Just in case you spent all of your time picking up trash last week… here’s a quick glance at what happened in the overland community during week 16 of 2018.
Earth Day 2018
The 48th annual Earth Day closed out week sixteen of 2018. That’s right, Earth Day is almost 50 years old. And this year the Earth Day Network focused its efforts on building awareness of the growing plastic pollution problem. Every year this plastic pollution is getting worse, especially in and around the Pacific. According to the Ocean Blue Project, this spring, 110 pounds of plastic bottle caps washed up on the shores of Manzanita Beach in Oregon. Their spring cleanup at Manzanita also recorded a whopping 22 pounds of cigarette butts and 1,610 pounds of larger plastic fragments. All that from a fairly small stretch of Oregon’s 1,400 miles of coastline.
Despite incredible numbers like those, major news outlets have historically failed to place a plastic pollution in the limelight. But, that’s starting to change. Few media outlets have tackled the issue as well as the BBC in stories like this and through extended length news stories featured on their nightly news. But, we predict that you’ll start seeing much more about plastic in the ocean and less about global warming in the coming decade. It’s getting pretty bad, and there’s no denying that it’s out there floating around in the ocean.
Way to go @lostfordaysss for picking up trash for the #overtrash Worldwide Overlanders trash pick day in honor of our Mother Earth 🌏 We appreciate your efforts! . . . #worldwideoverlandertrashpickupday #trashpickup #pickuptrash #cleanourplanet #overlanding #overland #doyourpart #earthday #earthday2018 #outsideadventures #roadtravel #panamericanhighway #drivetheamericas #keepitgoing #motherearthmatters #motherearth
However, while the growing plastic problem in the ocean is of the utmost importance… there is still a ton of work we can do closer to home. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that people are dumping trash on/in your pubic lands, waterways, and beaches. Not only is it incredibly embarrassing, negligent, and harmful; it’s one of the main reasons we continue to lose access to public lands.
But there is a growing effort to among the public shoulder the burden of refuse removal. And, in our opinion there are few outdoor enthusiast groups doing as good of a job at regular cleanups as the 4×4 and overland community. And, this year those cleanup efforts dominated our social media streams on Earth Day.
From Expedition Portal, to local clubs like Central Oregon Land Cruisers, people just like you stepped in to keep public lands open. By removing rubbish left behind by irresponsible (expletive deleted)’s we help keep explorable terrain open to the public for years to come.
Today is Earth Day – we did some clean up on Prosser Lake right behind our house in Truckee. Some people got stuck and abandoned their recovery “equipment” there. It took some serious effort to recover the digging bar they had left in the ground. Please please be responsible and do not litter our precious planet. #overtrash #earthday @thelongcruise #threadlightly
Related Reading Material & Products
We really enjoyed reading Chris Cordes’ article over on Expedition Portal. In it (sort of a micro manifesto) he shares a bit of optimism for the future of the environment, overlanding, and access to public lands. We think it’s definitely worth a read.
If you’re heading out to the backcountry you should definitely bring along some trash bags. But, you may also want to consider buying a Trasharoo or Blue Ridge Overland’s tire storage bag. They’re both great ways to keep the trash you pack out from smelling up your rig’s interior.
BFG’s Newest Tire
The BFGoodrich KM3 is fewer than 3 months away from its official tire store debut. But, BFG is hitting the the pre release press hard in week 16. From the 4Xoverland YouTube Channel to Max Powell’s vlog, these tires are stirring things up on social media.
So what’s the big deal with the new mud terrain from BFGoodrich? According to the manufacturer… a lot. Less rolling resistance, tougher sidewalls, and a new modern tread compound to name a few improvements. But, as they say, the proof will be in the pudding. And, by “pudding” we mean the clay-based, slippery, watery pudding that makes even the best tires lose it. That’s where these tires should… and probably will shine. The KM2’s are pretty impressive in the mud; so we expect that these will be as well.
But, BFGoodrich is also telling off roaders to expect better performance to and from the trail, on tarmac. Which means these should be better suited to long commutes and grocery runs than their predecessor. And, like the KM2 gravel and sand should pose few problems.
To be completely honest, we’re mostly interested in seeing how the new compound performs when the roads turn into ice rinks. KM’s and KM2’s get pretty sketch on the slick stuff, especially in short wheel base vehicles like our Rubicon. We know they won’t be as good as our current Mountain Snowflake rated KO2’s or Duratracs… but any improvement would be greatly appreciated.
If you’re on Instagram keep an eye on the #builtonbfg hashtag. And if you’re more of a YouTube consumer, Andrew St. Pierre White is taking a set across the center of Australia pretty soon. So stay tuned for that on his YouTube or Patreon. Who knows, we might even pick up a set for our Jeep…
Critiquing Instagram – the Overland Hipster is Born
Earlier in the week an editorial from a fairly popular automotive site was making waves as it circulated various Facebook groups. If you missed it; you didn’t miss much in terms of a good article… but there were a lot of entertaining thoughts in comments.
Basically what happened is an editor/millennial with thousands of Instagram followers (~15k) called out other millennial instagrammers as overland posers. In the article he made an attempt to align himself with some of the more well known journalists, adventurers, and websites. He praised contributions from people like Scott Brady in one paragraph. Then follows that with a lengthy rant about how new-to-overlanding Instagrammers are destroying the sanctity of overlanding. Sound familiar? This might actually be the first sighting of the “overland hipster” in the press. No longer are neckbeards judging you for the coffee you drink or because you ride a bike with gears and brakes… now you suck if you finance a 4×4, use social media wrong, or spend too much cash on a tent.
A Response from the Comments…
Unfortunately, for the author, his harsh hipster-esque criticism in his article fell short of rallying an angry mob of veteran off roaders. In fact, it didn’t take long for his Instagram account to find itself dragged into the comments. What ensued wasn’t pretty… funny, but definitely not pretty. To be fair there were some likes and praise from like minded people. But a majority of the responses that flooded into comments sections strongly opposed his view while others offered some pretty solid dad-style wisdom on the matter.
But, with all that said, we don’t want to meander too far off into a rant about Matt’s misstep. We get it…it happens. People get wrapped up in an activity, hobby, lifestyle and before they realize that they’re pretty new in the grand scheme of things, they’re criticizing others. It happens a lot with Jeepers, Mountain Bikers, you name it… self proclaimed “purists” are frequently willing to criticize without reflecting on the early days of thier journey. We were all the new guy/girl at some point.
Of all the activities we’ve enjoyed through the years the “new American overland crowd” is by far the friendliest and happiest bunch we’ve encountered. So, let’s keep that going as long as possible. Critics need to understand that there’s always someone who will try to make a buck without really “getting it.” They’ll be weeded out or be forced to adapt and improvise.
There will also always be people who just don’t “get it” when they come into a community. They too will eventually assimilate or move on to the next shiny object. But, rather than go full hipster on them… veterans need to do thier best educate newcomers, while maintaining an open mind to change. There’s a lot of knowledge to be passed on, but there’s also bound to be some great ideas that inherently come with a fresh set of eyes.
Finally, that clueless millennial with way too many Instagram followers may be the next Mike Horn. In twenty years he/she will be sponsored by ‘Benz; hanging out at the North pole, exploring the globe in a G Wagon, or the crashing through polar ice in the world’s coolest sailboat (pictured above). All because they know how to capitalize on something many of us don’t really understand. Or… maybe that financed Raptor will rapidly transport them to the wonderful world of bankruptcy court. Either way, it’s not our place to judge where others spend their time or money. People either learn and grow or they sit back and criticize (frequently themselves, and others, for risks they’d never take themselves).
Other Cool Stuff from Week 16
- Ronny Dahl tell’s us all about solar.
- Overland Bound shares a ghost story.
- Venture4WD enjoys some CA snow.
- Rebelle Rally names Total Chaos as official suspension partner for 2018.
- Turtleback Trailers releases new trailer set up video.
- Sackwear is getting a sweet Maltec 80 Series to show off at Expo West (pic below)