Show notes for episode #152
Overland Journal is Crossing the African Continent with the Ineos Grenadier
Few places on the planet resonate with the adventurer like the African continent, from the vibrant cultures to the ancient civilizations, megafauna, and some of the most remote and inspiring landscapes on earth. At Overland Journal, we have been fortunate to circumnavigate the planet three times and cross all seven continents. Still, we had one journey that has continually called to us- crossing the long axis of the African continent.
Today marks day zero of the journey, as our Ineos Grenadier arrives in Durban, and we begin lightly modifying the vehicle to meet our needs as travelers. We selected the Grenadier because of its “Built on Purpose” design, robust construction, off-highway capabilities, and wagon configuration (Editor’s Note: We are not being paid to use the Grenadier). As we often share, pinnacle overland vehicles like the Grenadier require few changes for overlanding, and the Grenadier is no exception. We have no modifications planned for the vehicle, but we will add some storage and systems that help support the adventure.
Taking Delivery of the Grenadier
We took delivery of the Grenadier in London and spent a week exploring the countryside and testing the vehicle at the Millbrook proving grounds in Bedfordshire. In London, I worked with the Ineos team on securing RORO shipping, spares, support equipment, and the Carnet de Passage for importation.
Our preparations have begun in Johannesburg, working with longtime friends and partners to help source the needed kit and discussing the route plans with experienced Trans-Africa overlanders. After a few weeks in Joburg, we will conduct a test run through Lesotho and the surrounding bushveld before heading to Cape Town and our launching-off point.
Planned Grenadier Fieldmaster Modifications and Support Equipment:
Secure vehicle storage, including a drawer system Inside sleeping platform that retains the rear seats Garmin GPS navigation and satellite communication Recovery gear, tools, and spares First aid and emergency supplies Melvill and Moon canvas seat covers and bed rolls Redarc battery management with auxiliary lithium battery Additional 80 liters of auxiliary fuel in Giant Loop bladders and NATO cans That is it. . .
Our Trans-Africa Overland Route Plan The original plan was to drive along the classic eastern track from Cape Town to Cairo. With Sudan’s closed border, we are looking at all possibilities, including driving north to Kenya and crossing through Rwanda to the DRC and up the west coast. Adjustments are all part of the adventure, and I am being in the moment and taking the journey country by country. To help document the journey, I will have Joe Fleming along for most (if not all) of the trip. Joe is an inspiring visual storyteller, an experienced traveler, and a good friend. Others are planning to join for short sections too, and we will share our experiences on the pages of Overland Journal, in articles for expeditionportal.com, on our YouTube channel, and on The Overland Journal Podcast. I am so grateful for the support of my family and the Overland International team in undertaking this trip, along with the generous help from Aether Apparel, Front Runner, Garmin, Ineos Automotive, Redarc, and others. We look forward to meeting some of you along the Overland Journal trans-Africa continental crossing journey and celebrating what will become a historic first (more on that soon).
Yours in adventure,
Scott Brady Publisher
Instagram and Threads: @scott.a.brady
Matthew Scott Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world’s most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I’m your host, Scott Brady, and for today’s conversation with Matt Scott, we talk about our upcoming expedition across Africa. We have been planning this trip for close to four years now, and we are finally getting ready to leave. In fact, I leave tomorrow morning to fly into Johannesburg and the iNEOS Grenadier is gonna arrive a few days later at the port in Durban. So we’ve selected the iNEOS Grenadier to cross the continent of Africa, so please enjoy my conversation with Matt Scott about our upcoming Trans Africa Expedition. And a special thanks to Rocky Talkies for their support of this week’s podcast. Rocky Talkies are back country radios designed by a small team in Denver. The radios are extremely rugged, easy to use, and compact, weighing in at just under eight ounces. They have a range of one to five miles in the mountains and up to 25 [00:01:00] miles line of sight. The batteries will last from three to five days, and you can recharge them easily via USBC right in the vehicle. Our team uses Rocky Talkies and we also use them recently at the Overland Expo, the Overland Expo. Stop into our booth and say hello and check out the radios for yourself. And as a listener of the Overland Journal podcast, you can get 10% off a pair by going to rocky talkie.com/overland journal. Thanks again, Rocky talkies.
All right, Matt. Matt Scott: We’re talking travel. Scott Brady: We get to talk about travel. We get to talk about us traveling, which is exciting. So we’re getting ready to leave for Africa. So this is a trip that I’ve been planning for four years and I’ve been so excited to go, but I was just looking for the right combination of timing and. And opportunity.
Matt Scott: There’s been little hints dropped here and there. Scott Brady: There has been. That’s right. Exactly. And my plan originally was just to take a motorcycle and just go do [00:02:00] it. And then this new car company INEOS comes into the, into the scene and I’m thinking, wouldn’t that be so fun to take the new Grenadier and drive the length of Africa in a brand new vehicle? Cuz you know why not.
Matt Scott: Exactly. There there’s keys to the Grenadier right here. Jingle, jingle, jingle. Scotty’s got the keys.
Scott Brady: That’s right. Yeah, it’s so funny cuz I leave tomorrow morning. On the, on the flight. The keys just arrived today. And so now this is the spare set of keys there, there’s obviously a set of keys with the, with the car on the boat. The vehicle arrives in Durbin in the next couple days on a wilhelmson ship, so it was shipped, roll on, roll off because it’s still totally stock. It’s a totally stocked vehicle. So they’re able to ship it with all the other new cars that go into South Africa. So it’s kind of an interesting thing and, and it also made the shipment very quick. It was only about three weeks from from Europe to Durban. Yeah. The vehicle shows up in the next couple days. I fly out tomorrow. And I guess [00:03:00] kind of just to give an overview of what it is that we’re doing and. Matt and I are talking about how we’re gonna get him over there for certain sections of it, but the goal is to drive the long axis of Africa. I’ve been so fortunate through the years to, you know, circumnavigated the planet three times and I’ve. I’ve technically crossed all seven continents, but we’ve never really focused on the seven continents because I wanted to do the long axis of Africa, and that’s what we’re about to do is drive the length of Africa the.
Matt Scott: Which is awesome.
Scott Brady: The thing that’s crazy though, is that even as of today, the day before that I leave, we do not know for sure which route we’re gonna take because there’s so much happening in Africa, there’s, there’s so many dynamics, particularly in Sudan, even in the last 24 hours. You have the Wagner group, you have this attempted coup in Russia, which is gonna most likely significantly neuter to the the Wagner group. And that’s the group that’s putting all the [00:04:00] pressure in Sudan right now.
Matt Scott: I didn’t know that. Scott Brady: So there’s this little proxy war going on. Between the government, which is supported by the United States and the Wagner Group, which supports this private security force.
Matt Scott: Oh, okay.
Scott Brady: So, The African continent is very dynamic, which is part of the reason why I love it. Matt Scott: Well, and the thing is that it changes all the time. Scott Brady: It, it does.
Matt Scott: Like by the time you reach, it’s like you can start heading north. And by the time you reach, it’s gonna be like Civil war What? Civil War. Oh yeah, that one. I know.
Scott Brady: I kind of agree with you and I think that that’s gonna be our plan, because I really would love to go spend some time in Rwanda. And I, I’m really looking forward to Tanzania. And you’ve been there. I’ve never been to Tanzania before.
Matt Scott: I mean, like, I’ve been to the Four Seasons in Tanzania. It’s not like, anything serious.
Scott Brady: Yeah. But still, you saw the beautiful, you know, the scenery and the wildlife and everything else and yeah.
Matt Scott: I’ll fly in for that part time.
Scott Brady: Okay, done. Let’s make it happen. I really want to climb Kilimanjaro. Yeah, that’s the East coast route.
Matt Scott: That would be really cool. Scott Brady: So I’m just really looking forward to doing that. I just, I really love Kenya [00:05:00] and Southern Kenya and that whole zone. I’ve always wanted to go to Ethiopia. So there’s a couple options. Basically we’re looking at three different options. Cape Town to Cairo is option number one.
Matt Scott: That’s our preferred option.
Scott Brady: That’s, yeah. The other one would be Cape Town to Djibouti, which gets us into the sea of Aiden and it’s, it’s just as much of a continental crossing as anything else. And then ship the vehicle out of Djibouti. Or stage it in that region for a bit until things cool down.
Matt Scott: It’d be kind of cool if you’re gonna do Djibouti to hop over to Saudi Arabia.
Scott Brady: Yes. The problem is I can’t take this vehicle into Saudi Arabia cuz it’s right hand drive. Maybe what we’ll do is we’ll, we’ll get some motorcycles in Ethiopia or ship them into Ethiopia.
Matt Scott: No, no. What you do if you’re going to to south or to to Saudi Arabia is you call Louie.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And he’s in Riyadh, he’s a listener and he’ll hook us up.
Scott Brady: Totally. But I was thinking cuz there’s a fairy you can [00:06:00] take. Basically to Jordan. And then you ride the motorcycles through Jordan, Iraq, Northern Iraq.
Matt Scott: And I understand, yeah, that’d be really nice.
Scott Brady: And into, into Turkey while the vehicle’s being shipped up and you kind of wrap around and do the whole thing. So there’s so many options. And then of course, option C would be run the west coast of Africa, which has its owns challenges right now. There’s been a lot of. Elections and there’s a lot of contested elections. There’s things that are happening. So it’s, it’s pretty sporty.
Matt Scott: The, the, the key thing here is that there’s options.
Scott Brady: There is options.
Matt Scott: I think that that’s, that’s kind of fun.
Scott Brady: There is, and, and we have the vehicle for up to a year, so we can, A lot can change and that amount of time. And the goal though is just for us to be able to see this beautiful place, and I’ve talked about in the podcast a lot in the past that. A lot of my trips have been much faster than I wanted them to be. This one won’t be as slow as I would like it to be, but it won’t be so fast.
Matt Scott: Well, you’re also gonna be able [00:07:00] to kinda, at least from what I know, the plan is to kind of break it down into sections. Fly back. You still have a business to run. You still have a life. You know, there’s plenty of places that you can leave the vehicle. I like that concept. Cause I think that for someone, there’s more people who could do that than just say, I’m gonna take a year off, or I’m gonna do this. Like I’m, I’m gonna go over what, it doesn’t have to be a three month period. You know, you can cover a lot of distance in Africa in a, in a one month period. Leave the car for a little bit. Now, obviously, you’re gonna be spending a lot of money on flights.
Scott Brady: I’ve banked the, the miles, so I’ve got, I’ve got the air miles to spend and, and I do find personally that I prefer to travel for about six to eight weeks and then come back home. I love my family. I miss my friends. I enjoy my team here. I enjoy working with the team in the business, and there’s a lot of things that are going on. So I do find that that tempo of travel for six to eight [00:08:00] weeks. Be in North America for six to eight weeks and then kind of re, you know, rinse, wash, repeat kind of a thing.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So I like it. So the first section, obviously. So tomorrow you leave for Johannesburg?
Scott Brady: I do. Matt Scott: The vehicle gets shipped into the Durbin, which is, for those who don’t know, it’s the main port in South Africa. You know, I mean, I guess there’s getting a vehicle through all this stuff. We’ll, we’ll take some time and.
Scott Brady: It does, It does.
Matt Scott: Where’s the first place that Scotty’s gonna go?
Scott Brady: It’s so fun, but it’s, and it’s a shocking coincidence and it is literally just a coincidence. But the entire XO team also, they’re, they fly tomorrow.
Matt Scott: Oh, okay too. Yeah. Cuz Richard and Ashley are flying tomorrow too.
Scott Brady: That’s right.
Matt Scott: Okay. I didn’t realize at the. Scott Brady: So it is just this, it is this wonderful, beautiful coincidence that all of these people that I love, I mean Clay and Rochelle is gonna be there, their family, Richard and Ashley.
Matt Scott: Yeah. The boys are going this time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It’s just gonna be awesome. So I’m, I’m excited to, To fly in. I mean, I think [00:09:00] even Dr. John Solberg’s gonna be there. So I’m excited to fly in, spend some time with them, you know, work on getting some of the equipment set up that we need to get set up. We gotta get some vehicle preparation stuff done.
Matt Scott: Yeah, cuz you’re gonna have to outfit the entire vehicle in South Africa essentially.
Scott Brady: That’s correct. And this is an opportunity for us to also show. Those that are listening and watching on YouTube. This podcast, we talk a lot about keeping vehicles simple, and that is exactly what we’re doing with the Grenadier. We’re fortunate that the Grenadier, well, I should just preface this before we even really get started talking about the car. I, granted any INEOS is providing a vehicle just like they would provide a test vehicle for me as a journalist. So we’re not being compensated by any INEOS in any way to use their vehicle. There are plenty of other manufacturers that would’ve provided us a car as well. So this is not a sponsorship by them. We are. Taking the vehicle for a year, we’re gonna do something really special with it. We believe that this platform [00:10:00] has a lot of promise. We think that it’s gonna be very popular with our audience, so we wanna show can it do this kind of work or not?
Matt Scott: Yeah. Cause this is what it’s built for.
Scott Brady: It is literally built. On purpose is their tagline for things just like this. We we’re not being paid by any INEOS, which means that we can actually speak freely about our experience. We can share our experience with the vehicle. We can also show how we modify it for the trip. Which fortunately it actually doesn’t take much.
Matt Scott: I mean, I was going on and I was, you know, building. I have to admit, I’m still on the fence whether I’m gonna pull the trigger on mine, cause I have.
Scott Brady: You’ve got plenty of cars.
Matt Scott: It, it, it would mean selling my beloved wagon. It’s really fun having a twin turbo v-eight in my station wagon. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve gone through and I’ve built a grenadier so many times and it’s, it’s really impressive, you know, where historically, oh, I’m gonna have to modify the vehicle for a snorkel I’m gonna have to modify the vehicle for. A winch capable bumper. Now there are other manufacturers Jeep that’s doing that. I mean, I think on the new [00:11:00] AEV stuff with, with Chevy gmc. Like there’s options out there for that, Bronco, that kind of thing. Factory dual battery systems. Definitely not fold down tables on the rear door. Definitely not. You know, there’s a lot of things that you would have to spend time, money, and energy doing.
Scott Brady: That’s correct.
Scott Brady: That just kind of done. They are and in, and it is. I’ve always liked to describe it as kind of an amalgamation or a modern. The modern opportunity to have looked at all of the great things about the 70 Series Land Cruiser, all of the great things about the G-Wagon, all of the great and charming things about a classic defender, and you kind of put those all together and you end up with that vehicle. But it’s in 2023. We’re looking at a brand new vehicle with all of the modern safety features and then all of the learnings that’s happened over that period of time when the G-Wagon was first designed in the early seventies or late seventies, I suppose. That was a different time, and now that same [00:12:00] engineering group had the opportunity to design the equivalent.
Matt Scott: Yep. Because the G-Wagon’s gone a totally different pathway.
Scott Brady: It has.
Matt Scott: I think they’re awesome.
Scott Brady: They’re awesome, but.
Matt Scott: Realistically, they’re like 150 grand these days. We can now get the professional pack, but it’s a 22 or $27,000 option for a roof rack? You know, like that’s where the grenadier is really, really appealing.
Scott Brady: Correct. And the Grenadier is less than half of that price. Originally my goal was to get a trial master and there was actually one that was allocated. But they’re like any new car company and every car company today, they’re struggling with getting components with, you know, the infrastructure of getting chips, getting computers, getting motors out of bmw, everything else. So it took some time to get the vehicles available, but the cool thing is, is that they had the global media drive and so they were actually able to pull a car that was low miles and had been through [00:13:00] all the entire, all of the processes. They were actually able to grab that vehicle for me. But that is a field master. So the difference between a field master and a trial master is this dual battery system, and the field master has, well, you can option the battery system on a field master. But this one that I have doesn’t have that. Which I’ll talk about that in a second, why that’s not a concern. But it has this beautiful leather interior. But I’m gonna put Melville and moon seat covers on that. So protect the leather and, and also it’s gonna be a lot more comfortable in the, in the heat of Africa.
Matt Scott: It looks more, more fit for purpose.
Scott Brady: For sure. And then it doesn’t have the dual battery system, but we’ve been working with Redarc. We’re gonna install a Redarc DC, DC management system. We’re gonna put in a small lithium ion battery and we’ll be able to, to get the vehicle prepared in South Africa for that. We’re also gonna go with the drawer system in the back, which is gonna give us the opportunity to organize and lock up all of this here.
Matt Scott: And just outta [00:14:00] sight outta mind things.
Scott Brady: I think you’re exactly right, Matt. So that’s one of my biggest concerns is I want to be able to park the vehicle. And the, and the windows are all clear, no tinted windows, which I love. So when people look inside the vehicle, they will not see a bunch of stuff in there. It’ll all be under either in the drawer system or under the sleeping platform. My plan is to sleep inside the truck for the most part. Or maybe sleep on the roof rack. You know where the conditions.
Matt Scott: I guess you could do a roof tent.
Scott Brady: I’ve considered it. There’s some that are actually coming out that are pretty good. Like ucab. I, and I didn’t know this until recently cuz I saw it at the Overland Expo, but Ucab now has this, it’s like a hundred pound roof tent. It’s maybe even a little bit underneath that. And it’s, it’s made out of aluminum. It’s extremely low profile. You almost can’t tell that there’s a roof tent on the vehicle. I’m still considering that as a possibility.
Matt Scott: Yeah, I mean, my travels in Africa are not as extensive as yours and. Collectively, there’s people that have a, a bajillion times more experience. But [00:15:00] if, if you took the, the cost of a roof tent, like let’s say it’s gonna cost you two grand. Maybe in South Africa they’re a little bit cheaper there than right there. That’s a lot of you know, hotel stays, hotels and lodges. The key thing to remember is that you can’t just really pull over and camp everywhere. In Africa, because there’s things that will eat you.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That’s true.
Matt Scott: You know, or you don’t want at, at a minimum, you don’t want. Monkeys and baboons messing with your tent while you’re sleeping. And all this kind of stuff. A lot of times you’re paying for campsites anyways. Cuz they have to be kind of enclosed. And all of the trips we’ve done there, which again, not, not super extensive, but it was like $30 for a campsite. These aren’t exact figures. And then you could get a hotel generally at the same place for 50. If, if you’re doing that and you’re on a budget, that does make a difference.
Scott Brady: And a special thanks, offroad for supports. [00:16:00] Going further on your adventures is about having the right tools, the OnX off-road apps, intuitive maps, make it. Easy to find trails and disperse camping and their offline maps give you full GPS navigation capability without cell coverage. I’m also really excited about their new route builder for planning and sharing custom trips. It’s got a snap to trail tool where you can just drop points where you wanna go and a route automatically connects. To the closest road or trail. You can build, save and add routes to folders and share your entire trip with your buddies. You can find out more information on onXmaps.com. You can also find their apps in the Apple Store or whatever other device that you use. Thanks again, OnX. And I hope to spend a lot of time remote, so I do hope to be camping out in remote areas. We’re looking at the possibility of crossing the Kati. I mean, we’re gonna be camping along the beach in Mozambique. [00:17:00] There’s gonna be a lot, a lot of opportunities to camp, but I don’t mind sleeping inside the vehicle. It’s something that I, I did for the entire entirety of Expedition seven, and it worked out really well.
Matt Scott: So with the drawer system that’s going in the back, the seat folds forward and then you’ll kind of have a little platform in there.
Scott Brady: Correct. And that’ll give a couple different cubby areas for the heavier items like tools and recovery gear in the foot, wells of the rear passenger seats, the one challenge. With the grenadier that I’m, I’m very aware of is the, the range. So it has a 90 liter fuel tank, so just over 20 gallons and with the fuel economy of the gasoline motor. Cause I can’t use a diesel in Africa because the diesel requires ultra low sulfur diesel. So we have to use a petrol, which it’s funny, a lot of people will say, oh, you have to use diesel because of availability. That’s totally wrong. Whoever made that, whoever made that, that up is wrong.
Matt Scott: Scooters don’t run on diesel. And the world runs on [00:18:00] scooters.
Scott Brady: That’s right. Exactly. So I mean, when I crossed the Silk Road yeah, it was a gas motor. It was just no big deal.
Matt Scott: They’re kind of simpler these days, to be honest. Like anything that’s meant for sale in a, you know, well-developed country, they have emissions regulations and even, and even these second and third world countries now are starting to have emissions regulations for new vehicles because they’re not a they’re not a significant market in their own standing to, to have something developed for them.
Scott Brady: Or the manufacturer just can’t develop a, a separate or a high sulfur option. So the one real upside though of the diesel is, is that you get a lot more range out of the same tank. So it’s about a 30% hit to range.
Matt Scott: So that’s actually kind of interesting. Like I didn’t realize that they only had a 90 liter tank. Because like a troop carrier or a lot of these, these vehicles, it’s pretty standard to have two 90 liter tank tanks.
Scott Brady: That’s correct. That’s correct.
Matt Scott: Like 90 liters kind of being that standard tank size and a lot of these vehicles used by NGOs and, [00:19:00] and whatever.
Scott Brady: Correct. Someone’s gonna come up with an aftermarket solution. And it will probably involve rerouting the exhaust in the rear where that tank kind of plugs in, where that large exhaust is. Yeah. And then they’ll make a smaller muffler or some solution around that. But I do have a, I do have a way around it where I, I worked with Giant Loop, and Giant Loop has these.
Matt Scott: Oh, those bags that roll. Scott Brady: Rollable fuel bags. So I have an extra 20 gallons.
Matt Scott: When you need it. Right. And when you don’t need it, it’s the the weight of a couple pairs of pants.
Scott Brady: Correct. And that’s the huge difference. So those, for those that are listening that aren’t aware, Giant Loop sells these fuel bladders. Again, they’re not a sponsor of the trip. We, we we’re using these things cuz of the right choice. They’re the only choice really for this application. So instead of me having a bunch of fuel tanks, Or fuel cans on the roof, which I don’t want for center of gravity. And I also don’t want ’em up there because branches theft. All the [00:20:00] other things to consider. I can keep, I can strap these fuel bladders to the roof rack for short periods of time. But then after you use the fuel, you just roll ’em up?
Matt Scott: Yeah. You leave the, you leave ’em out in the sun. You leave the cap open. The vapor pretty much all goes away. The smell goes away and you throw ’em under a seat. Like that’s how we were using them. Like we would use them prior when we still had the gladiator and we prior to putting the long range auxiliary tank. And then sometimes the gas station’s just not open and we’d just carry five gallons and five gallons is if you’re in a situation where you have to be concerned with making it to the next stop. 80 to a hundred miles easily. You know.
Scott Brady: That’s right. And it’s, it’s, again, there’s scooters everywhere in Africa, so getting petrol is not a challenge. What it can be a challenge is getting good quality fuel. Which this vehicle does require good quality fuel. So we’re gonna do some pre-filtering. We’re gonna try to bring as much high quality fuel with us in the vehicle. But it’s really nice to have these bags because when they’re not used, you roll ’em [00:21:00] up and if you, you are using ’em, you strap ’em to the roof rack and you, you know.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I like that idea a lot. Scott Brady: Yeah. So it’s really, it’s really a clever solution that I’m really, I’m really grateful for the fact that we have that as an option. So that’s gonna address the fuel range. And then for navigation, we’re using Garmin because, one of the reasons that we use Garmin in Africa is because of tracks for Africa. So tracks for Africa. Matt Scott: Oh, it’s integrated.
Scott Brady: You can buy these micro SD cards that have all the maps on there. And then it’s something that Garmin will draw from as a base layer. And so we use Garmin devices all the time, but we use them. Primarily as, as a way to get a very reliable track. One of the issues that we have with the apps on our phones is the track reliability. It’s, it’s usually caused by this kind of edge of service problem where the phone thinks that it has cell coverage and it’s trying to triangulate its position from cell coverage, but it doesn’t really have cell coverage. And then [00:22:00] you end up with this drop track. So we always use Garmin units to get this reliable track data, but in Africa, Garmin is the best solution because we can run tracks for Africa as a base layer, and that shows all the back country routes. Yeah, all the campsites. All the things.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Tracks for Africa is great. Super good.
Scott Brady: Yeah. You used it in Nibia and Yeah. Matt Scott: Yeah. It’s, really good. And you know, I have to say that I do like, personally I just use my phone cause I’m too lazy. It, it’s all there. But the problem is, is like I’ve had a lot of issues with, you know, whether it be Gaia, OnX, Google, like they all have some kind of offline option with Gaia. The problem I have is, I’ll switch phones or I’ll switch this, whatever, and then I have to re-download everything. And sometimes those files, they do get corrupted, you know? For what reason? I, I don’t know.
Scott Brady: Or you just forget to download ’em.
Matt Scott: Yeah. A lot of times it’s probably me saying, oh, this app sucks, but it’s probably, yeah. You know, user error. You also, you have a little bit of redundancy, which is [00:23:00] nice.
Scott Brady: The redundancy is critical, so I’ll have other, I’ll use Gaia on my phone and, but I’m also going to just really rely on the Garmin and then have a backup Garmin device that I can use. Because tracks for Africa is such a key component to success.
Matt Scott: It’s worthwhile having it on your phone too. I actually like it on my iPad cause you can kind of go and plan your next day and really know where you’re going. I just really like maps.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I know. Like, it’s so great. So that’s what we’re gonna run, for navigation. I’ve been a long time fan of the Ether stuff, ether apparel, Jonah and Palmer that run the company. They’re total overlanders. They love, yeah, travel adventure, motorcyclists. That’s how I met ’em, was just riding adventure motorcycles with ’em. So we’re gonna be using some of their gear too, which I’m grateful for that.
Matt Scott: That means when I come down we can be matchy matchy. Scott Brady: That’s right, that’s right. Matt Scott: I have developed an ether problem.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I know. Well cuz it’s just super good stuff. I use it for all my motorcycle gear too, so Yeah. It’s, [00:24:00] it’s just a, it’s a great brand.
Matt Scott: and I get all the Scott Brady hand-me-downs. It’s awesome.
Scott Brady: Exactly. So, so the vehicle modifications are gonna be very limited. We are, we’re considering going with a slightly taller tire, but I’m actually, part of me is like, I’m not gonna do it. Because it is, if you buy a Hilux in Africa, that’s the size tire that ends up on the truck. Matt Scott: Oh, oh, okay. So, and does it have KO two s or something? Scott Brady: KO two s already on it. 17 inch wheel. The Hilux that come into the country are on seventeens.
Matt Scott: Here’s my only experience with K two s. I think that they’re really, I’ve had ’em on a few vehicles. I think they’re really great at limit handling. They’re a good kind of compromise, kind of for how Americans use their, use, their vehicles, they chip.
Scott Brady: They chunk.
Matt Scott: Chunk and chip. So chunk and chip so terribly on gravel.
Scott Brady: I think the new ones are a little bit better in my experience.
Matt Scott: They did change the compound?
Scott Brady: They changed the compound and they improved the lug integrity at the shoulder. The previous generation Kos were, they were really bad on chunking. The newer one has a better, has better [00:25:00] lug integrity.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So, cause I had like roasted a set of KO two s and one trip. No, granted, that one trip was like across Nevada and it was, maybe I had a heavy foot, but.
Scott Brady: No, they had a real issue with chunking.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I, I just wonder, you know, if you’re gonna change anything. I don’t know, like, I don’t wanna say that the KO twos won’t do it. They obviously will.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I think, I think that the new version is better, but I am considering the, the possibility of changing to something that has even more lug integrity. And is also a little bit taller. So a 255 80 or 17. So that’s a 33 inch diameter tire.
Matt Scott: But is it gonna be like an obscure tire size? Scott Brady: That’s the and that’s why I’m, cause. Matt Scott: It’s, it’s on the Hilux. I mean it’s like finding whatever is on the rental hiluxes. Right. Because that’s gonna be the tire.
Scott Brady: 265 70 R 17 and they’re everywhere.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Again, when we transition from this kind of, Domestic overlanding in the US to international. I’m just not really [00:26:00] concerned with tire size. Like that’s, that’s some of the things that people have been saying about the Grenadier when, when they talk about it to me is, oh, well yeah, it should have had 30 fives or it should have had this. I’m like, yeah, but I think you’re actually missing the point.
Scott Brady: Totally missing the point.
Matt Scott: Like you don’t, A 32 inch tire is something that you used to modify a vehicle to fit like. You used to, you used to put a two inch lift on your Defender so you could put a 32. Maybe a 33 on there. Xjs came with what, 28 or 29 inch tires and 30 threes were like a six inch lift or something. You don’t really need it.
Scott Brady: And what are the other downsides of going with bigger tires? That’s gonna have a even a greater impact to my fuel range. Like so, and then there’s tire availability, center of gravity changes.
Matt Scott: So let’s also be like really, really practical getting into parking garages. Sure. You know, like, like keeping a vehicle low, like when you, when you leave the US. There’s generally not as much space. Like we have a lot of open parking lots. Like anytime you go to a shopping center that I, that I’ve been to in, in Africa or wherever there, there, there are [00:27:00] structures, you know? And being able to fit, being able to park at a hotel, being able to park at an airport. Like, I’m not saying that that one inch is gonna be the difference by the time.
Scott Brady: Sometimes it is.
Matt Scott: But by the time we talk about not putting Jerry cans at a foot, On top that really starts to make a difference.
Scott Brady: It does. And the closer that we keep our vehicles to stock the better.
Matt Scott: And fuel range.
Scott Brady: That’s, and that’s the biggest reason why I am hesitant about changing the tires. Fuel range is the most important reason why I’m hesitant. And then, The next one would be availability of the tires. A 265 70 R 17 is a very ubiquitous tire throughout Africa. It’s not as common as a 7.5 R 16, but that’s changing because new vehicles don’t cover a split rail like a, A 200 series comes on a 17 in Africa, two now. So it’s, it’s just. The reality of it.
Matt Scott: I like kind of how you’re setting that up. It’s one, I think for testing and seeing what the Grenadier can do as little as you can kind of deviate from stock, I [00:28:00] think is cool. You know? And I think it’s just cool to not have to spend the energy and effort on it, you know, spend the energy and effort on. I know that you’re gonna do the lithium battery and that kind of stuff, which I think is really smart. Are you gonna do a fridge?
Scott Brady: No fridge. I don’t think. I don’t think I’m gonna do a fridge.
Matt Scott: I just, I just, I can’t go back. My, my new thing is this.
Scott Brady: Or I’ll do a really small one. I’ve considered like getting the smallest Dometic or the smallest National Luna’s.
Matt Scott: And I’ll throw that like for long road trips. I’ll throw that in the wagon. And it’s really nice. It doesn’t take up much space. It’s maybe it’s 14 or 16 inches tall. It’s, it’s not, That big, but you’re really just throwing, you know, a sandwich in there and, you know, a six pack of beer and, and it’s maybe a more practical look. And I think it pulls like seven to five amps.
Scott Brady: They’re really, they’re really low amp draw. A lot of it’s gonna depend on how the, like the packaging, the drawer system and stuff works out. So the modifications are gonna be really limited. I’m gonna go with, I’m [00:29:00] actually gonna use a Melville and moon bed roll inside. I think it’s just gonna be, it’s gonna be great to apply a lot of the things that we value around overlanding to such a long trip. The big trips that we’ve done before, these were campaigns. These were like four year long epics, and this is gonna be something where I’m going at a different pace. I’m really gonna focus a lot on the culture. I’m gonna focus a lot on the experiences. To do it in a minimally modified vehicle is kind of fun. So we’re getting ready. We’re getting ready for, for Africa. We thank all of you so much for listening and for learning along the way with us. Matt and I continue to learn on a daily basis. Even planning for this trip, I’ve learned so much and it was exciting to get that DHL package with the keys to the vehicle. That’s actually the spare key, and all of the paperwork is coming together. You’ll be able to follow along the journey on all of the social media accounts. Of course, we’ll have articles in Overland Journal articles on [00:30:00] Expedition portal, so you can go to Expedition portal on Instagram, Overland Journal on Instagram, or if you wanna contact me directly or if you have any questions or you, if you’re in Africa yourself and you’d like to meet up, or if you live in a part of Africa, that I might be able to say hello to you along the way. It’s always great to have friends on the ground, so you can reach me directly at Scott.A.Brady on Instagram. You can reach out and I’d love to connect with you. I’ve already had a bunch of people reach out that live in Africa that we’re gonna be able to meet and say hello to along the way. Which I think will be really fun. So yeah, we’re getting ready to cross the continent of Africa and hopefully Matt, the next podcast that we do will be you and I somewhere in the Coco Ved somewhere.
Matt Scott: I hope so, yeah.
Scott Brady: Awesome. We thank you all for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.