ExPo: Adventure and Overland Travel Enthusiasts
Let’s face it, not all of us can make it to Overland Expo this year—work, budget, broken vehicle, whatever the reason—it doesn’t have to suck so bad. Personally, having only attended one Overland Expo (and it is awesome by the way) I received the majority of knowledge from fellow Expedition Portal members who shared their experiences on the forum. It was the pictures, the details, the stories and the people they met that made sitting at a desk that week just a little more bearable.
Calling the Camel Trophy anything less than 'iconic' would be an understatement. The event, held from 1980 to 2000 challenged teams from nations around the world to battle the most extreme environments nature had to offer. The Camel Trophy is often cited as inspiration for aspiring adventurers and 4wd enthusiasts alike, but why is this event so fondly remembered? In my opinion, it's because some of the greatest 4wd photography ever was captured during the life of this event. Here's 20 of the most impressive images we could find of the Camel Trophy.
The Forward Control started with a simple idea, by placing the cab over the front axle, you eliminated the need for the long, stereotypical pick-up engine bay, and opened up more room for storage in the back. All of this resulted in a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle, on-road, and off. Using a simple, rugged, and adaptable chassis from the CJ-5's, saved the company engineering cost, and allowed them to produce a practical vehicle, with the established off-road credentials the rest of the line offered.
It's no secret that the 80s Toyota Pickup trucks are some of the most versatile and durable vehicles to be sold in the civilian market. They have been pushed and tested by their owners in harsh environments while performing just about every task imaginable and have not only delivered, but also done so repeatedly. This bombproof build quality and immense capability have earned them the reputation as one of the world's toughest trucks. Far less attention however, has been given to the venerable 80s 4Runner. For all intensive purposes it is the exact same truck that has simply received a new fiberglass topper and rear seat to allow for more passengers. While the "new" model was a smart (and cheap) move for Toyota at the time, the popularity of the SUV soon spawned its own niche and expanded to be one of the company's most popular lines with its own unique design and development.
These days, a smartphone is one of the most important tools an adventure traveler can bring with them. It's not just your connection to the outside world, it's also your camera, video camera, GPS, emergency flashlight, compass, entertainment center, and more. Unfortunately, smartphones are fairly fragile—especially when it comes to water, so adventure travelers are often forced to go to great lengths to protect their important tool. Sony's latest Xperia ZR Android smartphone aims to make things a bit easier by pairing the powerful Android operating system with waterproof construction.
In 2001 Jetboil released the revolutionary Personal Cooking System and redefined how people cook in the backcountry. Although the name wasn’t exactly a real zinger, the system sold well enough to become a modern classic lauded by thousands of loyal fans. Just a few years ago the PCS was upgraded with better features and a zippy new superhero moniker, the Flash. As is the case with all successful designs, imitators spring forth to nibble at their share of the market. One such challenger was the MSR Reactor which launched in 2007. The Reactor’s 1.7 liter pot may have resulted in its sluggish sales as many felt it was too big and too heavy for personal use.
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