Words by Wayne.
We were married in a small temple not far from there. It was a stunningly beautiful place but standing there I realised we had travelled a lot overseas but had not seen anywhere enough of our own country. So the idea of “going camping” was born.
Our first trip was with a cheap tent and a luggage pod on top of my small BMW125i. It was a horrible experience so the BMW had to go.
After months of research (and 4WD enthusiasts in Paul’s squadron talking to him) I bought a Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
“It might need one or two mods…” I said to Paul. Several suspension upgrades, underbody bash plates, a monstrous bull bar and driving lights, a snorkel, a canopy with central locking, a specialist fit out of drawers, fridge slide (for A 95L fridge/freezer), kitchen, electric water tank, drop down storage rack, a rhino platform and basket, a UHF radio, a rooftop tent and lower annex, a camping energy system that includes a DCC charger, AC charger, 2 deep cycle batteries, a 1500 watt inverter and 250 watt solar panels, a microwave oven, gas hot water system, a 12 volt marine oven, an induction cook top and a coffee machine – and suddenly I was confronted by Paul in his household role as the Minister for War and Finance. I was forbidden to spend any more money “to go camping”.
The truck, which I have named “Brünnhilde”, has now taken us over 50,000 km of mountains, deserts and beaches. I often collect Paul from his defence force base at the end of a deployment so we can hit the road for weeks at a time. The is completely self-contained and we can live off-grid for weeks at a time. We love it, and of course we are still learning. But that is what community is about.