A blog about off-road vehicles, overlanding, 4×4 trips & travel. We write posts about interesting trucks for sale, help you improve your driving and camping skills, learn about gear, show you amazing places to go, and share stories of adventure. We like to go out and explore, and we love adventure.

A new post every Wednesday.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Surplus Hummer, via WCXC

If you’re interested in a used Hummer but don’t want to pay $30k–$70k for a civilian H1 model, a government-issued Humvee could be the way to go. The website GOV Planet currently lists 100+ AM General Humvees to be auctioned off around the country. The opening bid on all of them is $10,000.

In case you’re hazy on the Hummer’s specs, here’s a refresher: 6.2L diesel engine, automatic transmission, 7,700 lbs. GVWR, portal axles, and 37″ tires.

They’re all 20+ years old and do look pretty bare bones. But who needs a fancy leather interior, if you’re just going to be overlanding and camping?

The site does make a point to mention that the trucks are for “Off-road use only,” though the veracity of that claim was debated in the comments of the Reddit post where I found the link. That said, caveat emptor.

More photos after the jump.

Links:
GOV Planet: the Hummer in these photos
GOV Planet: all the Hummers available
the Reddit Post
Used Hummers H1s on SF Bay Area Craiglist Read the rest of this entry »

A couple of weeks ago I dropped by Thorson’s Off-Road in Santa Rosa for a quote on a new skid plate. We got to talking and I was given a quick tour of the shop. They were prepping an insane looking Jeep for the King of Hammers, a 165-mile desert race in which teams must blast through open terrain at 100+ mph and also negotiate difficult, slow rocky sections.

The week-long event takes place in Southern California near Twentynine Palms, features motorcycles and buggies, and starts on Friday, January 30th. The main event takes place on Friday, February 6th.

See the rest of the post for links and photos of Thorson’s crazy Jeep.

Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve ever gone duck hunting or skeet shooting, you know the joy of a nice shotgun. Well, Holland & Holland, the English gun-maker founded in 1835, takes the craftsmanship of a “nice” shotgun to a stratospheric level. A single, hand-built gun can cost £60,000 to £100,000 (~$40,000 to $66,000) and that’s not including luxury engraving, which can double the price. Time from order to delivery? Two to three years.

The video above shows the painstaking level detail that goes into each gun. They manufacture bolt-action rifles as well, should you be so inclined.

Pour yourself a glass of single-malt, sit back, and enjoy.

Links:
Holland & Holland
What it’s like to visit Holland & Holland’s New York Gun Room
Wikipedia page

WCXC Pinterest: 10,000 Pins, 30,000 Followers

Over at the West County Explorers Club Pinterest boards we’re celebrating our 10,000th pin and our 30,000th follower. If you like the blog, you’ll probably like the Pinterest account too. It’s a growing collection of images organized into boards about lots of different vehicles (Land Cruisers, Unimogs, Land Rovers, etc.), as well as Wanderlust, Camp Vibes, Skills, and so on.

Images usually link to the place on the web from which they’re sourced. I pin roughly 70 images a week as a opposed to the one blogpost I post here. Think of it as WCXC in smaller, more frequent portions.

Link:
WCXC Pinterest: the Boards
WCXC Pinterest: the Pins

 

I’ve published a few Fire Skills posts in the past to give readers a few options in making their evening camp fires. We’ve experimented with a few fire set-ups in order to see which ones last the longest. The set-up in this video from Sigma 3 Survival School is claimed to burn for 40 hours. That’s quite a claim.

Their technique is to build a pyramid fire (each layer’s tightly spaced logs are a little shorter, a little thinner, and laid perpendicularly on the logs underneath). Their winning tip is to pack the gaps between the logs with dirt or clay. If you do this for every level, the embers won’t be able to fall down and ignite lower levels of wood prematurely.

Even if it doesn’t last 40 hours, this looks like a good candidate for at least an all-night fire, something we’ve never been able to manage with previous campfires. Next time we’re going to give this a try.

Continuing with the English buggy theme of the last post, allow me to introduce the Ariel Nomad. Remember the Ariel Atom, that bare-bones, tube-chassis tarmac sprinter? Well, this is its dirt-loving brother.

The specs are similar to the Rage Comet R. The Nomad is a little heavier at 670 kg (1,477 lb.), gets a little more power from its 2,354 cc Honda engine, 235 hp to be exact, and reaches about the same performance bar of 3.5 seconds 0–60 mph. It’s also from England. I’m not sure it’s set up to jump as well Comet but check out the video. It looks pretty fun.

Link:
Ariel Nomad

Check out this XCAR video featuring the Rage Comet R, a 200hp spiritual successor to the dune buggy. Like the dune buggy it’s a simple, rear-wheel drive machine, with a borrowed engine, and a penchant for on-and-off-road fun.

Whereas the original dune buggy’s performance could be described as peppy, the Comet R’s is absolutely Herculean. Instead of a 50 hp VW motor, it’s powered by 200 hp Kawasaki ZZR 1400. The 1,325 cc engine revs to 11,000 rpm and will hurl the 600 kg (1,323 lb.) Comet R from 0–60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. That’s supercar performance from a buggy that’s just as comfortable jumping berms as it is melting your face at a track day.

As a footnote, the original Meyer’s Manx dune buggy weighed about 635 kg (1,400 lb.). Oh, and the Rage Comet R hails from England. Blimey!

Links:
Rage Comet R

The Rubicon Trail is one of the toughest in the country. Though some of the most truck-destroying obstacles have reportedly been made less trecherous in recent years, the trail is still a grueling, 12-mile challenge. If you’re interested in tackling it, check out this video review from Terraflex. It’s one of the first I’ve seen that gives a good overview.

This is a 10-out-of-10 difficulty trail. Stock trucks can make it with difficulty but should expect damage. According to the video, 35″ tires, lockers, and 3″ of lift could be considered baseline for making through without undue stress.

If you do go, do your research, and don’t go alone. I’ve included some links below to get you started.

Thanks to Greg from gadmachine for suggesting this video.

Links:
Rubicon Trail Foundation (vehicle and general prep.
)
County of Eldorado (trail conditions)

WCXC: Rookies on the Rubicon (a 7-part series on this site of man’s first time on the trail)

Toyota Landcruiser 70-series 30th Anniversary, via WCXC

You’ve probably heard that Toyota is rereleasing its iconic 70-Series Land Cruiser in Japan. Well, Motor Trend recently got its hands on one and published a “First Drive” article. Although they weren’t able to take it off-road, they do give readers a sense of what driving this reissued Landcruiser is like.

In case you’re fuzzy on the details, Toyota will be releasing the 70-Series as a pickup truck and an SUV—Toyota refers to the latter as a “van.” Power will come from a 4.0-liter V6. The sad news remains that this is a Japan-only release, and even that is said to be for one year only.

The price will be about $30,000. How I wish they would bring them to U.S. shores!

Link:
Motor Trend, Toyota Land Cruiser 70-Series First Drive

More pictures after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Sleigh_3post

As holiday greeting for my illustration clients, I drew this updated version of Santa’s sleigh. I mean, who gets pulled around by reindeer in this day and age? Since it has tracks and skis, I thought you might like to see it here.

Happy Holidays,
Nik