Your very own Rebelle

Discussion in 'MT- 406 Cruisers' started by wklywilderness, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    A few of you have requested this so here it is! My name is Elise, I'm a part of 406 Cruisers and I'm competing in the 2018 Rebelle Rally this fall with my teammate Mercedes. Our 3rd (and most important) teammate is the "Bomber Products Tacoma" you guys see on a regular basis. I will be posting detailed updates of our journey as we prepare, and in October I will share the link to follow the Rally in REAL TIME during the race as we navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint. You can also visit teamfreerangedames.com for more information.

    The Rebelle Rally is a multi-day women's offroad navigational challenge, where teams compete to find the greatest number of checkpoints the old school way: using only a map and compass (no GPS!) Checkpoints vary in difficulty both to find and to actually drive to, and winning requires strategic route planning, time management and smart driving. We start at Lake Tahoe and make our way to San Diego. We also go through Glamis Sand Dunes along the way! More info at rebellerally.com
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    This is one of the biggest, craziest projects I've ever undertaken and I'm absolutely thrilled to be actually doing it. Signing up for the Rebelle Rally has motivated me to really push my limits and I have learned so much and already become a much more confident driver and navigator. The amount of encouragement and support we have gotten has blown me away.

    So... what are the recent developments so far? Mercedes and I started preparing after Expo West by going to a 2 day intensive training in the Cinder Hills near Flagstaff, held by Nena Barlow and the 2017 winning team. We got to practice driving in the cinders (not quite sand, but close enough!), plotting checkpoints and finding them using only our compass and map.

    Since then we've been focusing on outreach and practicing solo. Mercedes recently visited some nearby sand dunes for some extra driving practice and crushed it! Meanwhile, I did some snow wheeling (the snow was a surprise!) up by Phillipsburg with a 4x4 group from Helena who were fantastic teachers and had me cruising through 3ft of heavy June snow and feeling like 10x the driver I was by the end!
    Since I'm the main navigator for the Rebelle, I also ordered some nifty map rulers and am going to be doing some navigation practice. If anyone is interested in learning and practicing analog navigation and plotting with me in the Bozeman area I'd love to have you as an honorary team member :)

    That's it for now, but please subscribe to this thread, bookmark the website or follow us on IG or FB (@teamfreerangedames) for more.
     
  2. REZARF

    REZARF

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    Way to go! Looking forward to the updates and we hope you bring home the gold!
     
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  3. RoverChris

    RoverChris

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    I'd be interested in learning analog navigation. Send me a pm and we can chat
     
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  4. thetoyotaman

    thetoyotaman

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    How exciting! Best of luck!!
     
  5. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    So I recently came back from a trip to North West Overland Rally, which was a huge success. For any of you who haven't been, it's a ton of fun and way more relaxed than Expo. There were a ton of great vendors and classes. Notably, there was a phenomenal turnout of women, including the Rebelle Rally itself and a contingent of previous competitors and staff, the Women Overlanding the World crew (who have just released a book!) and many many others.

    Mercedes and I had the opportunity to chat with Emily Miller (founder of the Rebelle) about some tips to be successful during the competition and while preparing. We did some strategy talk, took some photos, and got to participate in some helpful classes and practice our skills on checkpoints set up all around the rally. Spotting the signs amongst the hustle and bustle was almost as hard as figuring out where they should be located!

    I found a really awesome map of the Bozeman area with which to do some analog geocaching for practice. If should be interesting! I'll post up some photos of the adventures.

    We're starting to hit crunch time as far as fundraising for the entry fee. It's a hefty $12,000 (which includes permitting, food, safety equipment, recovery crews, camera crews and a miriad other things). On top of that we have to pay for important equipment, fuel, travel costs, etc. So far we have raised $4,540 of our $18k goal which is awesome! If any of you have any fundraising ideas or would be willing to help me throw a fundraiser party, let me know! I can repay in beer and homemade cookies :)

    Again for those of you keen to follow along, you can see and share updates on our social media (@teamfreerangedames) or at teamfreerangedames.com
    And of course I will continue to add to this post!

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  6. bagochips76

    bagochips76 SILVER Star

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    Nice! Perhaps some sponsorship $$$? Also how about a gofundme page?
     
  7. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    Definitely great ideas! We have a gofundme here and are working on potential sponsors. It's tough though because although we've had plenty of gear offers, we mostly need cash which is harder to come by. So, in person fundraisers are becoming a part of the plan.
     
  8. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    A few weeks ago, Mercedes and I headed all the way down to nearly Mexico for the Rebelle U, a Sand Dune training to help prepare Rebelles for the actual Rally. After having spent the week before in Alaska, it was a jarring change of weather (and when I finally returned home to Bozeman I was properly confused about the local weather patterns for a few days). I picked up Mercedes in Salt Lake City and we drove down to the Glamis Sand Dunes for our last team training together before the Rebelle Rally.


    When Mercedes and I first saw the dunes in the distance, it was definitely a “holy crap” moment. What had we gotten ourselves into? The Glamis Sand Dunes are towering giants, mountain sized dunes covered in more house sized dunes. To say we were intimidated was an understatement!


    Emily Miller takes a calm, methodical approach to teaching. We spent the first day driving in very small dunes, doing hill climbs on a half-pipe shaped sand formation, and just getting in the groove of things while learning the fundamentals. The Bomber Products Tacoma proved as capable as it looks, or maybe even more- powering up the hills and, with a bit of good footwork, floating gracefully along the sand.

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  9. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    On Day 2, we took the sand highway to some more intermediate dunes, to practice going down steep slipfaces. As intimidating as they look, it’s simply a matter of pointing the vehicle straight down and rolling slowly as the sand gradually. We also did our first Rebelle blue checkpoint: we were given our current position and the coordinates of the checkpoint. We went through the whole process: plotting and route planning, driving in small distance intervals, taking headings and checking the odometer constantly. I teamed up with 2 other navigators and instructor and driver Nicole Pitell-Vaughan in her “Morocco Taco.” I got to at once do the work, check it, and then observe Nicole and an experienced Rebelle communicate the next move. They were an effective team and getting to learn from them it was a valuable experience.


    On Day 3 Emily Miller bumped up the difficulty another notch. After another navigation exercise that took us to a close view of the Mexico border fence, we played around in bigger dunes, following the instructor’s lead. We rode in 3 different vehicles that day, observing, learning tips, and getting the feel for what was possible and how to tackle dubious looking lines in tall, crooked dunes by playing follow the leader.


    By the end of the weekend, I felt much more confident about my abilities and was excited to come back and drive more in the dunes. As Emily Miller had promised at the beginning of the weekend, I had fallen in love with driving in sand. I also made plenty of friends, all amazing and impressive women, that I am really excited to see again at the Rebelle Rally.

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  10. wklywilderness

    wklywilderness Lady with a Lexus SILVER Star

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    Ok you guys, the Rebelle starts in TEN DAYS. Here's the scoop:

    1. Follow @teamfreerangedames , @rebellerally and @elise.bent(Elise Bent) on Instagram, Facebook. Heck - turn on post notifications for the duration of the Rebelle to make sure you don't miss a thing! (Until Oct 20)
    2. Sign up for the daily email (feel free to unsubscribe when the competition is over) at Email Sign Up.
    3. Bookmark rebellerally.com/live or download the "YB races app" for iOS/android and search for Rebelle Rally
    4. Visit teamfreerangedames.com and buy yourself some stickers, or a DrinkTanks growler or mug (they are the BEST beer storage and safety device for offroading, and every last dollar helps us buy fuel for the Rebelle!) You can also read/listen/watch to some of the interviews we've done.
    5. Make some noise! Post on our page, share our posts, take photos of your new team merch, #team179 or #teamfreerangedames all day long! We'll see it all when we get back to civilization :)
     
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