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Words and pictures by James Gifford. The rapid changes in technology make camera equipment obsolete in just a few years, so buying camera gear can seem like a minefield. But, if you buy wisely, you won’t need to replace your equipment on a regular basis. BudgetPlan your spending in advance, according to your budget; also remembering the accessories that you’ll require in addition to your camera body and lens(es) – see below. If you’re serious about your photography, it’s generally better to acquire your gear gradually. Buy a single good lens rather than two or three average ones, which you’ll

HELP DAD BLAZE A TRAIL THIS CHRISTMAS! Most of us think Dads are difficult to please at Christmas, yet they’re always delighted with something practical. This year you can really spoil your Dad with Energizer’s range of leisure and outdoor flashlights. Whether he’s camping out under the stars or going for a short hike, let Energizer light his way. There’s a flashlight for every need – from battery-powered flashlights that turn into lanterns, to hands-free headlights that last for hours, Energizer’s outdoor lighting is tough, dependable and convenient. Whether Dad’s into camping, hiking, hunting, fishing or any other outdoor activity,

You have been travelling all day on a bumpy, dusty road and it’s time to set up camp – but the last thing you feel like doing is pitching a tent. Once or twice you must have wondered if it wouldn’t just be better to sleep in the car. Well, forget the hassle of poles and pegs; a hard-shell rooftop tent (RTT) is quick and easy to pitch, and stores your bedding; which means that you don’t have to roll up mattresses and stuff sleeping bags away on a daily basis. Erecting the tent is child’s play: unhook a latch

Words and pictures by Jess Fogarty. A guide to fastening systems. We’ve been Getting to know the ropes (Issue 21, No. 4), and have shown you the 9 knots every off-roader should know (Issue 21, No. 5), and now it’s time to get to grips with fastening systems. The annoyances and dangers of an unrestrained load hardly need discussion. Who hasn’t been driven dilly by the incessant rattling caused by loose gear? Who hasn’t arrived at a campsite only to discover that some vital piece of kit fell off some time after the last stop? Not securing your load properly

Product review: Waeco CFX-65 A few years back, a mate and I toured the Central Kalahari. Just before entering the reserve, we pulled into a dusty dorp, looking for ice. I’ll never forget our frantic search – we drove from one shopkeeper to the next, staring at blank faces that read: “You want ice in the Kalahari? Where the temperature is 45° C and we have no electricity? Are you normally this stupid, or is the heat getting to you?” We learnt two things that day: ice is a luxury in Africa, and a portable fridge / freezer is invaluable!

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander. Product review: Cooper Discoverer AT3. I have a confession to make: after nearly three years and 30 000 km, my Mud Terrain (MT) tyres have yet to see mud. Don’t get me wrong – it’s moerse fun to drive through the gooey stuff (especially in someone else’s 4×4), but the fact remains that mud is highly abrasive and damaging to a 4×4. Mud penetrates your 4×4’s U-joints, CV-joints, ball joints and tie-rod ends, wearing these components down prematurely. It’s also an overlander’s worst nightmare and it should be avoided at all costs when you’re

Words and pictures by Greg O’Donoghue. Battery charging and management. In our May issue we introduced you to the different battery types on offer. Now that you know what battery to buy, it’s time to learn how to charge and manage them properly. Hopefully, the first article Power Source illustrated the importance of selecting the right horse for the course. Now that you’ve calculated your daily demand and decided on the correct battery for your application, you need to think about charging and managing your battery bank. For convenience, we’ll consider a 12 V service bank. If your service bank

Words and pictures by Greg O’Donoghue (C-Dynamics). How to choose the right battery Battery types Flooded-cell thin-plate cold-cranking batteries (your typical automotive start battery). Universal batteries, capable of providing good cold-cranking amps (CCA) and a fair cycling capability – a good all-round choice. Deep-cycle or traction batteries, designed to provide numerous deep discharges with a long lifespan – thick plate, robust construction. Lithiumion (Li-ion) batteries, which are light, with a small footprint, and excellent deep-cycle capability – they accept very high charge rates. Most of these batteries are available in open vented cells or in a sealed maintenance-free configuration. Charging

Words by Jess Fogarty Pictures by Jess Fogarty and various Getting to know the ropes A rope is a rope is a rope. Right? Wrong! There’s a lot more to a rope than meets the eye. In this article we discuss ropes, their different properties and functions, and which ones are best suited to our off-road needs. So strap yourself in; it’s going to be an educational ride! When you drive off-road, one thing is a given: everything shakes and rattles about. If you’re unlucky, something might actually fall right off; which is why you need the right rope either

Words by Grant Spolander. Pictures by Grant Spolander and Craig Fox. Traction gurus Mickey Thompson tyres are synonymous with high-performance motorsport, but this company also caters for off-road enthusiasts. We recently chatted with the folks at ATS – the sole distributors for Mickey Thompson products in SA – along with the brand’s international marketing manager, Bill O’Roake, to learn more about their products and future offerings. SA4x4: Bill, Mickey Thompson’s products are well regarded among professional racing drivers, but what separates your tyres from competing brands in the off-road enthusiast market? BILL: We can’t speak for competing tyre manufacturers, as

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