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Overland News

Do I really need a winch?

Recently my friend Sergio Mendez Santiago emailed me from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he and his wife, Ruth, are putting the finishing touches on their new Mitsubishi Triton, a fine turbodiesel-powered 4WD pickup (sadly unavailable in the U.S.). Like so many of us setting up a new vehicle, Sergio has been vacillating on the decision of whether or not to install a winch. We both thought it would be a good subject to explore. Since I have a Warn 8274 on my FJ40, and I installed a Warn M8000 on Roseann’s FJ60, I certainly appreciate their value (and I think my objectivity is on solid ground)—however, I certainly don’t think one absolutely needs a winch to be able to undertake even ambitious journeys. Read more on the pros and cons of adding a winch or going winchless . . . 

Ron & Viv Moon, Tiffany Coates, & many new products on offer for OX12

Registration for Overland Expo 2012 (Overland Experience packages) is going strong—the early birds are more excited than ever, with signups from the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Latin America already confirmed. We also are happy to announce some great new overlanding legends joining us: Aussie overlanders, authors, and videographers Ron and Viv Moon are on their way up the Americas and will join us to give slide shows and workshops; Tiffany Coates, who has logged over 200,000 miles on her BMW R 80 G/S and is still on the move, will also be popping in with the ever-trusty Thelma; and the team from ALT Project will debut their documentary of their ride through the West's 19th-century mining towns. We're also excited about numerous new products that will be debuted at the show.

NEW FOR 2012: Get ready to be blown away by our expanded OVERLAND SKILLS AREA, with driving and riding, and hands-on instruction in an ALL NEW FORMAT that will allow you to custom-tailor your training. We don't want to give it all away now, but here's a hint: we're giving the Camel Trophy Overland Expo Training Team a blank slate to design the ULTIMATE OVERLAND SKILLS TRAINING AREA, and they won't disappoint.

A home in the bed of your truck; a visit with Four Wheel Campers

Over the years, we have been through a lot of vehicle-based camping setups, beginning with a couple of sleeping bags rolled out on the roof rack of my FJ40. We’ve gone minimalist with backpacking tents and stoves, luxurious with family-sized cabin tents and padded cots. We’ve tried roof tents, trailers, truck-bed mattresses. For some time we owned a WilderNest, a pickup shell with a cunning roof that flipped sideways to turn into a bed, with an enormous tent erected semi-automatically above it. I remember spending a mostly sleepless night trying to brace the frame of that spinnaker-like tent in a 40mph Sea of Cortez Norte. It was never quite the same afterward. Of all the setups that have come and gone, the one about which we wax most nostalgic is our Four Wheel Camper. Mounted first on a 1990 4WD Toyota pickup powered by a willing but overmatched 22RE four-cylinder, then on a 2000 4WD Tacoma with the 3.4-liter six (60 percent more power and better gas mileage), we put over 150,000 miles on that camper, using it as a mobile base for dozens of freelance magazine assignments and several books. Read more:


News: Best of overland tech & travel 


Need a little backup power? We review a couple of portable battery packs, including a solar-charged unit, on Overland Tech and Travel.

Minimalist overlander. Here's a new ratchet pouch just big enough to hold all your wheel removal kit. We’re lobbying for a version that will fit an 18" breaker bar. Off Road Trail Tools

Central CA moto meet. Globe-riding motorcyclists, take note. Cambria, California, will host a Horizons Unlimited meeting from October 14th to the 16th. Horizons Unlimited

App-venture for your iPad. The more we look at the Adventure Weekends West app from Bob Howells, the more stuff we find in it we sinply must do. Adventure Weekends West for iPad or iPhone

Get a charge out of it. Got a BMW adventure bike that needs more charging capacity, or any other electrical upgrade? See these folks: Euro Moto Electrics

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Jonathan Hanson
Editor, Overland News
Co-Director, Overland Expo

520-591-1410 (GMT -7)

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Overland News editor Jonathan Hanson. More reviews & tips at

Sourcebook is the guide to the overlanding industry, 60 pages of listings for all things adventure: vehicles, motorcycles, accessories, camping equipment, services, and much more. Download FREE or order a print copy.

Enjoy the new Overland Expo 2012 teaser video: get outfitted, get trained, get inspired . . . get going!

Click to view video

Crew members with the ALT Project have just returned to PA from their epic Continental Ride / 19th c. history ride. Their video of the motorcycle experience will debut at OX12. Read more . . . about ALT Project, "overland travel  documentaries that reveal the American character."

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Overland Expo (TM) is a production of ConserVentures LLC. A portion of proceeds benefits ConserVentures Charitable Organization, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire people to get out and explore the world.

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