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One of the reasons I enjoy teaching bush craft/survival techniques, is that it encompasses so many different skills sets. There are innumerable ways of starting a fire, we can use animals to find water, we can use nature to navigate, we have a host of ways to improvise shelters, and the bush is a veritable supermarket if we know how to identify the edible plants. And, of course, another skill we use is tracking. There is always something new to learn when it comes to tracking, no matter how long you’ve been doing it. I’m still learning after all these…

Sociable and smart are not words that usually come to mind when Spotted Hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) are mentioned. If anything, hyaenas are seen as sneaky and vicious, cringing scavengers that inspire a queasy mixture of fear and disdain. Yet, after spending 20 years studying them, Professor Kay Holekamp from Michigan State University came to view them as “smart, biologically and socially complex, jam-packed with surprises”. Having had the opportunity to observe a den first-hand, I, too, have become fascinated with these multifaceted predators and their unique biology and behaviour. First among their Pandora’s Box of surprises is that although they…

There are pluses and minuses when it comes to dragging a trailer about on your overland adventures. Around any campfire, you will find both the big supporters of these houses on wheels, and those who prefer to keep things to just four wheels when it comes to the rough stuff. If you are considering taking the trailer plunge, there are a few regulations to consider, as well as some loading and towing tips that will make life both easier and safer. Benefits to towing The most obvious benefit to having a trailer is, of course, the masses of added packing…

Congratulations to our eighth #SA4x4OverlandImages Instagram competition winner, Craig Muller! View this post on Instagram Snowventures #HPSAchasingAfrica #SnowHunting #ExploreYourBackyard #OutdoorCulture #seekadventure #adventurenthusiasts #roamtheplanet #neverstopexploring #lifeofadventure #LiveToInspire #GeneralTire #GrabberX3 #AnywhereIsPossible #ShareTheAdventure #ExtremeLights #LightUpYourAdventures #TeamHilux #ToyotaTrucks #Hilux #Toyota #YotaMafia #Snowventures #4×4 #actiongeared A post shared by Craig Muller (@backyard_adventures_sa) on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:27am PDT There’s not much we can say here. WOW! Craig wins himself a fantastic camping gear hamper from Ironman 4×4. We’re sure he’ll put it to good use on his next trip. Check out some of the other entries we received. Remember, all entries are…

In a survival situation, there are many plants which can be used for medicinal purposes. The key is not only being able to correctly identify the plant, but knowing exactly how to extract those components which give it its medicinal properties. Fortunately, the methods which we use to prepare them can easily be carried out in the bush. Many modern drugs that we pick up from the pharmacist were originally derived from plants. In fact, hundreds of plants have been identified as having medicinal properties, and there could be thousands more; so, when it comes to medicinal properties, we are…

Having been privileged enough to spend time with these majestic animals, I can certainly concur with Mitch Reardon’s view that there is indeed something extraordinary about elephants. “There is nothing that reduces us to our proper dimensions more rapidly and completely than spending long periods in the company of elephants. There is something special about them…” Mitch Reardon, Shaping KrugerIt is difficult to pinpoint, but perhaps their clear family bonds, the way in which they look after their young and infirm, and the complexity of their communication may go some way to explaining it. Elephant behaviour is multi-faceted, comprising greeting…

In the manufacturing process, the tread compound is possibly the most variable, gets a lot of attention from the compound scientists, and is fine-tuned to the application of the product. Mud- and all-terrain tyres that deliver excellent traction, for example, cannot be expected to deliver the tread mileage of a tyre engineered to operate only on paved surfaces.  The tread is just one of the 7-11 compounds that make up a tyre, with each one applicable to a specific task − from holding together the various layers of nylon and polyester, to encasing the bead wires, or ensuring that the…

Whether you’re a weekend camper, holiday adventurer or hard-core overlander who stays out for months at a time, your sleeping solutions will vary widely. Ground tents, roof-top tents or interior sleeping accommodations all have their pros and cons. In this column, we discuss some of the issues faced by campers and how to deal with them. Interior camping I remember a horrific story my father told of a French family that he knew who were camping in Zaire (now the DRC) on a Cape to Europe trip. The parents slept in a roof-top tent, and the two kids below in…

Congratulations to our seventh #SA4x4OverlandImages Instagram competition winner, Jean de Villiers! His stunning desert landscape image would be a worthy winner in any month. Just look at those tones! Do you have a magic shot in your photo collection that captures the essence of overland travel? SA4x4 is keen to promote adventure travel the world over, and to share those amazing memories with all our readers. Trawl your image banks and share those moments in time on SA4x4’s Facebook or Instagram pages, along with your name and a short description of what you are seeing and where. Action, wildlife, landscapes –…

Coined in 1854, the term ‘Ethology’ refers to the study of the way in which an animal’s habits (its behaviour) are related to its structure and habitat. It is important to note that there is no such thing as typical behaviour, because the typical animal is a mythical beast! However, patterns can be observed, hypotheses devised and tested, and a working interpretation of what an animal is doing obtained. This data can then be extrapolated, to create an accepted ‘normal’ behavioural model for that species. Without doubt, every person who visits a game reserve hopes to spot an African lion…

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