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THE MUD LIFE ISSUE 4

MAY 2019

MAGAZINE

Jeep's NEW Wrangler

NEWS, REVIEWS & ADVENTURE


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IN THIS ISSUE TURNER'S TORQUE 4 - 5 NEWS 6-11 SKODA SUPERB 12-18 RANGE ROVER 20-27 JEEP WRANGLER 28-34 SUBARU XV 36-41 VOLVO XC60 42-45 SSANGYONG MUSSO EX 46-49 AUDI Q7 50-55 BF GOODRICH KM3 56-57 FLASH DRIVES 58-61 MAKING TRACKS IN THE D-MAX 62-67 GOODS & GEAR 68-83 ANY EXCUSE REALLY... 84-91 IN OUR GARAGE 92-94 ADVENTURE OVERLAND SHOW 98-101 DINE OUT WITH DAMIAN 102-103 READER'S RIDES 104-107 PAST JALOPIES 108-113 RETRO SNAPS 114-115

DAMIAN TURNER E d i to r - i n -C h i e f , w r i t e r , p h oto g r a p h e r , r e v i e w e r

KAREN LEE TURNER ( A.K.A. The Muddy Madam)

C r e at i v e D i r ec to r , designer, reviewer

l ayo u t

F O L LOW U S

THE TEAM

DIRECTORIES 116-117

FACEBOOK - TheMudLifeMag INSTAGRAM - themudlifemag TWITTER - themudlifemag WEBSITE - www.themudlife.co.uk

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TURNER’S TORQUE Hi everyone! Welcome to a another issue of The Mud Life magazine this time with 118 pages, we’re getting bigger each month! So what’s been happening at Muddy Towers? Well after the hustle and bustle of January and February, March and April have been quite calm in comparison. I say ‘calm’, I was invited, along with peers from the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, to Peckforton Castle as guests of Land Rover for the launch of their new Evoque.

We had a great time, especially as they threw in a tour of the Evoque production line at Halewood, which was very interesting. Then there was an invite from BMW to attend the UK launch of their new flagship X7 up in Edinburgh - which again was fun. You can read about the new X7 in the next issue.


On the subject of quiet, for the first weeks of March we had both the new Jimny and the new Kia Sportage on loan, and that’s been it on the press car front. There’s good reason for that, and that’s because I like give myself time to catch up on writing all the reviews, but I also enjoy driving Deux Smurf. After posting a few photos of both the Jimny and Sportage last month on a 4x4 Facebook page, a friend asked me, “after all the press cars I get sent, do I always enjoy jumping back into Deux Smurf?”

“Absolutely!” was my reply. Though saying goodbye to the V8 Mustang was a real struggle I have to admit! Even though Deux Smurf is 23 years old, she looks and drives like a 4x4 half her age and she's incredibly capable both on and off road and an absolute joy to drive. Hope you enjoy this issue of The Mud Life magazine, and don’t forget to subscribe!

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NEWS

NEWS

Kia HabaNiro R

esisting temptation to call it the 'Haribo', the HabaNiro concept is a fully-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seater with an All Electric Range (AER) of more than 300 miles. It also has a level-five autonomous mode, butterfly wing doors and more advanced tech than what helped land men on the moon. As Kia put it 'this is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity..' and that its Lava Red interior 'suggests passion and vibrancy'; well it’s certainly modern and funky. Contributing to the interior’s clean and modern appearance is the absence of rectangular screens, traditional control knobs and buttons. Instead, the Haribo, sorry, the HabaNiro features a fullwidth front windscreen, with a heads-up display system controlled by a concave acrylic instrument panel that’s a large interactive touchpad display with sensory light feedback. Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS - snigger!) allows users to swipe and move vehicle options across the HUD screen as though moving chess pieces. When HabaNiro’s part-time level-five autonomous driving system is engaged the steering wheel and instrument panel retract forward to provide more room for the front occupants. Media or other entertainment, such as a movie for a long highway haul, can be displayed on the full-width HUD video system. Kia have thrown a whole lot more tech into the HabaNiro and it’ll be interesting to see how they include it on the current crop of vehicles. But that name, and I thought ‘Stinger’ was bad. 6

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NEWS


NEWS

NEWS

NEWS

Mitsubishi L200 Series 6 Goes Racing control package, complete with a competitionspec differential and a fully adjustable horizontal SupaShock racing damper set up.

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he new Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck has taken to the track in the 2019 ECB ‘SuperUtes’ Series, an Australian racing series where modified production pickup trucks, known locally, as ‘Utes', compete against each other over eight weekends in a total of 24 races. Based on standard Mitsubishi L200 production vehicles, the SuperUte versions are powered by a tuned version of the stock 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine, which retains its aluminium engine block and pistons but gains modifications such as uprated camshafts, a modified oil sump, larger injectors and larger fuel rails. The engine also receives a larger GTurbo high-flow turbocharger, a larger intercooler, an upgraded radiator for additional cooling and a Motec engine management system. A bespoke Torqit three-inch exhaust system is fitted from the turbo backwards, while the manifold is retained from the standard L200.

The rear suspension isn’t the only control component: The standard gearbox is replaced with a Tremac 6060 6-speed ‘H-Gate’ manual shift gearbox with set ratios along with a specially fabricated heavy-duty lightweight clutch and flywheel from Australian Clutch. All vehicles have 20-inch PDW special ‘SuperUtes’ Series alloy wheels and Yokohama R-spec 20-inch tyres. Other controlled elements include a Tilton pedal box and a Brembo brake system. All vehicles are fitted with a bespoke CAMS-approved (Confederation of Australian Motorsport Ltd) roll cage along with FIA-mandated safety harness, window net and other driver protection. The vehicle weight is also controlled and set at 1,800kg to ensure parity across the manufacturers entered for the series. See the L200 SuperUtes in action - a video is available here : https://mitsubishi-media.co.uk/gallery/eos

Producing 344hp and 677Nm of torque, the Mitsubishi L200 SuperUte can reach 62 mph from a standstill in under 3.5 seconds and onto a top speed in excess of 150mph. The front suspension is upgraded with SupaShock springs and absorbers whilst the rear end is completely modified: The standard rear differential and rear leaf spring suspension are removed and replaced with a SuperUtes THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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NEWS

NEWS

NEWS

Mitsubishi Outlander Shogun Sport SVP Concept The Mitsubishi Outlander Shogun Sport SVP Concept has been unveiled at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show, and looks fantastic! Already established as a capable 4x4, the new SVP Concept bolsters these impressive off-road credentials with black, 18-inch, Predator alloy wheels with a red split-rim design, BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres and special wheel arch extensions to accommodate the 40mm wider track. The Shogun Sport SVP Concept’s suspension has also been tuned in collaboration with Walkinshaw Performance Limited and Koni to match the specific wheel and tyre package, offering both additional off-road comfort and improved on-road dynamics. Mitsubishi say that to compliment its enhanced capabilities, new high-clearance side steps, finished in black, are also fitted. These are from the L200 SVP, and although they’re made from sturdy steel, they hang too low for my liking. For better night vision the Shogun Sport SVP Concept is fitted with a an LED light bar on the roof, as well as rally-style PIAA driving lamps set ahead of the front grille. Finishing off the exterior, there is a rear spoiler, a new front grille with red and black accents, a black Shogun Sport bonnet badge, black head lamp and tail lamp surrounds and a distinctive decal package, including a black boot-lid badge panel. 8

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NEWS

NEWS

NEWS Inside you’ll find special upholstery with additional side bolstering, front and rear, and a distinctive pattern matching that of the exterior decals. Red LED mood lighting matches the red exterior detailing. Mechanically, the Shogun Sport SVP Concept uses Mitsubishi’s proven 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, which produces 181hp and 430Nm of torque, as well as its eight-speed automatic transmission and advanced Super Select 4WD system with centre and rear locking differentials and advanced driver aids such as four-setting Off Road Mode and hill descent control. The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport SVP Concept vehicle previews a brand new SVP Pack that will be made available on the Shogun Sport later in the summer and is being used to gauge public opinion on the pack’s features. More details of the final pack, including pricing, will be available closer to its launch.

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NEWS

NEWS

NEWS

VW AMAROK - Star of New Book

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he unexpected star of a glossy 220 page coffee table book is a unique bright green Amarok which travelled over 18,500 miles, through 16 European countries, to experience the best off-road tracks and trails available on the continent. However, the book is actually called 'Amarok Adventure Guide: Off-road in Europe' so someone got their wires crossed! From Sweden to Gran Canaria, from the Ukraine all the way to Portugal: the Amarok Adventure Guide presents 16 off-road routes with varying levels of difficulty. Whether it's a tunnel inside a mountain in Bulgaria, a Swedish snowscape or a desert in the East of Germany, the Amarok Adventure Guide presents some of the most beautiful landscapes along these routes. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a route in a different country, with details of the location and specific off-road challenges, plus a dose of history, culture and cuisine. An additional section on the vehicle itself, plus ten top off-roading tips and ‘the making of’ complete the volume. While in the UK, the Amarok passed through the 2,000 hectare Sweet Lamb complex in Montgomeryshire, Wales. It’s where Volkswagen topped off 12 titles in four years in the Polo R WRC back in October 2016 at the Rally Great Britain, the climax of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The Amarok Adventure book team comprised the author, a photographer, videographer and a professional off-road driver. Their results can be seen in the book price - £12 - buy in the UK at » www.amazon.co.uk The stunning videos can be viewed here.

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NEWS

NEWS

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he new Isuzu D-Max XTR, the most sophisticated and capable version of their award-winning pick-up, is on its way, as the prototype of this striking new model was revealed at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show. Developed for off-road enthusiasts and drivers who want a vehicle to complement their lifestyle, the XTR has a bespoke Pedders suspension upgrade, an aggressive styling body kit and much more. The XTR, they say, will sit between Blade and Arctic Trucks, completing the Adventure range of Isuzu D-Max pick-ups. The XTR has a new front suspension upper arm in conjunction with newly designed damper units help achieve a longer suspension articulation. In addition, suspension height is set higher than a standard D-Max meaning XTR benefits from a 250mm ground clearance with no compromise on vehicle handling and stability. New performance front brake discs have been designed to give high wear resistance and better anti–corrosion protection. They’re also fully vented, slotted and have kevlar ceramic front brake pads for serious stopping power. New 17” alloy wheels have a heavy duty, rigid design and are a popular wheel size from a tyre perspective, the 17” x 8.5” XTR alloy gives you the flexibility of tyre choice if you choose to fit an

NEWS

NEW Isuzu D-Max XTR revealed off-road only tyre. However, Isuzu’s choice of the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus 265/70r17 tyre has been tuned to perfectly match the D-Max XTR and Pedders suspension. A custom designed XTR body kit includes a dramatic front bumper guard, bonnet protector and headlight frames that give XTR an ‘arresting’ say Mitsubishi. Then there’s wheel arch extensions, a rear bumper and tailgate spoiler which completes the body kit which is Raptor coated in a durable black finish. On the inside the XTR has heated front sports seats that are upholstered in leather, suede and carbon fibre leather with contrast green overstitching on the side bolsters. Leather adds a touch of luxury to the headrest, lower seat base and upper seat back, which has been padded for additional back support. Available to pre-order now, the Isuzu D-Max XTR will arrive in dealerships later this year. Pricing starts from £33,999

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Å KODA

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SUPERB

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Škoda Superb Sportline 2.0 TSI 272PS 4x4 Hatch WHAT IS IT

Since its introduction to the modern line up in 2001, the Superb has been Skoda’s flagship model and has become the benchmark car for space, comfort and general workhorse-ness, especially if you’re a taxi driver. However, you won’t find this 2ltr TSI 4x4 emblazoned with private hire stickers, nope, they’re reserved for the diesel models, this is a totally different animal altogether. This, dear reader is only 0.6 seconds slower to reach 60mph than the 3ltr supercharged Jaguar F-Type, and it'll keep going until it reaches its top speed of 155mph.  This is the proper definition of the term sleeper, or Q-car. The keen eyed amongst will have noticed that this latest model is down on power from last year, and this is purely down to WLTP testing regulations that have forced the fitment of an exhaust particulate filter. So while the environmental benefits are welcome, the changes have knocked 8bhp from the engine’s maximum output, too.

ON ROAD

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The highlight of our week together was setting off early one morning for Wales, more specifically a section of road near Llyn Brenig called the Evo Triangle. I drive there quite a lot if I’m honest, it takes around 2 hours to get there and after a good chunk of motorway driving from Lancashire, finally getting on the sweeping Welsh roads gives you a sense of what a car is capable of.

That said, the hefty 350Nm torque spread makes spirited driving a breeze and its steering, although light, is accurate. Flicking the suspension mode to ‘Sport’ gives you a bit more rigidity, there’s still body roll but it isn’t offensive. Switching the suspension back to ‘Comfort’ mode and it does a great job of soaking up the bumps and isolating them from the cabin.

Usually, the Superb’s main objective is to waft you along in a state of serenity, but with this model it tries to give you something else. Yes, with 19” alloy wheels and a 15mm ride height drop there’s a more sharpness to its ride, but you still get the over-riding sense that would rather relax you.

You’ll be hard-pressed to get it to wheel spin, even on wet roads as the AWD system works incredibly well. Around corners it gives you a lot of confidence as it’s so sure footed, and that 272ps on tap to slingshot out leaves you with a massive grin. It's easy to drive quickly, maybe too easy!

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OFF ROAD

Of course I didn’t take it too far off the beaten track, our ‘off-road’ forays were limited to grassy slopes, forestry tracks and the odd cobbled green lane, and it handled them like it was at Sainsbury’s car park. Its lack of decent ground clearance dictates that it’s more at home cruising along on tarmac, but when driving along sloppy, muddy ruts, its all wheel drive system worked effortlessly, not a hint of wheel spin nor struggle. If however you require an AWD saloon with better ground clearance for more serious tracks, then maybe a Subaru would suit you better.

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INTERIOR

Up front you’re cocooned in a comfortable high spec environment. The quilted Alcantara sports seats are a joy on which to sit and the silver stitched steering wheel to hold, though I did find the carbon fibre dash a little bland. On the subject of bland, I’ve commented on this before, but I really wish the Superb had a more dynamic dash layout that justified its position at the top of the food chain in the Skoda range, but I’d still buy one if I had the cash. Another bug-bear that irritated me over the course of the week was that the centre cup holders aren’t big enough for my Contigo travel mug or Muddy Madam’s Hydro Flask, so fairly pointless really unless you buy small plastic bottles of water, and who does that these days? As standard you get a sat-nav with an 8” colour touchscreen, drive mode select, dual-zone climate control, a sports chassis and even a Performance Monitor that gives you the G-force on acceleration. The list goes on with stop/start, automatic handbrake, blind spot detection, lane assist and front assist with automatic braking function. Oh, and the usual umbrella tucked away neatly in the drivers door. As always, rear accommodation is vast and tall passengers have enough space to stretch their legs, and open the hatch there’s ample space for at least a couple of bodies, as proven by Muddy Madam. Don’t ask.

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ENGINES ’N’ TRANSMISSIONS

There are other smaller engines in the Superb range that are economical, proficient and feature the very latest advances in fuel efficiency and emission controls and will get you up to around 50mpg, which is fine, I guess, and one day I might even review one, but not today. At this point I feel I must share some buffoonery with you and admit that I lost my notes on its fuel efficiency. However, looking back at the time I drove the 280ps estate version, even though I often drove it like a hooligan, it still achieved around 39mpg, or at least that’s what its computer told me.

CONCLUSION

I’ve driven quite a few Superbs over the years, from the hatchback to the estate, and I’ve loved them all. No matter which engine or body style you choose they all have this ability to shuttle you along in comfort and style that you would perhaps only expect from a far more expensive car. Whilst I was captivated with its turn of speed, handling and load space, Muddy Madam loved the comfort, space and the overall feel of the Superb. For £35,130, plus extras of course, the Superb Sportline 2.0ltr TSI 280ps 4x4 with DSG, to give it its full title, is a true 5-star car, for practicality, fun and value for money, and in my opinion they don’t get much better.

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GET YOUR MUD LIFE gear Here at The Mud Life Mag we like share our love for all things muddy and automotive, and as part of that we know that there is always a need for clothing and other bits’n’pieces to show this love to the world. Take a look - The Mud Life Mag Shop

We bring you this mag for free, but it isn’t free to make, so we need to find a few ways to fund it, and with that in mind we decided that to create some original art just for you, and put it on T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Mugs and more in our Teespring Store. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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Range Rover

EVOQUE D180 SE R-Dymanic

When the Evoque was first released 8 years ago it was greeted with mixed reactions. To the masses of green oval fans it wasn’t a proper Land Rover, and therefore generally dismissed, but for Jaguar Land Rover(JLR) that wasn’t the market they were aiming at. Soon enough it quickly became their best and quickest selling vehicle, in fact you might even wonder where the company would be today if it wasn’t for the Evoque. Since the first Evoque rolled off the UK production line, nearly 800,000 of them have been sold in 116 countries around the world, and 150,000 of those have been sold in the UK, accumulating 217 global awards whilst it’s at it - so it can’t be bad. So, 8 years on and what’s new? Well, although JLR have kept its sleek and modern silhouette, only the door hinges have been carried forward and everything else is new. By extending the wheelbase by 21mm, the new Evoque has a 20% larger diesel and UREA tank to improve its range, there’s more boot space and knee room in the rear, and it also has packaging for their electric MHEV and PHEV technology, which is crucial to modern day motor manufacturers. As JLR put it, the new Evoque is a really important vehicle, at that difficult-to-get right second album stage, but they’re confident that the new Evoque takes all the character of the old one and brings it right up to date, with added sophistication and quality. Have they succeeded? To find out, JLR invited me and other colleagues from the Northern Group of Motoring Writers to the spectacular Peckforton Castle over in Cheshire to experience it, both on, and off-road. Oddly, the last time I drove anything from the JLR stable was just over 3 years ago, which happened to be an Evoque. I recall that both Muddy Madam and I thoroughly enjoyed living with it for a week, so it was lovely to reacquaint myself with one again. Leaving Peckforton Castle and heading towards the M56 for Halewood I opted to be passenger which 22

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gave me the opportunity to explore all its nooks and crannies whilst enjoying its new and thoroughly updated cabin. Not only have they introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to enable seamless smartphone integration, but passengers can keep connected to the outside world with 6 USB and 3 12-volt points dotted around the cabin, plus a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices. As a passenger, the new Evoque is a comfortable and soothing place to be, the seats can be adjusted to suit most shapes and sizes, and shoulder room is ample. We chose not to have the music on at all throughout our drive and road noise was a distant hum, whatever the road surface. Leaving the Halewood plant after an incredibly interesting tour of the Evoque production line, it was my turn to take to the helm. With the sat-nav set, I made my way towards North Wales in the hope of enjoying some spectacular scenery and empty roads. Sadly I wasn’t able to have much fun and test its on-road prowess around Wales’ sweeping roads as for the entire drive towards Ruthin, Horseshoe Pass and back towards Cheshire we were stuck behind everything, literally, everything!

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The 180ps diesel is the second smallest power output available, and although I moaned a little bit about its lack of umph and the slight delay in kick-down from the ultra smooth 9-speed auto, in reality it’s perfectly adequate. Whilst you’ve got me talking about engines, you have both a 2ltr petrol and diesel to choose from. Power outputs for the diesels consist of either 150ps, 180ps and 240ps, or if you prefer a petrol then the choices are 200ps, 250ps and 300ps. All Evoque models, apart from the entry level D150 FWD Manual, are fitted with an MHEV system to reduce emissions. The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine mounted belt integrated starter generator, storing it in the under floor battery. The hybrid system delivers CO2 emissions from as low as 149g/km and fuel economy from 50.4mpg. If you want a 2wd version, then it’s available with either the petrol or diesel with 150ps and a manual 6-speed ‘box. The new dash layout is wonderful and high tech, with twin central displays complemented by a multi-mode instrument panel with a TFT screen. Despite my dislike for distracting screens it really does look the beans.


Whilst I’m moaning, I understand the desire for designers to create a clutter free dash, but please, there’s nothing wrong with proper heater control dials! On-road, despite being stuck behind the world and her sister, the Evoque was an absolute joy to drive, simple as that really. Whilst Dynamic Stability Control, Roll Stability Control and new, stiffer architecture took care of the corners, its new suspension handled the potholes. After lunch at the fantastic Pheasant Inn we were joined by an off-road instructor who directed us to the Land Rover Experience centre at Peckforton. Yes, we are spoilt! Although not hugely challenging, the tracks aren’t meant for the experienced 4x4 owner like myself, rather owners of new vehicles with little or no experience off the beaten track. That said, it still proved that the new Evoque has Land Rover’s DNA in the name of Terrain response

2 when it comes off-road ability, and despite what some people might think, it’ll go where ever grip and ground clearance will allow. Have I mentioned that its wading depth has been increased to 600mm from 500mm? No? Ah well… Overall, Land Rover have future-proofed the Evoque, and soon there’ll be a Plug-In available that will provide emission free city driving and silent running all without any range anxiety as it will feature a lightweight 1.5 litre turbo 3-cylinder engine. Even internally the new Evoque is fuelled by sustainable innovation. For example, the Evoque offers premium alternatives to leather, the Kvadrat upholstery combines a durable wool-blend with a technical Dinamica suede cloth, made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. It’s clever too, the new Evoque is also the first Land Rover with Smart Settings, which uses artificial intelligence to learn the driver’s habits, media preferences, and preferred temperature settings.

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The technology doesn’t stop there. We all know that the Evoque has a narrow rear window which can make visibility challenging, especially if you have tall passengers or boxes in the boot. Well, the new Evoque has a ClearSight rear view mirror which can change from a standard mirror to a clear, crisp, highdefinition view of the road behind, which is really cool! This is works by a roof-mounted camera located within the shark fin antennae and not only gives you a great view behind, but your field of vision is increased by 50º. Cleverly it also changes frame rate between day and night to ensure you get a feed that is consistent, whatever the conditions. And that’s not all, another clever addition is Clear Sight Ground View, it’s a concept that Land Rover first previewed in back 2014, but back then it was known as invisible bonnet, if you remember. Basically, it’s like driving without an engine and bonnet so you are able to see exactly what’s in between both front wheels. How it works is simple, though describing it not so! Using three forward-facing cameras in the front grille and on the door mirrors, they project a feed onto the upper central touchscreen to show what is ahead of, and underneath the front of the vehicle with a virtual 180º view. They aren’t just cameras though, they record what’s in front of the vehicle as you drive forward and show it passing in between the front wheels and under the engine - witchcraft at it’s best! Incidentally, the new Evoque is the first car in the world to feature ground view technology, and it works a treat. After a day out in the Evoque I was impressed, it’s very much a part of the Range Rover brand with premium levels of equipment and sophisticated ride. Another benefit is that independent industry experts reckon it will retain an average of 63% of its value after three years and 36,000 miles. This in turn means that by keeping hold of its value, if you choose a PCP plan then you will have a more reasonable monthly payments that’s wildly better than almost anything else on the road. The new Range Rover Evoque is available to order now at Land Rover UK retailers, priced from £31,600 and you can configure your preferred specification at: https://www.landrover.co.uk

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Jeep Wrangler It isn’t often you think, as you drive up the M6 towards Windermere in the wind and rain, that it’s perfect weather for a 4x4 launch, but in this case, with the promise of plenty of green-lanes to drive, it was.

The Jeep Wrangler needs no introduction, especially if you’re reading The Mud Life, but now in its fifth generation it’s had quite an overhaul, and although everything about it is new, you have to applaud Jeep for keeping its instantly recognisable and iconic silhouette. Unlike anything from the current Land Rover stable, you aren’t gonna mistake it for anything else! So what’s new? Wow, where do I begin? Well, the elephant in the room is a good start, and that’s the price. Starting at £44,865 for the 2 door base model, it’s a chunk more that the outgoing model, and by some margin. I fear that it’s priced out of the market for most

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4x4 enthusiasts and primarily aimed at households with a hefty disposable income.

For the UK market the Wrangler gets 2 new engines, a 2.2ltr turbo diesel and the 2.0ltr turbocharged petrol, both are Euro 6/D compliant and linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The former delivers 200 horsepower and returns around 29mpg whilst the latter delivers 272 horsepower and returns around 26mpg. Both feature Stop Start technology. Depending on which model you choose there’s two fourwheel drive systems are available: Command-Trac, on the Sahara and Overland trim level, and Rock-Trac, standard on Rubicon trim. The Rubicon, as you can imagine, has a few more goodies, like Tru-Lock electric front and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited slip differential and electronic front anti-roll bar


disconnect. This makes me smile, especially the 32”mud terrain tyres. Inside the new Wrangler you’ll find a refreshed and updated interior with increased storage capacity and a new Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Improved safety content, including Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView reverse camera, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and four standard air bags. The instrument cluster features a 7” thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display in full colour and allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel at all times. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wrangler if you couldn’t fold down the windscreen, remove the doors and strip the roof, which I’m looking forward to doing when I borrow the 4 door Rubicon sometime in June! That’s all well and good, but what’s it like to drive?

You would imagine that driving the Hellayella (yellow) 2-dow Rubicon would be a bit of a handful on the road, but it wasn’t, not one bit. The Rubicon’s handling felt well accomplished, despite its serious intent. The narrow A593 heading south beside Coniston was wet and flooded, yet at no point did the 255-75R17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrains feel out of place or a hindrance to its onroad handling. At this point it could be argued that, as someone who drives 4x4s everyday I’m accustomed to sloppy and vague steering, but that isn’t the case at all. The driving position, though no way as snug as a Defender, felt limited for this 6ft 2”, 19 stone writer. Don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t uncomfortable, just a tad cozy. Arriving at our first green-lane, the infamous Parkamoor, we had the knowledgable folks at Ardent Off-Road who had organised the routes on hand to guide the less experienced ‘off-roaders’ amongst us up the gnarly rocks one by one. At this point I jumped out to watch how the various models tackled the terrain. The long wheel base Sahara fought for traction on a few occasions on the wet and slippery rocks, but once the electrics realised what was

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happening they soon found grip to haul the street biased Wrangler to the top. The Rubicon on the other hand, with 32” muds and disconnected sway, or anti-roll bars simply flexed its way up the challenging terrain as if it was merely mounting a curb! As an experienced ‘off-roader’ it was poetic to watch. On reaching the top, or at least as far as you go on Parkamoor, we stopped for a brew and a chat and discussed the relative ease in which all the Jeeps managed the climb, including a bog standard Grand Cherokee driven by Jeep’s PR team. Jumping back into our Hellayella Rubicon I eased our way back down the rock strewn lane towards the main road and onwards to our next green-lane which, by comparison, was a cinch. At this point we figured we needed a change of vehicle and swapped to the 5-door Sahara.

Inside, apart from more room in the back and the lack a ‘Sway-Bar Disconnect button’, it was pretty much the same. The Sahara's on-road manners really surprised me as I thought it would be better than it was compared to the Rubicon. Now let me put this into perspective, the Sahara handled really well around the narrow Cumbrian roads, with the 8-speed auto doing a fine job at finding the right gear. This reinforces that fact that Rubicon is a lot better than you would imagine it is. After a couple of tarmac miles we turned onto our final green lane of the day, a rocky Unclassified Right of Way that takes you through Grizedale Forest. Despite not having the same ground clearance, the 5-door Sahara walked it, and felt a little more comfortable than the 3-door due to its extended wheelbase. There were a couple of occasions, when driving down towards Windermere, that I caught the running bars, but in fairness they were quite severe rock steps.

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After boarding the ferry across Windermere we made our way back to the hotel which signified the end of our Jeep adventure. So, what are my thoughts? Simply put, I want one. I want a 2-door Rubicon in Ocean Blue, thank you very much. That said, I will probably have to wait a decade or so before their

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prices my drop to my level! The overall aim of this launch was to prove that the Wrangler is still one of the most capable out-of-thebox 4x4s that money can buy, and it certainly proved that it is, without a doubt. UK pricing (OTR) for the new 2019 Jeep Wrangler is as follows:

DIESEL Sahara 2.2 MultiJet II Sahara 2.2 MultiJet II Overland 2.2 MultiJet II Overland 2.2 MultiJet II Rubicon 2.2 MultiJet II Rubicon 2.2 MultiJet II

200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 200hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed

2-Door 4-Door 2-Door 4-Door 2-Door 4-Door

£44,865 £46,365 £46,865 £48,365 £46,865 £48,365

PETROL Sahara 2.0 GME Sahara 2.0 GME Overland 2.0 GME Overland 2.0 GME Rubicon 2.0 GME Rubicon 2.0 GME

272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed 272hp 4x4 Automatic 8-Speed

2-Door 4-Door 2-Door 4-Door 2-Door 4-Door

£44,865 £46,365 £46,865 £48,365 £46,865 £48,365

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Promoting the legal and sustainable use of the countryside, campaigning against irresponsible use with the aim to ensure every green road is open for all to use.

• Regular digital bulletins • 2 printed magazines per year • Members website and forum • TW2, the essential green lane route planning tool • • Access to area reps for route planning and advice • Member discounts from selected suppliers • Legal challenges • Extensive knowledge base •

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SUBARU XV

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WHAT IS IT?

For the majority of people, when they think of Subaru images of the Impreza on a rally stage, or a Forrester working hard in a farmyard come to mind. Whichever pops up first, the fact is, Subaru is recognised as one of the best and most dependable all wheel drive car manufacturers.  One of the many reasons for this is that a Subaru has been designed first and foremost to be an all wheel drive vehicle, not a 2wd car with a 4wd option.  With that in mind it’s often unfair to compare the two. Now we have that out of the way, what on earth is an XV? Well, the XV has been around since 2012, and has gained itself quite a fan base, and this latest incarnation hopes to increase it even more by aiming at a younger demographic than their other SUVs in the range.  Subaru say that the new XV, which incidentally is based on the Impreza, is ideal for the customer with an active, outdoor lifestyle. It has been designed with off-road capability in mind, and styling that has function, as well as being visually appealing. It comes with beefed up suspension and an extra bit of ground clearance as well as a taller body. This new version has been around for over a year now, and was built on a brand new platform engineered with two main objectives in mind - dynamic quality and safety performance. X-Mode and Hill Descent Control are now standard, not to mention an all new interior, which I’ll get to later.

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ON THE ROAD

I was fortunate enough to have the XV for a fortnight over Christmas and New Year, and even though the vast majority of the 700 miles we covered were motorway miles, which it excelled at, I concluded that the XV is no exception when it comes to Subaru’s reputation for creating great handling cars. The XV is a comfortable cruiser, though on broken up surfaces it can feel a tad harsh, but certainly not WRX harsh! Fuel wise, overall I got between 30-39mpg depending on how eager I was, which isn’t too shabby considering I was in a rush for most of the time. With 156ps on tap at 6,000rpm, the 2ltr petrol is quite eager and although the lineartronic gearbox is often lambasted for being a bit sloppy, Subaru have made improvements on this model. Tootling along wintery lanes, the XV felt just as good to drive as the outgoing model I drove a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t until it was really pushed that I could tell a difference between new and old. On its launch last year, Subaru had an outgoing model for us to test on a runway at Cirencester airport. Imagine the TopGear test track, only this was a bit smaller, and with a lot more cones to negotiate. The aim wasn’t to get the fastest speed, rather to get a feel of the stiffer body, Torque Vectoring and other such

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safety additions. The outgoing model preformed as it should and was as surefooted as any Subaru can be. The difference between that and the new model was subtle, but noticeable. The stiffer frame and Torque Vectoring meant that driving within the cones at speed was tighter, in that the rear wheels felt on rails, especially when accelerating out from a tight, high speed 180º turn. If you're nipping to the shops everyday you aren't really going to notice a huge difference between this and the outgoing XV, but if you enjoy driving you certainly will.  There's less body-roll thanks to a new stabiliser bar at the rear that connects directly to the body instead of the subframe, and a lighter and stiffer monocoque.  This in turn gives the XV a more accomplished and solid feel. In truth, I'm not going to drive any car in this manner on the road, but if I ever need to make an emergency manoeuvre at speed, I want to be in an XV, please. Sometimes it’s the small things that make a huge difference when driving cars, and the XV is one of only a handful of press cars I’ve had recently whose cruise control slows you down whilst on a hill and maintains the set speed despite momentum and gravity. There are other vehicles that do this, but there are also a lot that don’t.


OFF ROAD

INTERIOR

During the busy festive period I was able to drive a couple of local green lanes which it managed with ease. I was hoping for snow, but I was disappointed, as usual.

The dash layout is a little busy but everything is to hand and even though I dislike electronic handbrakes, the one fitted to the XV was very smooth to release, unlike some.

XV is already equipped with permanent Symmetrical All Wheel Drive for use in the majority of situations but X-Mode now provides added assistance if the driver encounters extreme driving conditions. X-Mode takes control of the engine, transmission, Symmetrical AWD, brakes and other components to help safely navigate slippery surfaces, rough roads and climbing steep hills.

Rear seat passengers have plenty of room too, there’s enough knee space in the back for a 6-footer to sit behind another 6-footer. On the subject of space, in the back you get 380ltrs of nothingness, which increases to 1,270ltrs of nothingness when the rear seats are folded down.

Well, it’s a Subaru, so it’s bound to perform exceptionally well, and it did. There’s ample ground clearance too, 220mm, this gives you confidence off-road.

As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time driving the XV on motorways, and apart from the slightly narrow seats, I thought it was a lovely place to be for all of those interminable hours.

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ENGINES ‘N’ TRANSMISSIONS

The new XV comes with two Boxer engines which are both petrol, and only one gearbox option. Subaru say that improvements have been made to help the Lineartronic ‘box to be sharper, but if you want more control the XV does come with flappy paddles. 1.6ltr - 114ps - 109mph - 0-60mph = 13.9 seconds - 44.1mpg combined C02 = 145 g/km 2.0ltr - 156ps - 120mph - 0-60mph = 10.4 seconds - 40.9mpg combined C02 = 155 g/km

ODDS ’N’ SODS

EyeSight is Subaru’s advanced driver assist technology, which is now standard throughout the range and acts as a second pair of eyes for the driver and includes adaptive cruise, lane-keep assist along with a host of other autonomous safety features. The system cleverly uses two stereo cameras to capture threedimensional colour images to recognise vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, pedestrians and lane markings. Subaru say that it's more accurate than traditional camera and sensor technologies as it can distinguish objects as opposed to noticing that there is an unidentified obstacle.

CONCLUSION

What I liked about the XV was its honestly, under its bodywork is a workhorse, and quite a splendid one too. The XV will cope with whatever the modern family can throw at it, and more, in fact don’t be surprised if you see them working for a living on farms in the middle of nowhere, that's where you find most Subarus. I want to say that it’s rough ’n’ ready, but it isn’t, there is however a certain robustness about it, it’s something you get with every Subaru, you just get the sense that it’s made from sturdier stuff than the rest.  Yes, some of the XV’s rivals might be prettier inside, a little quieter maybe, but could they actually work for a living?  A Subaru can. So, my conclusion, if you want a tough AWD Crossover with exceptional off-road ability that’s also comfortable for long journeys, either by yourself or with the tribe, then in fairness, any Subaru will do, but the XV offers it all in a neat, smart and good looking package and is available from £25,325.

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Volvo XC60

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WHAT IS IT?

The Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine AWD R-Design Pro is, well, first of all quite a mouthful, secondly it’s Volvo’s alternative to the dreaded diesel. Of course, the name Twin Engine doesn’t actually mean it has two engines, instead it’s the name given by Volvo to it’s plug-in hybrid range and is part of Volvo’s aim to make plug-in hybrids seem attractive to a larger number of buyers, and 400bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds are enticing statistics.

ON THE ROAD

Like all Volvos, the XC60 T8 is a wonderful vehicle to drive, we added plenty of miles during our week together, and it proved to be a great allrounder, from nipping to the shops to a 6 hour round trip to Whitby. I smiled when it arrived and frowned when they took it away. Bad Volvo people. The ride and general hushness was top quality, as you would expect, but what really makes the T8 standout is its performance - and oh boy does it perform! What you have here ladies and gentlemen, is a 4-cylinder 2.0ltr petrol engine that produces 320bhp. Then, at the rear you’ll find the addition of an electric motor that producers a further 87bhp and before you know it the XC60 T8 is a 407bhp AWD weapon of an SUV. Put it Sport mode and it really wants to take off, you can almost feel it chomping on the bit, it certainly set my heart racing, and even now, a good few months after it was returned it can still make me smile at its relentless acceleration. I wouldn’t worry about grip either, it has absolutely oodles of it! It’s all too easy for me to get carried away and whittle on about its performance, but it’s obviously much more than that, once you get to drive in silence on electricity alone, everything becomes gentle, comfortable and fuss free. It was rather pleasant wafting to the office in complete silence, especially in the knowledge that you’re doing so with electricity that was harnessed from driving alone. If I’m going to be critical about the way it drives I’d say that the brakes are demon and quite difficult to be eased on. The T8 isn’t alone though, I’ve experienced similar with other hybrids that gather their energy from braking.

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OFF ROAD

The standard XC60 I had last year, although still a tad harsh over rough terrain was comfier, but then this T8 was shod with lower profile tyres which didn’t help. Actual performance of the 4WD system was great, as it is with all Volvos that I’ve driven of late. I know I’ve written it before, but they should shout about their off-road prowess a bit more as they’re really quite good. It performed the usual wheel up in the air acrobatics as well as tackling some deep, muddy tracks and traction was never a problem, even on standard road tyres.

INTERIOR

Seriously, where do begin? Currently,Volvo have some of the best interiors, intuitive controls and safety features available on the market today. It includes various types of collision warning, obstacle detection and fully automatic braking and steering assistance. The run-off road protection is also an ingenious touch and a feature I experienced once at Millbrook in another XC60! Once behind the wheel you won’t want to leave as the seats are comfy and incredibly supportive and the high centre console gives the impression of being in a low slung supercar. The layout is intuitive and very classy which instantly makes you feel at home, and dare I say it, special. I’ve driven a lot of very good cars that are let down by their mediocre interiors, Skoda for instance, great cars, boring dash layouts. For five adults, leg and headroom is aplenty, as are safety features, and the sound system remains one of the best on the market. The T8 is only available in the two range-topping trims, the posh Inscription Pro or R-Design Pro. Our car was the latter and its bodykit and large 21-inch alloys certainly made it look the part. 44

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ENGINES ’N’ TRANSMISSIONS

Let’s get down to business. The XC60 T8 has a 4 cylinder 2.0ltr petrol engine, 8-speed automatic gearbox and a 10.4kWh battery and can travel up to 28 miles on electric alone. It can be connected to a fast charger and topped up in 2-1/2 hours or between 3-1/2 and 6 hours if it’s plugged into a domestic three-pin socket. Electricity can also be harnessed whilst driving, and when using the petrol engine you can ‘hold’ the battery’s charge for use later. The XC60 T8 has a handful of modes to choose from, and if I’m being honest, they were a little confusing for a neanderthal like me, but I guess if you buy one you’ll have plenty of time to get to know it better. What I learnt is that I only needed to worry about two of them: ‘Hybrid’, which is the auto mode where you operate the pedals as you please and the car juggles the power source to match, and ‘Pure’, which favours electric-only as much as possible. Oh, and there’s a mode called ‘Power’ for when you want to combine petrol and electric and drive it like you stole it, as they say. Overall, CO2 emissions are 49g/km, and Volvo claim fuel economy is 134.5mpg.

CONCLUSION

Overall I really enjoyed my week with it, it has exceptional build quality, a smart and minimalist interior design, decent rear space and it’s also drop-dead gorgeous. The only downside, I guess, is the price. Tipping the scales at almost £60k is an awful lot of money, but you do get a lot of tech and a plethora of features. With every press car I always ask the same question; if I had the cash, would I buy one? And the easy answer here is yes. The day to day experience is fabulous, it has decent off-road capabilities and when the mood takes you it’ll go like stink! It will harness its own energy throughout the day and offer you free motoring after just a couple of hours charge. Yes, I would most definitely have one. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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WHAT IS IT?

When the new SsangYong Musso was introduced last year it made quite a splash. Not only does it come with a standard 7 year, 150,000 warranty, which is the best warranty in the business, but in the UK, the Musso is the only pickup that can carry its max payload of 1 tonne and tow 3.5 tonnes at the same time (automatic only). Does this make it the thinking mans pickup?

ON THE ROAD

Last year I was invited on the launch of the new Musso and I managed to drive all the variants with different weights loaded in the back, I remember being suitably surprised that whatever the road surface we were on each vehicle felt very refined and produced virtually no noise at all. This is due in parts to its rigid body on frame construction being carefully tuned by Pininfarina to ensure that the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels 46

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are excellent. It even has polyester wheel-arch linings that reduce road noise and the engine bay includes better sealing than the outgoing model to improve sound, dust and waterproofing. During my week with the EX I had the task of driving down to Daventry for the launch of the new Suzuki Jimny. A 7 hour, 300 mile round trip which consisted mainly of the M6 then short spouts on the M1, A5 and A361. It was heavy traffic for most of the journey but it never felt arduous or stressful, I even managed to find a couple of green-lanes to drive on my way down there, as I do. The steering always feels light and offers plenty of feedback whilst the suspension, double wishbone up front and coils at the rear was comfy enough on the flat, but a tad pitchy on undulating B roads. Considering that it’s role in life is to carry and tow heavy and unwieldy stuff, I’ll let it off.


OFF ROAD

On it’s launch, the Musso proved its worth off road, even though the ground was very dry. That said, there were plenty of steep uphill grassy climbs that it managed with ease, and we all know how deceptive grass can be. During my week with the EX I enjoyed mucking around on some green lanes, both local and far flung, and it handled them with ease, as you would expect, it didn’t falter, not even in deep mud. My next observation isn’t a criticism, but its 22.8° approach, 23.4° departure and 20.3° rampover angles are among the lowest in the sector, so the Musso wouldn’t be my first choice as a THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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weekend off-roader. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very capable, but its target audience are more commercial who won't necessarily need the clearance of an off-roader. The Musso has a part-time 4WD system with 2WD high, 4WD high and 4WD low, but it lacks a rear diff-lock, though its electronics easily compensate for that. Balancing the Musso on its two opposing wheels caused no embarrassment as it simply drove forward without even a scramble from its tyres.

INTERIOR

The Musso comes in 3 flavours, the EX which is the basic, the Rebel and topping the range at £29,245 excl VAT is the Saracen. Just like the Tivoli XLV (the review will be in next month's mag), you always get the sense that the Musso is a well put together vehicle as it’s a comfortable and squeak free place to be. The seats are well shaped for the XXL amongst us and there’s just enough soft plastics around to make it feel a bit classy. Being the base model, you can be forgiven for thinking that it’ll be sparse when it comes to goodies, but you’ll be wrong. The EX comes with 17” alloy wheels, a DAB audio/Bluetooth system, 6 airbags, electric windows, remote central locking that includes the tail gate, manual air conditioning, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers and a full sized spare wheel, phew! Granted, there are more luxurious cabins around, but you have to pay a lot more for them, so for £20,680 + VAT, the EX offers fantastic value for money.

ENGINE ’N’ GEARBOX

The Musso’s 2.2ltr diesel engine and gearboxes are again shared their ‘4x4 of the year’ winner, the Rexton. It offers 181bhp and 400Nm of torque and is good for a maximum combined fuel economy of 35.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 225g/km.  If those emissions seem high, it’s worth remembering that pick-up tax rates are not CO2 determined like they are with cars. All pickups currently cost £250 a year in Vehicle Excise Duty Standard transmissions are either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic that are supplied by the Aisin group.

CONCLUSION

In an ideal world, I’d like to fit a set of taller tyres and a mild suspension lift to the Musso just to give it a better approach angle, then I’d have a roof tent fitted on a frame over the load bed and go off exploring. That would make be happy. It could be argued that SsangYong have the market to themselves when it comes to out and out value for money and belief in their own vehicles. By that I mean you don’t see Mitsubishi, Mercedes or Toyota having the same level of confidence in their trucks by offering a class leading warranty, I wonder why… Whichever spec you go for the Musso is aimed at being around 20% cheaper than its comparable competitor, and I’m fairly confident that due to this it will be a familiar sight on our roads soon enough. Overall, my conclusion is that the Musso is a bloody good pick up at a very reasonable price. more at » http://www.ssangyonggb.co.uk

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AUDI Q7 50

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WHAT IS IT?

Now in its second generation, the Q7, Audi’s first foray into the SUV market, has been with us since since 2006 and has become quite a favourite amongst families who require a proper 7-seater. The new Q7 3.0 TDI quattro 272PS S line Tiptronic is slightly narrower and shorter than its predecessor, and weighs in at 325kg less than the original, so it should be cheaper to run and better to drive. It also shares VW Group's MLB platform with the Bentayga, Cayenne, Touareg and even the Lamborghini Urus, so it’s in good company.

ON THE ROAD

As you would expect with a car of this size and class, everything about it is effortless, from tootling around town to embarking on epically long journeys, the Q7 wafts you along with ease to where ever your desired destination may be. It’s impressively quiet too, wind noise is very well suppressed, even at motorway speeds, and of course being a Quattro variant there’s oodles of grip for when you’re driving like a … well, let’s just say spirited! On the subject of cornering, this press car had the £2,000 adaptive air suspension option which kept it surprising flat and worked really well around tight corners. I know ‘worked really well’ isn’t really the best description, but I haven’t had the opportunity to drive a Q7 with normal suspension, so I can’t really compare, sorry.

Being the faster version of the 3.0ltr V6 diesel with 268bhp, it accelerates effortlessly and relentlessly to reach 60mph in 6.5 second and carries on to reach 145mph, I’m told. It’s all quite civilised too, there’s no punch in the back like you experience with some cars, this is helped by the 8-speed automatic gearbox which works seamlessly to the point that you just don’t notice it. Yet, it also manages to return between 44 and 50mpg (on 19”-20” wheels) on a combined cycle, though admittedly I was averaging somewhere in the late thirties. To aid consumption, at speed, when you back off the accelerator the gearbox disengages the engine and allows the Q7 to freewheel benefiting fuel consumption and reducing noise, not that you’ll notice this as, as I wrote above, it’s all pretty seamless. The day before it was due to go back I needed to take it on one last adventure, so I woke up particularly early and drove to Wales, as you do. My favourite route from Lancashire is along the M56 and A494 towards Ruthin, then the B5105 to Cerrigydrudion and onto the ‘Evo Triangle’. From the outside the Q7 is a huge lump of a thing, but you wouldn’t know it when throwing it around corners, the air suspension and an array of electrical goodies keep everything stable and under control, whilst the 8 Speed tiptronic gearbox always has the right ratio. To drive the Q7 along some of the best roads I know was an utter joy. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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OFF ROAD

Of course, the Q7 isn’t a 4x4 in the traditional sense, but the Quattro system handled itself well on all the dodgy surfaces I drove it over, including wet grass, which is every 4x4’s nemesis. Once you select ‘Off Road’ the adaptive air suspension rises by a small amount, which helps with ground clearance, approach and departure angles and proved quite useful at avoiding some of the bigger rocks that litter one of my favourite green-lanes. I’m not going to say that it offered up a magic-carpet ride whilst tackling these sorts of roads, but ironed them out better than the Volvo XC90 did. Fitted with a quality set of winter tyres I reckon you’ll be pleasantly surprised where the Q7 can take you, and would make a great family tourer for those who find themselves in some fairly inhospitable places.

INTERIOR

Up front it’s lovely with plenty of space and a large expanse in between you and your passenger, it isn’t exactly what I would call inspiring, but it’s pleasant enough. It’s a nice space in which you can while alway the hours in comfort as you cruise across continents, or nip to Asda for a loaf and some milk, your choice. The Q7 comes packed with all the usual driving aids and features that you’d expect on a £60k SUV. The dash layout is clean and simple and the full marks for the popup screen instead of simply sticking an iPad wannabe in the middle of the dash. I particularly like Audi's fantastic Virtual Cockpit 12.3in screen which is in place of the traditional analogue instruments.  Rear seat passengers also have it easy, you could have a party back and no one would notice! The 6th and 7th passengers will be fine too, as long as they don’t have long legs. Full loaded with people, there’s 770ltrs of space in in the boot, but with all the seats lowered you have a massive 1955ltrs of space. That’s enough to have a couple of 6ft2”, 19stone buffoons lay side by side. And if the said buffoon want to sit up, well there’s enough height for that, too. 54

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CONCLUSION

On first impressions, when the Q7 arrived at Muddy Towers I have to admit that I wasn’t overly keen. Maybe because it was resplendent in brown, which to be fair isn’t the most inspirational of colours (though it’s better than primer grey I guess), or perhaps it was its sheer size and shape, don’t know. But one thing’s for sure, after a week the Q7 had certainly grown on me, everything about it was effortless (that word again), and I enjoyed every mile we took together. £57,770 (£72,325 with options) https://www.audi.co.uk

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After becoming the first company to market a radial off-road tyre back in 1980, 39 years later BFGoodrich has released their latest mud terrain tyre, the KM3. Reading their press release, BFGoodrich go into depths to describe how their new 5th generation mud terrain benefits from experience acquired in real-world conditions. They talk about how they’ve packed several new technologies into the design that provide superior performances both on and off road. There’s Terrain-Attack tread for example which is designed to deliver efficient traction in mud, and Krawl-TEK compound that ensures enhanced grip on rocks and smooth ground, while Linear Flex Zone technology allows the KM3 to flex when running with low tyre pressures. There’s lots more, but let’s get on with the review. First impressions? If you’re a regular reader then you know I drive a 1996 Toyota Surf, aka Deux Smurf, so nothing fancy. The day I had them fitted I hit the road for a 2.5 hour journey down to Chesterfield for a Ford media event, incorporating some green-lanes into the journey, as I do. The following day I drove straight up to Windermere for the UK launch of Jeep’s latest Wrangler, again driving the odd green-lane along the way. The day after that I drove up to Leeds for a meeting with the Northern Group of Motoring Writers and drove some more green-lanes whilst on the way back home. That little lot in the first week was around 700 miles and included fast country roads, motorways and of course greenlanes of various terrain, and this is pretty much how I treat my tyres. On tarmac the new KM3s are remarkably quiet, even quieter than KM2s that have adorned Deux Smurf for last 2 years. With the KM2, up to 30mph you knew you were on muds as they omitted a distinct hum, not so with the KM3s, they’re a lot quieter at all speeds and remain as quiet all the way up to, ahem, normal motorway speeds…

Baby got New Boots Off-road the’ve been equally unstoppable, and the only times I’ve lost traction, twice, was purely down to Deux Smurf being 23 years old and not having any kind of electronic traction control for when 2 wheels are in the air! Have I mentioned that their sidewalls are 27% more resistant and therefore more capable of taking at running at low pressure? Well that’s thanks to the use of CoreGard MaxTM technology which combines bespoke shielding with a special rubber compound. At this point I haven’t messed around with tyres pressures whilst on green-lanes, I haven’t had to, they continue to find grip where ever I point them.

BFGoodrich KM3 Mud Terrain 265-75/16 I have friends who have large mud terrains fitted to their 4x4s and would dread a long road journey due to noise and vibration. Last week I set off to Gleneagles near Perth, Scotland for the BMW X7 launch, and on the way up I had a little detour along the Old Coach Road. Over the 2 days I covered almost 600 miles, and my point is, I’m never put off driving long motorway trips with the KM3s fitted. Despite their aggressive look and huge side blocks, in the wet they remain remarkably sure-footed and offer a lot of confidence, which makes me even more happy considering that Deux Smurf is part time 4wheel drive and is essentially a 3ltr rear wheel drive brute of a truck!

After just over 2,000 miles I really can’t fault them, I remain amazed at their on-road stability and prowess, they’re smooth and give me a lot of confidence to corner quicker than I would ever expect to. Anyway, I’ll get back to you in 6 months or so with a further update, but keep an eye on our social media channels for more regular updates. A quick thank you has to go out to BFGoodrich UK who continue to support The Mud Life by supplying us with this set of KM3s to review. Don’t get the wrong impression though, I’m not singing their praises purely because they’re free, I’m doing so because they are really that good! THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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H S A L F RIVE D What is a Flash drive? On media days we get to drive cars for around an hour, which is great when you want to get a feel for it, but not necessarily enough for a full review, so these are our mini reviews.

Honda NSX

Last month I reviewed the wonderful V8 Mustang, which for a 4x4 mag I admit is a bit of a stretch. However, as I explained, being a petrolhead I’m hardly going to refuse the opportunity to drive a legendary muscle car for a week am I? This, dear reader, is the same reason that you’re now reading an article on the Honda NSX. Honda hosted a day out for the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, and they brought along a collection of cars, both new and old from their heritage fleet, and amongst their classics were 2 NSX’s; a 2005 3.2 VTEC manual in Imola Orange and this NSX 3.0 F-matic The NSX we drove is not only the oldest surviving example in the UK, it’s also an early pre-production car, which the great Aryton Senna himself is said to have driven. His nephew Bruno has also had the pleasure and signed the boot lid to prove it.

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Before I get into the meaty bits, here’s a quick ‘all you need to know about the NSX. In 1984 Honda commissioned Pininfarina to design the Honda Xperimental (HP-X) which had a midmounted 2.0ltr V6. Then, once Honda decided to pursue the project they instructed the development team to make sure that it was as fast as anything coming from Italy or Germany and with greater reliability and a lower price point. The HP-X concept car evolved into the NS-X prototype, still with the mid mounted V6 configuration, but now with a 3.0 litre V-TEC engine. As a 90’s supercar, for some reason I had always imagined the NSX as an uncomfortable beast, as a lot of 80s and 90s cars have a reputation of being - of course I was wrong, oh so wrong. Sliding into the driver's seat, I found myself engulfed in comfort. Amidst all the stitched leather padded dash top, door cards, gearknob and steering wheel, there’s quite a bit of black plastic,


but that’s typical of Japanese cars of the era. Then of course there's the bank of dials with bright orange needles and rocker switches, definitely a product of the early 1990s, but on the outside however its styling is pretty timeless.

Tootling along, the NSX is quite a forgiving car to drive and the automatic makes the NSX a bit lazy, that said I didn’t really have the correct roads on which to open her up. I have to be respectful of her age, after all.

Over the years I’ve read reams about the NSX’s epic handling characteristics so I was looking forward to getting her onto quieter roads and open her up a little, just a little mind and I was acutely aware of her value and significance.

Combining supercar performance with traditional Honda values, such as refinement, comfort, reliability and the highest build quality makes the NSX a bit of an odd car for the era. By that I mean once you’ve had your fun hooning around, it settles down and becomes a useable and comfortable cruiser getting you home with very little fuss. Come my substantial lottery win, an NSX of this era will undoubtably be in my garage.

I would imagine that she would be a hugely rewarding car to drive along unrestricted roads, but out on the leafy roads around Barwick in Elmet and Aberford I had to show restraint. That said, the NSX was an utter joy to thread around moderately fast sweeping roads, she was flat and predictable with precise steering that offered plenty of feedback.

Finally, a massive thanks goes to Simon and the Honda PR team for supplying a wonderful range of cars and overnight accommodation that cumulated into a splendid day out.

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H S A L F RIVE D

Mazda CX-5 Recently, Mazda invited me to one of their regional media days over in Yorkshire where I could drive a selection of their fine vehicles, and of course the first vehicle I chose was the CX-5, the 2.2ltr diesel, 181bhp AWD Sport-Nav, to be precise. There have been a few minor tweaks, for instance, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard across the range, while the keen eyed will spot a revised climate control panel. No matter which spec you opt for, the interiors are always a joy to be in, they always feel classy, no matter which particular Mazda you go for. According to the press release, both the front and rear seats have been extensively revised to offer occupants better core body support, improved fatigue relief and greater comfort, and I have to concur. The new CX-5 may be quieter and more refined that the outgoing model, but Mazda have made sure that it hasn’t lost its dynamic drive, it’s still well balanced and good fun to throw around corners. In fact subtle tweaks to the CX-5’s suspension set-up is another improvement for the 2019 model, as is an updated version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system.

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Performance wise, the 2.2ltr diesel will propel you to 60mph in 9.6 seconds and reach the dizzy heights of 129mph. Fuel wise, expect up to 51.4mpg on a combined cycle. Driving the picturesque B roads around Harrogate, the CX-5 just ate-up the miles, and even though I had around 45 minutes to evaluate it, this short time reinforced my belief that the CX-5 is such an accomplished SUV in every respect. From its handsome and powerful stance to the fact it still retains dials for its heater that turn with a solid and satisfying click! You get a lot of kit for your heard-earned too, with standard safety equipment across the range including Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic alert, Smart Brake Support, High Beam Control and Lane Keep Assist. Since the launch of the original Mazda CX-5 in 2012 more than 48,000 have found homes in the UK, while sales of the second-generation model have passed the 13,000 mark, ensuring that the CX-5 is now Mazda UK’s biggest selling model. There's a lot to love about the CX-5, and if I was in the market for a new SUV I’d be solely temped to add one to the Muddy fleet. Prices from £25,595 - £37,195 more at » www.mazda.co.uk

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Making Tracks w During our last local GLASS (Green lane Association) meeting, it was suggested that at some point we should explore some of the byways and UCRs around Burscough and Croston which aren’t that far from Southport, and that got me thinking. The last time I was out in that direction was around 12 years ago when good pal Barny, Muddy Madam and I drove some green lanes whilst returning from a car show at Mere Brow just off the A565.

At the time Barny was driving his D21 Nissan pick up, which was affectionally known as the Tin Can, whilst Muddy and I were in our 2nd Generation Surf - aka the Smurf. It was fun, and the only memorable lane was SD431709 which was quite tight and looked as though it hadn’t been driven for quite some time. I ventured down first, probably because I had the map and allegedly knew where I was going. There were a couple of occasions were I lost forward motion, but after a bit of to’ing and fro’ing I managed to rock myself out of trouble. Ah yes, good times indeed, and if you’re reading this Barny, you need to get yourself another 4x4!

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with D-Max

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Returning to the present day, well a few days after the GLASS meeting if I’m being pedantic, outside Muddy Towers stood a shiny new Isuzu D-Max, the V-Cross special edition, and, serendipitously, I had also arranged to visit a good friend of mine who happens to live in Southport. A plan was hatched, why don’t I meet him for breakfast and on my way there, drive some of those old lanes? Why not indeed, so as ever, I logged into Trailwise 2 and plotted a route in my ViewRanger app that’s on my iPhone. The following morning arrived and not only was the D-Max covered in a thick layer of ice, but there was also a fresh sprinkling of snow on the roads. Consequently, instead of the 20 minutes it would normally take me to reach the motorway, it took an hour and a half due to panic stricken motorists who don’t have a bloody clue how to drive in 5mm of snow! It was the same when I reached Chorley and Euxton, traffic was painfully slow, and being school drop off time made it worse. When I finally reached my first lane it was 10.30am, the sun was still sat low in the sky and the mist was heavy making the view almost non existent, yet stunningly eery. Moss Lane, or SD4821-03 if you’re on TrailWise, was my first lane. A friend from GLASS had told me that he could sit there for hours and watch all manner of wildlife frolicking around - but there was no chance of seeing anything today. The first section you end up following deepish ruts, but nothing too taxing. For the most part it’s a track between fields but there are a few tight and scratchy bits in between trees, so if your paint work is precious to you, avoid it or take along some loppers. As I mentioned, and as you see by the photos, the mist remained heavy so views were non-existent, it was still a nice lane to explore. On reaching the end I checked the time and I had 30 minutes to get to the middle of Southport to meet up with Dave, so I got a move on. After catching up over a mug or 2 of coffee and a decent fry up at a greasy spoon a few minutes from his house, I continued on my way. My next planned lane is SD4416-07. It’s basically an old cobbled road in parts, that goes across flat open fields. If you’re driving from south to north there are some long and wide puddles to wade through, though not very deep. After that the centre of the lane can be quite high in places due I suspect to a lot of heavy farm 64

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traffic, but it’s easily traversed. In fact I drove it only last week in a Kia Sportage, so it isn’t too bad. From this point I turned right onto Green Lane, turned left onto the A59 then second right onto Back Lane, SD4518-01. For most of it, Back Lane is a firm gravel track, but in the middle it can get a bit muddy. I would imagine that during spring, or summer months it can get a little overgrown so it might be a bit scratchy. Apart from the first lane, I had driven the rest with Barny, my next lane was a bit of a mystery.

• • • • •

PC, smartphone and tablet friendly Toggle between BOAT, UCR and Legacy layers Information on restrictions and closures Multiple mapping options including OS Easy to zoom in and out

• • • • •

Add comments and photos against routes Extensive coverage of England and Wales Share a lane on Facebook or Twitter Available exclusively to GLASS members TW2... TrailWise, but smarter!

WHERE WILL YOU PLAN YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE?


Heading along Eyes Lane just out of Sollom you come across a very narrow metal bridge over the River Douglas with 2 short but sturdy concrete bollards at either end, I’m guessing to stop heavy traffic going across. As you reach the bridge there’s a sharp ramp which you drive up and the bollards disappear out of view, so you’re driving through them blind as it were! I was heading for my final lane, SD4719-02 and because the end of the UCR isn’t shown on TrailWise I drove to the northern end and headed south.

It starts as an open lane with fields on either side, and judging from the ruts, tyre tracks and manure stacked quite high to my left, it looked as though the only vehicles this lane had seen for quite a while were tractors and other farm traffic. The time was almost 2.00pm and the sun still hadn’t managed to burn’t away the mist, even the huge puddles I had to negotiate were covered with a thick layer of ice. If it wasn’t for the fact that I nearly slipped on my arse on numerous occasions as I jumped out of the D-Max to take photos I wouldn’t have believed 66

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that the lane was as treacherously slippy as it was, but the D-Max was proving to be a competent ally in these cold conditions. As I continued, I became ever more aware of the deep drainage ditch to my right hand side, as slippery as it was I knew there wasn’t any chance of the D-Max slipping into it, but you can’t help yourself sometimes, so I kept to the left as much as I could. If you remember, I mentioned that on TrailWise this lane came to an abrupt end without reaching the road, and as I reached this point there was little doubt where headed next, and that was a 90º right hand turn straight back to Eyes Lane. From there I headed back to Sollom, taking my time squeezing the D-Max through the bollards over the metal bridge and headed back home. It had been a fun morning, not only catching up with a good friend who I hardly get to see these days, but exploring some relatively easy greenlanes in a great pick-up, which full review will be in next months issue of The Mud Life.

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g n i p

m a C t i K

Camping weather is on its way, so we take a look at some useful gear and gadgets that will make your life easier whilst out'n'about. In the next pages we have products from the different end of the camping spectrum - survival to glamping, and lots inbetween.

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GOODS & GEAR This little pack made by the knives and tools masters, Gerber, is a great piece of kit to take on any outdoor trek or camping trip for use in an emergency or survival situation. The ripstop nylon bag with waterproof zipper contains 8 essential items which are all packed in an inner plastic ziplock waterproof bag. Contents: Gerber Paraframe mini-knife, fire starter, a cotton ball (fire tinder), wire, waterproof bag, sewing kit, emergency cord, emergency whistle There is also a Priorities of Survival pocket guide containing Bear’s survival essentials, and on the back of the brightly coloured bag there are land to air rescue signaling instructions.

B EA R GRYLLS BA SIC S U R V IVAL KIT

The Muddy team was invited to a Gerber day where we got to use lots of different products whilst being shouted at, and encouraged, by ex-army soldiers. We were given some tasks to do using just this Basic Survival Kit. We were told to make a fire and create a snare, 2 of the most essential things to do if lost in the wilderness - create warmth and find food. The Basic Kit’s mantra is:

Stay prepared. Stay alive. As a team we had to scour the forest floor for dry twigs, then build a fire using the cotton wool for tinder and use the fire starter to create the sparks. I found it easy to get the sparks to fly, and created a nice fire in no time, whilst other members in the team went off for a quick bit of training on how to make and position a snare for the best results. The Paraframe mini- knife may be small, but it's very useful. It has a flip out blade which locks into position, and has both smooth and serrated sections, and a handy belt clip. The cord can be used for plenty of applications, but keeping your food off the forest floor would be one of the best, and the emergency whistle is a no-brainer. The Basic Kit does have the survival essentials, but as the name says just the basics packed in a spacesaving size, so keeping it in your backpack wouldn't be a hardship, and it would be worth doing so that if you do have an unfortunate accident, or get lost, you have the means to keep yourself going. Bag dimensions: 11.5cm x 13cm Weight: 161g more at » www.gerbergear.co.uk THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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GOODS & GEAR WAKA W A K A P OCK E T LI G H T

T

his dinky hand-sized rechargeable LED torch features 3 brightness settings from 5 to 40 lumen, which allows you to see where you are going on full power, but allows for subtle lighting in your tent. It also has an SOS function if you hold the power button down and a poseable carry/hanging handle. This little Waka Waka has become Muddy Madam's go-to torch when walking Giz, next door's lovely lolping labrador, as it has a great beam spread for spotting a wayward dog, it's easy to hold when doing the poo pick up and the adjustable beam means we don't blind Giz in the process. You can charge the light using any USB source (micro & standard USB) though the USB cable isn't provided, and on a single charge. you will get up to 80 hours on the 5Lm setting, 20 hours at 25Lm & 10 hours at 40 Lm. You can also daisy chain multiple lights together to charge them all from one power source.

We think it's the perfect torch for camping, light hiking (light as you need a power source to charge it) and travelling, as it has a packable size of 9cm x 3.5cm, water resistance and it has a 100% recycled high impact resistant casing. All this is packed into a total weight of 60g, so it's a great size for kids to use too. Here at Muddy HQ we also really like that every purchase supports WakaWaka's 'Share The Sun' program that uses 1% of sales to donate at least 10,000 WakaWaka Lights per year to people living in humanitarian crisis. more at » waka-waka.com/en price: £12.99 - buy in the UK at » amazon.co.uk

B IT POTS

Bit pots are designed to stack in the fridge door not on the fridge shelf to free up space, and they are stackable. The manufacturers New Soda intended them for storing leftovers such as tomatoes and onions and all kind of ‘food bits’, so why have we included them in a camping section? Well, we've had a couple of these for a while now here at Muddy HQ, and for trips out, theses little pots are brilliant. If we go out for a day trip we usually plonk some coffee and sugar in a couple, click them together and chuck them in the box with the kettle. Because they attach together easily there is nothing to stop you clicking 4 or 6 together which makes it really easy and convenient to keep your supplies together. Bit pots also work both ways up, either lid down for use as a citrus keeper, or upright for use as a traditional storage pot. Each pot holds 7 fl oz/200 ml, but there are a couple of things to be aware of - they are not suitable for microwaves, or for transporting liquids. As they are also food safe & BPA free they are great for kids’ lunch boxes. price: (set of 2) £8 more at » www.newsoda.com/product/bit-pots

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GOODS & GEAR C OLEMAN 6 -I N -1 CA M P TA BL E If you have a large 4x4, space-saving isn't that important, as you have enough room to chuck most stuff in the back, but if you have a smaller vehicle, or have a back seat full of kids, space may be an issue. With this in mind we really wanted to get our hands on a space-saving, but decent sized table, one that could handle the weight of something like a Firepod(20kg) Pizza Oven, but more importantly must be tall enough not to make us crouch over when cooking or preparing food.

At its maximum height of 83cm it was a perfect height for a six footer like me to prepare food on. Using different combinations of legs you can have it at a height that will suit most, including as a kids table. Cooking on uneven ground? Not a problem, each foot has an adjustable screw fitting at its base. The surface is made from melamine which means that it’s very easy to clean, and it doesn’t bend of flex either when you put put pressure on it as the aluminium frame helps to keep it rigid.

Coleman’s 6-in-1 Camp Table packed up measures just 80x40x7cm and weighs just 5.8kg, and even slots nicely in the back of our dinky Doon Buggy, so we thought it may fit the bill. When stored the 6-in-1 tables are clamped together, briefcase-style. Once separated you unfold the legs and there you have it, a table, or two. As the name suggests, the ‘6-in-1’ has 6 variables, including using it as two separate tables or as one larger table. Flexibility is the key here, you can either clamp them side-by-side, end-to-end, or corner to corner like an 'L' shape, it’s up to you. more at » www.coleman.eu price: RRP - £99.99

Weight-wise, each table is able to carry up to a whopping 80kg, which is ample. The lower the table height the more sturdy they feel, but with both tables clamped together it felt safe and secure. There aren’t any lower struts to catch your knees on, like many other camping tables, so the 6-in-1 can easily be used as a proper dining table. The only improvement would be a carry bag, as it doesn’t come with one. It does have a carry handle, but to protect the table surfaces from dirt or scuffing we keep it in its original box. It’s a well designed and thought out table. buy in the UK at » www.amazon.co.uk

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GOODS & GEAR RADIANT 400 LANTERN The Radiant lantern from Nite Ize has three light levels: 400 lumens = intensely bright (don't look directly or you'll be seeing splodges) 170 lumens = reasonably bright (still a bit bright to look at) 30 lumens = enough to find things in your tent, and for subtle dark night lighting It comes with a protective carrying bag that doubles as a light diffuser, but beware, unless you know it's there you'll probably end up throwing it away with the box as it is hidden away in the base of the packaging. As mentioned earlier, on the 400 lumen setting, and with the way the fancily titled 'Optical Diffuser' works, the light is incredibly bright, so having the diffuser bag is an essential to make the light softer and more eye friendly especially at night. Powered by three D-Cell batteries (not included), this lantern can run for nearly 800 hours in the lowest setting, and for 26 hours on full whack, before needing to swap out for new ones, which is pretty good going. It has a handle with a carabiner that makes it easy to carry, hang or clip it on to lines, twigs or backpacks. It states that it's weather resistant, but

with no explanation, so I'm going to guess means it can cope with a bit of rain, but I haven't tested my theory. They also state that it is impact resistant (drop proof to one metre), but again I haven't been clumsy enough yet to know. It has a lot of competition in the market and for me I would prefer it if it had a dimmable light rather than just the 3 options. My other niggle would be that, from past experience, using the big D-Cell batteries can be a bit of a pain as it's the size that isn't always stocked in the smaller shops, which is what you tend to encounter in the places where campsites are. Obviously if you are going for a long trip all you have to do is remember to bring spares. with you, but that's just one more thing to remember. Size wise, at 20cm tall with a diameter of 9.8cm and a weight of 329g it is just about the right size for a good lantern, and as a family trip style camping light it is an decent piece of kit, with a solid build quality, a nice rubbery feel, and easy to use pressable button. Price - RRP £39.99 more at » www.niteize.com buy in the UK at » www.amazon.co.uk

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GOODS & GEAR CAM PINGAZ PA RTY GRI LL 4 0 0 CV When Campingaz said they were sending me their Party Grill I have to admit that I hadn't heard of it, so I did what everyone does and Googled it and found nothing but positive reviews, so I knew it was in for a good start. As the media bumf says, it’s a compact, portable stove that offers a wide range of interchangeable cooking surfaces: stove top, grill, griddle, plancha and the lid even doubles as a wok. All elements of the Party Grill can fit inside the unit itself, including its 3 legs, so very easy to carry. Once everything’s inside there’s 3 clasps that keep it all together then it can be placed into its own convenient carry bag for even more portability. What’s it like to use? Once you remove it from its carry bag, simply screw in the 3 legs and either the CV300+ or CV470+ gas cartridge and decide which cooking surfaces you want to use. If you’re a numpty like me who has been known to leave matches and lighters at home, you’ll be happy to know that the Party Grill has a piezo ignition which so far has fired up the burner on first press. There are numerous other benefits, it’s incredibly easy to clean for instance. It’s designed with a detachable body in which you fill with water, this in turn catches any grease and cooking juices and prevents them from sticking to the stove, as well as preventing flare ups. When you’re done, simply discard the dirty water and rinse off with soapy water, or a wipe with a kitchen towel and it's ready to pack away. Easy! Have I mentioned that you can also use one of the surfaces to plonk a kettle onto for a brew? Well you can. What else is good about it? Well, the lid is great for keeping the heat in; as well as being a wind guard it’s also reversible so you can use it as a wok. Any downsides? Not really, though the slot through which you can view the burner flame is small and awkward, and you have to be careful when unscrewing the body from the base to get rid of the dirty water as it can stick. Would I recommend one? Definitely. In fact, although Campingaz sent me this particular stove free to review, if I lost it I would quite honesty go out and buy a replacement with my own money, and it isn’t often I say that! price: £100 more at » www.campingaz.com

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GOODS & GEAR J E TB OI L M I N IMO T’other month I reviewed JetBoil's Flash, which is a great piece of kit if you want to boil water quickly, very quickly, but what if you want to make a meal, well it’s their Minimo that you want.

Why? Well, there’s 2 main differences, the first is the size of the one litre cup, it’s shallower and wider than the Flash making it easier to eat from whilst using cutlery. It also has 2 metal, rubber covered, handles making it easier to use. Secondly, the MiniMo’s innovative valve design gives it a far better simmer control over its smaller sibling. Like the rest of the Jetboil range, the MiniMo comes with a built-in push-button igniter, a lid that not only has the usual sip holes, but also drain holes for if you’re cooking pasta or rice. It has a bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl, and a fuel canister stabiliser that folds neatly into the lid. New versions all come with a pot stand that slots onto the burner that makes it possible to cook using a frying pan if the need arises. Both the pot stand and burner can slot together in the small orange cloth bag, and put sideways inside the cup for easy storage. Jetboil do say that you can also fit an 100grm gas canister in as well, but it’s a very tight squeeze. Ultimately I’ve found it easier to carry the canister separately as I’m never short of space. Over the last few months I’ve heated up pre-prepared meals with the MiniMo and created some mighty dishes from scratch. I have to say that the redesigned valve and regulator really does make a difference for simmer control.

Any problems? Well, strong winds have blown it out a few times, so I’ve either found something to shield it with or put it somewhere less windy, it isn’t rocket science! In summary then, if you're after a lightweight backpacking stove to use for cooking meals and boiling water, then the Jetboil MiniMo is a fantastic choice and I’d definitely recommend it. Price: RRP - £159.99 more at » www.gooutdoors.co.uk buy in the UK at » www.amazon.co.uk

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GOODS & GEAR BUCK 104 C OMP A D RE CA M P K N IF E Wasting a bit of time, scrolling through Instagram, I noticed a rather cool photo of a wooden handled knife sporting a red blade. Within a few days one had arrived at Muddy HQ for me to review. The knife is a 104 Compadre Camp Knife which is among the Compadre Series of outdoor tools made by Buck, and comes with Buck’s lifetime warranty. Apart from the powder coated blade, the first thing I noticed was its weight. At 200g it isn’t heavy, but feels nice and weighty in your hand, it’s also very well balanced. On the top it has ‘ridges; for your thumb to stop it from slipping down the bade, which works well, especially if your hands are wet. The knife is made with a full tang construction and a heavy-duty Heritage Walnut handle, which I found to be very comfortable to hold, no matter what the temperature or weather. It's well finished, smooth and pleasant to the touch. It has a drop point shaped blade, which means it’s full bellied with a strong, thick point for heavier tasks. Buck say that it can also be used as a general work knife. The top of the blade drops down toward the tip, which minimises accidental puncturing while skinning, though I haven’t tried this. It’s spine is square enough to start a fire using a ferro rod, and if you’re not comfortable, or no good at feathering, rub the spine against a branch and you’ll have plenty of tinder shavings. Now, the red powder coating, let’s get that out of the way - the real value of this is to limit exposed steel helping to prevent rust, and this coating clearly works. The quality of the coating seems superb, although when I’ve used it to ‘baton’ timber, it has rubbed off a little.

some bystanders may mistake the coating for blood, I can see why, but you don’t notice the colour when it’s in its sheath, and personally I like it, it gives the knife a distinctive look; not something that I’ll lose in a hurry. On the subject of its leather sheath, it’s great and fits many sizes of belts and has a retaining strap attached that keeps the Compadre secure. I’ve had the Compadre for a year now, and it’s been used pretty regularly, and so far it doesn’t appear to have lost any of its sharpness. In fact, out of the box, it’s the only knife I’ve had with which I can actually have a shave with! Overall I’ve found the Buck 104 Compadre Camp Knife to be a great piece of kit, and if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, and I’ve been eaten, I’ve instructed Muddy Madam that this is one of the first things to grab as she ventures out into the great unknown! Price: RRP - £109.95 more at » www.buckknives.com buy in the UK at » www.buck-store.co.uk (currently £93.95 including free sharpening stone)

On some American review sites they’ve bemoaned that THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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GOODS & GEAR d3 CO HESIVE BAN D A GE CO M PRESS ION W RA P d3's range of Cohesive Bandages (& Kinesiology tapes) come in funky fun colours and are bigger and longer than the boring brown or white medical products. I can hear you muttering "Why have you included a bandage in a magazine for petrolheads?" Well this section is about products to take camping, and this little box of greatness is an essential product for me (Muddy Madam) as I can twist my ankle at any opportunity - I'm not kidding, we once went on a camping trip to the Kyle of Lochalsh, a good 7+ hours drive away, pitched up the tent, put on my walking boots and set off, only to slip off the edge of the road and well and truly sprain my ankle, within 2 minutes! An abrupt end to the walking part of the holiday. Since then I have always included a bandage or tubagrip in my kit, but, after a brief visit to a stand at an outdoor trade show, I take these things no longer as now I've found the perfect product. Created in New Zealand back in 2010, for all kinds of people with active lifestyles, from professional athletes, right through to the weekend walker, d3's C9.0 cohesive bandage is a revolutionary material that will only stick to itself, and no other surface, so no nasty skin pulling when you take it off, and also no need for stabbing yourself with, ironically named, safety pins. It sticks so well that I actually had to cut the bandage off last time because I couldn't find the end when I wanted to take it off. I recently did my ankle in again walking on an uneven pavement (clumsy, yep that's me!). I used the d3, and what I really loved is that it doesn't slacken like ordinary bandages, and has much more support than a tubagrip. One of the best things is that I can have a shower with it on as it's waterproof, and leave it on for days as it's breathable too. At 9 metres long it's twice the traditional bandage length (in my case 1 box=2 wrapped ankles), and it's tearable with your hands, no scissors needed, which is a godsend when you are trying to bandage yourself up. It can be used for compression of swellings, supporting joints and muscles or to protect primary dressings. I think it would be great for some more unusual uses too, such as leg wraps for horses or for fastening objects together without the usual sticky tape problems. If you have any more ideas, let us know. They come in 50mm & 75mm widths, and a range of colours in both plain and camouflage designs. Don't worry if you want a more subtle strapping, they do flesh coloured too. d3 have some great tutorials on how to use d3 bandages. price: around £5 where to buy » https://www.d3tape.com/retailer/ or buy on Amazon here » www.amazon.co.uk 76

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GOODS & GEAR TROVER DRYING DOG COATS A lot of 4x4 owners have dogs, but sadly we don’t, though we have friends who do. Lizz and Danny from DJ Archer Photography have a whippet, Jesse, who is always cold, so he's the perfect choice for the review. Lizz will tell you all about it...

When we were testing the coat's drying properties we wanted to make sure we took him somewhere muddy and wet so we could really put it through its paces. He loved it, it kept him lovely and warm initially. Then we took it off him so he could have a play in the muddy fields, where, as usual, he got filthy. We popped him in the boot of the car and gave him a rub down with it and wiped his muddy paws. Admittedly he doesn’t have a lot of fur so he drys quickly, but by the time we got home, which is only a few minutes drive, he was bone dry, and most of the mud was on the coat and not on him or my car. Absolutely perfect! The only downside of this particular coat is it lacks a hole so you can attach a lead to the collar whilst wearing it Some owners strap their dogs in when in the car to keep them safe and the car clean. Though I imagine it’s a really easy adjustment to make. All in all, it's a wonderful coat for your dog, and judging by the quality, I imagine it will last a very long time, if not the life of my dog. It’s definitely a winner with Jesse.

Photos by DJ Archer Photography

Last week we test drove the award winning Trover Drying Coats, well, our dog Jesse did. Jesse is a whippet, and, being a typical whippet he’s pretty skinny, and has very thin fur, which means he’s always freezing. Even inside the house he’ll be shivering if we don’t put the heating on, and he can often be found snuggling in his bed, or more often than not, in ours! Finding a coat for Jesse isn’t easy. Whippets have extremely deep chests but the good thing about Trover's coats is they don’t attach around the dog’s chest, they wear it like a poncho, so it fits over the dogs head and neck and goes all the way to their tail. They have little leg straps at the back of the coat so it stays in place and the collar acts as a neck warmer too.

What makes Trover Drying Dog Coats so good? For a start it’s an all British product, and is made from polyester louper fleece (manufactured in England) which has amazing thermal and wicking properties, is easy to wash and dries very quickly. Great for drying your dog without the effort. Dogs don't come in S,M,L sizes, so Toni offers 13 stock sizes, the smallest being 25cm/10" back, up to 76cm /30". Even with so many stock sizes available you may not be able find the perfect size for your dog, which is why, for no extra cost, Toni will create a bespoke coat to your dog's dimensions, like she did for Jesse. Prices start at £28.69

more at » www.trovercoats.com

I first tried this on Jesse during the day when he was shivering on the couch. Huge success! He absolutely loved it, and just curled up and slept. For this reason alone it will make a great house coat, and an even better camping coat. He’s always freezing when we take him camping, so this is perfect for keeping him warm during those cold nights, as he certainly can’t fit in my sleeping bag. I also pop it on him for car journeys. - I find that coats calm dogs down. Wearing this in the car, not only keeps him calm, but helps him to fall asleep. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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GOODS & GEAR N IT E IZE GEA RL I N E

OR G AN I Z A T I ON SY ST EM

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ave you ever been out in your tent and wanted to find your torch or something, but everything you have is in a big pile, and it's a real pain to find it? If you answered yes, then this system could be good for you. You see it's a 2 foot sturdy line, made with high quality, durable webbing, with loops. It has 2 flexible 12" Nite Ize Gear Ties (check out the review in issue 3) at each end so it can be secured in many ways, and to make life easier it comes with 6 colourful S-Biners (double-gated carabiner clips) in alternating sizes to clip up your stuff. Just attach whatever tools, gear, gadgets, or clothing you want to each S-Biner and hang the GearLine to any hook, knob, eyelet or tree - wherever it will be most convenient. It's not just for tents, you could use it in loads of ways - in the garage, on the boat, in the home, basically anywhere where your things need to be secured and organised. If you haven't got a lot of space you can also hang it vertically, and if you aren't a fan of the coloured S-Biners, and feel a bit of your inner SAS side coming out, then there is a tactical version available with all black S-Biners. Available in a 2 foot & a 4 foot version which has 10 S-Biners. Prices - varied more at Âť https://www.niteize.com/product/GearLine.asp buy in the UK at Âť www.amazon.co.uk

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GOODS & GEAR ST O RMS U RE F L E X I B LE RE P A I R AD HE S IV E

I

f you've ever split your wellies, got a hole in your tent or popped a hole in your child's paddling pool then you'll know how hard it is to repair these flexible waterproof materials, but this wonderful adhesive is incredibly strong, yet flexible, when cured, and highly resistant to abrasion. If you look at the reviews for Stormsure you will come across so many uses like patching up expensive wellies, wetsuits, tents, horse rugs and even vehicle soft tops, making it the essential item in any repair kit for hikers, campers, caravaners, mountaineers, water sports enthusiasts....the list is endless. It comes in 2 versions, clear & black, and a wide variety of tube and pack sizes. Price: from £6.49 find a retailer » www.firstascent.co.uk buy online » www.stormsure.com

S TORM SE A L S E AM S E A L E R Here at Muddy Towers we've had a variety of tents and waterproof clothing over the years and occasionally we've had to reseal a seam or two. In the past the sealers we have used have been highly toxic smelling to the point that we've had to go outside and wear a respirator when using, but what we like about Stormseal is that it's a non-toxic product that does not contain any volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Therefore, it is completely safe to use. It's a water-based seam sealer that comes in a 100mls squeezable bottle with a built-in foam pad applicator. The foam pad makes it easy to apply the sealer where you need it without a load of mess, simply spread the solution onto the fabric and then wait for it to dry. If you mess up you can wash off the sealer with water before it dries. Although it isn't toxic, it does have a little bit of a whiff like most glues, so if you are doing a lot of repairs indoors, open a window. The liquid soaks in to pinholes and leaking seams and dries clear, leaving a flexible and waterproof surface. This versatile sealer is suitable for using on many products, including leaky tents and awnings, horse rugs and waterproof clothing. Price: £7 find a retailer » www.firstascent.co.uk buy online » www.stormsure.com THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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GOODS & GEAR LU C I P RO OUTD OOR H S OL A R LA N TERN/ CHA RGE R

ere at Muddy HQ we love Luci's lanterns. We came across them years ago at a trade show, and was given one of their original lanterns to test. Later they came out with a funky colour-changing lantern that upped the game. (You can read the reviews for both of these on our website themudlife.co.uk).

Now they have gone one step further and have created a solar charging lantern that will also charge your phone and other small electricals. If you are like me your mobile is an essential camping accessory, not only for emergencies, but it's my camera, satnav, restaurant finder and essential loo finding torch at 3am, so power is needed. Yes you can have a power bank, but once that power is gone where do you plug in? The Luci Pro Outdoor allows you to go out for the day, and either attach the deflated lantern to the top of your rucksack, or leave it attached to your tent to soak up those regenerative sun rays with its solar panel. Hey presto - power! This little gadget is a versatile light that's bright, lasts for ages and comes with a USB port for charging in both directions, so you can charge it up at home before you leave and charge your electricals whilst out. Luci's Pro Series charges from empty to full in just a few hours when plugged in to a power source, and lasts 50 hours or more on a single charge. Top up the charge on your smartphone with the power of the sun, and you'll still have enough battery power to have a cracking night light for another couple of hours. The Pro has a clear finish that creates a very bright light up to 150 lumens, and it has 4 switchable modes: low, medium, high & flashing. There is also a very useful 4 LED battery level indicator, so you'll know when the charge is getting low. There is a simple push button for turning on and to move through the various light modes, and to switch off you press the power button for 3 seconds. Luci thankfully include a 1m USB to USB cable, so you can charge it up easily at home, though unless you have USB sockets you will need a plug. The other thing that has really improved using this lantern is the dual straps on the top and bottom, because the one of them now opens and is adjustable, so it's much easier to hang it from branches or an inside tent loop. We think that, with its simple charging and solar recharging features, adjustable light modes and practical packability (when deflated), this waterproof lantern is an essential for campers and at ÂŁ34.99 it's highly affordable. more at Âť www.firstascent.co.uk

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GOODS & GEAR CO CO ON AIR-C ORE T R A V EL P ILLOW Camping can be a bit uncomfortable, because you're not in your own comfy bed. There are mats and airbeds that make life under canvas a bit better, but I think pillows have always been an issue. We've got the chance to test out the Air Core Pillow by Cocoon and found that it combines comfort and support with a decent size of 28 x 38 cm", all packed in a bag of just 11 x 8 cm. The pillow outer has both flocked and smooth sides with a synthetic filling on the inside, and a shaped inflatable air core in the centre, hence the name. Thanks to the easy-to-use twist valve, you can adjust the air filling whilst your head is actually on the pillow, which makes it really easy to get the perfect support. You can also unzip the outer to remove the inflatable bladder so that you can wash the outer, though it's hand wash only. So far it's proved to be a comfortable little pillow, and with its dinky pack size its perfect for camping, taking on planes or you could always put it in your desk for those mid-afternoon work naps.

RRP: £18.95

more at » www.firstascent.co.uk

CO CO ON TOILE TRY K I T The Allrounder Toiletry Kit, to give it its Sunday name, has two large open pockets and two zippered pockets, one with a see-through plastic mesh so you can easily spot what you want. Made of waterproof, stain resistant TPU laminated (don't ask me what that is, but it sounds impressive) Oxford Nylon fabric, and it also has water repellent zippers. This generously sized toiletry bag can be used both standing or hanging with its stow-away hook. Hanging makes it easy to get at all your products without having to spread them all over the place - very handy when you are visiting camp site shower blocks. Sized at 32 x 22 x 8cm it amply held both of our toiletries, brushes (well no brush needed for Damian's follicly challenged bonce) and make-up for a weekend away. price: £39.95 more at » www.firstascent.co.uk THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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GOODS & GEAR CLOTHING Q UA RTER ZIP GUE RN SE Y J UM P ER Now that Winter has gone and Spring is upon us, let’s talk about jumpers, more specifically, Channel Jumper’s 1/4 Zipped Guernsey Jumper. I first met Jessica, from Channel Jumper, at an outdoor trade show mid 2017, and amongst her wares this jumper caught my attention. The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Ooo, that’s smart”, and the second was that it would keep me warm and cosy whilst in the Doon buggy, on those days when a coat would be a bit excessive. Fast forward a week or so later and one was kindly delivered to Muddy Towers for me to review and it quickly became my new favourite jumper. Before I go any further, let’s introduce you to Channel Jumper, and explain why their kit is so good. The company started as a cottage industry back in 1974 and has been registered in Alderney since March 1976.   The intention was to both revive the Alderney sweater which had not been in production for over 50 years, and to establish a knitting industry on the island. Today the company continues to produce the traditional Guernsey sweater in a variety of styles, as well as a range of contemporary knitwear for both men and women.   After starting its life on sheep grazing the fells and downs of the great British countryside, the wool goes through quite a process; words such as hand graded, scoured, combed and vacuum extraction are thrown around on their website. You can be assured that before your jumper becomes a jumper, its wool has gone through a whole host of vetting, cleaning and twisting procedures to make sure it’s at its best. The result is that their Guernsey sweaters are knitted with close stitches from tightly 82

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twisted wool which gives it the ability to not only withstand sea spray and rain, but you get a strong, long lasting garment that will hold its shape, after wear and washing, time after time. Wearing the jumper for the first time I was quite surprised by its stiffness and weight - it’s quite weighty! This however confirms its quality, it’s no lightweight, in both meanings. Of course, the more it’s worn the less stiff it becomes. Obviously it isn’t waterproof, but the wool weave does a fine job of resisting rain and has kept me dry numerous times after being caught out by the weather. Nearly 2 years on and it has become a firm favourite in my wardrobe, and all but the coldest of nights it has kept me toasty warm with just a shirt underneath.   Some people will spend a fortune on designer labels, only to get rid of them the following season when they’re no longer 'trendy'; the 1/4 Zip Guernsey Jumper isn’t for them. It’s one of those items of clothing that in decades to come you’ll look at it, and marvel at the timeless design and at how well it's lasted. And with that in mind it’s probably one of the best £83’s that you’ll ever spend on an item of clothing. price - £83.00 incl P&P , but excludes VAT for UK customers

more at » www.channeljumper.com


GOODSCLOTHING & GEAR P Á R A M O HA LC ON J A CK E T R E VIS IT ED Back in 2011 when I tested and wrote product reviews for the now defunct Land Rover World magazine, Páramo kindly sent me one of their rather expensive Halcon jackets to review. It arrived at Muddy Towers just in the nick of time for the horrendous weather that battered the UK during December. With 100mph winds, rain the size of marbles with hail and sleet thrown in for good measure, the Halcon never let me down. Back then I wrote that it was easy to see why the Halcon was the choice of professionals who need to be out in all conditions to earn a crust and remain warm and dry. That was 8 years ago, and today that same Halcon jacket is still going strong. Let me just expand on that for a moment, not only does it still keep me warm and dry, but it looks as good as it did when it first arrived. All the press studs are still intact, all the zips work perfectly and none are showing any signs of wearing out. At £310 back then, or the £350 that it costs now, it's definitely not a cheap item, but it's true what they say - the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. Páramo say that the Halcon was designed for an active country lifestyle, it's especially suitable for outdoor enthusiasts who carry extra equipment with them due to it's 9, easily accessible, pockets, and when I say easily accessible, I also mean huge. A camera body in one pocket, lenses in others and of course a packed lunch and small flask!

sizes - S, M, L, XL, XXL colours - only green price - £350.00 more at » www.paramo-clothing.com

You stay warm and dry because the tough directional Nikwax Analogy waterproof fabric gives dry comfort, and if you get too warm, each arm has a vent with a zip that can cool you down. On the subject of keeping warm, there are 2 fleece-lined hand warming pockets that really do the business, and for uninterrupted vision when the weather turns grim, there’s a fully-adjustable hood with a wired peak which moves with you and folds into a warm, fleece lined collar. Although I don’t carry a rucksack around much anymore, if I did, the Halcon also has a reinforced shoulder construction and removable foam insert strips in back for increased comfort. Overall, the Páramo Halcon jacket isn't just a normal waterproof and breathable jacket, nope, it’s technically supreme, amazingly comfortable, reassuringly dependable, and very practical. Even at it's lofty price, I’m still going to say that it’s excellent value for money! Read the original Mud Life review on themudlife.co.uk here. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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Any excuse, really…

It was the week between Christmas and New Year when, if you don’t work the festive period, you tend to lose track of days, time and pretty much everything. Luckily, apart from the obvious family stuff to attend to, I had something else to look forward to, and that was a day out green-laning with a friend and motoring writer colleague from the Yorkshire Post, Andy who just happened to have the latest Mercedes-Benz X-CLass pick up on loan. Armed with a list of green-lanes that I’d researched on GLASS’ TrailWise 2 and loaded into my iPhone via the ViewRanger app, I jumped into Deux Smurf, our 1996 Toyota Surf with a flask of coffee and some turkey butties and began the hours drive over to Settle to meet up with Andy. According to the map, our first lane is just after Outhgill on the B6259, and is an hour's drive from Settle, unless you’re following a motoring writer who knows these roads like the

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back of his hand and drives a 3.0ltr V6 pick-up with 255bhp on tap, then it's alot quicker! My plan was to reach NY7702-01 (TrailWise 2 reference) which was the northern most lane and head back south down towards Hawes. Starting from the southern end of NY7702-01, the going was firm with a solid stone base and runs almost parallel with the River Edan with stunning views of the towering Great Shunner Fell to our right. At this point I was happy to trundle along in 2wd high, gradually though the ground becomes softer and develops into single muddy ruts, so it was time to press the 4wd button as I don’t want to make a mess by spinning the rear wheels. As the lane turns to the left the ruts become a little bit


deeper and we come across a ‘muddy step’ of around 20”. Deux Smurf is shod with BFGoodrich KM2s and found plenty of traction as the front wheels drove up and over on tick-over. As the X-Class was on road tyres Andy gave it a little more momentum and managed it easily enough, though the tow bar did ground a little. The rest of the lane continued with ruts of varying depths, and both the X-Class and Deux Smurf coped without scraping as underneath the muddy surface it appeared to be a fairly solid base. Not far from the end we came across a narrow concrete bridge with no parapet, which was fun, but we both managed to cross it with ease. In fact we enjoyed the lane so much that when we reached the end, we turned around and drove it back. Our next lane, SD7896-02 or Lady Anne's Highway as I believed it’s named, was less than 5 minutes away as we headed back towards Hawes on the B6259. Heading south it starts with a gentle climb with a gravel and solid stone surface and remains this way to the end. According to fellow ‘laners, it once had challenging deep ruts but now they’ve been filled in. Once through a couple of waterfalls we arrived at the Water Cut sculpture by Mary Bourne and we stop to take some obligatory photos of Mallerstang valley below. We were fortunate to have great weather that afforded us spectacular views. The sky may have been blue and the sun shining, but it was still December and bloomin’ cold, so we jumped back into the 4x4s and we trundled on our way.

The rest of the road is straight forward and remains a solid base with the exception of Hell Gill bridge which crosses the source of the River Eden, I’m led to believe. It isn’t necessarily a narrow bridge, nor that long, maybe only 3 or 4 of car lengths, but because it has a slight bend in the middle it can be a tad tricky for wider vehicles, like a V6 X-CLass, for instance. Soon we were back on the B6259, and our plan was to pop into Hawes for lunch, but as it appeared, so did everyone else - and with no parking spaces and the sun hanging quite low we decided to drive another couple of lanes. SD8486-01, or Cam Road is another green-lane that I hadn’t driven before, and it had a reputation for being quite a challenge around half way up due to THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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some fairly gnarly rock steps. However, I was told that the council had been along and graded it to the point that it was no longer as tough as it was once. For the first mile or so it’s quite bumpy, I certainly wouldn’t want to take a Series Land Rover up, I’d have no spine left! Arriving at the section of Cam Road that I’m guessing once housed the steps, I was faced with a climb of stone and mud that looked tricky. That said, once I’d decided on a line, I slipped Deux Smurf into 2nd low with her centre diff locked and slowly eased her forward with only a bit of momentum and I managed to reach the top without any wheel spin. It looked worse than it was to drive. Andy was next, and watching where I drove he followed suit and the big X-Class made it look easy. Next up was a rutted muddy section, and where we met our first group of 4x4 owners of the day, a Discovery 2 and P38 Range Rover. Although the D2 was on the other side, the gent in the P38 Range Rover had already had a few attempts at getting through but couldn’t make it due to getting hung up on his front diff, so he decided to turn around.

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At this point, Andy had a worried look on his face, which was fair enough as his X-Class was literally brand new and only had 300 or so miles on the clock! I however, was confident. So I selected second low again, edged my way into the mire, kept up momentum and got through without any issues at all. Andy next, and although at one point he had to reverse a little due to a lack of momentum, the traction control and locking rear diff on the X-Class made mince meat out of it. From here Cam Road became narrow, then wider and narrow again as we climbed further up into the sky. The only other challenge were a few slippery rock steps that gave the impression if you slid off them you’d plummet a couple of hundred feet to the valley below, but keeping to the left they were easy enough. On reaching the end I concluded that this was by far my favourite of the day, a few good challenges and lots of spectacular views. If you’re going to attempt it, only do so if you have mud terrains and decent clearance as I believe the mud section has gotten worse in the last 5 months. THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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It was now 3.00pm, the sun was getting low and we were both famished, so we opted to drive down our next lane, SD8685-02 or Cam High Road then venture into Hawes, find a pub that was still serving food and feast like kings, or 2 fat blokes who’d been driving all day. Hang on, I need to amend that. One fat bloke, me, and Andy who’s as svelte and agile as a ninja! The aforementioned Cam High Road was a little disappointing as it appears to have been graded at some point, I don’t know why, it was never that difficult. Stunning views, mind. After our fabulous pub lunch we headed for Semerwater, posed on the lakeshore (the trucks, not us) and headed for our last lane of the day, SD9383-03, aka High Lane. It has a good solid base and a couple of steep bits and can be driven by any small AWD SUV with care. By this time the sun had well and truly disappeared behind the looming hills and we were left with a beautiful glowing sunset that marked the end of a fantastic day’s green-laning. All that was left to do was bid farewell to Andy and set my sat-nav for the 2 hour journey back to Muddy Towers. Arriving home I checked the mileage and I’d covered just over 200 miles. Deux Smurf, as usual had performed faultlessly, though I really do need to fit softer suspension, and the brand new Mercedes X-Class acquitted itself and proved to be exceptionally competent on some of the more gnarly sections, despite being on roads tyres. Overall it was a cracking day out exploring some great green-lanes with good company.

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Just some of our new friends.

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"...a few good challenges and lots of spectacular views."

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IN OUR GARAGE/BIKE SHED This month's Our Garage section is a little different, because the Bugster, our 1970 Doon beach buggy is resting with a broken clutch, and Deux Smurf has been busy green-laning and getting us to vehicle launches, so I thought I’d share our least used modes of transport, here at Muddy Towers. The first is our open canoe, a We-no-nah Aurora, A.K.A. Winona, that’s been with us since 2007, and has been the source of many hours of watery fun. The story of our relationship began well over a decade ago when I worked for my local youth service. During the summers I’d take a bunch load of hormone-raging adolescents to a local reservoir for a variety of outdoor activities, which included canoeing. As the boss, it would’ve been rude of me not to join in on the fun; I even took advantage of the extra lessons that our Outdoor Education team put on for staff, as did Muddy Madam, and

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soon enough we became addicted to canoeing. Having made the decision to buy our own canoe, I joined the wonderful forum: www.songofthepaddle.co.uk, and after months of deliberation we decided that a We-nonah Aurora was the canoe for us. Fortunately an outdoor activity centre in Aberdyfi, mid Wales, had a year old Aurora for sale at just £600, which was about half the price of a new one. They reckoned that it was used mainly in a sandy environment, though it did have some scratches and a few small to medium dints. Winona is 16 feet long, and great for day-tripping on lakes, rivers and canals. She has taken us up and down the Leeds - Liverpool canal, around Llyn Padarn in Wales and along various rivers. Recently, the only water to touch her hull is the stuff that falls from the sky as we've been very lazy, I mean busy, very busy!


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The second mode of transport is my GT Avalanche 3 which is probably the least used off-roader at Muddy HQ. Actually let's be honest, there’s no 'probably' about it, it is. Quite a number of years ago I had a Mud Life crisis (see what I did there?) and decided that I wanted to return to my youth - I would buy a mountain bike and cycle everywhere. The problem was, I had no idea which bikes were good anymore. When I was younger, the favourite of all my bikes was a Dawes Galaxy, a beautiful two toned tourer with Shimano gearing that covered more miles in a year than my old Series 1 Land Rover! It took me to Blackpool, Southport and the Peak District (yup, I was fit back then). Anyhow, posing this question, ‘What’s the best value mountain bike for an 18 stone fat bloke who has a spare £250?’ on a couple of mountain bike forums, got me varied responses that the Halfords Carrera or Mongoose somethingor-other were quite good, however the most popular suggestion was a GT Avalanche. After scanning forums and reviews, pundits said that overall the GT Avalanche 3.0 is 'an excellent entry level bike for the money,' and that’s what I wanted A common theme was to buy the GT as it had the best frame, and when the ancillaries begin to fail, replace them with better units. Someone also said that I should go for a frame that was smaller than I'd normally buy if I was going for an off-road bike (I can't remember why), so I did, which was a mistake. I didn’t do much in the way of mountain-biking on it, though it did take me to work quite a lot, and I thoroughly enjoyed it until a couple of years ago when some oxygen thief stole it.! Although a replacement Avalanche was almost twice as expensive as my original, I decided to claim on my house insurance for the first time ever. Muddy Madam then used her impressive research skills to find an almost impregnable bike shed, and even though I don’t ride this new bike as often as I should, I’m glad I've got it ready for my next get fit campaign. 94

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Promoting the legal and sustainable use of the countryside, campaigning against irresponsible use with the aim to ensure every green road is open for all to use.

• Regular digital bulletins • 2 printed magazines per year • Members website and forum • TW2, the essential green lane route planning tool • • Access to area reps for route planning and advice • Member discounts from selected suppliers • Legal challenges • Extensive knowledge base •

• • • • •

PC, smartphone and tablet friendly Toggle between BOAT, UCR and Legacy layers Information on restrictions and closures Multiple mapping options including OS Easy to zoom in and out

• • • • •

Add comments and photos against routes Extensive coverage of England and Wales Share a lane on Facebook or Twitter Available exclusively to GLASS members TW2... TrailWise, but smarter!

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ADVERTISE WITH US We are looking for advertisers for our magazine, so if you would like to advertise your business in the THE MUD LIFE MAGAZINE, email us:

ads@themudlife.co.uk See your product or service here. with clickable links.

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Show Report - Spring 2019

Adventure Overland Show

For those of you that haven’t heard of it, the Adventure Overland Show is what it says on the tin, it’s a 2 day event held in both April and September and showcases a wide range of products and services, such as motorhomes, campers & expedition trucks, for anyone who’s interested in Overland travel and bushcraft. There are free seminars and, well, pretty much something for everyone really. Arriving at the Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse in this weeks press car, a Nissan Navara, I paid my £15 entrance fee, parked up and went for a wander. The weather wasn’t as bad as the Spring event last year, which after a huge amount of rain fall left the entire show ground a quagmire. However, there were menacing clouds above and the wind was trying its best to disrupt proceedings by ripping out tent pegs, a lot of people, especially traders, had tied their gazebos to their 4x4s for extra security. It isn’t a huge show, you could walk around all the stands in less than an hour, but it always feels more like a small community than anything else. Yes, there are companies selling their wares, but more than that the show brings together those of us who love exploring the great outdoors. You feel compelled to stop and chat to

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Show Report - Spring 2019 Adventure Overland Show

everyone, and by dinner-time there was good number of day visitors that had turned up giving the whole event a fantastic vibe. It was great to chat to Brad and Kirk from All Terrain UK who were our Facebook Page of the Month last month. Their team of enthusiastic members were showing potential new members around Smart Trail, their new online green-lane mapping system. In case you weren’t aware, All terrain UK are an organisation, like GLASS (Green Lane Association), who represent today's motorised users of unsurfaced rights of way. Basically, their aim is to protect green lanes and preserve our right to use them, so check them out and even join, it’s only £25. I had a chat with the good folks at Gear & Go too, they’re a brand new company providing the traveler with tough and dependable BBQs and other cookwares. They were keen to show me their MadKon Ammo Box Braai which is made from 1.2mm stainless steel and folds into a small compact rectangular box, making it easy to transport and store. Hopefully I can borrow one soon and put it through its paces!

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Adventure Overland Show Show Report - Spring 2019

Something that was a success last year and has now become a regular feature of the show is the Travel Author Zone. Inside the grandstand each author has a stand and at their allotted slot has the opportunity to discuss their books and travel experiences for an hour or so. It became busier after lunch, so instead of mithering people I decided to go for a wander around the campsite where you’ll find a huge collection of different vehicles and set ups. Popski's Private Expeditions, for example had a lovely stripped Lightweight and 110 dressed as a Series 3 parked up. After a quick chat I found out that they’re a small team of adventurers paying tribute to the original PPA and keeping their memory alive through sharing their own open-top adventures. In case you aren’t aware, Popski’s Private Army was a small, unique, special forces unit formed in WWII North Africa alongside the Long Range Desert Group and the Special Air Service. Their next adventure is in November and sounds incredible, for more details check out their website at https://www.popskis-private-expeditions.com Amongst the other groups huddled together were the Toyota Land Cruiser club and a variety of Land Rover clubs. By the time I’d made my way back to the Navara for a quick brew it was mid afternoon, the wind was still buffeting everything in sight but at least it had remained dry, and with a 3-hour drive back to Muddy Towers ahead of me I decided to leave. Overall then, the Adventure Overland Show includes two full days of free seminars spanning expedition trucks, 4x4s, adventure bikes and 4x2 campervans presented by the enthusiasts themselves. Then there are the traders themselves including camper van and truck conversion specialists, clubs & their fire-pits, and of course some fascinating display vehicles. The next show is on September 28-29th, and I’m quite tempted to camp as there’s lots of stuff that goes on in the evening, from bars and bands to good chat.You never know, I might even set up a little Mud Life tent myself, who knows? As I left the show ground I had an urge to create a camper of some sort, maybe based on Deux Smurf or maybe something a little bigger and more specialised. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting Mud Life project? more at » https://adventure-overland-show.com

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Since discovering this sensationally mouthwatering receipe on Tasty, and because I like chicken, broccoli and mushrooms, this meal has become a firm favourite both at home and out'n'about, and it’s filling too. For this I used the Primus Onja twin-burner stove, because I wanted to cook the rice at the same time as preparing the main dish. They say it’s for 6 people (pah!) - I demolished the whole lot quite easily. Being sensible, I’d say this ample for two hungry mouths.

Ingredients - makes 2 good sized portions

Primus Onya Stove set up

2 - 62.5g bag of boil-in-the-bag rice (1 bag per person) 1.. chicken breast, cubed (approx. 450g) 450g broccoli florets 225g sliced mushroom (approx. 7 medium sized mushrooms) 3 tablespoons oil, for frying Salt & pepper to taste Water for cooking the rice SAUCE 3 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon ginger, from a pot 2 teaspoons sesame oil 80ml reduced sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 240ml chicken stock (I used Kallo Organic Chicken Stock Cubes) 85g flour

Products we used

Primus Onja Stove Primus pan set Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen Wooden spoon A large bowl to set aside the cooked chicken, mushrooms and broccoli whilst making the sauce

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Primus Onya Stove packed up


Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry Method Home prep… As ever, it all depends on how much time you have and whether you’re travelling light or not. To save even more time, or hassle, you can always buy sliced mushrooms and a cooked chicken breast. In the photos you’ll notice that I cut the chicken, then sliced the mushrooms on the same surface, I washed it thoroughly in between. The steps are simple enough… 1. On a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and once hot add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through and browned. Then remove cooked chicken from pan and set aside. 2. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add mushrooms. When the mushrooms start to soften, add broccoli florets and stir-fry until the broccoli is tender. 3. At this point, whilst the broccoli is cooking I set the timer for 10 minutes and add the packet(s) of rice to pan of water and cook. 4. Once broccoli is tender, remove with the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. 5. Add another splurge of oil to the pan and sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant (which is difficult to tell when you’re outside and blowing a gale!). 6. Add the soy sauce, sugar, chicken broth and gradually add the flour. Stir until smooth, then add the chicken and vegetables and stir until heated through. 7. Devour! WARNING: Don't pre-cook your rice as health guidelines say that rice left at room temperature can breed food poisoning bacteria in less than 2 hours, so wait and cook it when you need it. The usual precautions apply - make sure everything is fully cooked through and safe to eat as. Obviously fire is hot, so don’t cut or burn yourself. I take no responsibility for your buffoonery!

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Reader's Rides History of Cars…

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Paula Beaumont, and I’m a full time photographer.

To be honest, apart from travelling around Australia in an old Toyota Land Cruiser I’ve not had particularly good cars! My first car was a brown Ford Fiesta – I hated that car, I owned a Yugo Sport in burgundy and gold!! Don’t judge, I loved it! Think my favourite was an old Fiat 500 with a soft roof that opened like a sardine tin, and was so rusty that the rust used to drop on your head. When I had a flat tyre the jack went straight through the floor! I’ve had a couple of sensible cars Ford Ka, Suzuki Grand Vitara, loved that but it was very thirsty!

Present 4x4

I have a Suzuki Swift Sport VVT now for zipping around, and of course my present 4x4 is the love of my life, Norton the 1989 300 Tdi Land Rover 90.

Modifications done

Blimey there’s so many! He was totally standard when I bought him, I think the first thing I did was chequer plate the bonnet and wings so I can sit on him, I love sitting there. I put spots on, a bar and a roof rack – I loved the roof rack as I use him as a photography platform. I later

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got a hard shell roof top tent and that hasn’t been off since! I love sleeping up there and getting away all year round. Awnings, rear and side are a must for UK camping to get out the weather. Full tub draw for all my camping gear, rear draw table for cooking. Most recently I have put a split charger in and an Aux battery with inverter. I can now run the fridge off electric and ditch the gas bottle – plug in my hair dryer and hair straighters too!

Favourite mod

Mmmmm.... I think the side awning with the windbreak side wall – I love camping all year round and to be able to get out the wind and rain and light the fire is an absolute must for me.

Mods to do

I’m not sure whats next, he needs a new footwell, I know thats not exactly a mod hahaha. I’m sure I’ll find something to add to him, ha ha...

Favourite green lane trip

Apart from the epic overland trips I get to do in Europe,


my favourite trip was the Lakes Summer bash 2018 – with the Manchester and Wigan crew, and Shaun and Rebecca – what a few days that was. Hot sunshine, epic lanes, views, great camping, laughter – so much laughter, oh and the World Cup was on so there seemed to be more beer than normal too!

Lottery win 4x4

Sorry to disappoint but the one I have! I love my Landy – I’d just go on more trips if I won the lottery.

Favourite car related film

Not really my thing tbh! Loved the old Top Gear specials driving for days through jungles and desert, but not films.

Favourite biscuit

Hahahaha great question – I love an Oreo !

Where can we find more details?

If you’d like to see what me and Norts get up to you can follow us on instagram @paulaBeaumont_Adventures THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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Reader's Rides Who are you and what do you do?

John Francis. Now retired, but I used to be a Management Accountant. However, for the last 9 years I was an Instructor at Land Rover Experience, North Yorkshire, having only finished there in March 2019. I now volunteer in 3 Charity Shops and I’m a Trustee for the Cairn Terrier Rescue.

History of cars leading up your present 4x4

In order - 2 Series 2A’s, Japanese import Discovery 1 300 tdi, Freelander 1, brand new Discovery 2 Td5, Range Rover Vogue LSE (long wheelbase, 4.2 litre V8 petrol, on gas), Freelander 2, Range Rover Classic, Discovery 1 3.9 V8 on gas, Ex 2006 G4 challenge Discovery 3 4.4 V8, latterly on gas.

Present 4x4(s)

2004 Discovery 2 Pursuit, 1991 Discovery 1, which is Land Rover’s prototype ambulance and has had 16 inches added to the chassis. Just worrying about what will happen when I need an exhaust!

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Modifications done

Might sound daft but I retro fitted Cruise Control and it’s transformed my life. Apart from that - none. I’ve always worked on the principle that if you know what you’re doing you don’t need to spend vast amounts modifying your vehicle.


Favourite Modifications

Tyres, off-roading is all about the tyres.

Modifications to do None

Favourite green-laning trip

Just taking up green-laning again after a 10 year gap so am just familiarising myself with what is still open and what is closed. I used to like Corwen Car Wash followed by the Wayfarer.

Lottery win 4x4

Range Rover Sport Dynamic for the times when I unleash my inner hooligan!

Favourite car related film

Has to be The Italian Job, bet nearly everybody says that.

Favourite biscuits

Barmouth biscuits or Abbey Crunch, but as you can’t get them any more then it’s Ginger Nuts

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PAST JALOPIES

Tink, The Series 1 (pt.4) Last month I shared with you that Tink, my 1955 Series 1 Land Rover, had completed a full week of commuting to and from various schools within the north west via local green lanes - I was a happy man. I also mentioned that she’d begun to splutter on acceleration, and that her exhaust had a hole that made her sound like a Lancaster bomber. Both were easy repairs - I filled the hole with some exhaust putty, and removed the blocked carburettor again and blew it, which seemed to do the trick (don’t worry, I bought it lunch first.) As with any old Land Rover that’s used regularly, the list of serviceable items that required attention, replacing and modifying was long. All her hoses looked original, so I began replacing them all. My maintenance plan was simple, if it moves, check it, grease it, fix it, or replace it, which meant that soon be coming to terms with being financially ruined!

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PAST JALOPIES With my plan in place Tink was running really well and although she wasn’t used everyday, we’d take her on a jaunt pretty much once a week. According to the date stamp on the photos, it was the beginning of August, 2006 when our good friend Caroline came down from Scotland to visit her dad, Edward. This corresponded with another pal, Chris, buying a 12 tonne hydraulic winch that just happened to be attached to a used Discovery. The connection? Well, if you’re a regular reader you’ll remember that Edward has a farm up in the Pennine Moors of Lancashire, so we decided it was a good time to rock up and give Chris’ new purchase a thorough work out. Arriving at Edwards I stripped Tink of her tilt and folded down her windscreen, then Barny, in his Tin Can (a Nissan D21 doublecab pick up), Chris in his Disco and Caroline and myself in Tink set forth for a play. As we trundled along the rutted and rocky track for the half mile or so that takes us towards the small quarry, I could feel every bump through Tink’s antique suspension. After we had each waded through the flooded quarry, we all managed the steep drive out the other side and after an immediate left hand turn we clawed our way up an even steeper embankment. In these dry and dusty conditions Tink was taking everything in her stride, as was the Disco and the Tin can. Our next challenge was a pair of 40 year old railway sleepers that were placed as a bridge ‘Camel Trophy’ style over a 5ft deep ditch, and if I'm honest, they'd seen better days. We learnt later that Caroline’s Grandad had put them there sometime in the 1940’s! Anyway, it was decided that I should go first as Tink was lighter than the Tin Can and Discovery, and therefore easier to recover if things went pear shaped! At this point Caroline decided she wanted no part of this buffoonery and left me to cross it THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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PAST JALOPIES alone. So, edging my way up to these rotting, decrepit looking logs, Barny decided to help me along. ‘Left!’ he shouted. So I steered Tink to the left a bit. He had a worried look on his his face. ‘More to your left!’ he shouted again. So I gingerly steered left and leant out of Tink to see where I was. "Barny" I shouted. "Are we talking your left or mine?" "Good point," he said. "more to your right!" After successfully driving Tink over, we aligned Chris up to the sleepers, but the Discovery was too wide, so Chris and Barny had to find another way around. Not a problem, about 150 yards away near to the boundary, the gulley widened quite considerably allowing them to cross over without too much drama. It was then that I heard a knocking noise coming from the back of Tink, the bracket holding the tailpipe directly behind the rear wheel had finally given up and had fallen to pieces. Chris came to the rescue with a handful of cable ties and did

a rather neat job of securing the exhaust back in place - for the time being at least! To get further up the hill towards Edward's boundary, we were faced with three to four feet high rushes. As Tink was the smallest and lightest, I was again volunteered to go first. By this stage I had removed Tinks doors and chucked them in the back, this way it's easier to jump in and out for a closer look at where I was heading. Onwards we proceeded, her bumper pushing forward the rushes that were as tall as her bonnet, and then some! We pottered along across the top of the field at what I must admit was a steep angle until we found what seemed a suitably difficult place to head back down, again through a large patch of rushes. After a quick recce, I decided that Tink would be safe, so we edged forward through rushes that again were taller than Tink. Once out the other side I watched as Chris in his Discovery lurched his way through and escaped without too much drama. Barny’s turn, he got half way through following Chris’s tyre tracks, but unfortunately sank. This gave Chris the opportunity to use his ‘new’ 12 tonne Milemarker hydraulic winch which eased the Tin Can out without a problem. 112

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For the rest of the morning we frolicked around the hillside having a great laugh before retiring for lunch, after which we helped Edward lay some huge drainage pipes around the farm. During the day, Chris’s cable ties had done a stirling job of keeping Tink’s tailpipe secure, but during our drive home later that evening they had melted away which meant the patched up back box was banging itself to pieces against Tink’s chassis. That wasn't the only problem either, the front exhaust pipe had completely snapped just under the passenger seat too, happy days!

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RETRO SNAPS Can you spot you or your motor in these photos from bygone mud adventures?

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ARC NATIONAL 1990 - Tr


rentham Gardens, hosted by Lancs & Cheshire

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Fancy an off-road challenge? Want to get your 4x4 filthy?

Don’t ruin our ancient byways, try out your local P&P site instead… A few pointers…It’s important that you check the site’s requirements before you visit, such as: Does your 4x4 need to be road legal? Do you need to show proof of age, vehicle MOT and insurance documents? Are your recovery points secure? Do you even have any recovery points? To avoid disappointment, always check with the individual site before you set off. Also remember that, as well as a good quality tow rope, it’s always useful to bring along some rags and a bottle of water to clean your lights and reg plates so you can stay legal whilst driving home!

P ay & P lay D irectory NORTH

SOUTH

Hill ’n’ Ditch

Essex Rochford & District 4x4 Club

Activities: Pay & Play http://www.hillnditch4x4.com 07974 398201

Explore Off Road

Activities: Pay & Play, Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences http://www.exploreoffroad.co.uk 07970 286881

Kirton Off Road

Activities: Pay & Play, 4x4 Experiences https://www.korc.co.uk 01652 245022

Activities: Pay & Play http://www.4x4er.co.uk

Devils Pit

Activities: Pay & Play http://www.devilspit.co.uk 07764 159478

Avalanche Adventures

Activities: Pay & Play, 4x4 Experiences https://avalancheadventure.co.uk 01858 880613

4x4 Without A Club

Activities: Pay & Play http://www.4x4-withoutaclub.co.uk 07887533168

4x4 Driving

Activities: Pay & Play, Off Road Driver Training http://www.4x4driving.co.uk 07802 582826

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emember, motorsport is dangerous, and it can also be a lot of fun, so be sensible out there.

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O ff R oad D river T raining & E xperiences NORTH

SOUTH

North Yorkshire Off Road Centre

Wild Tracks

Explore Off Road

True Grip off Road

Activities: Off Road Driver Training, Tours http://www.nyoffroad.co.uk 07787 555060

Activities: Pay & Play, Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences http://www.exploreoffroad.co.uk 07970 286881

Activities: Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences https://www.wildtracksltd.co.uk 01638 751918

Activities: Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences http://www.truegripoffroad.co.uk 01233 662251

Avalanche Adventures

SCOTLAND Scottish Off Road

Activities: Off Road Driver Training http://www.scotoffroad.co.uk 07711 217759

Far X Four

Activities: Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences http://www.farxfour.com 01450 860275

Activities: Pay & Play, 4x4 Experiences https://avalancheadventure.co.uk 01858 880613

Ash 4x4

Activities: Off Road Driver Training, 4x4 Experiences http://www.ash4x4.com 07581 030331

4x4 Driving

Activities: Pay & Play, Off Road Driver Training http://www.4x4driving.co.uk 07802 582826

4 x 4 T ours D-Day Tours

Cambrian Way

Highland All Terrain

Ardent Off Road

Activities: 4x4 Tours https://www.dday1944.tours 07773 110101

Activities: 4x4 Tours https://www.highlandscenicsafari.co.uk 01528 544358

Activities: 4x4 Tours https://www.cambrianway.com 01550 750274

Activities: 4x4 Tours, 4x4 Experiences https://ardentoffroad.com 01757 638479 THEMUDLIFE.CO.UK

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The Mud Life - Issue #4 May 2019