Some Grey Sky Thinking

by 28.09.17Life, Vehicle

Some Grey Sky Thinking

28.09.17Life, Vehicle

We’ve reached that point in the planning phase where everything grinds to a halt. Hundreds of semi-made decisions teetering on the brink of realization, sitting unticked on their many lists. At first, everything moves at breakneck speed. Everything is big picture, blue sky thinking. The domain of the dreamer where possibility and imagination combine to display a wonderful image, a fully completed jigsaw that?s almost tangible. We?ll just do that, go there, buy one of those, how exciting. We read about people who ?spent the first 18 months planning their trip?. We laughed. You?re fucking kidding me! Buy a truck, just go. I mean, what is there to plan? Just head south, don?t be so rigid. We?ve traveled before. We even owned an RV, we?ve got this.

What is there to plan?

Well, how about the working load limit of a snatch block; a pulley that you attach to something like a tree or a boulder metal to redirect your winch line back to your vehicle or at an angle somewhere else. Will it be the weak link of an enviable recovery kit. Will I need to utilize it?s mechanical advantage as part of a two or three point winching setup and have I factored in the added weight of the vehicle being bogged down to the tires / the hubs / the axle? And what about terrain grade? Is the snatch block lightweight and if not should I be bothered with the mechanical diet? Is the ‘minimal gains? method the way to go, with small weight savings adding up to a greater and worthwhile whole? Will I even have to use it at all? And if I do will it be to recover my own or someone else vehicle? Should I just say ?screw it? and buy the most expensive? Maybe the few times I envision using it be few enough for it to perform without failing, should I opt for the cheaper version. And don?t think you can go online for advice. Off-Road forums have seemingly been set up to ensure that absolutely no-one agrees on anything, with Admins appearing to carefully monitoring threads and posts to ensure contrary views are equally represented. A product can be the greatest thing ever according to jeepman1975 who may or may not have even used it and, if he has, then never in the places where you are going or on a vehicle that has any resemblance to the one you own. Meanwhile, bigwheelsdave used the same product, which fell apart the moment he took it out of the box, and who heard of people stuck in the bush for weeks due to their stupidity in purchasing said product. Someone else thinks it’s just okay.

And that?s just the research into a snatch block, a snatch block that you may or may not even use. Multiply that process across every other item that you take with you and blue sky thinking suddenly clouds over. The jigsaw looks sad, a pile of expectant pieces, desperately short of completion, with the corners and much-needed edges having slipped down the back of the sofa. Make the wrong equipment decision now and we’ll not be correcting it whilst stuck in a ditch in Mongolia. According to bigwheelsdave, we?re doomed.

The decisions are endless and the potential for spending large sums of money on things you don’t need is very real. The reason our project has ground to a halt is that it?s time to pull the trigger on several purchases we?re not entirely experts on. Plus, there is the small issue of having to have our truck completely pulled apart, replacing our currently ?bit too rusty’ frame with a nice sandblasted and re-painted replacement, which means the one thing we thought we did have is about to become a collection of smaller things that need to be put back together again. One Big Road Trip is currently held up by One Big Rusty Obstacle and a whole bunch of smaller decisions.

Fortunately, we didn?t know what we didn?t know, otherwise, we may never have started and this is one of those times you?ll look back on and say ?remember when?. You learn a lot, learn it quickly, and who wouldn?t want to be the local expert on the pros and cons of zinc rich primer as the base coat for steel truck frames.

We’ve reached that point in the planning phase where everything grinds to a halt. Hundreds of semi-made decisions teetering on the brink of realization, sitting unticked on their many lists. At first, everything moves at breakneck speed. Everything is big picture, blue sky thinking. The domain of the dreamer where possibility and imagination combine to display a wonderful image, a fully completed jigsaw that?s almost tangible. We?ll just do that, go there, buy one of those, how exciting. We read about people who ?spent the first 18 months planning their trip?. We laughed. You?re fucking kidding me! Buy a truck, just go. I mean, what is there to plan? Just head south, don?t be so rigid. We?ve traveled before. We even owned an RV, we?ve got this.

What is there to plan?

Well, how about the working load limit of a snatch block; a pulley that you attach to something like a tree or a boulder metal to redirect your winch line back to your vehicle or at an angle somewhere else. Will it be the weak link of an enviable recovery kit. Will I need to utilize it?s mechanical advantage as part of a two or three point winching setup and have I factored in the added weight of the vehicle being bogged down to the tires / the hubs / the axle? And what about terrain grade? Is the snatch block lightweight and if not should I be bothered with the mechanical diet? Is the ‘minimal gains? method the way to go, with small weight savings adding up to a greater and worthwhile whole? Will I even have to use it at all? And if I do will it be to recover my own or someone else vehicle? Should I just say ?screw it? and buy the most expensive? Maybe the few times I envision using it be few enough for it to perform without failing, should I opt for the cheaper version. And don?t think you can go online for advice. Off-Road forums have seemingly been set up to ensure that absolutely no-one agrees on anything, with Admins appearing to carefully monitoring threads and posts to ensure contrary views are equally represented. A product can be the greatest thing ever according to jeepman1975 who may or may not have even used it and, if he has, then never in the places where you are going or on a vehicle that has any resemblance to the one you own. Meanwhile, bigwheelsdave used the same product, which fell apart the moment he took it out of the box, and who heard of people stuck in the bush for weeks due to their stupidity in purchasing said product. Someone else thinks it’s just okay.

And that?s just the research into a snatch block, a snatch block that you may or may not even use. Multiply that process across every other item that you take with you and blue sky thinking suddenly clouds over. The jigsaw looks sad, a pile of expectant pieces, desperately short of completion, with the corners and much-needed edges having slipped down the back of the sofa. Make the wrong equipment decision now and we’ll not be correcting it whilst stuck in a ditch in Mongolia. According to bigwheelsdave, we?re doomed.

The decisions are endless and the potential for spending large sums of money on things you don’t need is very real. The reason our project has ground to a halt is that it?s time to pull the trigger on several purchases we?re not entirely experts on. Plus, there is the small issue of having to have our truck completely pulled apart, replacing our currently ?bit too rusty’ frame with a nice sandblasted and re-painted replacement, which means the one thing we thought we did have is about to become a collection of smaller things that need to be put back together again. One Big Road Trip is currently held up by One Big Rusty Obstacle and a whole bunch of smaller decisions.

Fortunately, we didn?t know what we didn?t know, otherwise, we may never have started and this is one of those times you?ll look back on and say ?remember when?. You learn a lot, learn it quickly, and who wouldn?t want to be the local expert on the pros and cons of zinc rich primer as the base coat for steel truck frames.

PARTNERS

During the planning of our trip, we have been fortunate to meet people who have shown a great deal of enthusiasm about the expedition and have supported us through products/services or gone out of their way to help in some way. They played a part in helping make This Big Road Trip a reality, are passionate about what they do and passionate about doing it well. If you're in the market for their product or services then we can highly recommend them.

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