Tag Archives: swan falls

Teraflex Tailgate Table

094The Teraflex Tailgate Table has been on my wish list since I saw Roger Mercier of Overland Frontier fixing breakfast at the Overland Expo using a drop table like this. This is the perfect accessory for any Jeep enthusiast needing a spot to make a quick sandwich, poor a glass of wine for your “glamping” companions, or even repair an RC car on. I used mine for a cooking surface for my two-burner stove, however I’m not sure I can recommend this due to the proximity of grease, fire, gas cans, and the rest of my rig. For everything else kitchen related, it is perfect!


Carl using a hose clamp to prevent the bit drilling too far

029 041The install took about 45 minutes. For the most part it is simply placing the pattern on the inside of the tailgate and DETAILED drilling. On my 2013 JK I had to ensure that we didn’t hit any of the spot welds and also be conscious of the degrees of metal thickness. The right side of the tailgate has more sheet metal than the left. Also our drill spot on the lower left was half thin and half double metal. This caused the drill bit to walk a bit and tried to “egg” the hole instead of a neat circle. Fortunately I had Carl helping me and being the master of machinery he is, immediately detected the problem. He finished out the last hole using a die-grinder at low-speed.

You should also be aware that if not careful- your drill bit can punch through the inside wall and leave a dent in the exterior wall. Teraflex has a highly informative video out there demonstrating how they did the install and specifically point this out. Recommend you check out their video as well. We didn’t have a tool to prevent the bit from going through- so we used a hose clamp around the bit. Worked like a charm!


We had to pre-crimp some of the Zert nuts to get them to grab traction on the tailgate

One issue we found on the thinner part of the tailgate wall was the Zert nuts getting enough traction to mushroom out. Zert nuts are similar to a rivet, except once installed they will accept a bolt or screw to hold an item in place. We pre-crimped the nuts so they would grab traction on the thinner part of the wall. If you do this—it is a VERY MINOR crimp. Try installing per instructions first.055

Once the nuts were in, it was just a matter of bolting the table onto the four nuts, doing some minor adjustments to the cable, and then off to make a sandwich.

Teraflex does have a cutting board available and I recommend ordering your multi-purpose table with one. I’m watching every dime right now to get ready for our Oregon/Washington/Canada trip and Washington Overland Rally trip and even though they are not expensive, I opted to not to get one and use our cutting board out of the trailer. Wishing I had bought one now and after the rally will put that on my “to-buy” list.068 072

The rack will hold a stove and as mentioned above but for me,  I’m not keen on this idea. My first real meal came Sunday afternoon in the mining country of the Boise Mountains. I was making Tri-tip burritos using my two-burner stove and cast iron. My stove is a bit odd in the way it set up with portable propane bottles, and I wasn’t comfortable with the way it sat on the rack. Not the fault of the rack, I have an odd-set up is all. Tri-tip does have a moderate level of fat on the underside. While testing I had a small grease fire and even though nothing was damaged, looking back, with fire in close proximity to my Trasharoo and Rotopax gas can, I think I will move the stove to a safer location.

096In my second testing along the Snake River on Monday, the table was perfect for dicing tomatoes and cutting lettuce for my special back-country finger sandwiches and wedge salad. It also made a great platform in the evening as I was conducting a wine tasting complete with assortments of cheese. No I have not lost the rugged edge; I was simply providing my wife and sister-in-law with a weekend of back-country luxury.

The well entertained ladies in the back country– Good lunch, warm fire, and me performing survival tricks!


The Tailgate Table allowed me to prep all kinds of snacks and meals for these ladies in the back country…including a wine tasting! Now I just need a rack and awning for some shade!

This is a well thought-out product and a must have for any Jeeper. Contact Teraflex.com or Quadratec.com to order yours!




Processing Adventure Experiences

As a pilot and a diver I use checklist…maybe as a driver and even as someone who holds debriefs, I should use them as well

I have made a living at understanding the intricacies of taking an adventure based activity and helping clients assign meaning and application to their day to day lives. With that said, taking an adventure experience and simply learning from it is something each of should be doing anyway. Whether that application is to future adventures or application to work, family, etc is up to each member of the activity.

The process I use is something I learned as a ropes course facilitator and leadership development instructor in Texas. The process uses  simple “What Happened”, ” So What” – How did we act/respond/do”, and finally “Now What– What do we do different, how do we learn from this, how does it apply to other aspects”

I find that using this with all members of the adventure helps to internalize the adventure for everyone.

An example where we have used this recently was on a Geo-Caching trip to Swan Falls. The Swan Falls Dam is an old hydro-electric dam that at one time supplied power to the mining town of Silver City. The dam was built in 1901 to generate electricity. It is the oldest hydroelectric dam on the Snake River. The area is a favorite place to visit for us and is filled with dozens of Geo-Caches, with lots of variety of types of caches. The closest town to Swan Falls is Kuna about 16 miles away.

Normally I am very precise in checking out our vehicle before heading out to the back-country. As a habit I carry survival gear, water, food, and fuel in case we should get stuck. I normally stop off at a gas station to top of our tanks. During those stops I also grab snacks such as soda, chips, and candy bars.

But I have been dieting. Ignoring my desire to consume empty calories, I forgot to fuel the Jeep prior to departing. On top of that, I had just spent the weekend cleaning out our spare gas can and had not refilled it with petrol.

So there we were, unknowingly setting out for Swan Falls Dam, already on empty. A few hours later, after traversing back-country trails, climbing in and out of canyons, and enjoying the throaty power of our off-road rig, I noticed my mistake. We made an immediate decision to abandon our last three geo-goals and head the (now) 20 miles back to town. Milking the Jeep by driving reduced speeds, coasting down hill, and watching the RPMS we made it back to Kuna without having to walk.

In the parking lot of our favorite burger joint, with milkshakes in hand we did a debrief. Below is an example of what could be heard in the cab of our rig:


“We failed to fill the Jeep up with gas prior to heading out.”

So What:

“We almost ran out of gas”

“I was worried”

“I changed my routine”

“We worked together to keep ourselves calm”

“We had a plan if we should run out of gas”

“We had our survival packs”

“I had a gas can I could take with me to walk to Kuna”

Now What:

“Each of us check the fuel level before departing”

“Create a checklist like we use for flying and diving”

“We need to do this in other parts of our family life as well…”

We use this debrief on all our adventures and it has not only helped us grow as a family, but it has made all of our outdoor activities more rewarding.