Off-road tips that might actually be useful! Gear you might want to buy!
To do a Martin is to get stuck while deviating, for no apparent reason, from a well-marked, solid road; it is not to be confused with a Perko, which is to get stuck while on an imaginary road or a Lawrence, which is to get stuck on no road at all.
This picture shows a typical Martin
[Note the Desert Explorer in the foreground, anxious to help
the hapless victim,
showing no concern for his own well-being
or potential damage to his vehicle,
especially the clutch]
Here is a great tool, introduced to us by Chuck Kalback, that makes letting the air out of your tire a breeze! No more looking for a twig to press on the valve stem, check remaining pressure with a tire gauge, back to the twig, back to the gauge, etc. Best of all it is one you can put together yourself with very little expense.
On a recently trip to Baja California, we brought along a new ice chest. We first heard of this new cooler from John Marnell who read about it in a magazine.
On Tuesday, December 29, at about 4:00 p.m., we put a 12"x8" block of ice into the "EXTREME" Cooler. Everything in the "EXTREME" cooler was prechilled. We also placed a block in my regular cooler. When we got home Sunday, January 3, at 11:00 p.m., everything was still cold, and we had a piece of ice left that was about 2-3" thick by about 6" square. Our regular cooler had to be replenished with ice on Dec. 31 at about 10:00 a.m. and was almost room temperature when we got home.
Here's some sound advice from John Page:
Long, steep hills can challenge a truck unless the gear selection lets the engine run at its most efficient RPM. Vehicles develop their peak horsepower at what used to be considered fairly high revolutions. The 1995 Jeep Wrangler for example is rated at 100 rear-wheel horsepower at 4,500 RPM and maximum rear-wheel torque of 131 at 3,000 RPM. The 1995 Ford Ranger is 90 hp at 4,500 and 140 torque at 3,000. Most current vehicles have similar specifications. That means to get the maximum horsepower, or maximum torque you must select a gear and range that will pull the hill with the engine turning at the best RPM. High revolutions may sound as if the engine is about to take off, but they are far better than an engine that is lugging and will be much kinder to the engine. Failure to make the right selection can result in overheating.
Our new subscriber, Jim Kay, showed us a great way to save water and dish scrubbing. He put his plate inside a plastic bag so when he filled his plate with food it was on the plastic bag. When finished he pulled out the clean plate and disposed of the dirty bag. Slick!