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A secret world of night off-roading

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 25 July 2018

 

A Secret World – night off-roading

 

There are various grades of off-roading trips and the tough ones are when the organizer advises that the tyres need to be 35 inch Centipedes and that we’re starting off in the night.

The jungle is a mysterious place at night. Small obstacles may throw large shadows and seem huge while, and more dangerously, some washouts at the edge of the road on the cliff might not be seen at all.

I protest that these earthmover-sized tyres can’t fit on my Land Rover 110 Defender. And even if can, they would stress the half-shafts and the Universal joints of the delicate English truck.

“Put in 33 inches and make sure your winch is working,” relents Sydney Mangharam, the organizer of this weekend’s 4×4 jaunt to a waterfall campsite deep in the hills of Negri Sembilan.

Another thing – we’re entering the off-road sector in the night. Sydney is the age when he knows no fear, even night-off-roading. And he’s a tough Sabahan. As a Monday to Friday business guy, he can start rolling only on Friday after working hours.

So, we need to prepare.

Tyres: The excellent dual-purpose Continental tyres (32 inch or 285×16) are replaced with more aggressive treads of the 32 inch Bridgestone Dueller MT (which means Mud Terrain).

A 4 ¾ tonne shackle is installed on the front recovery mount of the Landy for the easier hooking up of a winch hook if and when vehicle recovery is needed.

Lights: We’ll need good working lights for the night off-roading. There are so many LED torches and lamps that can be worn on the head so that the two hands are free.

The Lenser LED’s are the most expensive at about RM48, while the popular brand, Eveready, has two new models of LEDs. The headlamp is RM18.40 and the waterproof Dolphin is RM45.15.

A Kodak LED headlamp intrigued me because I’ve never seen a Kodak branded torch before. However, even though it’s an LED, it gobbles up the batteries (3 AAAs) like an old-world filament bulb. Faulty product or faulty design?

We’ll tell you more about the equipment and the trip next week.