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Browsing: Technical

Water is the elixir of life and a priority on any overland journey. We need at least two litres per day just for drinking, before we can even consider washing grime off our skin, brushing our teeth or tackling the dirty dishes. Although some tannins in water have a nasty taste, and some may discolour surfaces, water is also the perfect breeding ground for a wide variety of bacteria, parasites and viruses that can ruin a trip − or even end your life. But, for the well-equipped overlander, there are many filtration options, each with its own pros, cons and…

Fire. It’s a vital component of any overlanding journey. Internal combustion powers your 4×4; and more often than not, fire cooks your meals out in the wilderness. On the other hand, fire can be the cause of your journey’s untimely end. Unfortunately, while we are all too eager to stock up on gas bottles, jerry cans and firewood, we often overlook the absolute necessity of having fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are not too expensive to purchase and are widely available in many retail outlets. It is also simple enough to mount a fire extinguisher in your cab, or to stash…

Good news for our Mazda BT-50 long-termer is that it has just been fitted with a set of Dunlop’s Grandtrek AT3G tyres. We fitted a set of LT 265/65 R17 tyres which have a load rating of 120 (1400kg per tyre), and an “R” speed rating (170km/h). Pricing per tyre at this stage should be around R3000, ex Vat and fitment. Why would we change tyres? Simple, really. The AT3G, unlike a number of other all-terrain tyres on the market, has a three-ply sidewall design; and from the get-go, it looks to be the business as aftermarket fitment for tough…

You want tyres fit for the bush, which are also comfortable on tar? Yup, you have entered the realm of All-Terrain Rubber which must grip and grind its way over a variety of surfaces. But which brand is best? The SA4x4 team amassed 17 sets of AT tyres for the biggest local tyre-showdown ever… The tyres The tyre market in South Africa is rapidly expanding – in volume as well as in brand diversity. World-renowned manufacturers such as Bridgestone, Goodyear, Continental (General) and Sumitomo (Dunlop) have facilities here, and a plethora of brands is imported through companies like TiAuto, SA…

Chris Collard shares his three decades of backcountry breakdowns, and the tools and equipment needed to get you (and your vehicle) home alive. For Chris’ full insights, grab the December 2017 edition of SA4X4.If we sat around a campfire spinning yarns about our early exploits into the backcountry, my guess is that the memories, regardless of the details, have been filtered into blissful adventures. They were most likely simple affairs with a full complement of necessities: a cooler of coldies, sleeping bags, and camp chairs. I recall the first trip in my ’82 Hilux. My buddy Rich Currie and I…

As a tour operator with Fly Africa Safaris, I have led more than a thousand vehicles over the border, and guided countless tours as far as Uganda in my 18 years in the business. In that time, I have experienced a lot of changes and developments in the field of dual-battery systems, deep-cycle batteries and charging systems. I’ve seen technology evolve from a cooler box packed with dry ice to fridges connected directly to the vehicle’s main battery. Then solenoid systems took over the market. Today things have moved on with vehicle manufacturers opting for smart alternators, while charging technology…

It’s a fact that 4x4ing and overlanding is a filthy business. You are inevitably climbing in and out of your vehicle, particularly when stuck or inspecting the terrain ahead, and bringing in leaves, sand, sticks, mud and various things that seem to grow overnight. Add a scattering of dog hair, plus those sticky kids’ snack leftovers, and in no time your cab looks like the dance floor at the end of a three-day music festival. The carpets take a lot of strain, and that’s best addressed with all-over rubber covers, but those fancy patterned cloth seats which seemed such a…

If you have a dual-battery system, and run a fridge and other power-draws in remote places, you are going to have to invest in solar panels. A day’s driving will help top up your second battery, but unless you are near a 220V source, when you are parked for any length of time the power drain is going to kill your second battery within a day or two. There’s plenty of choice out there on the solar front − from large panels that can be fixed permanently to the roof of your trailer or van, to various more mobile units…

Ironman 4×4 Travel Master Multi-Rod and Multi-Reel FISHING FRIEND For the travelling fisherman struggling for space, Ironman 4×4 has the perfect solution. The patent-pending carbon- fibre Travel Master Multi-Rod offers 36 combinations in nine different rod styles, giving the ideal setup at a moment’s notice for any demand from river to surf fishing. It all packs up into a compact carry tube. Complementing the Multi- Rod is the Multi-Reel, which features three pre-lined spools colour-coded to match the rod tips, pinion gears, 9 + 1 ball bearings, a 5.5:1 gearing ratio and a silent anti-reverse. R3315 011 634 7600 www.ironman4x4.co.za…

Somebody gets stuck; you take out the snatch strap, connect it to the stuck vehicle with a pair of rated steel bow shackles and complete the recovery. It’s the way it’s been done since the first Datsun 1300 was still proudly displayed on showroom floors. On Track: Vehicle recovery tools and techniquesThe problem comes in when a recovery point fails or the shackle was incorrectly attached, and now you’ve got a heavy piece of metal flying through the air at speed similar to a bullet. People have tragically lost their lives or sustained horrific injuries this way. It’s why we…

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