Sam Eyles was born for adventure. He is a ‘can do just about anything’ type of guy, living life in the fast lane pushing hard on the gas or putting the short lever in 4L and giving it a crack on a remote track. He’s making a name for himself in the four-wheel drive community for his ‘Chasin Lines’ YouTube video series and if you haven’t subscribed yet, get on it. He and his mates could make you green with envy with their off-road antics and give you that kick up the butt to start planning your next trip! Enjoy Sam’s story.
Name: Hi I’m Sam Eyles
City and State you live in? I am from Perth, Western Australia
Describe yourself in 5 words: Determined, Curious, Loud, Laid Back and Adventurous .
How old were you when you started your 4WD adventures?
When I hit my early 20’s, I got my first 4wd, and it was just a snowball effect from there!
What was your first 4WD/touring vehicle?
My first 4wd vehicle was the 98 GU, It was stock as a rock when I got it, but there was no way it was going to stay like that!
Tell us what you are doing right now
Right now I am starting a new build as a Super-Tourer for another series of “Chasin’ Lines”. It is a 2008 GU Patrol Coil Cab, and the plan is for it to be converted to a supercharged 6L.
This is all being done at home in my little shed, so if you are interested in what it takes to build a touring machine, keep an eye out for upcoming series “Build Not Bought”.
The next series of “Chasin’ Lines” is going to be filmed in May 2018 and we will be exploring the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Not long after that will be Tasmania~!
What is your current off-road vehicle including your set-up/living arrangements?
My current vehicle is my GU Coil Cab as mentioned above. But the rig I used on the Perth to Cape York trip was a 1998 GU Patrol Wagon.
It was converted from a 2.8L diesel to a 5.7L LS1 and Auto. I drove this 4wd 15,000kms around Australia and was fully equipped with top of the range 4-inch suspension lift, twin locked, seats taken out of it for custom drawers and living setup inside.
There is way too much to list here so if you are interested in full details, see my Rig Rundown HERE. YouTube LINK
Who inspired you into this ‘adventurous’ lifestyle?
A group of mates at the time were always going on camping trips to beaches up north. It was a situation where every car was packed full of people and only a couple of 4wds.
But a few months later and everyone got bitten by the 4wd bug, and we pretty much had a 4wd each!
From there I discovered 4wd Action and their trip videos inspired me to make my own video series from our Cape York adventure.
Check out the end result HERE – LINK
What’s your all-time favourite 4WD track in Australia and why?
All-time favourite track would have to be the Old Tele Track, and this is for a few reasons.
Firstly is because of how iconic the track is, it’s just one of those things you have to cross off the bucket list!
Secondly was because of what we went through to get there. Perth in Western Australia is basically the furthest distance away from the tip of Cape York where the Old Tele Track begins. So the 20 days spent on the road to get there made it that whole lot more special.
And the final reason is just the nature of the track itself. The countless number of fresh water crossings is a great challenge for any 4wder and also put my Patrol to the ultimate test!
We also managed to cross the Jardine river by driving it! These days most people take the ferry across, but we were up for the challenge to try and drive the 100m crossing.
Find out what happened as a result of this decision here! YouTube LINK
The most bizarre experience you’ve encountered on your travels?
The most bizarre experience would have to be when we were making our way to Cape York, crossing the border.
We were all really excited to get to the boarder to take a photo, and one of the boys was a bit ‘over’ excited, and he started to hang off his roof rack in front of his car. And he slipped. And he sat on his windscreen with a bit of force. And it caved the whole thing in. Everyone was in stitches with laughter when it happened!
He had to drive over 400kms with tape holding the windscreen together until the next town where he got it replaced.
Fondest memory of exploring Australian tracks?
I have a top 2 for this question!
One was when we were driving down the beach on Fraser Island. It’s one of the longest straight beach runs in the country, and with an 80km/h speed limit, there was much fun to be had!
The little fresh water streams making their way out to the ocean were great for having a swim in and also driving across in my 4wd. That was also one of the only times we did a night drive also which is always a great experience.
The other would have to be making it to the tip of Australia! Of course, other bucket list item for me and I don’t think I will get the chance to go back there very soon, so to get that photo by the sign was a very big moment for me 😊
Describe your ideal campsite.
My ideal camp site is any one which meets the following criteria:
1 Has to be a challenge to get to! The reason I own a 4wd is to get to places others can’t, so if you find a camp that your mum’s Falcon can get to, it’s probably not as special.
2 Have a great view! Whether it be of the ocean or a view from the mountains. The reason I got a rooftop tent is so I can wake up in the morning to a spectacular view.
3 The perfect weather! I’ve had a few nights in the pouring rain and howling winds and trust me, it’s not the best time haha. But being in Australia the weather is usually on our side so not too many issues here.
The photo below is of one of my favourite camps in Australia. Bathurst head in Cape Melville, it ticked all the boxes above for me and we spent more than one night here!
Australian Tracks are on your bucket list?
The Gibb River Road and Canning Stock route! These will probably be tackled next year when we head to the Kimberley, so looking forward to that.
But the next big thing I am excited for is, Tasmania! I have seen some amazing clips of what lies over there, and the idea of shipping my 4wd across Bass Strait gets me pumped!
So much mud and water over there will make for an EPIC adventure, so yeah that’s definitely the next big bucket list item 😊
Advice to new 4WD enthusiasts?
My advice to new 4wders is to watch as much content online as you can! I have learnt so much by researching destinations before I head out which gives me the best preparation for whats ahead. You never know, you could be driving straight past an amazing waterfall or swimming hole that you didn’t even know was there if you don’t do your research. Also, some places have restrictions and rules with regards to alcohol and camping permits, so always best to stay within the rules to keep places open for future outdoor enthusiasts 😉
Name one product you wouldn’t leave home without.
The number one thing I wouldn’t leave without is a full tank and fuel. Without this, you wouldn’t have a hope in hell getting to those remote destinations that others cannot see!