Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide

(Desert Winds & Land Rover, pounds 29.99, hardback, published March) by Tom Sheppard.

Have you ever dreamed about escaping the drudgery of your daily life and going on your own four-wheel-drive safari adventure? Well you might do after you've perused the pages of Tom Sheppard's new expedition guide book.

Sheppard takes us through the essential expedition stages, from concept to execution, making it all seem deliciously possible. There is a mass of detail on things like funding, shipping costs, navigation, logistics and most importantly, what vehicle and equipment to take. The attention to both mundane and technical detail is highly impressive. For example, your 50ml tube of toothpaste will last exactly seven weeks, and without your special Torx 55 adaptor, you will never be able to remove the oil level plug on your Land Rover R380 in the middle of the Australian outback.

This is meant to be an idiot-proof guide about off-road expeditions, but one can't help wishing that it didn't have captions like the one accompanying a Range Rover stranded in a mud mire: "Quite why this vehicle chose this route is not clear... It does indicate the need to reverse out, however; possibly with the aid of the PSP under the rear wheels, after ensuring the differential is locked."

While the book's glossy pictures of Land Rovers will do much to whet the budding adventurer's appetite, the truth is that it will probably be most popular with daydreamers who spend their weekends ploughing up the Peak District in their Suzuki Troopers.

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