Having completed the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide 4WD Shows at the end of 2015, I made an interesting discovery – one I’d like to share with you now. See while up on stage, I played a bit of a game with the crowd where they tried to guess what my three or four very first mods would be to a stock standard 4WD should I be lucky enough to ever have one land in my garage. My choices weren’t really that earth shattering but I found a few of the crowd’s answers very surprising.

I’ve listed them before but my first three or four mods would be (in order) frontal protection, rear drawer system, roof rack then snorkel and dual battery set-up. Keep this list in mind – I’ll come back to it.

Now as for the crowd’s response, I got much the same list of answers in all three cities. The very first replies were almost always, lift, lockers, winch and tyres. Oh and one lady in Sydney who shouted out at the top of her lungs; ‘a shower’!

This was the first thing that I found very interesting – all three crowds (so I’m taking this as a good representation of the 4WD community) went for mods that I consider to be further down the list.

Okay, now let’s go back to my list of mods. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good to go list. However when I did my 13 month hot lap of the country in Shorty back in 2006, I had even less than that list. I bought a snorkel, mounted an old roof rack I had in the shed, wired in some second hand spotlights onto a weird bunny bar that the Japanese seem to fit to all their 4WDs and used Bunnings boxes as storage in the rear. That’s it. That’s how modified my rig was. I did everything I wanted in 13 months in that 4WD.

I then asked each of the three crowds, to give me a show of hands as to who would have driven Shorty around the country for 13 months with only those mods. Here is where I was blown away…

In total, out of over a thousand people I would have got less than a dozen hands! That’s roughly 1% of the crowd. I was speechless…

Seriously folks, I stand by what I’ve said in the past – to see more of Australia than just about anyone else all you need is an air compressor, diesel and time off work. There are more European backpackers travelling the country in hunks of junk than there are young Australians. It’s time to stop thinking about what you don’t have that’s stopping you from getting out there and start looking at what you do have and just go.

Or you could spend your diesel money on shopping lists and all your time working to pay for it – it’s 100% your call but I know the path I chose and I haven’t looked back for a second.

Suck the guts out of life folks – hopefully I’ll catch you out there!

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