Adventuring through life and enjoying the journey.
Off-Road Discovery is about pursing an outdoor lifestyle that takes the road less traveled both physically and metaphorically. We are a family of six, including our dog and Land Rover. Our 2001 Land Rover Discovery II allows us to explore and takes us to our destinations. Our motto is if it breaks upgrade it which has seen us through the importing of an engine from England (to Canada), multiple shocks and many more enhancements including the addition of two child car seats. We hope to inspire others in taking a road less traveled.
After some recent off-road trips and backcountry camping, we noticed we were getting a shake in the the steering wheel when back on the highway. This was happening when pumping the brakes to keep them cool. If we braked at high speed but maintained even pressure on the brakes peddle we didn’t get any shakes. Based on these symptoms we felt confident that our brakes weren’t warped and causing the shaking. We had also just replaced all of the brake parts including stainless steel brake lines as well as re-building each caliber. So if it isn’t the brakes what is it?
Making Sure We Keep Our Disco Running Smooth
So you keep to going to lakes with your kids but they don’t know how to swim. How do you get them started? Here’s a step by step guide on how to introduce young children to swimming in lakes. Both of us were swim instructors, we believe swimming is an important skill for everyone and a fun way to spend time out doors.
These Kids Love Mountain Lakes and Only Know Cold Water
How many drives have you done where you have been out of cell service? What would you do if you had a catastrophic engine failure or medical emergency? This is a question we have thought about more than once. If you’re in or near to a city with a busy road, it’s less of an issue - there are lots of people you can flag down to ask for help. But what if you are truly on your own?
Many of the highways we frequent have large stretches without cell service. Almost all backcountry roads we travel have no cell service and few people. Then of course there is climbing, mountain biking, hiking and backcountry skiing endeavors again with spotty or no service and even harder to reach areas if in need of help. Combining these ideas with the fact we own a Land Rover Discovery, which has us keenly aware of possible debilitating mechanical failures, we thought it wise to invest in a GPS based personal communication device. Note: This is a non-sponsored review - we are sharing our opinions base on using them as a paying customer.
Updated September 28, 2017 with review of Google’s Trusted Contacts a free and easy way for everyone to have a Plan B communication device while out of cell range.
We discuss SPOT, inReach and Google’s Trusted Contacts
Are you going off-road? Are there hills or big holes?
If you are leaving a paved road, going on steep inclines, over rocks, through holes, or any undulations that require intricate slow maneuvers to drive through you should have a vehicle with four-wheel-drive (4x4, 4WD) and a Low Range Transfer Case and know how to use it.
Taking The Path Less Traveled in 4WD Low Range
Well, that seems to be the consensus when reading forums and talking with people. FREE is an appealing word. Other than the no cost aspect, free camping seems to have a mysterious air to it. These places are not closely guarded secrets but they do require a little research to find. Here is how to easily find these areas, why these areas are free and what to expect when you get there.
Free Camping is for the Adventurous that are Happy with Rustic
I grew up camping, my first steps were at a campground and many of my fondest childhood memories were of camping. Growing up camping I’ve taken much of what I know for granted. Introducing close friends with zero camping experience has taught me that camping can seem daunting to try. There are a lot of ‘unknowns’ from what equipment you really need to campsite etiquette to over coming ‘will a bear eat us all’…
I love to introduce people to camping and watch them continue to adventure into nature on their own. Camping is an amazing way to experience the outdoors, travel and spend time with friends and family. If you are looking to camp for your first time or new to camping then this is the place for you.
Views from Tents are Often Amazing
We frequently meet people that are wanting to start overnight backcountry trips and everyone immediately correlates overnight trips with camping. Backcountry camping provides freedom and unlimited possibilities, but also requires gear, experience and possibly a companion to have a safe and enjoyable experience. When I talk to these eager adventurers our conversations always end up on sharing a new idea on how to explore the backcountry and I’ve been surprised how few people even know about this option - I’m talking about huts. If people are aware of huts they often haven’t gone because they don’t know what to expect. To answer all of your hut questions here is who should go, where to go, what to expect, what to bring and why you will want to go!
Explore Canada’s Wilderness Through Beautiful Backcountry Huts
I (wife/mother of Off-road Discovery) would not categorize myself as a ‘car’ person. I’ll admit I know more than I ever thought I would about engines, tires, diffs, and how to use a winch but all of this education happened after I met my husband. He’s a walking vehicle encyclopedia. I give my dad credit for teaching me how to change tires - winters to summers and visa versa since the start of high school till every year until I moved out. I thought it was to make sure I never got stuck with a flat I couldn’t change, but now I think he was on to a very clever use of child labour. I’m remembering that one for my own kids, thanks dad!
Our Adventure Mobile
Dogs love walks, I have yet to meet a dog that doesn’t want to get outside and roam the world. As a part of the family, dogs often go where their people do. Our dog, Charger, often motivates us to get out and go to certain places. Watching a dog run, swim and sniff happily is just plain awesome and a great way to put a smile on your face.
I love seeing dogs camping and hiking and having a dog on a trail definitely adds to the enjoyment but there are two very important things you need to think about before hitting the trails - safety and rules.
Dogs Love Hiking
Photo: Ptarmigan Cirque, Kananaskis, Alberta
What’s more off-road than climbing? Maybe flying?! Climbing is so different from any activity I have tried. It pushes me to trust my strength and capability more than any sport. I find climbing addicting. We take our kids everywhere with us so making outdoor rock climbing a family affair was an easy decision. Taking young kids outdoors requires some preparation but is rewarding for everyone. One question I’m frequently asked is where to go climbing as a family, so I’ve compiled a list of 6 family-friendly climbing locations in the Canadian Rockies that are close to Calgary. Maps are included to make these areas a breeze to find!