March 2015 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Itchy feet? There are many benefits of owning a 4×4, especially at this time of the year when the weather provides some people with difficult travelling conditions, but perhaps the most significant is the ability to ‘go anywhere’. Now, while this makes a great marketing slogan, and one that has been flogged somewhat over the years, but there are limitations, of course. Plus some vehicles are better options for serious overlanding than others, and there will always be surprises. This is our special issue where we look to tempt you to consider a trip; whether it’s a serious cross continental trek, our a wild camping holiday to Europe with all the family. What we hope to have done with this issue is to show that there are a variety of ways that you can have that much dreamt about adventure with your 4×4. The UK four-wheel drive market is blessed with some excellent companies that will help prepare both you and you vehicle, but at the end of the day, there’s mental approach that’s needed. We have a great story this month from Nick and Claire Marr and their 16-year old Toyota Land Cruiser. It seems that when they announced their plans, friends and family all thought they were mad, some even predicting fatal consequences. Of course, not they have returned and regaled the experience you can bet that the comments changed somewhat! Envy and admiration in equal quantities you would imagine. It’s a real family story, and one that sums up when 4×4 overlanding is all about.
If a Toyota Land Cruiser is an expected vehicle to choose for an overland expedition, then we bet few readers would ever consider a 12-seater minibus! For Richard Clarke it was the ideal choice for his trip from the UK to Malaysia; yes, honestly! Richard is an experience 4×4 enthusiast, nevertheless it still seems a surprising choice to us, even if it is a 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
What these two very different stories have in common, however, has nothing to do with the actual trips recorded here. We have heard from both parties and pleased to confirm that even though the journey is over, all they want to do is get out there again! For the Marr family, after the excitement of Africa, next stop could be Asia, and for Richard Clarke? It seems he is considering getting the van shipped from Malaysia to Australia! Just what all those macho Aussies in their tricked up ‘Utes’ will think of Richard’s minibus we can only guess, but we suspect they will raise a few ‘tinnies’ in due respect.
That’s the problem with 4x4s and their ability to ‘go anywhere’; once you have started, it’s difficult to stop. Those itchy feet will be difficult to scratch, but we hope that this issue will get you started in the right direction. We also hope that if a full-blown overland expedition is too much for you, then you will consider looking at trying a few greenlanes – while we all still can. We took the long term Freelander to Wales this autumn for a perfect day’s off-roading. It’s what your SUV is built for.
Here’s hoping you enjoy the issue.
Nigel Fryatt, Editor
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