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Outdoor Lifestyle Articles and Columns

by Moses Ludel
Owning a 4×4 or Dirt Bike Means Living an Outdoor Lifestyle!

Moses teaches 4x4 water fording

     Moses guides this Jeep 4×4 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, Nevada.

   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, 4×4 truck/SUV and motorcycle books. I’ve been a Tread Lightly 4×4 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 Willis.

—Moses Ludel

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Table of Contents for Lifestyle Articles and Columns

     These articles cover outdoor lifestyle, special events and lifestyle topics for the off-road enthusiast, 4×4 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 4×4 owners who enjoy outdoor travel!  Tom-Willis-OHV-Trails.html

  • Book Reviews 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 welding topics! Book-Reviews.html

Cody starts a fire with an ember

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 fuel.

   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 glances!

Moses Ludel discussion Jeep vehicle design and dynamics.

     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 4×4 on the hoist, describe its overall design and pinpoint the vehicle’s vulnerable areas…Can you spot Cody Lundin?

   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.

     Soon 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 acclaim.

     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 Canterbury.

Cody Lundin shares his off-pavement survival supplies.

     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’sDual 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 Ice Age.

Dan enters the stream crossing, following Moses' directions.

     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!

Dan's TJ Wrangler Rubicon deeper in the stream

     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!

LJ Wrangler Rubicon with longer wheelbase

     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.

Moses Ludel coaches a winch demonstration

     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!

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