JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
What can I say....I love a good rack! I've tried a bunch of them too. Time and time again I would install one, run it for a few months only to remove it because of noise or some functionality issue. Things like rattling around or having it so tight to the Jeep that I couldn't get my hands under it to install my rooftop tent are common when it comes to overland racks, and up until now if we ran a rack...we would just have to work with the issues. Good news folks! We now have an overland rack that doesn't make all kinds of noise, looks great and leaves enough space around it even the fattest hands like mine can get in there and bolt stuff down!
There no real magic about an overland rack. Practically, it's a big cage surrounding your jeep that you bolt and strap stuff to for travel. All we need is a good design, enough room to work, minimal rattling, and make sure it's strong enough to hold a tent and a couple adults without an issue. If a company does that...I don't know about you, but I'm all in!
The Body Armor Overland Rack checks all those boxes and then some. Their new knuckle joint system is a one of a kind in overland racks and offers a tight strong fit that minimizes noise, makes for an easy install offers all the strength you need. The addition cross bar can be installed in any location across the rack which makes it perfect for us rooftop tent folks. If you're not a rooftop tent guy, Body Armor offers a cage that can be mounted anywhere up there and has enough space to store just about everything you own, so while you're comfortably sleeping in your Jeep , you can know that your stuff is safe and sound up top. The slant back design looks sexy, offers strength and is a great grab handle when you step up on the tire to get to the rack.
There is one small downside though. Well, I guess it's more of a love/hate kind of thing. The front crossbar over the windshield makes it a little tough to add and remove a soft top. I don't think I would want something different up there though because it makes such a great wind guard and doubles as a light bar mounting spot (I'll check those out next).
Don't fret my friends...I don't just bring problems, I also have a solution. Simply replace the nuts with wing nuts. By using the wing nuts you can easily loosen those up to fix that top removal issue. Just make sure you occasionally check those to keep them tight.
Without a doubt, the Body Armor 4x4 Overland Rack is the best, overall rack system I've found. I know I'll be using mine for many years to come.
Check out the Body Armor 4x4 Overland Rack and the entire catalog of products go to: http://www.bodyarmor4x4.com/
This is the time of year we all start wishing we had halfdoors, right? I know for me it's happened year after year after long, hot, sweaty arm on the door panel year! GOOD NEWS FOLKS! Body Armor 4x4 has the answer. Their Gen 3 TrailDoor is better than ever with a new hinge set up allowing for the perfect fit in the factory hinges and more importantly a latch that works smoothly. The doors don't even really rattle!
Made from the combination of tube and flat steel, the design looks tough. Add in the mesh webbing door panels and you have a rugged, military look that will do justice to any Jeep. A black wrinkle finish powder coat finishes off the steel tubing and the webbing comes in two colors, Black and Tan. Easy to assemble and even easier to install so you can expect to be rolling your new doors in about an hour from opening the box to installing on to your Jeep.
Body Armor 4x4 have been a leader in the industry for many years now. That experience transitions into a great team that know how to make Quality Jeep parts for an affordable price. The Gen 3 Trail Doors will cost you about $450 bucks a set and come complete and worth every penny! Add them to some Body Armor bumpers and roof rack and you have one sexy Jeep ready for any trail you throw at it.
Check out out the Gen 3 Trail Doors and a full product catalog at: http://www.bodyarmor4x4.com/
Generally speaking most of us will probably not be going with a long arm lift kit. The average person will lift their Jeep somewhere in between the 2.5 to 3.5 inch range and TeraFlex has some really great short arm lifts that are perfect for the masses.
What about the person that wants the ultimate off-road vehicle though. The person that needs more travel, wants a smoother ride and is certain that they are willing to go all in on building a Jeep that can go anywhere and do just about anything? Well, for that person a TeraFlex Long Flex Arm Kit is exactly what he or she is looking for.
On one Jeep we have a 3.5 inch short arm kit with the 8 Alpine Arms, which I absolutely love. On the other, well...we jumped into the deep end of the pool by upgrading our 4 inch short arm to the long arm kit with new Alpine Arms.
The process was very educational. Geeking out on it all taught me how the geometry of everything working together properly makes all the difference in the world in performance. It's so much more than just moving a bracket and installing a longer arm. We'll save the mathematics for another time though. Let's talk practical here...what will the upgrade actually do and is it worth it??
The over simplified definition is this...by allowing the wheels to freely move underneath your jeep you can drive over bigger obstacles, through bigger dips, ride safely at crazier angles and have an overall smoother ride. That is 100% all true. In fact I was surprised at how noticeably better the ride was and when I watched the TeraFlex Long Flex Arm Kit in action from outside of the vehicle I was amazed even more. It was so cool to watch the Jeep flow through all those big obstacles so smoothly.
TeraFlex is a brand that has built a small empire on learning the Jeep Wrangler inside and out and then developing aftermarket upgrades built specifically for it. Their products are a step above the pack in quality and performance and their suspension kits are world renowned. With a company full of Jeepers, they just seem to get it and that means by sticking with TeraFlex you can have the peace of mind that you are getting the best for your Jeep.
Now, There are a few things I feel like I need to say before you rush off and order your new TeraFlex Long Flex Arm Kit. Remember, these are simply my opinions, always do your homework and make the best choice for you.
Check out the entire TeraFlex catalog at: https://teraflex.com/
Every off-roader has their gear bag. You need to be prepared when you're out there or it can get really dangerous, really fast. Although there are many options for gear, I stick with a trusted brand that have stood the test of time. Tested and proven to hold up, high end quality for an affordable price and design to look as great as it works CRKT makes Gear worthy of your gear bag.
Check out what I call the CRKT Overland Series...
The TRENCHER - $99
Everyone need a good trail shovel, the uses for it are endless. The TRENCHER is a great, inexpensive, well weighted and built shovel that you won't regret adding to your gear.
Saw Blade + Beveled Edge for Cutting
Reinforced Steel Tip for Prying
Three-Position Head w/Threaded Locking Collar
Blade Length 7.875" (200.03 mm)
Blade Edge Combination
Blade Steel 1050 Carbon Steel, 40-45 HRC
Blade Finish Coating
Blade Thickness 0.080" (2.03 mm)
Closed Length 20.750" (527.05 mm)
Weight 3 lbs 10.3 oz
Handle Carbon Steel, Polypropylene, Nylon
Style Spade w/Threaded Cylinder Lock + Sheath
Sheath Material Black Polyester Fabric with Polypropylene Insert
Overall Length 27.188" (690.58 mm)
THECHANCEINHELL MACHETE '18 - $79.99
A machete is actually A LOT more practical than you would think...especially if you really like getting out there for some good exploration. The CRKT machete line is built tough and stays sharp! AND...I'm not sayin Walkers really exist or anything...but why not be prepared juuuust in case!
Black Corrosion Resistant Blade Finish
Football Texture Handle Grip
Reinforced Nylon Sheath
Blade Length 18.000" (457.2 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel 65Mn Carbon Steel, HRC 46-50
Blade Finish Black Powder Coat
Blade Thickness 0.106" (2.69 mm)
Weight 1 lb 5.6 oz
Handle Core - Polypropylene; Overmold - Thermoplastic Rubber
Style Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
Sheath Material Fabric - Weaved Polyester, Black; Insert - Polypropylene, Black; Cord - Nylon, Black
Overall Length 23.625" (600.08 mm)
WOODS CHOGAN T-HAWK - $69.99
This tomahawk is a "must have". Not only will it be one of your best friends in an emergency, nothing is worse than trying to get a good camp fire going with thick logs! I think splitting wood for a fire is what I use my T-WOOD for most actually. A replaceable handle and being able to keep a sharp edge makes this tomahawk a no brained for less than 70 bucks!
Hot Forged 1055 Carbon Steel
Tennessee Hickory Handle
Blade Length 4.21" (106.93 mm)
Blade Edge Axe w/Hammer
Blade Steel 1055 Carbon Steel, 50-55 HRC
Blade Finish Hammer
Blade Thickness 0.52" (13.21 mm)
Weight 2 lbs 1.4 oz
Handle Tennessee Hickory
Overall Length 19.13" (485.9 mm)
All New HOMEFRONT - $150
Being able to break this down and clean it up so easily is the biggest separator from the knife pack. When you're out for days at a time in all sorts of terrain and climates or gum in up your daily carry with pocket lent, in about 3 minutes your HOMEFRONT will be as good as new. Great build!
Breakthrough "Field Strip" technology innovation
Field Strip lets you easily disassemble your knife for cleaning without tools
AUS 8 Blade Steel with 6061 Aluminum Handles
Blade Length 3.502" (88.95 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel AUS 8, HRC 57-58
Blade Finish Brushed Steel
Blade Thickness 0.133" (3.38 mm)
Closed Length 4.728" (120.09 mm)
Weight 4.8 oz
Handle 6061 Aluminum
Style Folding Knife w/Locking Liner
Overall Length 8.313" (211.15 mm)
There you have folks. An inexpensive solution to filling your gear bag with quality, much needed gear. Check out these pieces and the rest of the CRKT line up at:
Most Jeep owners use their Jeeps for the things they were built for. That means they take a beating! What if I were to tell you there's a bumper out there that is twice as strong as your steel bumper, BUT only about half the weight? Would you buy it? What if I added that the style is original and sexy as heck?! Then would you buy?? Ok, ok, what if I added that it's priced comparable to bumpers of way lessor quality? Look...if that doesn't get you to buy, well...nothing will!
Check out the MC2X by WILCO OFF-ROAD. This bumper looks amazing and when Wilco combined aluminum and chromoly to manufacture it, it immediately took a place at the front of the line for me. The MC2X quickly became my favorite front bumper out there and obviously found its way to my Jeep.
The MC2X starts at just under $600 bucks and offers a customizable array of options. A set up like the one I have sits right around the $1000 dollar mark, BUT if you ask me...worth every cent!
-Fits 2007 to 2015 Wrangler, Rubicon and Unlimited, 2 and 4-door models
-Engineered for extreme durability and performance, with less weight
-Steel/Aluminum metal composite construction
-Tubular steel front leading bumper with D-shackle mounting points
-Features recessed buckets to mount the factory fog lamps
-Easy bolt-on installation
-Limited Lifetime Warranty
-Made in USA
CONSTRUCTION- CNC laser-cut, precision-formed for an exact fit
FINISH- Bead blasted and powder coated.
HARDWARE- Grade 10.9 carbon alloy steel with a corrosion-resistant black zinc finish
WEIGHT- 57 lbs (Standard bumper without stinger or winch)
SOURCE- Made in USA
WARRANTY- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Check out the full Wilco OffRoad line up at:
USE THE DISCOUNT CODE - Venturewld FOR A NICE LITTLE DISCOUNT!!
In my life I've come to learn a thing or two. One, treat people well...you'll be way better for it. Two, there is nothing good about cabbage, I don't care what anybody says and three...life is definitely about the journey not the destination. The journey defines us, it's our story. It's our impact. Live it like you dreamed of as a child. Live it like it matters, because it does. AND of course, live it to the fullest!
I love supporting good people, especially when they put out products the Jeep owners everywhere will absolutely love!
This one is simple...DV8 Off-Road's heat reducing hood for any 2007-2016 Jeep JK & JKU is an upgrade that increases performance with a style that adds an aggressive, but ultra clean look to any Jeep.
One thing we do here, we run our Jeeps! Things get dirty, beat up and broken all the time which is one of the reasons why we stick to brands and products we trust for our own Jeeps. DV8 Off-Road has never let us down. Always quality and someone is always there to talk to if you need some tips and tricks on installing and using your DV8 mods to the best of their ability.
This performance hood is no different. Designed to keep air flow moving the vented hood works with motion to keep cooler air flowing to your motor while driving and but allows the warm air to escape while stopped. Adding DV8's patented inner fenders is only a plus for airflow and they also we leave you constantly looking back at your Jeep with a grin on your face.
Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and with one look at this heat reduction hood...we were sold!
You can see and purchase all of DV8 Off-Road's products at: https://dv8offroad.com/
Overlanding through some of the most beautiful places with friends is definitely one of my favorite things to do. The beautiful landscape, the sitting around a fire at night talking and laughing with friends, and driving the trails just can't be beat.
The Trail itself is unfolding more and more everyday. When it's finished it will actually be one the longest mapped trails in the US, but for now we all can enjoy the miles and miles of open desert across Arizona and for those of you that don't want to spend 3 or 4 days on the trail don't worry, there's plenty of opportunity to grab the highway and get in and out for a fun day or two.
You can pick up the trail in several places. But once you're on it you're going to want to see it all so plan accordingly. The trail gets pretty narrow at times which makes it great for a Razor, but not so great for you Toyota folks. All I can say is this, DON'T WORRY, it will buff out...probably.
You can expect hill top ridgelines over looking miles and miles of desert landscape, dropping down into the beautiful valleys that are full of life and springtime bloom and just about everything in between on this one. I would say any stock Jeep will be fine, this one isn't to technical but go prepared because the desert is no joke, and like all of nature should be given the respect it deserves or you may find yourself dehydrated, suffering from hypothermia and trying to scare off the wild life as they pick your rotting flesh from your dying bones with no help,to be found! (what?? To much??) :-)
The bigger point here is whatever you do, have fun doing it. Who ever you go with, enjoy the moments good conversation and humor to the fullest AND...never close your eyes without taking in the majesty of the sun setting over beautiful state of Arizona.
Here's a fun batch of B roll from the trip...check it out.
When it comes to getting off the grid for a little refuel time there are a few simple things that can be done to make the experience all you dream it is when you're miserable sitting at your desk daydreaming instead of working at the office. Being prepared makes all the difference in enjoying your time away.
Now, let me say we are starting in the beginning here. As you gain experience you'll gain the education needed to take you in any direction you want to go out there. Minimalist will want nothing and the family of 5 will want everything. I think that is part of the magic though..when we unplug from the chaos from an overworked, over informed, over stimulated, over stressed world and settle into something a little more simplistic in nature everyone will win regardless of the degree of "off the grid" you actually get.
First, food and water. The biggest tip here...MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH. Other than that, pack according to where you're going and what you're doing. An overland trip through the desert with a small crew means things sometimes become about need than want. If you're hitting a campground for the weekend with the kids and some friends...the party is on! BBQ, snacks, fresh fruits, all that stuff can be enjoyed as much as you want to pack it. Just be careful not to come home heavier than when you left. No need for that now, right??
Second up...gear! There is nothing worse than bringing the wrong clothes for protection or forgetting to pack up something needed for an emergency an the trail. Do your homework. Look into things like weather and conditions of the place your going before hand so you stay prepared.
Last and and certainly not least...base camp! I just spent the last couple months researching what the VTW BaseCamp needs to actually look like. What amenities do I really want vs really need? What does it have to be capable of doing? What I should comfortably spend on it? It's so easy to get carried away here, emotions are such a big part of how we buy over buying happens all the time. For example, just this week I came so close to purchasing a really nice, really expensive base camp trailer. Fortunately for me the busy season gave me time to come to my senses and get back to what I really wanted from the start. That pause to revisit my list of must haves and wants saved me about 15k.
bottom line is this...whatever your camping looks like, take a little time to make sure you are all dialed in. Wouldn't you rather be spending time enjoying your friends and family instead? Now let's get out there and soak in all the benefits nature has to offer!
From the beginning of man exploration has been a part of us. Throughout history the world has seen proof of that through the great accomplishments achieved by the explorer. New places and people were discovered. New things and of course great treasures have been found. Through exploration we've discovered cures to disease, new technology to develope, better ways of living and maybe the best of all...peace.
That's not why we explore though. All of those great things are biproducts of our exploration. We explore because we are born with the desire to seek. To go where we have never gone, to see what we have never seen, to experience what we have never experienced. How deep is the deepest ocean? How high is the tallest peek? Just how big is this great big universe? Those are the questions we ask ourselves. Those are the thoughts that fill our dreams.
At the heart of every man is a call for adventure and those of us who are lucky enough to answer that call are what the world recognizes as the explorer.