Réunion. It was on that beautiful island that photography became an obsessive hobby that eventually blossomed into a career. Today he is well known for his striking portraits and spectacular landscape images. Indeed, it is travel and adventure that truly inspires him, and where he feels his creativity and spontaneity blossom. Read on to learn more about his Front Runner-equipped vehicle and his adventures. ​

You are based in Paris. Tell us about some of your favorite weekend countryside getaways. ​

I lived in Paris for 12 years. A year ago, I bought a small house in the south of France with my partner Manon where I created a photo studio. Despite my move, I return to Paris several times a month for work. Living in nature allows me to enjoy my passion for off-roading and gives it even more meaning. Even if my weeks are busy, I can take the wheel, follow a track for 10 minutes and find myself in breathtaking spots during the weekend.​

© Gabriel Bascou

When overlanders visit France where are the best places to visit?​

In France, we are lucky to have an incredible variety of landscapes, there truly is something for everyone. For example, it is possible to ride on a dusty track in the Pyrenees in the morning, drive the humid and green mountains of the Basque country in the afternoon, and finish the day with your wheels in the sand, under the pines along the beach of the Landes. If you prefer the Mediterranean sun, my advice would be to head to the Camargue and follow the track that leads to the beach of Beauduc — it is Eldorado for kitesurfers.​

I have only mentioned two areas, but between Auvergne, Brittany, the Alps, and the Vosges, it would take two lifetimes to cover all the beautiful tracks that rib France! I always like to camp near the water, because I love water-based activities such as surfing, kiting and paddling.​

© Gabriel Bascou

You love cars. You chose a Defender as your overlander. Why?​

I define myself as a car enthusiast. I like symbolic cars, which convey a story. Since I was a child, the Defender has always evoked adventure for me. As a photographer, I find it inspiring from all angles: Its raw, timeless design, the rivets, and the almost total absence of plastic give it an image of a formidable adventurer … Even the name evokes robustness.​

Which other cars could you see yourself doing a road trip in? ​

I like to give themes to my trips — to tell stories. I could just as easily follow a track between Turin and Nice on an easy route as I could drive through the capitals of Europe in a sleek German station wagon that combines comfort and modernity. But, if I had to choose a new vehicle for the trip today, I would choose a fast and discreet Volkswagen T6 4motion, which allows me to cover long distances comfortably and to pass under the height limits. ​

© Gabriel Bascou

You have All Terrains and not the aggressive Mud Terrains tires on your Defender. Why? ​

I use my Defender in a very versatile way. Having little free time, I never hesitate to take the main roads to reach my destination. My off-road driving is limited for the moment to good dirt tracks, so I equipped my Defender to be comfortable and practical. The All Terrains are also a lot quieter and use less fuel. ​

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to deal with on an overland trip?​

I could tell you about the time I lost my brakes while driving my motorhome down a mountain pass in the Alps. Or the time when the radiator hose of the Grand Vitara I rented cracked while in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica at nightfall…​

In both cases, luck and encounters allowed me to get out of it without any (big) problems.​

© Gabriel Bascou

Can you give us a brief rundown of your Front Runner products on your Defender?​

Where to start? I think, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. At the time I started acquiring Front Runner equipment, I owned a Peugeot 505 Break Dangel. I had ordered the first-generation Wolf Pack. That was in December 2020. Shortly after I acquired my Defender 110, and it is then that I became aware of the extent of the customization that was open to me. I quickly decided on the Slimline II Roof Rack, which is the backbone of my Defender. Without it, my vehicle is just a tall station wagon.​

From there, I chose a second Wolf Pack, then added the 42L Pro Water Tank, 2 jerry cans, an Easy-Out Awning, a Pro Surfboard and Windsurf mount, a Recovery Device mount for MAXTRAX as well as a ladder

More recently, I installed side gullwing windows that allow me easier access to the trunk. In there I have a Drawer System which is very strong and lockable and allows me to organize my equipment and store my precious things safely.​

I also have the Pro Stainless Steel Camp Table, a pair of Expander Camping Chairs, the Camp Kitchen Utensil Set, and various Petromax enamel dishes.​

© Gabriel Bascou

Where to next with the Landy?​

Besides the weekend micro-adventures, I plan to drive through Corsica before the high season. This island is a true paradise with its long technical trails that lead to the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.​

© Gabriel Bascou

You photograph cars and models. Do you have a tip for an overlander on how to get an image that best epitomizes their trip or adventure?​

Think storytelling! Step back and contextualize your photo. Your image should represent a place and a time. When you can, try to integrate a human into your frame, it is a subject that will give even more value to your memory as the years go by. ​

Photography is like cooking, you need three main ingredients: beautiful light, a beautiful setting, and a beautiful subject. Above all though, don't put any pressure on yourself and have fun!