Owning a 4x4 or Dirt
Bike Means Living an Outdoor Lifestyle!
Moses guides this
Jeep 4x4 across a fast-moving stream crossing. Cody Lundin occupies the passenger seat during this segment
of the survival workshop. Participant Dan Patterson steers his Wrangler Rubicon TJ into the swift,
springtime run-off at Desert Creek,
Learn more about Cody and me at this section of the magazine. Pick
up travel tips and destination ideas from Tom Willis' column. Tom is an avid OHV quad-rider, and he has written
several books on Death Valley and other outdoor settings. We each like the outdoors and encourage your family's
involvement in a healthy and safe outdoor lifestyle!
I am the
author of the Jeep® Owner's Bible™ and six other Jeep, 4x4 truck/SUV and
motorcycle books. I've been a Tread Lightly 4x4 Clinic instructor and annual presenter at the Camp Jeep® Mopar Tent
workshops...My professional friends include outdoor aboriginal survival expert Cody Lundin and OHV
writer and 4WD Mechanix Magazine columnist Tom
Want to discuss your technical and outdoor interests with like-minded enthusiasts? Check
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Table of Contents for Lifestyle Articles and
These articles cover outdoor lifestyle, special events and lifestyle
topics for the off-road enthusiast, 4x4 Jeep or truck owner, four-wheel drive and OHV communities. Columns and articles relate to off-pavement
travel, 4WD lifestyle, Ram trucks and towing. For HD video
coverage, see the 4WD Mechanix Video Network Channel
playlists! For discussion, join the 4WD Mechanix 'Tech
and Travel' Forums!
Tom Willis: OHV
Trails Tom Willis is the author of
back country and Death Valley books. His OHV destinations and topics include Mina OHV Trails and northern
Nevada ghost towns. Tom contributes this column to 4WD Mechanix Magazine on behalf of OHV, Jeep, dirt
motorcycle and 4x4 owners who enjoy outdoor travel! www.4WDmechanix.com/Tom-Willis-OHV-Trails.html
Despite the wealth of information available online, there is
always a need for authoritative books. Bestselling Jeep 4WD and light truck author Moses Ludel reviews
books for 4WD Mechanix Magazine. Learn about the latest books covering Jeep 4x4s, four-wheeling and
Cody Lundin demonstrates natural fire starting. The native fuel is a safe, consistent
fire source. Ample oxygen keeps an ember burning steadily. When it's time to grow the fire, you add more of this
Imagine getting stuck in a
blizzard—not your ordinary winter storm, something more like the fury of a
blinding, sub-zero whiteout in the Grand Teton Range. Or maybe your four-wheeling adventure, just
outside Death Valley National Park, has turned into a scorching July nightmare when a rock punches a hole in
your engine's oil pan—the engine chucked a connecting rod, and every water
sighting for the last fifty miles was a mirage. Wouldn’t this be a good time to have a
Paleolithic hunter or aboriginal survivalist as your wheelin’ buddy?
At the Branson, Missouri,
Camp Jeep 2003, my Mopar/Jeep Accessories workshops included a colorful guest. He was easy to spot, the only
attendee at the event who wore cut-offs, a tank top, braided pigtails and no shoes. For a Middle America crowd and
corporate sponsors from Detroit, this was an unusual sight. Given the cultural climate, Cody Lundin got a lot of
Before we hit the 4WD trails, I explain a Full-Traction 4”
Ultimate Suspension package. Participant Dan Patterson (standing at left with his daughter) and I had just
installed this system on his 2004 Rubicon TJ. In my workshops, I place each participant's 4x4 on the hoist,
describe its overall design and pinpoint the vehicle's vulnerable areas...Can you spot Cody
At my Mopar workshops,
Cody asked earnest questions about Jeep survival and how to keep his 300,000 mile CJ-7 running on its original
engine and geartrain. I recognized Cody Lundin as a genuine Jeep 4WD
enthusiast, and we hit it off immediately.
thereafter, Cody's book, 98.6
Degrees: the Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!,
earned rave reviews and rocketed to the forefront of authoritative works on the art of aboriginal survival.
Among its many insights, the book addresses human physiology in the face of life-threatening stress. Recently
released, Cody's When All Hell Breaks
Loose has also earned
Cody and I
became fast friends, and he remained busy with his Aboriginal Living
Skills School, LLC, located near Prescott, Arizona. Despite Cody’s ability to
thrive off the land in tranquil solitude—fishing by hand, grubbing or brain tanning—he has spent a good deal of
time either training hosts or hosting significant outdoor survival programs like Discovery Channel's "Dual Survival" as a co-star with Dan
Cody brings out materials for his segment of our workshop. We’re about
to head afield. Cody is ready for any challenge, sharing details with workshop participant James Langan (at right).
He knows we’ll survive; barring special dietary needs, there are plenty of crawling and scurrying critters out
there to feed the group! My angle: I plan to get us home by meal
time—driving the Jeep 4x4s!
Cody Lundin is fully capable of entertaining himself, yet his public
appearances and credits include the Today Show, PBS and Discovery
Channel specials on survival. For the History
Channel’s "Digging for the Truth: The First Americans,” Cody
spent a frigid January training host Matthew Bogdanos at winter primitive skills in the Grand Teton National
Park near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The training included constructing snow shelters, primitive fire lighting
and butchering a mule deer with a stone knife—all on snowshoes!
More recently, Cody Lundin has co-hosted the Discovery Channel's
"Dual Survival" series with
military-trained Dave Canterbury. Cody is the real aboriginal deal, and when we partner to conduct a
workshop, my four-wheeling and vehicle preservation skills dovetail with Cody’s ability to emulate a
40,000-year-old Paleolithic lifestyle. Cody could easily survive a widescale drought, Global Warming or an
My instructing reflects forty-five years of rugged backcountry
four-wheeling experience. Beginning with the Jeep CJ-5 I drove over the Rubicon Trail
in 1967 with stock, 30" diameter 7.00 X 15 tires, my aim has been safety and vehicle preservation. At this stream
crossing, I have each vehicle create a "bow wave" to keep water from reaching the engine-driven cooling fan and
becoming a propeller!
The advantages of a four-inch suspension lift can be seen here.
Avoiding sinkholes, the Rubicon made a simple task of crossing this spring creek. I had drivers probe the deep,
dark water with branches before plunging into the creek. While we focused on driving technique and avoided the
sinkholes, Cody contemplated fishing—without a pole, bait or line. I’m reasonably good with a fly rod, while Cody
catches trout by hand!
James Langan's stock Rubicon TJ Unlimited did fine, avoiding
ground clearance issues while staying away from the dark water areas. The Wrangler underwent a 2-inch suspension
boost just weeks after our workshop and stream crossing. Trips like this help owners determine equipment needs for
their Jeep 4WD.
Here, I discuss the virtues of a PullPal anchor and how to winch
in the middle of a stark, treeless landscape. Cody prefers building shelters and gathering food. The idea of
four-wheelers scorching themselves while winching through desert washes in broad daylight amused Cody. Air
conditioning only works if you’re inside a running Jeep!