I didn’t win. I’m not surprised one bit, but it was fun to watch the thing happen from a different perspective. Congratulations to Kendall Rittenour for winning! Take a look at his photo here.
One of the things that I like best about folks who travel by unconventional means is that there are lots of good stories that come out about them. When you take the time to go from point A to point B in a way that’s a little bit different than how most folks do it, you end up with experiences that most people could never dream of.
Unfortunately, in this day and age people are doing extreme things and there are very few untouched or uninhibited places left to go. The tallest mountain in the world is a trash heap, the darkest jungles of the amazon have cell phones. It’s easy to think that there’s nothing good left to explore in this age.
But I’d like to make an argument that there is. In fact there is an adventure waiting around every corner, I you just open your eyes to it and allow it to happen. Lets take, as an example a “normal” weekend camping trip to the mountains. If I pack my expensive gear up in my brand new camper and haul it up to a campsite that I know very well, I might have an ok time, but it might not really even be a memorable experience.
Now, if I take my wife of thirty years on a camping trip across India in a 1932 Rolls Royce, both as an adventure in life and in love, it is sure to be a life changing experience. Maybe it’s not India, or a Rolls Royce, but the point is you need to have folks to share with!
My favorite stories from the field are the ones where a journey was taken, both mentally and physically. I guess that someday I’ll drag my wife of thirty years across India in an old car, but until then, I’ll just have to enjoy the little trips instead.
Enjoy the video.
This is a really great video shot at my local swimming hole!
Ok, not only is the rig in this video beyond perfect, the part of the video where his son is in the front seat with a HUGE grin on his face is just priceless. This is my kind of four wheeling.
BBC news has a pretty good article about a whale rescue team up in Canada. Take a look and see what they are all about.
The Bowline knot is one of the most used in my experience at sea, and it certainly has it’s place in the rest of the world as well. Any time you need a knot that will easily come apart no matter how much tension is put on it, this is the one to use.
Anytime I make a modification to my 4Runner I always keep my trips to the outback in mind.
– Don’t clog up the storage behind the seats. You want the storage to be Anytime I make a modification to my 4Runner I always keep my trips to the outback in mind.
– Don’t clog up the storage behind the seats. You want the storage to be easy and modular. You might also want to consider the need to sleep back there.
– Extra fuel. Auxiliary fuel is a must. Extra 20L cans are a good idea. I recommend carrying 25 gallons on-board when you go to out (i have a 14 gallon factory tank, and two Scepter 6 gallon Jerry Cans). A second fuel tank would be a great addition.
– Dual batteries. Good to have, even if the second battery just powers accessories.
– No tire larger than 33″. Install a lift to match and keep ride and load handling as a priority.
– Lower gearing. Going slow over obstacles makes life much easier, but having the correct gears for you tire size is a priority.
– At least a locker in the rear. ARB or electric are good choices, but some folks prefer the always on and less to go wrong type.
– You must have a full size spare. Some folks prefer to mount the spare on the rear bumper like a Slee or 4×4 labs design, but it’s not totally needed. The Marlin or Trail Gear bumpers are good for crawling, but can be adapted for exploring with a little work.
– Electric winch. This is the best way to get out of sticky situations, and make sure it’s a quality design rated for 1.5 times your FULLY LOADED vehicle weight. Having a complete kit of accessories is a good idea as well.
– Hi-lift jack. Get one and learn how to use it before you get stuck. Remember, points on your rig that can safely be lifted is a major consideration.
– Communication. Get a CB radio.
-You might consider a 12V fridge, because sometimes ice sucks. Run it off the second battery so you don’t kill your starting battery. The Yeti and Pelican coolers are a reasonable substitution.
I found this very cool video over at Expedition Portal about how ARB Bull Bars are made. It’s an awesome look at the birth of a bumper!
1. Factory 4.88 gears front and rear. Swapping third members is easy and when you can score gear reduction in a factory flavor you can’t go wrong.
2. 1.5″ balljoint spacers to lift the front suspension. For $70 you get enough clearance for 33″ tires and the ability to relax those cranked torsion bars a little.
3. Old Man Emu rear coil springs. These are the best riding and provide enough lift for 33″ tires all for a respectable price.
4. Trail Gear bumpers. Decent quality, solid service and respectable prices. Mount up a good winch and you are ready to go.
5. 33″ tires. All terrain tires in any width or rim size you want is what I recommend. Some folks prefer 17″ FJ cruiser wheels or 16″ Tacoma wheels but I prefer 15×8 aluminum wheels personally.
Second generation 4runners are pretty easy to modify and work well on the trail in stock form, so if you take these top 5 modifications into consideration you’ll make your 4runner even better!
I’ve been working on the nuts an bolts of the website quite a bit lately and I wanted to point out a few things that are happening. First is that I’ve added a way for you to receive an email every time there’s a new post here and also I’ve added some widgets that make the site easier to navigate and a bit more organized, though you may not even notice.
I’ve also started working on making the site multi-lingual. I have the title in Arabic, English and Hindi for now, and have been working on setting up a translation feature so that the website will be not only translated into various languages, but also come up in various search engines around the world.
So now you can comment on posts without registering, and you can receive email updates! Try them out and see what you think.