Wants and Needs, or How I Managed to Ignore Chrome

Time and time again I see threads on forums, posts on other blogs, or advertising copy that focuses on the coolness factor, versus function.

It’s a huge factor in firearms sales outdoor sporting goods and general techie toys. But it really shouldn’t have a place in defining what makes a good survival vehicle though. Unless, of course, you’re in sales and you’ve got the latest and greatest, with the best chrome plating available. Then again there’s that crowd segment that will look for nothing more than the maximum amount of shine, sharp edges, and loud sounds.

As the saying goes – chrome doesn’t make it go any faster. Save it for barrels and chambers.

There’s another good saying out there: Form Follows Function. I’m definitely in this camp, as you probably could tell if you saw most of my things.

It takes quite a bit of research and time on the ground to start figuring things out. There are a few forums and sites that can help you along with this. One of the best is Expedition Portal, I’m always finding interesting things on that one, and comparing notes with other owners. That particular site is devoted to hardcore travelers. Everything from bicycles to multiaxle trucks. All sorts of campers, tools, and area reviews.

But back to what I was saying about chrome and general bling being unnecessary…

Face it, most if not all of it is a waste of money, unless you’re in competition with other like minded individuals. It’s shiny (this is a bad thing), attention grabbing (another bad thing), pricy (betcha know what I’m going to say here…yep, bad thing) and a pain in the ass to maintain. Now, note that I’m not saying go to the other extreme – full camo, or completely flat finishes (unless you’re in an area where those are common). What I am saying is keep things reasonable. Bright colors, shining surfaces, loud stereos and other components that call attention to your ride aren’t a good thing. Nor, when you get down to it, are things like full tint windows, extra lights, expensive bumper and suspension packages, etc. Your best bet with any of this stuff is to keep it quiet – what we used to call “sleepers”.

Hide it in plain sight. It’s not hard to do if you get a bit creative.

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