Browsing: 4×4 skills

Reaching 30m in height, with a circumference in excess of 28m, the baobab tree can live for several thousand years. By Paul Donovan If you found yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, you would be hard-pressed to fi nd in one place all the elements you require to survive. You have to go hunting for them. Th at is, of course, unless you fi nd yourself in the proximity of Adansonia, the Baobab tree. In my view, this tree is a living survival kit, as it can help you out in so many ways. Sometimes known as the ‘upside-down…

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” (Albert Einstein)Einstein is best known as a visionary physicist, but he was also passionately interested in all the complexities and interactions of the natural world. Nature is indeed an intricate web of many interconnected threads, and I am always amazed that the more I look, the more remarkable and unlikely are the relationships I discover… Images: Will Jansen & Lorraine DoyleThe time before the arrival of the first rains is a stressful period for many bushveld animals, as food is often in short supply after the dry winter season.…

By Lorraine DoyleSeptember marks the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere, and, as the late Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party!’”. With this in mind, it seems fitting to look at some of those creatures for which the arrival of warmer days is cause for celebration – insects. “I’ll follow the sun…” (The Beatles, 1964)Although these are not usually high on the list of ‘things to see in the bush’, if they are on the list at all, it really is worth pausing for just a moment on a spring day to see what you…

If you are open to their clues, various animals can lead you to water in an emergency, but once you have found a water source, you should not simply go and drink it, even if it looks clean. Water is a two-edged sword. It is the most important element we need to keep our body working, but it can house bacteria and pathogens which can cause us great harm. It is therefore important that we treat all water, irrespective of how ‘clean’ it may appear, in such a way that we render these harmful organisms harmless to us. Before we…

When it comes to winch recovery, there is a sharp divide amongst enthusiasts about whether steel cable is superior to synthetic rope. No matter where you go, people seem to argue the merits of both types, making it hard for someone not in the know to get a definitive answer. In the past few years, the popularity of synthetic rope has escalated and it is now widely available; but is it the right choice for you? Steel cable For as long as winching has been around, the industry standard has been aircraft-grade steel cable, which is more durable than synthetic…

Words & Images Paul Donovan You may be thinking that because you have a 4×4 and are carrying everything including the kitchen sink, you have no need to carry a survival kit. Well, you would be wrong. The wilderness is the best place in the world to be – right up to the time that things go wrong, and it becomes a very dangerous place. Imagine having your vehicle catch fire when you are stranded in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and you aren’t carrying a fire extinguisher. How would you manage to survive after losing everything? In our imagined…

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