2018 has been a great year for rlhydn_overland. Not only did it see our first year online, but a few other firsts, worthy of a mention. And what’s planned for next year?…
Since our longer trip of 2017 we’ve enjoyed several shorter expeditions, exploring the wilds of the south east. Testing out the maturing build of the LandCruiser. One highlight being the Jmacx rear track correction. Whilst the vehicle handled well enough for me before, two stark contrasts were drawn. Not only did the track correction allow the LandCruiser to behave on road, on skinny tyres; but with more stability at freeway speeds. On the trails, the subtle security in having the rear follow the front has tempered the offroad attitude. We tested this out, along with my fear of heights and camber, in the Victorian High Country. Reviving our love of technical offroading. Adding a custom ECU remap and re-tuning the suspension, Cecil is riding like, not new, but rather – a younger, stronger self.
Those trips, long and short, of 2018 have been of learning and lazing. Each escape just as yearned for as the last. With every refinement of our setup, making it easier to go; The more crowded, and cranky suburbia seems to be.
We didn’t make it to Moreton Island, our hearts still entwined with the scrubby inland, we may never break free. Willing prisoners, we broke the weekend mold and recently headed north west into the NSW Outback. Giving the LandCruiser a hot, corrugated shakedown. And ourselves, a treat of flies and big skies.
A simple highlight for this year alone, has been the diversity of travel and experiences our LandCruiser continues to afford us. We’re still scrambling up rock steps or surfing bulldust and corrugations. But we feel, compared to years ago, the LandCruiser is doing it all better, further.
Camp cooking, always a favourite for me, has changed a bit in 2018 as we embraced charcoal and a wok. Simplifying and expanding our cooking arsenal simultaneously. With the widespread fire bans and drought, our trusted Coleman stove has teamed up effortlessly with the Biji Barbi or Bedourie oven for our faraway feasting.
Travelling somewhere between perfect and almost finished, there are still so many ways our LandCruiser and overland setup will evolve and improve. The Enerdrive and Redarc LiFePO4 12v overhaul has proven, so far, to be lightyears ahead of our traditional dual battery configuration. And as we near our proposed 2019 expedition west, we’re feeling more confident we can not only keep the meat locker cold, but also, the cameras charged. Wherever we may roam.
There will be no slowing down next year. We have improvements dialled in for the LandCruiser, starting January. Both mechanical and otherwise, but also, Victorian High Country has its hooks in, and the sequel is scheduled for early 2019. We will be using the trip, and likely a few weekenders afterward to prepare for a westbound expedition in Autumn. Permits are in hand, and the excitement is palpable.
We’ve also had some fun with YouTube this year, something very different to capturing our adventures with words and stills, but I think we will endure. As avid YouTube subscribers, we know moving pictures can tell a different story and well, why not?
Instagram, my daily share of choice has allowed me to relive an adventure, view or campsite, out ‘there’ or in the driveway with well over a thousand followers. It has been humbling and rewarding to be included in so many like-minded folk’s scroll therapy.
In a world of scrolling and liking. Liking and scrolling. It’s nice to slow down and invest in a story or two. The Blog and I have learnt a few things about writing and curating with every publish, and will continue to do so. So a massive thank you to the 26,493 page views by 16,800 of you. Wow. Thats a lot of hitchhikers.
For 2019, I think the format will remain, as each creative outlet serves to grow on its own. Our daily photography on Instagram, stories and reviews on the Blog, and the yet unclassified moving pictures on YouTube. Facebook serving as a sharing hub for all of the above.
If you have any suggestions, get in touch. If you have any like minded adventurer friends and family, be sure to share. And if you’re not already, please consider subscribing, liking, and following our platforms for our #trackandtent adventures in 2019.
Always overland, under canvas
R & D