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Trail Blazers

What’s the use of having all those big, beautiful, gnarly off-road rigs if there’s nowhere to take them? That’s a question that’s doubly pertinent if those rigs are outfitted with BFGoodrich All-Terrains or Mud-Terrains. After all, proving you’re Driver Enough requires the appropriate venue.

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That’s why BFGoodrich Tires established the Outstanding Trails program in 2006. Through this program, BFGoodrich Tires promotes sustainable and responsible off-roading by awarding grants to passionate off-road clubs to help preserve local off-road trails. Over the past decade, BFGoodrich has awarded over $160,000 for preservation efforts on 44 trails.

For 2017, BFGoodrich is partnering with 4 Wheel Parts to promote this program. Jeep Jamboree USA, the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, the Blue Ribbon Coalition, and the Off Road Business Association are other critical partners.

The nomination period for 2017 runs between April 17 and August 31. At stake are four, $4000 grants, each awarded to a deserving off-road club. To participate, a club must nominate a North American trail they feel deserves funding for maintenance and refurbishment. Trails are selected based on uniqueness, terrain type, and enthusiast support.

To nominate a trail, complete the application here.

Hear more about the experience from the Grand Mesa Jeep Club, a 2016 grant recipient organization, here:






Previous recipients of grants from the Outstanding Trails program include:

2006

  • Naches Pass, Wash. – Pacific Northwest Four-Wheel Drive Association
  • Upper Tellico, N.C. – Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
  • Pyeatt Draw, Ariz. – Rim Country 4 Wheelers
  • Black Bear Pass, Colo. – Creeper Jeepers Gang of Durango
  • Hell’s Revenge, Utah – Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Inc.

 

2007

  • Rubicon, Calif. – The Rubicon Trail Foundation
  • Flat Nasty, Mo. – Capital City Crawlers
  • Tillamook, Ore. – Raven Off-Road OHV Club
  • Redbird, Ind. – Four Wheels to Freedom 4WD Club
  • Poughkeepsie Gulch, Colo. – Western Slope 4-Wheelers
  • Whipsaw Trail, B.C. – Rover-Landers of British Columbia

 

2008

  • Superstition Mountain, Calif. – San Diego 4 Wheelers Off-Road Club
  • Blacktail/Wild Bill National Recreation Trail, Mont. – Skyliners Four Wheel Drive Club, Inc.
  • Iron Range, Minn. – Northern Minnesota Jeepers Club
  • Pritchett Canyon, Utah – Moab Friends-For-Wheelin’ Club
  • Quinn Trail, Ontario, Canada – Ottawa Valley Offroaders Club
  • Beasley Knob, Ga. – Georgia Bounty Runners 4WD Club

 

2009

  • Barnwell, Texas – Texas Motorized Trails Coalition
  • Fordyce Creek, Calif. – Friends of Fordyce Club

 

2010

  • Rausch Creek, Pa. – PA Jeeps
  • Drummond Island, Mich. – Drummond Island Off-Road Club
  • Yacolt, Wash. – Crystal Crowder
  • Johnson Valley, Calif. – Victor Valley 4 Wheelers
  • Holy Cross, Colo. – Big Horn Jeep Club

 

2011

  • Interlake Trail 19, Ind. – Indiana Four Wheel Drive Association
  • Morrison Jeep Trail, Wyo. – Magic City 4-Wheelers Inc.
  • Dusy-Ershim OHV Route, Calif. ­– Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno

 

2012

  • Mirror Lake Trail, Calif. – Visalia Lock and Low 4-Wheel Drive Club
  • Blanca Peak Trail, Colo. – Creeper Jeepers Gang of Durango
  • Bents and Dents Trail, Ala. – Central Alabama Off-Road Society

 

2013

  • Dutch John Trail, N.C. – The Carolina Trail Blazers 4WD Club
  • Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Ka – The Brush Beater Jeep Club
  • Truckhaven, Calif. – Tierra Del Sol

 

2014

  • Pole Line Trail, Penn. – The HUMMER Club
  • Billings Canyon, Colo. – Grand Mesa Jeep Club
  • Mineral Basin Trail, Utah – Dirt Hedz Off-Road Club

 

2015

  • Applegate-Lassen Wagon Trail, Nev. – High Rock Trekkers
  • Bald Mountain OHV Trails, Sierra National Forest, Calif. – Clovis Independent 4 Wheelers
  • Barrett Lake Trail, El Dorado National Forest, Calif. – Hi-Landers 4WDC
  • Black Bear Pass, Silverton, Colo. – Creeper Jeepers Gang of Durango

 

2016

  • Sidewinder Trail, Kremmling, Colo. - Mile-Hi Jeep Club
  • Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway, Ky. - Ohio River Four Wheelers
  • 21 Road, Colo. - Grand Mesa Jeep Club
  • Hagen Creek Trail, Wash. - Piston’s Wild Motorsports Club
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Adventure

Adventure Beckons

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Editor’s note: Wanderluster, adventurer, and nascent Jeeper 395North (@395North on Instagram)  joined the BFGoodrich team in Moab for his first Easter Jeep Safari earlier this year. A car geek from childhood and an itinerant globetrotter, his experience with the Jeep community’s hospitality only strengthened his desire for adventure. Here, he tells us about why he loves exploring with his Jeep.

 




When I think about it, I don't remember having a choice regarding liking cars or not. Cars have always been integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad was a bit of a rare car hoarder. He had a yard of cars on blocks, and he always had several automotive oddities or European sports cars around our house. Working on cars was a way to share time and often was a part of our chores. I can picture the driveway at one time having a few Alfa Romeos, a Porsche 356sc, a couple Glas 1700GTs, a ‘58 Chevy Apache, a BMW 1600ti, BMW R90s, DAF 600...I'm probably missing some.

I also had general automotive saturation from California car culture and living far from the beach or mountains. Having a car was a mandatory tool and ticket to escape the area to have fun.  Exploring was huge for us as teenagers. We roamed all over California, logging insane miles and fixing the cars as they broke down along the way.

“I can roll up to a swanky LA restaurant and the valet will park it next to a Ferrari 458 Speciale...the Jeep will always gather a crowd and start conversation.”

Because of that experience, I've been addicted to vehicle dependent exploration for a long time. It offers the opportunity to roam and fulfill my wanderlust with long trips far away from crowds. I grew up with long Boy Scout camping road trips and adventures, and later in life, I spent a lot of time traveling around the world gaining exposure to different ways of exploring. During one adventure, I hitchhiked for 6 months around southern Africa. I worked my way across the continent by occasionally driving vehicles on fancy Land Rover overland tours, delivering mail from planes and Land Cruisers, and rolled massive overland DAF and Magirus Deutz trucks across dunes and plains.

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I ended up with my 2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited because my wife and I were looking for a 4x4 vehicle that we could road trip/explore with and also sleep in the back of.  Coincidentally my wife was working on a Chrysler project, and we were offered the opportunity to purchase the Jeep at a super crazy discount. It's been my best automotive purchase. 

I love my Jeep because of the robust simplicity and honesty. The Jeep is what it is.  For me, it’s a pure tool for fun and exploration. In many ways, it represents freedom and escape for us. It provides the opportunity to experience and see so many places others will only see in photos.



I'm currently running the new BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 in a 35-inch size. After hundreds of thousands of miles of adventure in my Jeep and FJ40, I've gone through five sets of Mud Terrains and two sets of All-Terrains and I've never once had a problem with a BFGoodrich tire. I decided on the KO2 because it's an insanely tough tire that performs amazingly on the street and off road.  The tire's light weight has allowed me to retain safe handling characteristics while having the confidence to take on any obstacle. Last week I drove through a lava field strewn with chunks of obsidian with no problem.

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“For my wife and I, the Jeep is a pure tool for fun and exploration. In many ways, it represents freedom and escape for us. It provides the opportunity to experience and see so many places others will only see in photos.”

 The Jeep is also the perfect city car for me. I can leave it unwashed; the fenders don't ding; the bumpers can get bumped in a parking lot; and I can parallel park in super tiny spots by rolling up on the curb. It's also not a slave to fashion. Jeeps are timeless in style and appearance, so I’ll never have to worry about keeping up with the Jones’ by having the newest hot vehicle. I can roll up to a swanky LA restaurant and the valet will park it next to a Ferrari 458 Speciale or some McLaren, because it doesn't fit in a structure, and the Jeep will always gather a crowd and start conversation. 

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When I decided to go to Easter Jeep Safari, I was a little nervous about being surrounded by tons of off-roaders dedicated to one type of vehicle. But now, I consider myself a Jeeper, and I look at EJS as a required right of passage for any Jeep owner. It also happens to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I was completely blown away by the Jeep community, and I couldn't believe how friendly and helpful everyone was. It was almost like one massive family event, where everybody was supportive and encouraging no matter what vehicle you drove, how much experience you had, or how old you were. There was a guy in a lifted Kia that did get heckled little bit, but it was all in good fun. 

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Build

Green Mamba

Editor’s note: Bob Bertelsen is becoming something of a legend in the world of home-built hot rods. With names like Code Red, Orange Rush, and Brute Force, Bertelsen has created some of the most iconic and award-winning custom vehicles of the last decade. For this season, he’s debuting a new Corvette he’s dubbed Green Mamba. See this vivid green autocross monster at the Goodguys 20th PPG Nationals in Columbus (July 7-9).

 




I have always been into cars and trucks. In 1966, my dad bought a ’67 Camaro and gave it to my mom for Christmas. It was the first brand new car she’d ever had. Then in 1990, my mom and dad gave it to me as a Christmas present. Back then, cars didn’t last very long in Ohio. I remember it was rusted out, the top wouldn't go down, and you couldn’t see through the plastic window in the back.

 

I started working on it, and it took me about a year to gather up all the parts. That was back when you could go to Chevy and buy GM quarters, fenders, door skins, and all the stuff you needed. I really didn't know a whole lot about building cars at that point, so I had somebody put the quarters on. I painted it and it was okay for local car shows, but that was it.

“I'm just hooked on racing. I'm an addict. I really love autocross because you're competing against yourself by trying to beat your times, but you're also trying to beat everyone else. When I get to the line, I just block everything out. I get a real rush out of it.”

Then in 2001, I built a '67 Camaro with Corvette suspension and car magazines just went wild with it. It was in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Super Chevy, and two or three other magazines. It was just a simple car, but they all ran features on it because back then, the magazines weren't all owned by the same company. It was a bright yellow convertible with no chrome. I did the whole engine in beige with yellow accents, and the interior was bright yellow. It handled real well, and it won a lot of awards. That sort of got me known a little bit.

Then in 2009, I got really hooked on autocross and built a ’72 Firebird called Code Red. I wanted what was best for autocross, so I used a Detroit Speed suspension and Baer brakes. The car ran fairly well, but I realized there was some room for improvement. So in 2012, I built Brute Force, a ’71 Camaro that turned out to be a big hit.

I'm just hooked on racing, I'm an addict. I'll occasionally drag race but I really love autocross — that's my thing. With autocross, you're competing against yourself in some ways because you're trying to beat your old time. But you're also trying to beat everyone else's time. It’s very competitive and when I get to the line I just block everything out. I get a real rush out of it. 

I'm very competitive, so with every vehicle I build, I try to get faster. When I first started doing this, I would build show cars you could race, but now I build race cars you can show.

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My latest vehicle is this ’68 T-top Corvette called Green Mamba. I did all the fabrication myself in my garage at home. I designed the Corvette to look stylish and modern. I reshaped the nose and added fourteen LED headlights that are in an inch-and-a-half opening. For the hood, I took a ZL-1 Camaro hood scoop, grafted it to the old, original hood, and then took out some of the original lines and smoothed things out. I think it makes it flow better and gives it a cleaner look.

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Obviously the car's flared and we did a lot to the back. I sloped the rear window so that it blends back into the rear panels. Then I cut in a trunk and built all the seals around it so that I could store stuff. Other changes include a carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber bumpers, carbon fiber rear wing, and mirrors. I eliminated badges, side marker lights and trim from the car, and I moved the license plate up. We wrapped it in BFGoodrich tires and Forgeline wheels.

The car was designed to be an autocross race car that looks like a show car, which means we also completely changed every panel — including dash and door panels — on the interior.

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It took about 12 and a half months to build, but I never dreamed I would build a car like this Corvette. If you’d asked me ten years ago, I would have said there was no way I could build a car of this caliber. But you have to keep asking questions and you have to be willing to learn. I’ve got parts hanging on the wall that I couldn't put on a car because they were too ugly. I hang them there to remind me of my mistakes and to learn from them. The first car you build is not going to be your top car. You’ve just gotta keep building and keep getting better. I’m already thinking about what to build after this Corvette.

 

 

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Build

Land and Sea

Editor’s note: Max Steele scoured Ebay for the right vehicle at the right price. What he found was a tough as nails “Landy” that’s perfect for hauling his boat.

 




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Growing up on a farm gave me an appreciation for agricultural equipment. I think that’s what led me to getting a Defender as my first car. It’s a Defender 90 XS Hard Top, on a 60 plate from 2010 with near enough 75,000 miles on it. Of that mileage, 35,000 have been on BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO1s. I believe the KO1s offer a great all-round ability, whether on the road, on rock, gravel or mud. For me, this tire suits me as I'm often using them off road around the farm as well as heading out on tarmac roads.

I haven't been on many adventures with my car yet, but I did recently drive it from my home in Oxfordshire, England, to the Norfolk Broads. That’s a three-and-a-half hour drive, and I towed a boat the whole way.

 

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Adventure

Dream Job

Editor’s note: Garage Pit Crew member Dan McKeever talks about racing, driving, teaching, and the perks of being president of the Ford Performance Racing School.

 




Dan McKeever doesn’t look comfortable behind a desk. His head is clean shaven and gleaming, and his facial hair is carefully trimmed into a neat goatee. He’s wearing Adidas tennis shoes, shorts, and a pullover fleece. He looks nothing like the person you’d expect sitting in an office with beige walls, hard-wearing carpet, modular furniture, and banks of fluorescent lights. 

Yet there he is, looking more like a youth football coach than an office drone. McKeever is neither, of course. He’s the president of the Ford Performance Racing School. It sounds like a dream job — and McKeever agrees it pretty much is — but even if his job does involve regular seat time in some enviable vehicles, he’s also responsible for overseeing some of the less flashy aspects of the school: curriculum design, teaching, general administration.

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In many ways, McKeever is the exact type of guy you’d want as the president of a manufacturer driving school. It’s a job that requires a unique blend of racing skill, patience and communication, and sensible management skills — all things that McKeever is blessed with.

“We're just proving the product every day, and we have an opportunity to show our students how important the tire is, the progressivity of the tires, all the things that BFGoodrich builds into the tire to ensure it’s a good product.”

The driving skill is no surprise. Both his parents raced, as did his uncle, which meant that McKeever grew up immersed in the world of motorsports. “As a kid, my parents never did vacations. Our vacations were spent sleeping in the back of the pickup truck — they’d have a trailer with the race car on it. I spent most of my weekends at the racetrack. Growing up, I saw myself doing nothing but something in motorsports.”

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McKeever’s father also taught for SCCA and ran their licensing program for a dozen years before going to run a racing school at Willow Springs International Raceway (Rosamond, CA). The senior McKeever ended up buying the school after a few years. That experience brought him in contact with the educational side of driving and opened his eyes to other possibilities. 

“I essentially grew up with him running a racing school. At 18, I got my racing license, which was easy because I did it in one of my dad’s school cars,” McKeever says. “I always had a love of racing, but I never really had an aspiration to get anywhere specifically with racing. I just love doing it, so I found any way possible to do it at any level. I just wanted to be involved in some way.”

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McKeever started working for his father and drove for car manufacturers doing ride-and-drives, while racing on the side. Then, in 1996, he moved to Charlotte, where his uncle was living. “My uncle is pretty established as a race car driver. He’s won the 24 Hours of Daytona a couple times, was successful in the Trans-Am Series and the K&N Series…He’d moved to North Carolina to run in the NASCAR program at one point and just stayed out there, so I moved out there.”

By 1999, McKeever had moved to South Carolina to run the BMW Performance Center’s driving schools. Although McKeever had plenty of experience with teaching independent schools, this represented a step up to running a factory program at a permanent facility. Then, in 2006, McKeever was tapped to start the Ford Performance Racing School at Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC).

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UMC is a massive facility. The full road course clocks in at nearly 4.5 miles, with the ability to be configured into East, West, and Perimeter courses. By itself, the paddock occupies 24 acres and contains nearly 300 garages. The Ford Performance Racing School occupies an administrative building near the campus’ entrance and shares the track facilities. There are schools for all the performance oriented vehicles in Ford’s arsenal: egg-shaped Fiesta STs, hot hatch Focus STs, drift-mode Focus RSs, all flavors of Mustangs (including BOSS 302s and brand new 5.0 GTs); there’s even a dedicated school for the F-150 Raptor.

“At the end of the day, I can drive 120-odd race cars, and I have more track time than most any guys do on anything. I get to work with the best people in the world. We get to share our sport with folks that have purchased these vehicles, and these guys are torqued up about what's going on. To me, that's way more energizing and means more to me than being a pro race car driver.”

BFGoodrich tires are the rubber of choice for nearly all of the school’s vehicles. (The primary exception being the Mustang Shelby 350GT, which has a Michelin OE fitment.) “We picked BFGoodrich for all the right reasons,” McKeever says. “We didn’t have a relationship with BFGoodrich at the time, but the tire was well-respected, made in the USA, and it fit with the American muscle.” Of course, that kind of choice didn’t escape BFGoodrich’s notice, which made the partnership official over a decade ago.

“We're just proving the product every day, and we have an opportunity to show our students how important the tire is, the progressivity of the tires, all the things that BFGoodrich builds into the tire to ensure it’s a good product,” McKeever explains.

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But while the opportunity to drive consistently is appealing for McKeever — he values the way driving brings everything into focus and helps the noise of the world disappear — but it’s not the primary motivator for him. “When I get into a car and I’m sharing my experience with somebody…there’s no better feeling. There’s an addition to that. There’s no more fun than sitting next to somebody when you’re showing them something and they [get it] and they’re like, ‘Yeahhhhhh!’”

“At the end of the day, I can drive 120-odd race cars, and I have more track time than most any guys do on anything. I get to work with the best people in the world. We get to share our sport with folks that have purchased these vehicles, and these guys are torqued up about what's going on. To me, that's way more energizing and means more to me than being a pro race car driver.”

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Adventure

Transatlantic Trails

Editor’s note: From the soggy trails of northeast England to the rock scrambles of Moab, Utah, Jason Wilkinson never misses a chance to get off-road. We met the UK native at Easter Jeep Safari 2017, and he told us about his off-road interests and how he came to be in Utah.

 




I was crazy about cars as a kid, always keen to help my dad fix his. But as I got older, 4x4s became my main interest. I’ve always had at least one during the past twenty-five years, from Suzukis to Land Rovers, and a Jeep TJ along the way. Four years ago, I heard that a guy in our 4x4 club was selling his Ibex and I couldn’t let the chance to own one go by.  I’d wanted one for years after seeing them compete in winch challenge events. They were cool and different but had been beyond my budget.

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The vehicle is a Foers Ibex 240S, built in 2006 from a kit of parts and a Land Rover Defender. It has a space-frame chassis, aluminum and fiberglass panels, a 93” wheelbase, and a short body with reduced overhang. The engine is a TD5, five-cylinder, 2.5-liter diesel with a five-speed manual transmission. It uses mostly stock parts with a few changes to increase the suspension travel. I’m using BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM2s in 255/85/16 size. Tall and skinny tires give the best compromise for the range of surfaces we have in the UK. They will cut down through mud to find grip, and a bit of extra height is ideal without affecting the gearing too much. I need a tire that does everything: travel at 70 mph on road all day, get me through mud and over rocks, then get me home again in rain or snow. The KM2 does all of that.

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I had doubts about the suitability of the Ibex for longer trips, camping and holidays. This was put to the test a few months after I got it. Fully loaded, I set off on a 2000-mile tour of Scotland, taking in the Orkney Isles in the far north and the Isle of Skye. I need not have worried. It was comfortable, easy to live with, and had enough space for the camping gear. But it is noisy!

In the northeast of England, we have some good trails within an hour from my home. The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales are favorite areas of mine. Wales is another place with many great routes. We make that a three-day trip due to the distance. Sadly, a lot of trails in the UK have been permanently closed to vehicles over the years, in my view unnecessarily. Management and maintenance could have kept most of them open.

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Our local 4x4 club, Raiders Offroad, uses private sites to run events. I prefer organizing things rather than the competitive side and have previously organized winch challenges and trials for the club. I made a lot of good friends through the club, including Eddie and Tony who came to Moab with me this year for Easter Jeep Safari ’17.

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I first came to Easter Jeep Safari in 2015, which was also my first trip to the USA. A long time 4x4 buddy, Stephen Armitage was traveling to Moab from Alberta Canada and he had a spare seat. All I had to do was get a flight to Salt Lake City. Just to be there was amazing after reading about it in the magazines for years and watching YouTube videos!  The Red Rock 4-Wheelers made the whole week an easy, safe and enjoyable way to see Moab.

The plan to come to Easter Jeep Safari ’17 was put together around a campsite during a trip to Wales. I was desperate to go back, having just missed the 50th Anniversary, while Eddie and Tony jumped at the chance for a once in a lifetime trip. Flights, jeep rental and the motel were booked ten months early and we waited for the trail booking to open! In Moab, we took time to see Canyonlands, Arches and the expo, as well as three days on the trails. It was great to bump into people that remembered me from the last trip and make some new friends too. There really is nowhere like Moab during EJS. It’s a fantastic atmosphere, great people, great Jeeps, and trails and scenery to die for.

See you at EJS 2019, we’re coming back!

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Adventure

Taco Time

Editor’s note: From the long daily work commute to the deep canyons of Moab, Utah, Krystian Wrzesien’s Tacoma is getting him exactly where he wants to go.

 




When I started looking for a full-sized truck I checked out Chevy Silverados, Fords, and Tundras because I felt the Tacomas were too small for me. But something happened and I got bit by the Tacoma bug. I have never looked back.

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I love every square inch of my truck, from the power outlet in the truck bed, to the heads up display, to the design of the steering wheel. I also love the aggressive look of it. You can tell by the look of the Tacoma that off-roading was definitely a factor in the design.

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Last September, my girlfriend and I took a road trip to Utah. We had a general idea of places we wanted to check out, and the rest was left to fate. We started out with a couple days in Zion, then did Bryce, which both had the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. Then, we headed to Moab. My research of Moab took us to a trail called Onion Creek. It was out of this world. The landscape looked like Mars. We were in the bottom part of a deep canyon, crossing through streams, sometimes even driving right up the stream itself. We barreled through steep creek exits and entrances and over sharp, jagged rocks. At some points, we were hugging the hillside to avoid falling down pretty steep drops. Then, towards the end of the trail, it just opened up into this big ranch. It was surreal. We loved it so much, we chose to camp around there. 

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That was a crazy, fun trip. The Onion Creek trail was pretty rough at times but I never once had any doubts because at that point I had already been riding on BFGoodrich tires for over a year, and I knew exactly what they were capable of. I have the All-Terrain KO2s in a 265/70/17. All-Terrains are all I’ve ever wanted since the very first idea of having an off-road worthy rig. It’s the right choice. The size fits my needs perfectly, from a daily seventy-mile round trip work commute, to off-roading in the mountains.

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Adventure

Six Questions with Andrew St. Pierre White

Editor’s note: Adventurer, travel writer, and filmmaker Andrew St. Pierre White has cultivated a dedicated following as an overland travel expert with his brand 4xOverland. It’s not hard to see why: his Youtube channel is populated by a no-nonsense, informative approach to all aspects of overlanding, from gear to dispatches from the field. We met up with him at Overland Expo West, where he took the time to answer a few of our questions.

To learn more about Andrew St. Pierre White, follow him on Youtube and Instagram

 




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HOW DID YOU START OVERLANDING?

I got into overlanding because when I was 14 years old, my father took me to a place called Okavango Delta in Botswana. We were living in South Africa at the time, and it was such a magical place and a magical experience. He was very much an adventure traveler and he bought a 4-wheel-drive and took the family to this amazing place.

This whole idea of being able to drive to remote destinations was something that stirred myself even at 12 years old. Later, I started in the film industry. I did a lot of traveling, and even after I was qualified as a film editor and working in the advertising industry, I used my spare time going into the wild in my own 4-wheel-drive. Now, I've combined my film experience with my early career and my love of overlanding and publishing books and things. I now do adventure travel combined with my film understanding of storytelling.

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WHERE DOES OVERLANDING TAKE YOU?

I'm about to do my very first proper overlanding trip in Australia, But most of my work is Africa because of my 38 years there. I consider myself an expert in overland traveling in Africa, particularly southern Africa. There are very few places in southern Africa that I haven't visited once in my life.

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WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

My bucket list is quite long, but right at the top is something that I'm actually about to do in Australia. It's a called the Canning Stock Route. It is the world's longest recreational 4x4 trail. It's over 1000 sand dunes, following a cattle route that was created in the early 20th century. Basically, it's two weeks of deep Australian bush travel. It's the real deal. That trail is notorious for ripping shock absorbers from their mountings and tearing spare wheel carriers from the back of vehicles. It's very, very tough. That's been on the bucket list for a long time and I'm leaving in July to do that trip in a two-vehicle convoy with four people.

Other things on my bucket list… Without question, Iceland. They use enormous balloon tires at very low pressures, and if they come off the rim, which they often do if they turn a bit too hard, they use a cigarette lighter and cigar fluid from a little aerosol and they inflate the tires instantly. I want to do that trick. I've never done that. I've seen the videos. I've gotta do that for my own truck. 

Chile and Patagonia, and Argentina are also very much at the top of my bucket list. I have a plan that I'm seriously considering. My entire career was inspired by a 1972 expedition where the British Army equipped two British Leyland Range Rovers and drove the entire route from Alaska to Cape Horn. They had lots of mechanical failures and great challenges. I want to replicate it in a similar vintage Range Rover I have. It's exactly that model Range Rover which was my very first four-wheel drive. So I have a love relationship with that particular vintage car. I would love to be able to take one and do that expedition all over again.

 

BUT NOW, YOU PREFER DRIVING TOYOTAS? 

My first love was Range Rovers and Land Rovers, but I started driving Toyotas about 1995 and got a taste of my first Toyota Land Cruiser. I really appreciated it, more for its reliability than for its character. Land Rovers then were full of character. Driving a Land Rover in those days, one had to have a lot of mechanical sympathy. You were always looking at the water temperature. If you wanted to know what the oil temperature was doing and the gear box, you would feel the lever coming out of the transfer gear box with your fingers to see how hot it was. You were aware of every bump, every knock, everything that might cause a vehicle to fail.

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With a Land Cruiser, it's so much the opposite that it's actually a problem. I will go through and spend days on a trail and not check my vehicle because somehow, they just work. When you put in the key, they start, when you pull out the key they stop. They're very reliable, and so I do not worry about the oil temperature or water temperature, and I don't keep looking at the instruments to make sure the engine's running. I'll just open the bonnet around the campfire, climb underneath, and make sure everything is in place.

The Land Cruisers that I'm driving now, my own Land Cruiser, the 70-series which are not available in the States, are full of character. But not the same kind of character. They’re extremely robust and very reliable, but they have character in that they're basic. They have cart springs at the back. You have to deal with the ride of a cart spring. However, it's not going to break. You have a sense of trust in the vehicle because it's simple.

 

HOW DID YOU BEGIN DRIVING ON BFGOODRICH TIRES?

I started in 2009 after a failed trip and it failed because of a tire issue. I put on BFGoodrich tires because I heard very good things about them in 2009 and I was about to embark on a solo trip across the Kalahari all on my own. I did not even carry a satellite phone because I wanted to find out what it was like to be utterly cut off in middle of the wilderness. It was a great experiment.

I started using the tires because they did very well on that trip. I had no issues whatsoever, so I left them on my vehicle. I have run sets of BFGoodrich tires since 2009 and it's become my tire of choice.

Editor's note: Andrew St. Pierre White more thoroughly discusses his history with BFGoodrich in this video.

 

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WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO WHEN YOU’RE OVERLANDING?

Sunrises are the one thing that does not get old. Like on my trip in the Kalahari, I had no tent at all. I slept on the roof rack on the top of the vehicle even though there were lions around. That's exciting. When you wake up in the night and you're awoken by a lion roaring and you open your eyes and the first thing you see is the milky way galaxy. And you hear a lion roar and in the morning you're woken by a yellow-billed hornbill that's going, "Bock bock bock bock bock bock bock". They're very gregarious birds. Big yellow-bill and they'll come very close to the campsite. I've had a number of occasions with them sitting in the branch, two feet above my head, looking down at me almost waking me up like an alarm call. That never gets old. It's the best thing in the world.

It's what it's all about really, those moments.

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