Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Official CrossOver: Enduro Adventures will now include Project Strawberri- A Growing Obsession with Creating a long term Overland Vehicle

A glorious day it is today.
For it stands out above the many that have come to pass.

From Hobo Camping

Today EnduroAdventures will integrate my ever developing obsession with creating an Overlanding Vehicle out of Strawberri, my '88 FJ62.

Rideglobally's Nullacruiser, IH8Mud.com Forums

Wikipedia defines Overlanding as,

"...the self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-road capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries."

According to this quite satisfying description, EnduroAdventures has always been about overlanding, but by moto. Today it shall include the Epic of transforming Strawberri into a capable all-terrain explorer and home for the next 4 years, until I leave for Eastern Siberia in 2013.

The Need:
Long term living out of a vehicle in the form of camping in national forests/wilderness areas and generally traveling from place to place, has its complications. In particular, Strawberri (FJ-62) must become a fully functional "home base." On top of this, I must be able to function as close to a normal citizen as can be, in the local town, ie integrating with the local villagers (just cuz I'm living out of the truck doesn't mean I'm homeless or on vacation...).
This has proven difficult in regards to efficiency as currently the majority of the equipment I am using (to date of this post) is improvised.

From Hobo Camping

What I am talking about is this:

From Hobo Camping
Basic Tarp for Canopy-
has to be tied and untied for set-up, rolled up appropriately to the roof rack with specific folding, and hast to be repaired frequently as it is torn often at the grommets.
-All very time consuming.

Ice Chest-
Needs ice every 3 days!
Water from melted ice contaminates food regularly and has to be drained daily.
Perishables such as milk, eggs and meats have shorter windows of use due to challenge of temperature control. All this equates to frequent trips into local towns and limited time frame in remote areas.

Cargo and Sleeping Area-
Boxes on top are great! Boxes inside are cool, too! But when sleeping inside is needed, each night all cargo inside must be rearranged to the front seats to make room for my bed roll.
A ground tent would be an option, however of all the shelters in my arsenal, none are for all-season comfortable living...they are either ultra, ultra light, or for sleeping on ledges on very high mountains.

From End of June_Friday CGDSR Course work

Kitchen and Food Prep-
Problematic. Sometimes after a long day, the amount of time to set-up the improvised "kitchen" is the last thing I want to do. Having all the necessary equipment in the cargo area in a ready-to-use arrangement, would be most idea.

Hygiene and Water Consumption-
Washing hands at camp, keeping the body clean (bathing) and "relieving the body's system."
Cold water for showers gets old on consistently cold mornings. There is a real need to remain clean to maintain a professional capacity. Water is central and for that matter needs to be managed with great diligence.
I currently have the capacity to carry 18 gallons of water on board. To make this last -in a non desert environment- requires effort. Water is used quickly for cooking, drinking (as an athlete, I consume a lot), washing dishes and basic hygiene.

From Hobo Camping

Hauling all the tools of the trade-
The Bicycles.
The Moto.
Climbing and Guiding Equipment.
Not too hard one would think. However, to haul the motorcycle through minor 4x4 terrain requires a special high clearance rig...which I do not have. This limits the range of options for exploration and camping. All of this equipment, as well as everything else listed above, equals into a whole lot of weight, and the FJ-62's rear suspension is very much maxed out.
Storage Space is a real factor here and the current digging around for stuff slows things down to a depressing level.

And so, I have decided to commit to developing a very capable Overland Vehicle out of Strawberri with an emphasis on living conditions. From here on out, this Journal will include that specific endeavor.

I suspect this will be a very, very fun and interesting journey.


Mother Bliss said...

wow Dave, that sounds way cool! But you forgot to mention...DOG HOUSE! ha ha. You need to win the lottery so you can make all your dreams come true! ^_^

Fell On Earth said...

Hmm, sounds like you need a mobilehome. Just kidding Dave, I do have a few ideas that might help you a bit. First, invest in an inverter that will meet your wattage needs (laptop, external HDD, battery chargers, etc). This will generally be a nice creature comfort for when you want to write to your blog, upload pictures,or just have the need to plug in. Second, acquire a Coleman refrigerator/cooler and your days of worrying about and purchasing ice are over. Just bear in mind that it's a 12V setup (convenient if you want to plug into your existing bank of 12V adapters), but you'll have to get a proper 12v to AC (reverter?) if you want to plug it in to your inverter (that's what I've got in the back of my truck). Of course, then you'll have to worry about it draining your batteries if you leave it on too long while your car isn't running. Hmm. Perhaps rig a generator to a bike trainer and just provide your own current... Nah. I'm not sure what you can do about your living arrangement, but perhaps you can find a way to sleep on top of your gear by creating a bunk of sorts. Good luck, I'm sure you come up with plenty of other ideas (perhaps you could come up with a solution to anti-gravity while you're at it!)