In their early off-roading adventures Olivia made her best efforts on the trails with her stock FJ and no experience. (Haven’t we all been there.) Olivia and Ben headed to the Great Sand Dunes for one of their first off-roading trips in the spring of 2010. Olivia researched Colorado’s Medano Pass 4x4 road and decided to give it a try. She recalled reading about airing down the tires, but wasn't sure how to air back up, so decided against the idea. A few times Ben got out to help her navigate harder parts of the trail and check the depth of the water crossings. On the last creek crossing they came across a Jeep Cherokee stranded in the water. Ben tied his trusty nylon rope to the back of the FJ and after a few attempts Olivia was able to pull out the Jeep.
Over the years of trials and tribulations Olivia and Ben have slowly started perfecting the art of car camping. They now have a Rubbermaid tub that serves as a bug-out box for the camping and fishing gear and doubles as a table. The tub houses reusable plastic camp dishes, a jet boil, a 3 person tent, sleeping bags and pads, head lamps, and of course a pudgy pie maker. Another essential is the collapsible propane grill with wheels, AKA the Sea Turtle. The grill surface allows for more sophisticated menu options than an open fire and keeps within regulations during times of high fire danger. Typical meal favorites include Skyline Chili Mac, homemade breakfast burritos, and shish kabobs.
After 5 years of keeping to easy/moderate 4x4 trails, Olivia is ready for more difficult terrain. As a licensed insurance professional, Olivia is also ready to be more prepared. However, as the FJ serves as one of their primary vehicles, so they have no interest in a monster truck build. A recovery strap or winch seems to be a constant need during their past trips and would be good to have. Protecting the undercarriage is a priority. Yet they also can't have any modifications that increase the vehicles overall height as it is already a tight clearance in their garage. Potentially they could use a different model of ski rack to add more room to grow vertically.
Let’s follow Olivia, Ben, their canine friend, and the FJ (how can it not have a name! Even the grill has a name!) as they explore available options and add to their own capabilities and those of the FJ.
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