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January 2013 Inbox - Letters To The Editors

Desert Camping
John Cappa | Writer
Posted January 1, 2013

Our Readers Write Back!

Still Cool After All These Years
Concerning the yellow Cummins-powered Suburban in the October ’12 issue (“Super Suburban”), that’s a cool rig. Exactly as cool as it was when it was on the cover of 4-Wheel and Off-Road in the May ’05 issue, right down to still having the same tires on it. I read through the article to see if there would be any reference to the actual builder, Drew Barber, but I didn’t see it. At least they changed the stickers on it and took the 4-Wheel license plate off the roof rack. Looks like it’s still got the same shovel sticking up off the spare tire bracket, though. I just had to bust your chops a little on this one. It really is a cool, well thought out rig, and I’m sure it works great. To be fair, the article also doesn’t say that Mr. Hampton built it, just that he owns it. I just thought the builder might want a little credit, since apparently he built it well enough that the subsequent owners didn’t see fit to change anything (except the stickers).
Jason Slater
Via email

Less Them vs. Us
I thought it was interesting that you picked on the overlanding crowd (Firing Order, Oct. ’12) in the same issue in which you highlighted some of the very cool rigs of the this year’s Overland Expo (“Rigs of OVX ’12”), your nine bucket list domestic overland trips story (“Awesome Adventures”) and the review of a very trick Toyota HJ47 (“Frank”). As a subscriber to both Four Wheeler and to Overland Journal I enjoy both publications, but I get something distinctly different from each. I’m not planning to drive a Defender 110 through the Darian Gap, nor am I planning to install a small-block Chevy engine in a CJ-5 anytime soon. However, I read both because there’s almost always something useful and interesting in every issue of both magazines.

I don’t know if Four Wheeler subscribers wish they could take several months off of work to undertake a transcontinental Australian tour or if Overland Journal subscribers would just assume heat up a can of Beefaroni for dinner on their next weekend trip to their local off-roading venue. It sort of doesn’t matter. What matters (to me at least) is enjoying the outdoors with my vehicle with like-minded folks and doing it in a way that leaves me wanting to come back again and again to continue the adventure.

Perhaps a little less “them versus us” would go a long way to encourage everyone to get out there again real soon.
David Smith
Houston, Texas

The October ’12 Firing Order had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. Kudos for so eloquently communicating your thoughts.

On the other side, it’s pretty cool to see the volume of people who are getting into four-wheeling/camping/overlanding/(insert marketing term here).

I will gladly clink my red Solo cup with a crystal brandy snifter anytime we agree that motorized off-road access to the great outdoors is of primary interest, and well worth protecting no matter what we call it.

Respect each other, respect the land, and share a great time outdoors.
Scott Heath
Via email

Internet-Style Argument
Well, you did it! This is the first time I have written a letter to a magazine. While I respect your right to your opinion, I really don’t agree with it at all. Who gave you the power to draw a line in time and say that is camping? You have decided that a sleeping bag and Jeep are OK, but not “hi-tech gadgetry.” Do you still chisel your magazine out of rock? Why a sleeping bag, why not leaves and feathers? Why a Jeep and not a covered wagon pulled by horses?

I really think your problem is that you are jealous. You can’t afford those things, so they are complex and unnecessary. You can afford a primitive Jeep, so that is OK.

Well, some of us worked hard and have done OK, and we can afford and enjoy nicer things. I camp in a 43-foot diesel motorhome, pulling a 6.1 Hemi four-door JK with 40-inch tires. And in case you think my Jeep is a mall crawler, I have been to Moab at least 15 times, six with this Jeep, and have done eight of the top 10 toughest trails in the four-wheel-drive book, including Pritchett Canyon which I have done three times, the last time without using a winch.

I have never called my camping trips expeditions, nor have I ever slept in a tent. I don’t look down on you for roughing it and I would like it if you do not give me a hard time about the way I camp. If you see me at the campground, come on over and I will get you a drink with ice out of my ice maker.
J. Zweedyk
Grand Rapids, MI

Safety First!
I recently subscribed to your magazine and so far have enjoyed it. In the October ’12 issue there is an article about budget camping titled “Hi-Tech or Redneck?” with images depicting people shooting objects out of the air with a .45 Ruger Vaquero. This has me more than a little concerned. As an avid gun owner and off-road enthusiast, I could not let this go. Shooting into the air with anything other than a shotgun is more than dangerous, it is irresponsible. The .45 Colt round has the potential of traveling up to two miles when shot into the air; can you guarantee there was no one in that two-mile distance from you? As a publication, you take on the responsibly of role model whether you want to or not. How many readers will see this article and decide that it is okay for them to do the same?

I love my second amendment rights—exercising them responsibly will ensure we can continue to enjoy them in the years to come.
Eric Mitchell
Via email

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