Expedition Portal http://expeditionportal.com Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:29:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Story of Placehttp://expeditionportal.com/the-story-of-place/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-story-of-place/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:29:36 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=23083

 

“What is this place worth in oil? Where do we want to steer our civilization? What do we want left when we’re done? — Craig Childs, The Story of Place

Canyonlands National Park, and the lands that border it are part of a complex tale of political horse-trading, pressures for resource extraction and recreational opportunities. Above all, this land is the true Wild West, a rugged and vastly untouched landscape, a place where we can find our true human spirit.

The Story of Place is a short film that takes us deep into the unprotected territory of the Greater Canyonlands region alongside Craig Childs, Ace Kvale and Jim Enote, who narrate the story of this grand landscape, how it has shaped each and every one of us. This region of southeastern Utah is a veritable well of human spirit, an endless supply of recreation, solitude, wonder and history. This place and its story are irreplaceable. This land is worth protecting.

Directed by – Sinuhe Xavier

Executive Producers
Justin Clifton
The Grand Canyon Trust

Narrator – Craig Childs

Featuring
Craig Childs
Jim Enote
Ace Kvale

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The So-Cal Teardrop Projecthttp://expeditionportal.com/the-so-cal-teardrop-project/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-so-cal-teardrop-project/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 07:41:34 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22952 There’s something beautiful, even romantic, about a gleaming teardrop trailer in tow. They are vestiges of the halcyon days of early motor travel when Detroit’s finest thundered across the countryside, the prospect of new adventures around every corner. At the height of teardrop travel, the Pan American highway was in it’s infancy and the ALCAN was little more than a rugged ribbon of dirt. Things were good in those years. Of course since then the teardrop has fallen out of the hearts and minds of many travelers…until now.

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Enter So-Cal Teardrops.

Founded in 2004, this tight-knit company has been bringing teardrop trailers back into the lime-light for over a decade. They started as nothing more than a family wanting a better camper, but quickly turned that impetus into a thriving business producing quality hand-built trailers. From a road trailer only lineup, the company has adapted into the off-road marketplace with three options, the Buzz-Off, the Krawler 459, and finally our newest addition, the 510 XS.

 

Exterior Features:

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While there is no official gauge to measure this, and it in no way influences the practicality or effectiveness of the platform, we’d be lying if we said looks don’t matter. They do, and when it comes to looks the 510 is a virtual super model. We watched the families towing pop-ups to the local campground drool in envy as we slowly rolled past their suburbans and expeditions. It almost became a sort of sport to count passerby’s who pointed saying look at that, how awesome, or honey we need one. The secondary sport was watching the wives roll their eyes once the husbands said it.

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Coming in at an overall length of 175 inches (Just over 14 and a half feet) long, the 510XS is one of the biggest off-road trailers out there, and in my opinion, also one of the baddest. It sits atop a 3500 lb axle with heavy-duty leaf under suspension for big payloads. Although the trailer weighs just 1400 lbs, shocks have been added to help dampen the ride even more when loaded. Total ground clearance is just under two feet while on a standard 30″ tire, meaning this trailer is no joke when it comes to trail performance.

Maneuverability is always a concern on trailers, and although the total width comes to 84 inches, we found it advantageous, providing just enough visibility to ensure you don’t drag a fender on nearby rocks or trees. It was especially handy in box canyons like the one shown below.

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Other features include a rear receiver hitch for recovery points, bike racks, etc, a side mounted propane tank, LED running and brake lights, a Thule table system for food prep or serving, an external power port for charging the trailers battery, slimline paddle latches, two Adventure Trailers can holders, and a rather unattractive tongue box. It’s worth noting that the fenders are attached to the frame and weight bearing. A surprisingly uncommon feature that comes in handy more often than you’d think.

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Interior Features:

We chose a teardrop over a standard off-road trailer for the same reasons as almost anyone, luxury, comfort, and hard walls. There’s something to be said for having an insulated hard walled trailer to retreat to after a long day on the road. There’s no set-up, no break-down, and no worries of rain, snow, or foul weather in general. It’s your own personal escape.

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At 88″ long and 59″ wide the bed is more than adequate for just about any size occupant. I’m 6’4″ and as you can see by the image below, have plenty of lounging space. In fact, if you really need more room, there’s storage at the end of the bed for another foot or so of leg room. The mattress is very comfortable and retains an almost memory foam quality without the downsides like hardening when cold.

Other interior features include overhead adjustable lights, a close-able vent with electric van to circulate air, two cup holders, cubbies, 12V outlets, shelving, stereo controls, and three drawers. So-Cal even thought of new ways to prevent the entrance of dust under extreme off-road conditions. By adding a double seal system with wood stiffeners, the doors avoid flexing in even the most strenuous of situations. To be entirely honest there is very little I want to change about this section of the interior with one exception… the curtains. Yes that’s right curtains. If you look closely you’ll be able to enjoy the tasteful designs of six year old boy cartoon planets. Marvelous.

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Galley and Rear Hatch:

They didn’t ease off when it came to the kitchen either. It comes standard with a two burner detachable stove, and a nested utensil drawer on heavy duty slides. Extra drawers are available for purchase, however our trailer houses its marine grade deep cycle battery just below the drawer along with a trash can for easy access. Counter space is plentiful and there is definitely room for any size fridge you could dream of.

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Feel like a good tune while cooking or hanging around the camp fire? No problem. The standard stereo system will give you whatever you need to set the mood of your night. Our unit is an upgraded bluetooth stereo with integrated microphone. It allows us to not only roam about and change songs with our phones, but also to answer calls over the stereo. A great feature when you’re trying to keep your salmon from getting too crisp! We chose Frank Sinatra and a view for our fist real dinner test.

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First Impressions

Towing and Performance: So far we’ve taken this trailer down highways at 85 miles per hour, pulled it through tight box canyons with deep sand, and tugged it across technical and rocky terrain in the back country without the slightest hesitation. Thus far I can say I’m very impressed. The trailers low weight of 1400 lbs makes it easy to climb hills and manage descents without a brake controller. The suspension is smooth and the trailer has yet to bounce or sway excessively even once, regardless of load conditions. Turning the trailer is fairly easy and tracking is good in every terrain we’ve found. I did manage to stick the truck and trailer into soft sand requiring the use of Maxtrax to get out. During extraction we were forced to drive hard in reverse without letting off the accelerator. When in these tricky conditions the trailer stayed straight without excessive effort on my part.

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Living Systems and Daily Use: During the short time we’ve had this trailer, it’s been wonderful to say the least. Sleeping is as good if not better than at home, using the kitchen is easy and effective, and the small nuances thought of by So-Cal teardrops in every aspect are evident in the flawless operations of its systems. There are however, things that we’ve learned on our first trip which we hadn’t expected or thought of. The suspension being soft is great for trail performance, however the slow compression overnight can be a problem when you and your partner both roll to one side. The standard rear jacks solve this issue however.

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Whats To Come?

There are plenty of new additions in the works, from electrical upgrades and solar panels, to fridges, slides, and water systems; however, changes are already underway. We started with a new Max Coupler unit to give us optimum trail performance and maneuverability. On a side note for anyone who has used the old units before, the new coupler has a lip which allows you to set the male end onto the female receiver before inserting the pin. The ability to rest the hitch there instead of holding it up makes the process much easier. We have also swapped the hubs and wheels to match the trailer’s new tow vehicle. This allows us to not only maintain a common width and performance characteristic, but enables us to interchange spares between the truck and trailer.

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Expect to see a lot more of this trailer around our front page in the coming months. We will be pushing this unit to its limits and optimizing it for long term living and travel. Also keep a sharp eye out for the simultaneous build of it’s new tow vehicle, a 2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition. Until then check out these awesome trailers and their accessories at So-Cal Teardrops website here:

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Ironclad Ranchworx®http://expeditionportal.com/ironclad-ranchworx/ http://expeditionportal.com/ironclad-ranchworx/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:02:20 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22876 Let’s face it, the six-dollar “railroad engineer” gloves so many of us have been carrying around are quite dated. They’re clumsy, uncomfortable, and lack the durability to survive the abuse our hands routinely face in the field. Their unnecessary bulkiness makes a good grip all but impossible, leading to dropped tools and damaged gear, or worse: injured hands when we throw off the gloves in frustration so we can actually get the job done. It’s time for something better.

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Enter Ranchworx®, a durable, extremely comfortable, well fitted glove from Ironclad. The glove is loaded up with old-school ingenuity and modern technology alike: Bullwhip™ leather, Kevlar® and Duraclad® reinforcement, Exo-Guard™ impact protection for the fingers, terrycloth sweat wipe, and a clever design for the stitching arrangement—dubbed Rolltop® Fingertips—which maximizes dexterity. All this adds up to a grippy and comfortable glove that’s tough enough to handle winching and trail work, yet provides enough control and tactile feedback for wrenching or driving. Bonus: the gloves are also machine washable and clean up well after a hard day’s work.

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So how well do the Ranchworx® hold up to prolonged torture? The team at Expedition Portal has been beating on these gloves for the last six months with everything from engine repair to chopping firewood, moving boulders to vehicle recovery. In spite of our continued abuse the leather and fabric are still in great shape, and the gloves continue to fit like a glove should fit. We like them so much they’ve become standard equipment in all of our vehicles.

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Consider the Ranchworx® gloves an investment in personal safety and convenience. Though a bit more expensive than those old engineer gloves, you can expect them to last for years instead of months. Pick up a pair directly from Ironclad, or for a limited time free with a one-year subscription to Overland Journal—your hands will thank you.

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Field Tested: ZAGG Rugged Folio for iPad Minihttp://expeditionportal.com/field-tested-zagg-rugged-folio-for-ipad-mini/ http://expeditionportal.com/field-tested-zagg-rugged-folio-for-ipad-mini/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:04:21 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22531 Most of us can relate to the scenario––You’re on the road and having the time of your life when the silence is broken with that most unfortunate, but necessary of phrases, “Hey, I have a WiFi signal, excuse me while I check my email.” It’s a scene that plays out more often than we would like, but the reality is, many of us are able to travel only because we have the means to stay somewhat connected to our families and work commitments at home.

For most of my travels I can get away with packing my full-sized office bag complete with laptop, but there are those trips where my space constraints are rather extreme. My travels by bicycle and even motorcycle always favor my much smaller iPad Mini. Finding the best way to protect it and maximize its utility has lead me to one of my favorite products of the year, the ZAGG Rugged Folio.

 

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I have used a variety of similar keyboard cases over the last couple of years, but the Rugged Folio is by far the best, primarily due to the proficiency of the keyboard. Not only did ZAGG manage to package it with a full-function keyboard with all the necessary buttons in familiar positions, it has the tactile feel of a proper typing tool. The backlit keys can be illuminated in your choice of four colors, and here comes the best part––it will hold a charge for up to two years. I’m typing this review from the Rugged Folio and it works great.

 

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The detachable case for the iPad itself uses a simple two-part construction made of high impact plastic wrapped in an outer silicon rubber skin. Getting the iPad in and out of the case takes little time and effort, something that can’t be said for the other popular cases in this segment. The iPad case is held to the keyboard with a simple but secure magnetic clip. Protecting the screen I use ZAGG’s curiously durable clear Shield screen protector. Those three components make the Rugged Folio a versatile and protective system that I think is the best of its kind. $139

 

www.zagg.com

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Cape Lookout National Seashore – An East Coast Escapehttp://expeditionportal.com/cape-lookout-national-seashore-an-east-coast-escape/ http://expeditionportal.com/cape-lookout-national-seashore-an-east-coast-escape/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:25:36 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22589 If you follow any of my threads on Expedition Portal, you know that I carry a quotation in my signature from Overland International’s CEO, Scott Brady — “Experience makes a man humble, as he realizes that despite how much he has learned, he knows very little.”

 

The reason I keep this in my signature is to remind myself that despite my half-century of experience, I need to remember that I don’t know everything and to always expect the unexpected.

 

THE PLANNING

While I have posted threads about extended weekend adventures and 3-day excursions, it had been since before the economic collapse of 2010 that I had actually “taken a vacation” and this would be the first time in my 35 year music industry career that I actually took a “scheduled” week off (I always sold my vacation time back). So this was going to be a big deal for me, and my family. The criteria (for me) was to be able to have cell service (in case of an emergency – with kids and in the back of my mind, I did want to be available in case something came up at work that required my attention). The challenge in the planning is that we wanted to be somewhat secluded. On the East coast, a place like this is getting harder and harder to find.

The answer came in a year of researching Cape Lookout National Seashore. This National Park is a 56-mile long section of the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina — 26 of which is ocean facing (the rest is inlet facing). What makes this different from going to “the beach”? It is only accessible by ferry and the island has little in the way of amenities. You are going to be “roughing it.”  (There are cabins on the island that rent way in advance, but again there is no electricity or running water in these. There is one hot shower on the island and two places with flush toilets – just in case. You are required to bring your trash and waste off the island if you are camping.)

 

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THE UNEXPECTED

I’m OCD and overly cautious — there … I said it. I’m also a Tread Lightly trainer and have had some extensive driving courses on pulling a trailer. Our trip began with our attending the Overland Expo EAST 2014 event, and from there we made a pit stop in Columbia, SC, to see my mother. On Sunday morning, we left at 10AM to head toward Cape Lookout with an appointment with Davis Ferry at 5pm to take the last ferry ride of the day over to the beach. Even with a triple check before we left, somehow while riding down I-95, one of the doors of the trailer opened and items (without our noticing) began to be sucked out of the trailer. Several pair of expensive shoes, my wife’s and kid’s toiletries, and the cooler top to our ice chest full of ice and Coronas. By the time I noticed it, we had traveled so far that going back 15 miles resulted in no luck in finding any of the items. Turns out, poor communication between my wife and I resulted in the door being left only semi-latched. This was truly user error but only a foreshadowing of things to come.

About an hour out from the ferry on US 53 (the busiest two-lane highway to the beaches in all of North Carolina), we had a terrific jolt on the left side of the truck. Luckily, instinct kicked in from some of my training and I didn’t over-correct. I immediately saw (and will never forget) the 32” BF Goodrich All Terrain and Land Rover wheel coming up to the side of the rear driver’s side passenger door and then shooting across the highway, hitting a slight embankment and launching 30 feet into the air. I then noticed the trailer riding the bare hub on the driver’s side, shooting a comet tail of sparks out the rear of the trailer. Unfortunately, there was nowhere immediately to pull off, as there was a drop on both sides of the road with a six-foot wide area of swampy water on each side. I was able to finally bring the truck to a stop about 300 yards down the highway. Fortunately, the wheel/tire didn’t hit anyone in the oncoming traffic lane (it would have not turned out well); and, also, no one was hurt and damage to the trailer was minimal. Upon inspection, I discovered I had lost a wheel stud. The rest of the studs on that side had some scraping, but there was no body damage or undercarriage damage (none) to the trailer. The hub kept the trailer off the ground so the hub had only some road wear but no cracks.

A nearby resident saw me searching for the tire and came to our aid. He was a saint of a fellow who fetched his waders and found my tire some 400 yards out in a soybean field. We determined that I should call Triple A (AAA), and they sent someone out, who roll-backed our trailer to the nearest tire shop on Sunday night. On Monday morning I was there when they opened, and low and behold if the tech wasn’t a transplant from England who was super enthusiastic about working on our trailer. He assessed that our studs were the short version of Land Rover studs and that we should order the long ones to eventually replace the shorts. He quickly had our threads sorted and determined we were super safe on 4 studs as long as I kept a check on the wheel at every stop. He had us back on the road in 30 minutes.

 

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THE FERRY

The Davis Ferry Company was super sensitive to our situation and arranged passage over to the island at 2 PM on Monday. It was our first ferry ride ever, and we were excited, but somewhat nervous. We aired down from 32lbs to 20lbs and boarded. It is only a 3-mile ride out to the island. Upon arrival, we backed the trailer off the ferry, got briefed on sand driving and rules of the island, and off we went. The ride was uneventful. On the ferry ride over, there was another truck with a couple, who are on the board of an organization called DIFF (a non-profit club for people that enjoy recreational surf fishing and associated fellowship and social activities). They were super apologetic because during this particular week, there was a major DIFF fishing tournament. They seemed concerned that we would be swamped with trucks and fishermen. While we did have a stream of early morning and late afternoon trucks, it turned out to be a non-event for us, and everyone we met with the organization were top-drawer folks. Additionally, we learned of an entirely new category of overlanding expeditions: remote surf fishing. There were many different expedition rigs (all 4 wheel drive) that were set up for primitive camping and fishing. It was very exciting.

 

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CAPE LOOKOUT — The Experience

Few are the places where you can experience so much peace and tranquility with your family. The island has a Forest Ranger “hut” where you can purchase ice and emergency gas (at a premium price); but, other than that, there is no pavement on the island and the sand can be deep and rutted from other vehicular traffic. You do not come to this island without 4-wheel drive and being prepared for the possibility of becoming stuck (which we did — more on that later).

We quickly found our “base camp” for the week just in front of the dunes (but not disturbing the dunes- per the rules of the island) and 50 yards from the ocean at low tide. Yes, I would soon be falling asleep soon the constant soothing pounding of waves.

The next morning I awoke to the sunrise of a lifetime. The ocean was calm, but a good breeze was blowing. We chose the place we camped because it did seem the breeze was constant. It kept the bugs at bay. The weather was cool enough to be comfortable but warm enough that the kids could play in the water. At night we required a sweatshirt to be outside and an extra blanket to sleep, but it wasn’t so cold that we were uncomfortable.

 

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My wife was resourceful enough to have prepared most of our meals in advance. She did a white chili and a red chili, for instance, and froze them in silicon bread molds. She then took the frozen bricks of chili and vacuum sealed them with our food saver. This allowed for compact filling of the National Luna and easy food prep, as we could drop the chili bricks into boiling water until they were heated. She did some stews this same way. She also baked our bacon for the trip in the oven until crisp and we vacuum sealed it. When we opened it, we threw it on the griddle to warm for a few and it was as crisp and fresh as if we had just cooked it. Because she plans the meals, pre-cooks most of them, and vacuum seals them, this saves us time, energy, and clean up. It also allows us to carry about twice the amount of food than if we were carrying the ingredients.

 

We actually over-prepared and came home with two meals ready for the few days of post-trip recovery!

 

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Cape Lookout also sports an historic village and an operating lighthouse that has been on the island since 1859. This was the second lighthouse to be build, as the first, built in 1812, was replaced by the current one. There were many things to explore and do on the island, but our prime objective was rest and relaxation. We explored several times out to the point of the island to hunt seashells (proclaimed one of the best places on the East coast to hunt shells) and to tour the historic homes. Be aware that the inland sand road is deep sand and uses more gas than if you were driving on a compacted surface or pavement. So be prepared.

Where we camped, other than some trucks that would pass by, there were nights we could see no one in either direction up and down the beach, and a couple of nights where we could see one truck a few miles down the beach. It was as remote as you can get these days.

 

THE DEPARTURE

Inevitably, that morning would come where we knew this was the last day. I started prepping for departure early, but the call of the waves and sun was so tempting that I decided to take my time. We had a 2 PM ferry appointment, and I tried to cut it close, but not too close. The kids begged for a few more minutes! When we finally did depart, despite my knowledge of driving horizontal to the beach and making a gradual transition from loose sand to the compacted sand, I unwisely decided to try a “U-turn” so that we would be headed in the right direction. I miscalculated the depth of the ruts from truck traffic, and the nose of the trailer dipped and dug in, causing us to become stuck. I broke out the Max Tracks and started to prepare for the work necessary to recover, when out of nowhere two guys showed up in a fishing expedition rig. “We’ve admired your rig all week!” they proclaimed. “You must be headed for the 2PM ferry.” I explained that I knew better but thought I could “cheat” a little on the turn around. They parked horizontal to the front of my truck, grabbed a pre-prepared strap that they connected to their front and rear axles. Then they attached to my winch. My truck pulled their truck about 2 feet until it grabbed and I was out in 6 minutes from start to finish. I knew I could have gotten myself out with the tracks but those guys really saved the day for us. We made the ferry! The ferry captain was kind enough to allow my son to steer the ferry as we came back across the bay. It was a memorable moment for him. We aired back up and had an uneventful trip back to reality.

 

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IN CONCLUSION

We had a fantastic experience! We even purchased a temporary 12-day fishing license and taught the kids how to surf fish (despite not catching anything).  I even tried my hand at surf fly-fishing. We were left with some sunburned legs and the knowledge that most of our unexpected troubles were user error. All the unexpected events substantiated the notion that you must be prepared for anything that can happen. It is important remain calm and flexible. Most of all, we learned that we must get out and go places more often. Cape Lookout National Seashore is now on our annual list of places to escape and explore.

 

RESOURCES:

National Park Service Official Cape Lookout Page: http://www.nps.gov/calo/index.htm

Davis Shore Ferry Service:

http://www.davisferry.com

The DIFF Club: 

http://www.diffclub.com

Overland Expo EAST:

http://www.overlandexpo.com/east

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Disaster? Grab the ditch bag.http://expeditionportal.com/disaster-grab-the-ditch-bag/ http://expeditionportal.com/disaster-grab-the-ditch-bag/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22644 Journal Entry  

October 9, 2005, journal entry by Mark Stephens  33º17’24”N, 109º15’25”W

 

When the Jeep stopped moving, I had a hunch we were in trouble. I tried to restart it, but I knew better— I knew exactly what a dead fuel pump felt like. It was a little pointless hope, but hope was all we had—since Brooke and I were totally alone, and over 40 miles from the nearest town, on a solitary road that went nowhere.

Based on the GPS, we knew we had at least a 10-mile hike to reach the nearest residence. While we hiked, it rained. Then it hailed. Then it rained harder. The only option we had was to keep walking, since we were limited to the food and water we carried.

And after those 10 miles? A ranch house, complete with chickens, horses, dogs, and a Ford pickup, yet no one was home. We were soaked, cold, out of water, but had two containers of yogurt and a half-package of beef jerky—a blessing? I felt like a criminal poaching a night’s bivouac in the dusty bunkhouse while the owners were away, but surely there was nothing else to do in that weather.

We finished our rations the following day while making the push toward the highway, another 18 miles away. We removed our shoes, hiked up our pants, and waded across the Blue River. At least it was sunny. The thing we never spoke about, but kept thinking to ourselves, was, “What if we don’t find help today?”

It was early in the afternoon when we came upon another ranch; this time with a person. Sharon was her name, a kind cowgirl who sniffed out that we were in trouble from a hundred yards away. “Oh my God, what happened to you?” she asked.

Sharon’s ranch was still about 40 miles from town, so she let us make a call with her cell phone, with which I made short, spotty contact with my family and managed to pass off our coordinates. We’d made it.

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Preparing and training to survive unexpected and challenging incidents is not just the realm of men and women in uniform. It is an essential exercise in self-reliance and preservation for the overland traveler. Mark’s story came to a happy ending because he and Brooke are exceptionally fit and could travel quickly, and had a good sense of where help and shelter would be located. However, with a few additional pieces of equipment they could have communicated their problem to the outside world, set up effective shelter, and remained dry, warm, well-fed, and hydrated. One way to ensure this equipment is always available is to carry what sailors call (for obvious reasons) a ditch bag. But with all the gear and food we already carry in our vehicles, why should a separate ditch bag be necessary?

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The goal of a ditch bag is to have a self-contained, life-sustaining kit instantly accessible to the driver. Its sole purpose is to ensure comfort and survival should the occupants be required to evacuate or abandon the vehicle. Evacuation can happen for any number of reasons; common would be a vehicle fire, a failed water crossing resulting in hydrolock of the engine in a dangerous current, or breaking through ice over deep water. Abandonment is less abrupt, due usually to a non-repairable breakdown or a non-recoverable stuck vehicle, when for some reason contact cannot be made with rescuers and passersby are extremely unlikely (such as the situation faced by Brooke and Mark). Much more time is available to retrieve supplies from the vehicle; nevertheless, having a basic kit already prepared puts you a step ahead.

 

Here are the four critical requirements:

 

1 – Prevention

Risk is often unavoidable during an expedition, but that risk must always be balanced with preparation and good judgment. Keeping an accessible ditch bag in the vehicle is wise; leaving it forever unused should be your goal. Know the thickness of ice and the depth of rivers, and make every effort to prevent disaster from occurring in the first place. Make an effort to travel with multiple vehicles. However, accidents do happen, plans fail, we take solo vehicle trips, and unforeseen dangers can result in you being completely separated from your vehicle.

2 – Communications

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You must be able to communicate your need for assistance. The best way to resolve a vehicle separation incident is to have a method of summoning rescue. If you are 200 miles from help, the meager rations and water you have in the ditch bag will only last for three to seven days (possibly a bit longer, depending on environmental conditions). You might be injured and unable to trek. The goal is to plan for the worst eventuality, and the best chance for rescue is to be able to call the authorities or trained personnel and organize a recovery. There are a few effective ways to do this:

  • Satellite phone: Immediate voice communications anywhere in the world (depending on the system) should rescue or medical evacuation of yourself or other occupants be required.
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB): Typically uses 406 MHz to transmit the unit’s unique digitally-coded signal (used to identify the person being rescued and any known medical conditions, contact persons, etc.) via GEOSTAR and other satellite systems. Most units also transmit a 121.5-MHz homing frequency.
  • SPOT satellite messenger system, which uses a combination of GPS and communication satellites to transmit emergency and basic update and tracking messages. The one clear advantage of the SPOT over a PLB is the ability to send a “help” message to friends and fellow travelers, when you require assistance but not emergency evacuation. SPOT also allows general “I’m okay” check-in messages, as well as immediate 9-1-1 emergency contact.

3 – Shelter

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Once any medical emergencies have been stabilized and the call for assistance has been initiated, it is critical that everyone has adequate shelter from dangerous environmental conditions, which can include rain, snow, extreme cold, extreme heat, sun exposure, etc. If possible, stay near the abandoned vehicle (even if it is just a burned-out hull), since a vehicle is much easier than a person to spot from the air.

 

In a survival situation, you’re not concerned with comfort, simply protection from exposure, so forgo the weight of a heavy tent and use an ultralightweight tent or bivvy. Make sure the sleeping bag you have packed has an extreme temperature rating to suit your expected conditions. My kit typically includes a compact, 20-degree Big Agnes bag with a lightweight, insulated pad. Both the pad and bag are insulated with PrimaLoft, which retains much of its insulative properties when wet. Additionally, my kit includes a heavy-duty space blanket, which can be used as a tarp, and an Adventure Medical Kits 2.0 Bivvy Bag, which adds a bit of warmth to the sleeping system and additional weather protection. In warmer environments I can eliminate the sleeping bag and pad and carry just the bivvy and blanket .

4 – Water and Food

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Once communications have been established, and shelter from the elements is resolved, your situation becomes a waiting game. With help on the way, staying calm, dry, hydrated, and well-fed is your priority. Even just a few warm meals and a hot chocolate can do a great deal for morale.

 

On the other hand, if for whatever reason you have not been able to summon help and are faced with a hike out, food and water become even more important. There are many variables that affect when and if you should leave a vehicle and walk for help, but should the need arise, you must have sufficient water and high-calorie foods available. Meals should be either ready to eat or require an absolute minimum of preparation.

 

Renew, Inspect, and—Don’t Mess With It

Once you have determined the contents of your kit and you have stocked it with the required gear, don’t mess with it. Other than a periodic inspection, and renewal of perishable items, the kit should stay with you, in whatever vehicle you are driving (even for that “short” day trip to the mountains), and remain unmolested unless a genuine emergency arises. Don’t use the multi-tool or flashlight or matches for day-to-day needs, and don’t snack on the MREs.

 

Planning, education (medical and survival training), and prevention are the keys to surviving a vehicle separation incident. Overlanding takes the traveler to remote, challenging and unpredictable environments. Preparation, communicating your route plans, and having a properly outiftted ditch bag can make the difference between an epic adventure story and a eulogy. Be prepared!

 

24 Hour Survival Test

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After assembling what seemed to be a solid complement of ditch bag contents, Overland Journal’s editorial director Chris Marzonie and I decided to test the ditch bag in a real-world scenario. Several other Overland Journal readers came along for a trail run on a snow-covered route just south of Prescott, Arizona. To make it as realistic as possible, I only wore standard clothing and light boots. My goal was to spend the night in the forest with the ditch bag and trek 11 miles into Prescott the next morning. For additional safety, I carried a 2-meter VHF radio. Here is the timeline.

 

  • 9:00 a.m. Leave for trail-run in the Bradshaw Mountains. Forecast calls for snow; 12 to14 inches already accumulated.
  • 12:00 p.m. We reach our most remote location on the trail, and eat lunch.
  • 4:30 p.m. Simulated vehicle fire. I grab the ditch bag in about seven seconds, and retreat 10 to 15 yards from the Tacoma. I transmit an “OK” with the SPOT device.

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  • 5:00 p.m. The sun is setting and I have added all available layers of clothing from the ditch bag, plus what I grabbed from the truck. I am wearing Montrail waterproof mid-height boots, canvas pants, and an Ex Officio base layer and long-sleeve BUZZ OFF shirt. My jacket is a parka with liner, the same one I used for much of the Arctic Ocean expedition (see Overland Journal, Winter 2007).
  • 5:15 p.m. The group leaves down the trail and I am alone. The forest is silent.
  • 6:00 p.m. The available light is nearly gone and I must cross the Hassayampa River, which is fortunately low enough that I can hop from rock to rock. Reaching the northern shore, I begin the trek north towards town.
  • 6:30 p.m. I am nearly at the highest point of the trek, and find a shallow draw with good protection from the wind, some tall grass, and less snow cover. I set up the bag, bivvy, and pad.
  • 7:30 p.m. The cold is coming quickly and I start a small fire with the Ultimate Survival Technologies ignitor, flint, and Wetfire tinder. It starts immediately, but is difficult to tend and maintain, since much of the available fuel is wet. I send another SPOT “OK,” which we find out later does not transmit successfully, probably because of the heavy tree cover.
  • 8:00 p.m. I eat a dehydrated meal and have a hot chocolate. My feet are cold, so I retreat to the sleeping bag after extinguishing the fire.

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  • 8:30 p.m. Comfortable, perhaps even a bit too warm in the bag, I remove the parka and use it as a pillow. The temperature is 25°F.
  • 2:00 a.m. I awake and my feet are a little cold, but it is only a slight discomfort. The temperature reads 18°F. I note that the Big Anges inflatable pad is “comfy.” I fall back asleep.
  • 6:30 a.m. I am up with first light and make a hearty breakfast to support the trek. I take quite a bit of time packing the bag and removing all evidence of the small fire and my remote camp. I transmit another SPOT “OK,” which is received by Chris.
  • 8:15 a.m. I hit the first main road north and pick up the pace. The day pack is okay for trekking, but has insufficient hip support.
  • 11:15 a.m. Prescott comes into view.
  • 12:00 p.m. I walk into the Prescott Brewing Company to see Chris, Christophe, and my wife Stephanie all smiling at me. They hand me a big, cold Coke. Life is good and I am no worse for wear.

 

Contents (not including food):

  • DeLorme PN20 GPS
  • SureFire L1 LumaMax flashlight
  • Hard candy
  • Water purification
  • Compass
  • Notepad/pencil/pen
  • Map, coordinates list
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  • Blister kit
  • Medications
  • Signal mirror
  • Lighter (Brunton Helios)
  • Adventure Medical Kits Trail first aid kit, blood stopper dressing
  • Adventure Medical Kits Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivvy
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  • Stove (Snow Peak Giga Power titanium)
  • Headlamp (Black Diamond)
  • GPS (back-up) Delorme PN-20, extra batteries
  • Documents (copy of passport and drivers license)
  • Cash ($60, small bills, stashed in several locations)
  • SPOT and extra batteries
  • Respirator
  • Mechanix gloves
  • Poncho
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  • Electrolyte drink packages (10)
  • Sunscreen
  • MSR Dromedary Bag
  • Sunglasses (polycarbonate lenses double as safety glasses)
  • Ex Officio bandana
  • Ex Officio desert hat
  • CRKT Zilla Tool
  • U-dig-it Trowel/shovel and toilet paper
  • Strobe light
  • Parachute cord
  • Socks

 

Bug Out Bagz, Bill Burke Edition $365

 

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Bill Burke is an accomplished 4WD trainer and Camel Trophy participant who worked with Bug Out Bagz in Tempe, Arizona, to create a turn-key ditch bag that contains the majority of the items required for survival. They also sent Overland Journal a kit to test, and I found the quality of the components to be good or excellent. I would trade the hygiene kit (comb, toothpaste, etc.) for the AMK 2.0 Bivvy, since no notable shelter is included in the kit. Based on our recommendation, the company now offers the 2.0 Bivvy shelter as an option.

 

Here are the contents of the Bug Out Bagz kit:

  • Deluxe back pack by Stahlsac (19.5 x 11.5 x 6.5 inches)
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Personal amenity kit
  • Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue Tool
  • Pelican Products MityLite 2300 flashlight
  • Heatsheet blanket (56 x 84 inches)
  • Yellow rain poncho (10 mil PVC)
  • Esbit Pocket Stove with 6 large solid fuel cubes
  • Superwinch heavy-duty work gloves with 2.5-inch cuffs
  • Particulate N95 respirator (x2)
  • Sqwincher “Lite” Qwik Stik electrolyte drink mix (x4)
  • Plastic bag kit
  • Diamond strike-anywhere matches
  • Rapid Cold (5-1/2 x 10 inches)
  • Rapid Heat (5-1/2 x 10 inches)
  • MicroNet microfiber towel (10 x 20 inches)
  • MAX ear plugs
  • Cactus Juice Sun & Skin outdoor protectant (2.5 oz)
  • Ztek indoor/outdoor mirror safety glasses
  • Pocket survival pack (Including Fox 40 micro whistle and signal mirror)
  • Netline flexible clothesline & utility cord
  • Laerdal CPR barrier pocket mask w/gloves and wipe in hard case
  • Dental Medic kit
  • Buck Tilton’s Backcountry First Aid and Extended Care (5th Edition)
  • Backpacker’s trowel
  • MSR CloudLiner three-liter hydration bag
  • Bamboo compressed towelettes (10 pack)

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The Next Level of Overlanding? The Dartz Prombron Black Sharkhttp://expeditionportal.com/the-next-level-of-overlanding-the-dartz-prombron-black-shark/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-next-level-of-overlanding-the-dartz-prombron-black-shark/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:35:50 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22582 It was built to overcome a host of problems none of us normal people will ever face, but it is interesting all the same. The latest over-the-top creation from Latvian automaker, Dartz, the Prombron Black Shark is, for lack of a better description, a battle-ready limousine. Built around a Mercedes AMG GL platform, the Black Shark is available with two choices of engines, although it seems unlikely any would-be buyer would even think of forgoing the biturbo V12 for the puny biturbo V8. The V12 option has been modified to fit the design theme of the Black Shark which could be summarized best as the pursuit of unmitigated overkill. At 1500 bhp, the hyper-tweaked V12 is claimed to give this behemoth unusually spry road performance.

In creating their trifecta of excess, Dartz place equal importance on power, protection, and pure opulence. The interior of the Black Shark is festooned with posh materials including leathers and skins from a handful of rare and likely endangered animals. Although they did opt out of the whale penis skin leather used in previous models, they are pleased to announce they will offer python, shark, and other exotic leathers. The interior will also feature the other appointments befitting a bespoke coach like 4K display screens, a humidor, champaign flutes, and all of the necessary trappings of a Bond villain on the go.

 

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To keep the occupants of the Black Shark from falling victim to the ill will of the nefarious masses beyond the bullet-proof glass, the vehicle has a long list of defensive features. The retractable door handles repel would-be clingers, and also deliver a mild electric shock if necessary. The shape of the exterior is also designed to thwart grabbers-on, and a series of bright lights are paired to powerful external speakers to blast dangerous crowds with eardrum blasting sirens. There’s even a bomb detection system built into the defense systems as well as bio-metric scanners for the driver to ensure his or her faculties are not impaired. Toss in a few retinal and fingerprint scanners for driver and occupants and you have your own fortress on wheels.

 

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As you can imagine, not many Prombron Black Sharks will be made. Currently they plan to construct only 10 units, the first of which are rumored to be headed to China where Ferraris and their ilk have become as commonplace as Hondas. With a price tag pushing well into the millions, their success is almost assured by the obscene level of excess they are designed to deliver. If anything, the Black Shark proves once again, the world is not only full of intriguing solutions, it has some interesting problems.

 

Special thanks goes to Expedition Portal’s Dendy Jarrett for bringing this unique truck to our attention. I can’t wait to go for a ride in his Black Shark when he gets it. 

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Field Tested: Altrider Hemisphere Saddlebagshttp://expeditionportal.com/field-tested-altrider-hemisphere-saddlebag-system/ http://expeditionportal.com/field-tested-altrider-hemisphere-saddlebag-system/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:21:50 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22655 It was not particularly scary but it was starting to get interesting. It was day five of our tour of the Ecuadorean Andes and the sun had long abandoned our ride. We rounded a turn, cut through a tiny mountain village, and Justin blurted out over the radio, “Well, we did want the expert rider experience.” No sooner had he said it, the fog thickened and the rain increased. None of this would have concerned me had we not had another 1,000 feet to gain, the high point of the road tickling the 14,000 foot mark. I watched as Justin’s rear wheel slipped back and forth in the mud, the inky black to the right only suggestive of the endless drop off it likely hid. The only thing I didn’t worry about was all of my gear. It was safely tucked away in Altrider’s new Hemisphere Saddlebag system.

 

Released to the public just weeks ago, we were lucky enough to not just get to test two Hemisphere Saddlebag systems, we got to do it on the exotic backroads of Ecuador where severe dust coupled to heavy rain, would conspire to ruin our gear––to no avail. Unlike many other luggage systems, the Hemisphere uses a clever two-part system to make attaching and removing the bags quick and easy. They’re also waterproof, easy to load and unload, and by all accounts, seem supremely durable.

 

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Heading towards the high peaks with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals, two of the four bikes in the group used the new Hemisphere Saddlebags. Both systems performed flawlessly.

 

The foundation to the system is the unique holster system. Once attached, they need not be removed at any time and make for two convenient little buckets to receive the actual Hemisphere dry bag. Shaped to straddle the passenger seat, the heavy-duty roll-top Hemisphere bag swallows gear in mass volumes and once loaded, easily slips into position in the holster. Two buckles on either end of the dry bag pair to each holster to keep the roll top closed and the bag secured. Two additional straps with metal cam-buckles over the central portion of the dry bag keep it firmly in place.

 

The pleated “buckets” have additional straps to further secure the main dry bag and can accept additional bits of gear you may want to have more accessible or at least not mixed in with your gear. For our purposes, a messy bottle of oil fit into the outer bag pockets as to not dirty the rest of the gear.

 

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Made of robust materials with what can only be said is keen attention to detail, these are expedition grade bags made to endure the most demanding rides. As important to the construction is the thoughtfulness of the design. Accessing items in the main bag throughout the day was easy and struggle free. The bags themselves were cavernous and swallowed my gear making me feel like I was grossly under-packed. By trip’s end, not a single component appeared at all phased by our week long journey suggesting these bags will endure years of use.

 

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My favorite aspect of the design is the quick and easy means of detaching the bags from the bike. With the quick removal of two straps and two buckles, I could simply lift the Hemisphere bag off the bike and lug it into my hotel room over my shoulder. Okay, yes, there were hotel rooms involved, but Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals really knows how to pair rugged riding to posh digs.

 

 

Fly-and-ride Luggage

One of the things I love about luggage systems like these is how they facilitate fly-and-ride trips. In the last year I’ve flown to my ride destination twice, once internationally. I was amazed how compact the Hemisphere Saddlebags were when folded tightly into my suitcase on route to Ecuador. In retrospect, I could have easily just checked the dry bag as one of my allotted pieces of luggage and called it a day. Try that with hard cases.

 

 

 

The Hemisphere Saddlebag system is one of the better systems of its kind, and worthy of consideration if you’re in the market for a simple yet durable luggage system. As an additional plus, there’s no need to outfit your bike with an expensive luggage rack. Just plop it over the pillion seat and go.  $379

 

www.altrider.com

 

 

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Story Telling with Video Courses Now Openhttp://expeditionportal.com/story-telling-with-video-courses-now-open/ http://expeditionportal.com/story-telling-with-video-courses-now-open/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:02:02 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22567 Half the thrill of having an adventure is telling people about it afterwards, right?

 

The trouble is, you probably have as many miles of GoPro or camcorder footage as distance covered. How do you turn that mass of disjointed shots into the kind of movie Discovery Channel would air? Or at least one that has your friends begging for more.

 

Simple, you let someone with thirty-five years in broadcast television and adventure travel help you.

 

Andrew St.Pierre White, professional filmmaker, adventurer, teacher, and author, is offering privileged insight into his storytelling and filmmaking techniques – the same techniques that have won him international awards and got his TV shows coveted airtime on channels like Discovery and Sky.

 

Andrew is teaching a series of exclusive online training courses covering everything from capturing video and audio right through to the final edit of your story.

 

His courses include:

 

·     A fully interactive online 6-week shooting course complete with invaluable reviews of your video and audio course assignments by Andrew and the other participants.

·     A fully interactive 5-week editing course. Next one starts November 5th.

·     A non-interactive shooting course, purchase now and do the learning at your own pace.

·     The non-interactive editing course and an iPad app are under development.

 

By doing his courses, you will start out as a still photographer or videographer and end up as a storyteller.

 

As a member of the Overland Journal and Expedition Portal community, you will receive a 10% discount on the quoted price for the courses. For more details please view Andrew’s website:

 

www.beafilmmaker.com

 

Andrew promises that you will learn more, faster, with him than on any other online course available today. That’s his claim. And to prove it, he’s offering a money back guarantee on all his courses.

 

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Hear what his students has to say . . .

 

“In just one class with Andrew, I learned more about making a great video than I had in all my other classes combined.  Andrew’s practical focus comes from 30 plus years of being a doer, not just a teacher.  And make no mistake, Andrew is a GREAT, humble and respectful teacher.  Andrew’s class opened my eyes (and ears!) to how to tell compelling stories through video, and made me a much better consumer of the art as well.  Thanks, Andrew!”

Robert Towry

Monument, CO

 

“A still photographer at heart, I wanted to make the leap into video making. With Andrew’s class I have learned so much and was so motivated that I want to become the next Spielberg! The course was informative and fun, from theory to fascinating clips that kept us all wanting more! There are many teachers who teach, but Andrew inspires and knows how to tell a story! “

Connie Blaeser

Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

 

Discounts for Overland Journal members.

10% discount on all courses. Go to beafilmmaker.com. Click the Prices and Options tab and select, discounts for Overland Journal. The password is: overlandjournal.

 

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Loki the Big Green Steyr Tackles the Globehttp://expeditionportal.com/loki-the-big-green-steyr-tackles-the-globe/ http://expeditionportal.com/loki-the-big-green-steyr-tackles-the-globe/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:02:43 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22541 They call it Loki, and from the looks of it there’s not a lot of terrain it can’t handle. A 1976 Steyr 680 flat-bed truck, Loki produces a modest 120 bhp with its 6-liter diesel engine. But, paired to a non-synchronized five speed transmission with a locking rear differential and full time four wheel drive, it’s a formidable off-roader. Fitted with a full living habitat in the rear, it’s also a comfortable home for German adventurers Astrid and Sven as they work their way around the world.

After a prolonged search for the right vehicle, and many months of preparations, Astrid and Sven have already covered a large portion of the globe. They have traversed all of Europe and traveled through Russia, Mongolia, and they’re now in China.

Their plan is to drive south into India, spend the holiday season perhaps in Myanmar before spending the spring months in Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and into Indonesia. From there they will continue their way further south and into South America. Eventually, they’ll continue their journey into Africa heading north back to their home city of Munich. So far, it looks like they’ve had a great journey.

 

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If you think their truck is great, you should swing by their website and read through a few of their posts from the road. It’s an impressive adventure and looks to be getting more interesting by the day.

 

www.rightbeyondthehorizon.com

 

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Build of the Month: Scout II Pop-up Camperhttp://expeditionportal.com/botm-scout-ii-four-wheel-camper/ http://expeditionportal.com/botm-scout-ii-four-wheel-camper/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:43:05 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=20999 What happens when you mate an International Scout II with a Four Wheel Campers Blazer? The surprisingly spacious dual-berth cabin features a 3-way fridge, two-burner stove, sink with 10-gallon fresh water supply, and a 12,000 BTU furnace. At the heart of the Scout II, a 304 V8 engine provides the power to turn a set of BF Goodrich 33×10.5 all terrains. Though this Scout camper was sold some time ago, the build is still an inspiration to those of us into compact camper design. Check out all the details in the build thread here on Expedition Portal.

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Retrospective: Range Rover, the Early Yearshttp://expeditionportal.com/retrospective-range-rover-the-early-years/ http://expeditionportal.com/retrospective-range-rover-the-early-years/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:19:44 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=22487 Who could have known it would become such an epochal vehicle. A legend even at the time of inception, it would go on to dominate the category it created, defining a standard that others would aspire to imitate, often in vain. Like all heroes, it would have its flaws, detractors, and usurpers to the thrown, but for the better part of 45 years, the Range Rover has held its own.

 

Like all triumphs of design, the wellspring of the Range Rover can be attributed largely to one remarkable man, Charles Spencer “Spen” King. Cutting his teeth as an apprentice for Rolls Royce in the early 1940s, Spen would later go on to become the chief engineer for Rover, leaving his mark on a number of projects before and after his contributions to his crowning achievement, the 1970 Range Rover. His automotive influence would later be applied to the Triumph TR6, Stag, and TR7 as well as other revolutionary designs of the time.

 

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Already well known the world over as a premier off-road car maker with their Series I and Series II trucks, Land Rovers, by the time of the late 60s, were being used to explore the most remote and rugged corners of the globe. It was said that for one-third of the world, the first car they had ever seen was a Land Rover. Their vehicles had also been widely adopted by military forces, commercial operations, and countless farmers as the modern day country workhorse. It would be fair to say that due to those favored applications, Land Rover’s were characterized by their very utilitarian nature. In America however, the Jeep Wagoneer and Bronco were winning loyal fans with their off-road prowess paired to refined creature comforts. Seeing a gap in the British market for a similar 4×4, Spen and fellow designers set out to create the Range Rover, a vehicle with the brand’s off-road pedigree, but with additional refinements for driver and passenger.

 

 

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Starting in 1967, the Land Rover design team began building a fleet of 26 clandestine test vehicles which were badged with the somewhat deceptive and mysterious Velar brand name. It wasn’t until June of 1970 when the veil of secrecy was lifted and the first Range Rover was officially announced. So impressive was the design of the first Range Rover, it was immediately put on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris as an exemplary work of industrial design. It wasn’t just the critics that were so enamored with the new Rover, as consumers snapped it up as quickly as they rolled off the line.

 

Although not as finely appointed as its American counterparts, the Range Rover was built around the company’s uncompromising off-road ethos. The suspension employed coil springs over leaf springs, it had permanent four-wheel-drive and disc brakes on all four wheels. Power was supplied by a V8 engine which produced an adequate 135 bhp. Overall, it was a vehicle primarily built for utility, the interior rather sparse of features. As the subsequent years progressed, the addition of more luxurious features would become more common, eventually making the Range Rover the elegant estate wagon every well heeled gentleman had to own.

 

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In 1971, in an effort to confirm the new Range Rover’s position within the off-road segment, Land Rover entered into a bold proposition with the Trans Americas Expedition. Under the leadership of Major John Blashford Snell, two Range Rovers were commissioned to complete a daunting drive from Alaska to Ushuaia via the Darian Gap. Although it would be hard to say the two Range Rovers made the journey without a hitch, they did somewhat manage to complete the journey as planned. In the years to follow, the Range Rover’s off-road aptitude would be tested and confirmed many times over, most notably within the Camel Trophy series.

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As the years pressed on, the Range Rover would sell well and receive a number of important updates and improvements. Engines would go on to include diesel options and the interior evolved into the posh SUV we know it to be today. Until 1987 however, the Range Rover was not officially available to North American consumers.

 

With the entrance into the American market, Land Rover made the conscious choice to market the Range Rover as a highly exclusive off-roader delivered with the same features normally reserved for only the finest luxury sedans. Power windows, an electric sunroof, leather wrapped seats and wood accents were all added to the Range Rover setting it apart from every other SUV on the market.

 

Twenty five years after the first unit rolled off the assembly line, the Range Rover, then officially billed as the Range Rover Classic, was a legend of automotive history. In 1994 the successor to the original Range Rover was released in the form of the P38, but knowing loyalists still demanded the Classic, Land Rover left it in production for another year.

 

In an interesting twist, in 2004 after the introduction of the third generation of the Range Rover, Spen King criticized SUV owners by saying, “Range Rovers were never intended as a status symbol but later incarnations of my design seem to be intended for that purpose.” The takeaway from that quote––go get your Range Rover dirty.

 

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