Its been more than 2 months since we’ve recorded a show but we’re getting back into the saddle. We’re going to be changing the release schedule for shows and the show notes will probably be a bit more sparse than you’re used to seeing. But at least there’s a show, RIGHT?!
Way back on episode 35, I did an interview with Gianni of Set Them Free Offroad. Set Them Free Offroad was organized to help raise awareness of human trafficking and ultimately execute mission trips to stop this crime. In 2013, the first annual event was held and was a huge success. Set Them Free Offroad actually raised enough money to fund a rescue mission which resulted in pulling a few girls out of their situation and the arrest of those perpetuating the crime! I was so excited to hear this news because it’s not that often that you can get clear and tangible outcomes when you simply donate to a cause.
Gianni and his wife have worked extremely hard since last year and this year’s event is sure to lead to even more success. This year the event will take place over two days instead of one. They will be covering some of the best 4×4 trails that Colorado has to offer including: Tincup Pass, Mount Antero, Hancock Pass, Iron Chest and Grizzly Lake, Chinaman Gulch, Holy Cross, and Carnage Canyon.
Set Them Free Offroad 2014 takes place on 27-29 June in Buena Vista Colorado. You can easily register right here.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday June 27th
12:00 Sponsor & Volunteer Lunch – Courtesy of STF
3:00 Registration & Vendor Village open
7:00 Dinner available for purchase
8:00 Door prizes
9:00 Concert – Band info coming shortly
Saturday June 28th
7:00 Breakfast – Courtesy of STF, Vendor Village open
9:00 Vehicle group staging, ready to depart for trails
9:15 Depart for trails
4:00 Return to base camp, Vendor Village open
7:00 Catered Dinner – Courtesy of Set Them Free
7:30 Door prizes and raffle grand prize drawing
Sunday June 29th
7:00 Breakfast available for purchase, Vendor Village open
9:00 Vehicle group staging, ready to depart for trails
9:15 Depart for trails
3:00 Return to base camp
From the Set Them Free offroad website: “Set Them Free, Inc. is a non-profit fund-raising organization created for the purpose of funding the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. Our mission is simply, “Set the victims of human trafficking free.” We exist with the goal of ending human trafficking globally. Our purpose is to raise money for those rescuing and rehabilitating the victims of human trafficking as well changing culture and laws around the world.”
This episode of The 4×4 Podcast is brought to you by Blue Ridge Overland Gear.
I recently had the chance to chat with Andrew Collins from Truck Yeah, which is a sub-site of Jalopnik. We frequently pull news stories from Jalopnik for the podcast. Jalopnik is a site that is all about everything transportation that encourages discussion among the readers. No matter if you’re into plans, trains, cars, military rigs, or trucks, Jalopnik always has something new to check out.
In our discussion we talk about a very wide range of truck stuff and I pick Andrew’s brain on what he thinks about the upcoming aluminum Ford F-150 and the Raptor.
At the top of the show I mention that GoPro is offering a special Father’s Day deal. But a GoPro Hero3 + in the Silver or Black version and you’ll get a 32 gb microSD memory card for free! Thats a great deal! Just use the promotion code FREE32 when you order and you’ll get the deal. Use the link below to get there and you’ll also be supporting The 4×4 Podcast!
And thanks to everyone that has been sending in their feedback and what they are doing and where they are at when listening! Keep the feedback coming!
This episode is sponsored by Blue Ridge Overland Gear.
About two years ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on the XJ Talk show. Eventually I’ll get Tony over on The 4×4 Podcast but for now, I’m sharing the interview from way back then. The XJ Talk Show is all about the Jeep Cherokee, no not the 2014 Cherokee. The hosts Tony and Josh are very knowledgable and fun to listen to. The podcast was designed as a companion to the XJ Talk forum where members can share their own builds, get tech advice/help from other members and generally have a great time with each other. They have a great policy of courtesy between all the members. Other than friendly ribbing between friends that know each other, there is no worry of someone getting flamed for asking a question. There has been many times I’ve gotten some insight and help from the tech experts on the forum.
I managed to catch up with Bryon Dorr from Exploring Elements to talk about his experience at the 2014 Overland Expo and his new vehicle. The previous time that Bryon was on the show was right after the Vermont Overland Trophy and he mentioned that he was going to be moving out of his Sportsmobile van and into something new but didn’t say what the next vehicle would be. Overland Expo was the big reveal of the new truck. I had been following his progress through the Exploring Elements Facebook page for the last few weeks but the last stages of the build took the EE crew right down to the wire before heading out for the Expo.
Bryon selected a 2001 Dodge Ram extended cab, short bed truck powered by the Cummins diesel and 4WD. During our interview Bryon talks about why he selected this particular vehicle which could be something important to you as you look at selecting an offroad and adventure rig. The other critical component to the EEXP is the prototype XPCamper box that has replaced the truck bed.
Bryon also does a great job of telling stories through pictures. If you’re not following Exploring Elements on Instagram, then you’re missing out!
Check out Exploring Elements or the XPCamper for more info.
Way back on episode 46 we feature an interview with Wes Craiglow, the founder of Central Overland. Central Overland was started mostly by accident. Wes had the desire to go check out some of thousands of miles of trails in his Arkansas regional area. He put it out there on Expedition Portal that he was going to go check out some trails and asked if anyone wanted to join him. The result was five like-minded explorers. The next time Wes threw it out there resulted in 10; and then 20 and Central Overland has continued to grow from there. Wes didn’t even realize what he had discovered until he noticed that 80% of the adventure-seeking off roaders were from outside Arkansas.
Wes mentions in the interview, that people in attendance were mostly from Texas, Oklahoma and other surrounding states. Most states in the heartland of America is owned by someone. What makes Arkansas unique is the number of trails that are available in national forests. Wes and Dan also talk about what overlanding really means and Wes gives some recommendations on what a newbie can do if they would like to transition from someone who offroads and occasionally camps, to a true overland traveler. This topic is especially hot right now as the term “overland” is defined and the niche is carved out from the rest of the offroading and adventure travel world.
To hear the full episode including all the news segements, head over to episode 46 at http://the4x4podcast.com/46.
In the news segment we start off by introducing a new offroading publication that you might be interested in. OutdoorX4 is focused on providing the most engaging and unique content to appeal to the broadest range of outdoors enthusiast. It will be published bi-monthly and will present the latest in techniques and tools, product reviews that are relevant to all outdoor adventurers whether she is a hardcore rock crawler, seasoned adventure traveler or simply a guy that wants to take his kids fishing. Every issue will have appeal to a broad base of outdoor enthusiasts who want to escape to where they belong. You can even check out a digital sample version of OutdoorX4. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be able to have the magazine creator on the show to talk more about this new publication. Till then you can like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
When do you know that ovelanding has hit the mainstream? When Mini throws all the overlanding-type accessories at one of their doe-eyed-not-so-mini Mini Countryman. The Mini is touting a roof top tent (RTT) and a kitchen area in the back, similar to what you might find on the back side of a teardrop trailer. It also features a water tank with pump, a sink, solar power, 230 volt power and a fridge. It even has an on board shower! All in all, it’s a pretty good package but would you trust it to get you through the rough stuff in the back country? Article from Autoblog.
It is now mid August and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee propaganda is just now ramping up and the first-drive articles are starting to show up. But Jeep CEO, Mike Manley, is really pushing Jeep vehicles into a new world in order to attract new buyers that might not normally be interested in Jeeps. Manley has told other automotive outlets that a subcompact Jeep is on its way – so think Ford Fiesta size Jeep. In my mind, the first thing that came up was a down-sized Wrangler a kin to the old Willys. Moments after that wonderful idea came to mind, I was struck with what this subcompact will more likely be; a smaller new Cherokee. This diminutive Jeep very well could look just like a Ford Fiesta. Article from Autoblog.
The Detroit Free Press has compiled a list of the top 25 most patriotic brands. In a list that includes Budwiser, Ford, Marlboro, Harley-Davidson, Smith & Wesson, John Deere and other iconic American brands the king of the hill belongs to Jeep. That really should be no surprise since the entire brand is based around the Willys workhorse that helped bring freedom during WWII. This is a proud fact that is highly touted on the vehicles, product documentation and ads. They even offer special incentives to veterans and Jeep has teamed up most recently with the USO. Are you surprised by Jeep taking the number one slot or do you think it should belong to a different brand? Article from the Detroit Free Press.
If you’re like me, you go exploring to try and escape the headaches of civilization. We go out looking for nowhere seeking adventure because we all know that its usually the journey that excites more than the destination. But where is “nowhere?” Gizmodo shared a heatmap that shows where “nowhere” actually is located in relation to paved highways. Turns out, the middle of nowhere is in the Sawtooth Mountains.
If you’re going to be spending your life on the road full-time, then you want to be comfortable. Despite companies like Mini trying their best to get into the overland lifestyle niche, that category belongs to larger vehicles. Land Cruisers, Land Rovers and G-Wagons dominate the landscape of overland vehicles. But for those that wish to have enough living space to really spread out and still want to have the offroad-ablity needed to reach the far off adventure spaces, you’re far more limited. One of the automatic go-to choices though is the Unimog. The U500 Expedition Vehicle is a modern Unimog platform that is fully outfitted with a complete living space. This thing is a beast that will take you into the back country with enough gear to stay remote for a very long time and live comfortably. If you’ve got an extra $300,000 laying around and a wanderlust that can’t be quenched, maybe the U500 Expedition Vehicle is just the thing for you. Article from Unimog Shop.
EveryTrail is a global web2.0 platform for geo-tagged user-generated travel content that’s changing the way millions of people share travel experiences and plan trips. EveryTrail makes it easy to share travel experiences, through interactive maps that include photos plotted along your trip route.
EveryTrail is free and useful for a wide variety of trips – including road trips, sight seeing tours, sailing trips, hiking, cycling, flying, hang gliding, geocaching, skiing, kayaking trips and more. EveryTrail has trips from over 80 countries in all corners of the world. To download and try EveryTrail for yourself, download the app from here, or find it in your appstore.
One of the easiest desserts to make while out adventuring is Poor Boy Doughnuts – and they are cheap too! The other day I picked up supplies to make 40 doughnuts for less than $5.
- Cheap biscuits in a tube
- Vegetable or Canola Oil
- Powdered Sugar
Directions: Pour the oil into a sauce pan or skillet that is deep enough to cover at least half of the biscuit. Heat the oil till small bubbles begin to form in the oil. Poke a hole in the biscuit and ease it into the oil. Once it begins to brown, flip it over. Once both sides are browned to your desire, pull out t, he doughnut and cover with powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!
On this episode of the podcast, I talk specifically about the impact of the CAFE regulations on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and what that means to guys wanting to get a Jeep truck. I mentioned the possibility of a Jeep of Fiat pickup truck back on episode 72 but it struck a cord with many listeners so I wanted to go into this topic with a bit more detail. This weekend has also been the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ. There has been a bunch of great pictures flooding my instagram feed from people who have been meeting other adventures, getting inspired, and well educated. Be sure to do a search on Instagram for #ovex or #OX14 and I’m sure that you’ll discover lots of other cool pictures.
I didn’t go through the entire list of classes and demonstrations that were taking place this year because it would have only made me sad since I wasn’t attending. But there were a few that really caught my attention because they were being led by friends of the show! Bryon Dorr from ExploringElements.com led a session on overlanding with a full size vehicle and got to show off his new rig. His Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck has had the bed removed and replaced with a prototype unit from XP Campers. Bryon’s rig looks amazing from the pictures that I’ve seen. Hopefully I’ll be able to get Bryon back on the show to discuss this topic of using a full-size rig as the basis for adventure travel.
In Episode 49 we interviewed Matt from Blue Ridge Overland Gear. We discussed the many Jeeps he has owned as well as his current Hemi powered Commander. We discussed the importance of organization in your trail or overland rig and some of the products Blue Ridge Overland offers to help keep your trail essentials organized when you are out exploring. Quick access to some equipment and tools is critical when you are miles from help. A few of the products we discussed were:
Fiat Chrysler is at it again! According to Car and Driver, Fiat Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, is in testing stages of development of a compact crossover vehicle purported to carry the Jeepster moniker. http://feedly.com/k/1f5UCpc
For those who may not be familiar with Jeep history, the Jeepster was an all terrain passenger vehicle originally produced by the Willys Overland Company from 1948 to 1950. A crossover vehicle in its own right, the Jeepster was intended to bridge the gap between the utilitarian all terrain vehicle niche segment of post WWII America automotive market, and the more popular passenger car market.
So it stands to reason the Italian American Automobile Manufacturer would resurrect the Jeepster name to badge a vehicle that could help redefine the image of the Jeep brand. The new Jeepster is being developed in Italy and is based on the Fiat 500 platform. It will come standard as a front wheel drive vehicle, with an all wheel drive option available.
The US version will be powered by a 1.4 liter inline four cyclinder gasoline engine. The European version will also be available with an optional 1.3 liter turbo diesel. The Jeepster is scheduled to hit the market in late 2014 as a 2015 model. Could this be a sign of the future direction of the Jeep Brand?
As the pre-release reviews of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee continue to show up in your favorite off-road magazine and/or websites, we are beginning to get a clearer picture (to the chagrin of many die-hard Cherokee fans) of what the capabilities of the vehicle, carrying resurrected Cherokee nameplate, will be.
Gone is the solid front axle found under the XJ bodied Cherokee. The new era of the Cherokee bids farewell to the simple, utilitarian features of the earlier Cherokee’s that we all know and love.
In its place is a very refined vehicle that seems to impress many of those who have driven it so far. According to the folks over at AutoBlog.com, the new Cherokee, at a minimum, will provide stiff competition for the other vehicles in its class. Still, in the eyes of the dedicated XJ owner, the new Cherokee will most likely never live up to the reputation of its predecessors.
Ford appears to have scored a home run with its F150 SVT Raptor. Since its introduction, the Raptor has beat the odds with record sales in an era where high fuel prices and a weak economy have stymied demand for models with less than stellar mpg ratings. According to AutoBlog.com, the SVT Raptor has seen record sales in eight of the past ten months. With a starting price of $44,000 the Raptor may be proof that Americans are still willing to pay the premium for a vehicle design where performance and capability supersedes fuel efficiency and practicality.
Utah, Will Not Drive 55
The state of Utah has moved to raise the speed on some rural stretches of its roadways to 80mph. After preforming multi-year studies, The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) determined the higher speed limits would be safer by allowing more vehicles on the highway to travel at the same speed.
Groundspeak Inc. offers a smart phone application for geocachers. Some of the apps features include:
・ Spontaneously find nearby geocaches
・ Plan a geocaching adventure
・ Log your finds
・ Navigate to geocaches with a map or compass view
・ View geocache details, photos and hints
・ Use advanced geocache search features
・ Sign in with an existing Geocaching account or create a new Geocaching account
Read more about the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.groundspeak.geocaching