Just got back from a short but great trip on the River Wye – The Landy coped perfectly well when carrying the 16ft Canadian “open canoe”. The canoe was strapped to the Rollbar and then to the rear hoop and then front and rear with ropes to the towbar and front tubular bumper: Rock solid and it’s a very aerodynamic shape so in fact made the Defender Hicap somewhat more stable in a straighline! It sat directly over the army issue desert tarp cover I use on the back hoops – I use this instead of the standard canvas or PVC hoods – I prefer this as it’s open to the elements but still provides enough cover even in heavy rain. It’s also easy to remove in seconds with a system of loops and ties using paracord – the real stuff taken from an army parachute which is incredibly strong, not the fake ‘paracord’ you can buy – important as this needs to take some strain at 50-60mph!
The hicap pickup flat bed obviously had more than enough room for any gear and paddles, life vests and my australian ‘swag’ bedroll (whose native home is in the back if a pickup (or “Ute” as the aussies call them…) of course.
Made the local trip to the Landrover Owners Show at Shepton Mallet. A great experience all round – seemed to be badly publicized though, many of the traders there saying it was too quiet. And I found it very hard to get any info on it too! But once there it was superb, great fun, loads of old gear and army surplus Jerry cans etc, Landrover tents, parts, LR branded gear and huge variety of vehicles on show and driving around the big Bath and West Showground site. The Off Road course hosted and mashalled by XtremeOffRoad was great fun to watch as variously-equipped Landy’s went through the mud…
Spotted this unusual Landrover on the off road course at the LRO show at Bath & West Showground: It’s a Camel Trophy vehicle – a Defender 110 High Capacity Pickup (HCPU) and all set up for Adventuring! More background and pictures here on this unusual Camel Trophy HiCap. According to the site it’s one of only 3 HiCaps used as Camel Trophy vehicles – one for example was specially built “to carry a dismantled raft on which the Camel Trophy convoy was able to cross rivers and lakes”!
This trip uncovered a new route via Chew Stoke – Long Thorn Lane, which starts as a metaled road and then dives deep into a magical old sunken lane, complete with badger sets in the banks. This was just a quick recce so I didn’t drive the full lane. Met a farmer in his 90 pickup who said it was a bit tricky in parts where the badgers had piled up earth making a very uneven surface where a Landy will lean pretty steeply… I’ll be walking it first so will take a look then.