If you’ve been following my instagram (https://www.instagram.com/4wdswagman/) you’ve probably seen pictures of a light brown, almost pink coloured ex-army Land Rover being repaired and kitted out in the backyard.
Line diagram of the Australian Army Land Rover 110 Fitted For Radio model – from the user’s handbook.
Sadly, the time has come to retire the old Shorty Forty Toyota Landcruiser, and the next best alternative was an ex-army Land Rover. Some may consider these kinds of vehicles primitive since they have soft canopies, no turbo, sliding non-power windows, and no aircon (OMG!!!), but in my opinion their capabilities and well-thought-out configuration more than makes up for a lack of luxuries. The seats are really comfy so that has to count for something… doesn’t it? Besides, the old Forty Shorty Landcruiser was more basic than these vehicles, so the Landy is a comfort upgrade for me.
In this post, I’ll describe some of the general characteristics of these ex-army Land Rovers from a new-user’s perspective.
Aside from the comforting red-orange flickering glow from a campfire, some sort of camp lighting is a must-have.
My modern canvas bell tent lit by the soft glow of a folding candle lantern during a canoe trip a couple of years back.
Nowadays the options for camp lighting are many and varied – from the UCO Micro candle lantern through to the awesomely-effective inflatable, solar powered LED lanterns or the much-maligned compact but super-bright LED headlamp – why much maligned? Invariably if you’re out camping with a group and people are using these headlights, you’ll be blinded every time someone looks at you. At times I have taken to wearing sunglasses at night around the campfire when camping with larger groups and I personally won’t use a head lamp out of a pure disdain for them.
If you like the old-timey vibe, you can go for a pressure lantern such as the Coleman Powerhouse dual fuel lantern. If you’re boring, then use a gas/propane lantern. If you’re going to do that you might even go for some 12v LED strip lighting or fluoros…
For “classic” camping such as I practice, the options for camp lighting are somewhat limited, but they are definitely cool. One of my camp lighting favourites is the candle lantern.
You may have read a post I wrote ages ago about an inexpensive Indian-made “training” telescope? Well, here’s the real deal. A while back I was lucky enough to acquire a very nice 1917-vintage old-timey brass military telescope to use alongside my 1900-ish deer stalker’s telescope, and of course the half-sized, Indian-made “decorative” telescope.
1917-vintage Broadhurst, Clarkson & Co Sig., Tel (MkIV) in its natural environment, being used as an aid for field panorama sketching. Seen here a couple of months back on a mid-winter swag walk in the mountains west of Sydney.
Here’s a tip if you’re ever looking at one of these old telescopes online or at a second hand store with a view to buying it – If the seller says it must be broken because it won’t focus, then you’re probably very close to getting yourself a bargain. Why is that? These multiple draw telescopes won’t focus if you just twist the eyepiece. In fact, if you do that with this particular model, the eyepiece will unscrew and fall off! Nope, to focus these you must push in or pull out the last draw tube until the image comes into focus.