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This month’s column may be a bit controversial and against the advice of some of the tyre experts, as it includes some tricks that should really only be used in the case of a dire emergency. Fact is, countless times we’ve been stuck on the roadside with a torn sidewall, or marooned in a dune with a tyre off its rim. What do you do in these situations, and how can you get home safely? Torn sidewall Let me first be clear that once a tyre has a torn sidewall, it is ruined and must be replaced. However, the problem…

It amazes me how disrespectful some people are. I use the bush for my work, and I can’t believe how many times I come across human waste lying on the surface. Much of this is obviously a result of the ignorant belief that ‘no one will ever come this way’. Yes, we do! Soggy lumps of used toilet paper strewn all over the place are one of the most disgusting sights you can find in the bush or at a wild campsite; I’ve even encountered these in campsites with toilets. They are a mecca for flies, which land on these…

Congratulations to our third winner, @rolbos_overland_za! They’ve been sending plenty of submissions in, and this month, it all paid off! Enjoy your camping gear hamper courtesy of Ironman 4×4. On top of Matroosberg. It was pouring with rain but the drive was still amazing. Will be going back once the snow starts. #Toyotafreaks #overlandbound #Outfitandexplore #Offroadadventure #Deserttrip #Offroader #Osmomobile #Borntoroam #Frontrunneroutfitters #Overlanding #Outdoorgear #Adventuring #ARB #Letsgoplaces #Offroad4x4 #Survive #Rockcrawler #Overland #River #Scout #Offroad #matroosberg #Explore #Getoutdoors #Travelmore #Mavicpro #sa4x4overlandimages A post shared by Rolbos_Overland_ZA (@rolbos_overland_za) on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:39am PDT Check out some of our other entries below!…

The dark and slippery art of mud driving is a difficult subject to tackle, primarily because there are so many different types of mud. Sandy mud, black cotton soil, layered clay and waterlogged mud all have different characteristics and require a different approach, so this article will cover the basic techniques required for most instances, but can’t hope to cover every situation. Look before you leap Mud must be approached with caution, just like any other challenging surface. It’s best to stop before entering a deep bog rather than ploughing into it without knowing its depth or length. Check to…

In any survival situation, we often have to be creative, and put things to uses for which they were not originally intended. Let’s forget for a few minutes about the personal hygienic properties of a Tampon, and look at it in another light. As a multi-purpose survival aid. The word “tampon” comes from the French word tapon, which loosely translated means “a little plug or stopper”. Rather surprisingly, you can do more things with it than its French name suggests. One of the earliest uses for the tampon as a survival aid (perhaps the more correct term is ‘first-aid device’)…

In the next of our ‘often seen but largely under-appreciated’ group of animals, I would like to share with you something of the singularity and amazing environmental adaptation of ‘horses in striped pyjamas’.  So convinced was I as a child that zebras were indeed horses in striped pyjamas, that I recall asking my mother why they were allowed to stay in their pyjamas all day but I was not! To my five-year-old mind, this seemed grossly unfair. An answer, if there was one forthcoming, is lost in the mists of time, and the etiquette of attire for zebras and me…

At the Rust De Winter Jamboree (see elsewhere in this issue), steep rocky inclines were the name of the game − and more than a couple of folk came short. There are several fundamentals that are vital in climbing a steep, rocky slope safely: traction, momentum and line choice. The first and most important aspect of hill climbing is maintaining traction. This is achieved in two ways: line choice and tyre pressure. On rocks, especially, it’s a balancing act between deflating tyres for traction and maintaining clearance. Where clearance is not an issue, you may drop as much as 50%…

Simply put, wheel alignment refers to the adjustment of the wheels angle perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Well aligned wheels will ensure stability and a vehicle that tracks straight along a flat road. To ensure maximum stability and tyre life, wheel alignment must be adjusted relatively frequently and can be affected by bad road surfaces or a hard knock. Below, we have listed some factors of relating to wheel alignment and their effects. Camber: This is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of…

Spending weeks in the bush has become a big part of my life − and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, of course, not everything is rosy out there, and one thing which can make life hell is the hordes of biting and stinging insects. Having been on the receiving end of many of these over the years, I have come to learn that even the most inoffensive looking creepy-crawly can fight back. Of course, many insects use warning colours or displays to alert you to their objectionable disposition, but despite this, I find that stings are still…

Warthogs are African members of the pig family (Suidae), famous for their long, upcurved tusks and facial ‘warts’. The term wart is something of a misnomer, however, as these protuberances are actually thick pads designed to offer protection – mainly to the eyes – and most especially during sparring between males. Boars have three pairs, but sows have only two pairs, lacking the set situated on the sides of the jaw in males.   For much of the 20th century, it was widely thought that all extant warthogs belonged to the same variable species (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). However, in recent decades we have been…

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