Aug 19, 2011

Building a better buggy

Any way you slice it …

Slogging through the swamp is a slow go.

Rule number one is to check the weather.

That’s why to get from Point A to Point B humans rely on machines instead. It gets complicated in the swamp because at almost every spot is neither purely land nor one hundred percent water …

But rather a combination of the two.


Traditional trucks and boats simply don't work.

In their place are swamp buggies and air boats. Swamp buggies have over-sized tires, heavy-duty construction and high-torque engines that provide adequate traction across mudded and flooded areas. Airboats are smooth, flat-bottomed boats that operate in extremely shallow water by means of a large propeller that is fixed and caged on the back of the boat. Typically, the propeller and engine that drive it were originally co-opted from airplanes, thus giving them their name.

And oh yeah – they fly, too.

Rule number two is to be prepared.

As for the buggies, they are a slow go.

It can take the better part of all day to reach a backcountry camp, and that’s assuming everything goes as planned. Buggy operators have expert knowledge of the half-land-half-water and equal acumen of their custom-built machines which – over a lifetime – depend on a constant craftsmanship and care (not to mention a pretty deep pocket of change) to keep them up and running and reliable.

Rule number three and four is to avoid that cloud.

Nobody likes to break down in the middle of nowhere ... 

Especially with a storm bearing down.  Not that they wouldn’t know what to do and how to fix it if they did.

3 comments:

swampbuggy said...

Owning a buggy is a love hate relationship. You love it when you get out, you hate it when you have to work on it.

Janie said...

Always a good idea to have good equipment and good preparation for problems if they occur out in the middle of nowhere. A swamp buggy sounds kind of fun, but an airboat sounds a lot faster.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

As in the old saying for BOAT, i.e., "Bail Out Another Thousand, there must be a handful of similar sayings for buggies.