NENA KNOWS JEEPS

Jp Magazine - - Nena Knows Jeeps -

6. Who car­ries the yucky stuff out is up to the group dy­nam­ics, but on our com­mer­cial trips, it’s the tail gun­ner’s Jeep with the ex­ter­nal trash sack or roof rack. Re­mem­ber that trail ethics re­quire that we take noth­ing and leave noth­ing—haul out all of your trash. 7.

A rooftop tent, like this Ursa Mi­nor, pro­vides quick setup and take­down, as well as good in­su­la­tion and se­cu­rity. But you do have to be nim­ble enough to get up and down a lad­der, es­pe­cially for those 3 a.m. bath­room calls. Photo by Dan Grec, who is cur­rently trav­el­ing through Africa in this JK. To check out his ad­ven­ture, go to theroad­choseme.com. 8. A ground tent, chair, and some sticks to cook over the camp­fire are good enough for a simple family trip. We don’t al­ways have a camp­fire. If we aren’t in fire re­stric­tions and it’s chilly, then it’s nice, but it makes ev­ery­thing smell like smoke. Check camp­ing rules for the areas you in­tend to visit be­fore your trip. Don’t as­sume dis­persed camp­ing, camp­fires, or ve­hi­cles are al­lowed ev­ery­where. 9. Ground tents have the flex­i­bil­ity of be­ing able to move to that per­fect flat spot or great view, and they are rel­a­tively cheap to buy or re­place. How­ever, they aren’t as sturdy or con­ve­nient as rooftop tents. 10.

It’s easy to find your Jeep packed to the roof. Pack as light as you can. Be mind­ful of car­ry­ing too much ex­tra stuff, pack­ag­ing, or things that re­ally aren’t nec­es­sary for your survival out there. Pack the heavy stuff as close to the bot­tom and cen­ter of the Jeep so you min­i­mize sway while driv­ing. 11. This is one of my fa­vorite camp­sites on the planet. Undis­closed lo­ca­tion. It’s great to have wa­ter nearby—less weight to carry in. 12. Dune camp­ing has its chal­lenges, but it’s mag­i­cal to wake up in those sweep­ing waves of sand.

News­flash: Eat­ing leads to poop­ing.

And it’s re­ally bad to just “leave” it around. As more and more people have headed to the out­doors in past decades, hu­man waste has be­come a se­ri­ous issue in many of our re­cre­ation areas. Nowa­days, if there aren’t fa­cil­i­ties avail­able, you must pack ev­ery­thing out. Other­wise “it” sim­ply builds up and ru­ins the area, and this is be­gin­ning to hap­pen in places like Moab and the Ru­bi­con. We have found that the eas­i­est so­lu­tion for self-re­liant camp­ing is a one-per-use toi­let bag, like the Biffy Bag, and a por­ta­ble folding toi­let seat. We also add a pop-up tent spe­cific for “do­ing busi­ness” in pri­vacy, com­plete with wet wipes, hand san­i­tizer, and air fresh­ener

(lip gloss op­tional). The rule is that ev­ery­one is re­spon­si­ble for prop­erly stor­ing their own bags while on the trail and then dis­card­ing them prop­erly once off the trail. Some­times, we des­ig­nate an ex­te­rior trash bag on the tail gun­ner’s Jeep specif­i­cally for “doodie duty.”

Then there is sleep­ing. What I use the most are ground tents. Though a rooftop tent costs a lot more, it is re­ally nice to pull into camp and have your en­tire sleep­ing sit­u­a­tion set up in a hot minute, rather than fight­ing with tent poles, un­rolling bags, and in­flat­ing air mat­tresses. Break­ing camp is even sweeter. It is also a safer feel­ing to be up off of the ground, un­less the thought of man­ag­ing a lad­der at 3 a.m. when you have to get up to pee wor­ries you. A rooftop tent also adds about 150 pounds above your cen­ter of grav­ity, so that must be con­sid­ered in light of the sever­ity of your wheel­ing and the stout­ness of your sus­pen­sion. For sleep­ing bags, the num­ber-one piece of ad­vice I have is this: Buy a bag that is rated for at least 20 de­grees F be­low the fore­cast lows of your cold­est planned des­ti­na­tions. What most people don’t re­al­ize is that al­though there is a stan­dard for sleep­ing bag tem­per­a­ture rat­ings, it’s a com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try, and not all brands ad­here strictly to the stan­dard. It’s bet­ter to have a heav­ier bag you can zip open if you get warm than to be hud­dled up shiv­er­ing in a lighter bag.

Fi­nally, don’t for­get a plain old tarp—at least some sort of heavy-duty, wa­ter­proof ma­te­rial that mea­sures about 10x15 feet in size. That big tarp will come in handy for any­thing from catch­ing flu­ids when work­ing on a bro­ken rig, to a rain shel­ter over the camp kitchen, to an ex­tra layer un­der your tent to keep it dry and warmer.

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