Getting ready to search for Seeds in Latin America: Freetheseeds’ Prep Log

In mid-late summer, I’m going to be driving from Mexico to southern South America looking for cannabis seeds. I had been planning to do this in Asia this year, but Asia is gonna be closed for a while. I’ve decided instead, to drive the pan-American highway in my Suzuki Samurai, which I’m having built up for the journey right now. My plan right now is to set up a forward home base in Central America and use it to launch smaller, more manageable excursions to search for seeds, which I plan on giving away here for free.

In a couple months, I’ll start a signup wiki where people can sign up to get seeds. I’d like to start with 200 slots, and then adjust from there based on how the search is going. From there, more can be added and people can note country preference. I’d like to really emphasize expectation management here. Everything is complicated, difficult, and turbulent now with covid, but even with that said, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a few thousand seeds over the course of a year in Latin America. In the next few months, I’ll be working to figure out seed distribution logistics.

My plan is to livestream as much as possible and document every part of the trip with photography and video. You’ll get to meet and know me on a personal level, which horrifies and terrifies me; the scariest part of all this is putting myself out there on social media. But, what’s a life if you don’t use it.

Now, for the prep… it’s really expensive, firstly. I’m throwing absolutely every cent I have at this, though, which is partly why I’m so certain it’s going to happen; cash generates inertia.

The Suzuki Samurai is in decent shape for the job, but needs a substantial amount of work.


It just had its engine and rear diff rebuilt. I’m having the electrical redone now. God I hate electrical issues. Unfortunately, the previous owners lifted it with a body lift, so I’m going to have to remove that and install new suspension, a spring over axel system. I also need new bumpers and a winch and recovery kit, in addition to heavy duty radiator and high output alternator. I’m going to need off-road lighting. Basically, if it’s old, it probably needs to be replaced. I’m going to have all the work done just because of a lack of time and sub-optimal knowledge. I need:

-Warn M800 winch w/recovery kit/tools
-ARB front and back bumpers
-New exhaust
-High output alternator
-Heavy duty radiator
-Electric radiator fan
-Spring over axel lift with all new suspension components
-Offroad lighting
-New top
-Carb rebuild (or swap, possibly)
-New wiring harness and rewiring the vehicle

I also need a considerable amount of individual gear. Luckily, I’ve got a lot from past adventures, and I’ve been able to slowly acquire more. Here’s my most recent layout/inventory:

I need still some of the more substantial pieces of kit. I’m going to need a satellite phone. I’m thinking about the Iridium Go, but I’ll have to use satellite time very sparingly. It’s super expensive. I also need a couple of GoPros. One for the the car, pointed at me, and one I’ll wear on a chest mounted rig when appropriate and safe. The camera I’ll be using is a Nikon D750 with a 35mm f1.4. I only photograph at the full frame 35mm focal length—a weird quirk of mine. I can carry more since I’m in a vehicle, so that changes the packing dynamic quite a bit. The core kit will be:

Sat phone
GPS
Compass
Binoculars
Camera
Waterproof notebooks w/ pens
Passport

Everything else is just there to make things easier, more comfortable, or to mitigate risk.

I’ll be posting preparation progress and periodic updates to this thread. Again, I’d like to focus on expectation management a bit. The world is pretty chaotic right now; if aliens came down from the heavens tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t be all that surprised. So, I appreciate your patience and look forward to more progress!

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This should be interesting so I am going to have a seat and watch. I carry a folding shovel and folding saw in my truck. Just something you may want to add to your gear. Even an all in one like this.

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Excellent! That’s indispensable. Going to add to the shopping list. Great improvised weapon, too, lol.

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That’s a great idea man! If your gonna be dealing with thousands of seeds I would get ahold of the distributors and get something worked out bro!

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Very cool idea! I’ll definitely be along for the ride!

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Brother since you’re going on such a journey that will probably cover a lot of different elevations you may want to consider an efi swap. I say this because you already said your bush fix skills were not as good as you’d like and if you travel from a mountainous region down to sea level or from sea level to elevation with a carbbed vehicle and you will need to be able to adjust it for it to run properly and not leave you stranded on your trip. I’d also suggest taking enough of every fluid in the vehicle to refill from empty, I’ve had trans cooler hoses bust and leave me miles from the nearest human. They sell universal length belts or get 2 spares for each one on the car. Also spare universal joints on the driveshaft, they only break at the worst possible place and there are never any available when you need one. I’m a gear head that grew up in the woods doing dumb shit and breaking stuff miles from help so learned what to put on my rig when going out far from help. You may also consider an underhood welder, they are sold for trail rigs, make sure you pack rods and a hood. 6010 rods work well in the bush because they burn through bullshit you can’t grind away. It it were me I would have pipe bumpers made from stainless like I had on my trail rig. Triple 4" tubes front and rear with two of the tubes pressurized with air and one full of water. Build out from stainless so the water is potable. You can go one step further like I did and convert the ac compressor to compressed air duty with the bumpers as tanks, great when you need to air down to get through sand and air tools are nice lol. Remember the more failures you prepare for the less you will have.
Everything I had on my rig was added after it would have saved my ass and most never used for myself but rescuing others on the trail. Never know having compressed air or a welder on your rig might gone the opportunity to help someone that could unlock local knowledge.

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I’m here for this. Would have been cool as hell to do this back in my 20s I would’ve been down for it . Can’t wait to follow your journey, wishing you the best man.

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Forgot to mention get one of the week buckets of survival food. Most are actually decent and way better than an mre. I keep enough mre for 3 days in my truck that never goes in the woods lol so on a journey like that with the food bucket I’d take enough for 2 meals a day for a week. That’s one of those last resort things and gives you 2 weeks of food that store easily in little space, plus the mre can be bartered or given away to help someone. You’d be surprised how far even a shitty mre goes with a hungry person

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Food, water, fire and shelter. Can never go wrong with those things.

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Oh yes, I’ve spent many nights sleeping on the ground rig stuck in a creek no way to make fire and freezing. I would take my old rig and be willing to be dropped off anywhere on the planet other than Antarctica and know I’d make it to civilization without to much trouble. Another tip I would give us mount the winch so it can be attached via receiver hitch so it can be used front or rear, recovery kit should have at least 4 10’ straps, 4 shackles, 4 snatch blocks, and one of the swamp anchors like this https://www.pullpal.com/. I’d also rethink the size of your winch, 8k isn’t much even with snatch blocks to double the pulling power. I’ve had to drive down ravines with one side of the truck floating held up by the winch rigged from trees so you kinda want to be able to lift the entire rig as it travels on a single line with at least 10% capacity to spare. Better to have and not need than need and not have

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One thing I personally suggest for your personal pack is to store some gear in a metal coffee can so that you have it to boil water in if need be and it doesn’t take up any space as it’s holding other basic gear. Cant imagine how many gallons of water I’ve boiled in one of those in the middle of knowwhere that and a magnesium flint stick has got me through some tough times.

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Deffinetly need a bigger winch. I have a 3500 pound winch on my atv and it has let me down many times, and my atv is a lot lighter than your sidekick.

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I did a 2 year homeless stint from the ages of 15 to 17. I swore I would never be cold again. I still start my fires with a hand drill all summer to keep in practice but it’s likely the 7th or 8th method in my pack. Basic human survival is a skill too many don’t posses any more and I feel that is a real shame. Winter or summer, I will be warm, I will be dry, I will be hydrated and I will be fed.

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I would love to do this, but unfortunately it won’t pass California smog if I switch it to EFI or even change out the carb. I’m not sure there’s a way around that one. I’m really struggling with this California smog bullshit. It really limits what I can do to the vehicle. I’ve seen people in Cali do diesel swaps in their Samurais, and I don’t think they have to smog after because it’s diesel or something? No idea, but that’s probably a bit out of my budget, anyway.

I can probably adjust a carb well enough to get the air/fuel ratio to a point where I can limp it along until I get to some one better qualified. This might be one I have to learn to do if there’s no way to get around smog emissions. I hate this state.

This is great advice and probably something I might have overlooked. The vehicle part of this adventure is very new to me. I had never planned to drive my own personally owned vehicle on an adventure. It’s just not how I travel, so hearing this from some one with experience helps.

Now that’s a lot to unpack! I’m going to have to do a lot of research on compressed air and welders on a vehicle. I’ve seen trail rigs when them before and always thought, “wow those rigs look complicated, expensive, and I’d never, ever like to be in a situation where I have to weld from a vehicle.” And yet here I am… the guys doing my electrical right now also specialize in welding systems. I’ll ask them to give me an estimate. I’m not a terrible welder… I mean, I’m not good, but I’m field repair level good.

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The welder is a little box b about 12"x8"x4"and you use the ac compressor as the compressed air source. Grated you sacrifice ac but hey. The air tanks are the bumpers lol traveling overland requires a specialized vehicle. Most of the stuff is stored on the vehicle and never comes off unless you need it.

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I’ll definitely go with a larger winch. What would be ideal? I looked at warns website and am confused by their 9k and 10k offerings. Which of their 10k offerings would be suitable for self recovery?

https://www.warn.com/products-8000-10000-lbs-winches

I’d like to be closer to $1k than $2k for the winch, if possible. My overall budget for the build can’t surpass 10k.

That also makes bumper shopping a bit harder. The M8000 was the largest winch that fit in the ARB bumper, which is why I initially selected it. I’m going to need to find another good one. I also had a question about bumper/winch combos. A lot of them seem to significant restrict air flow through the grill and radiator? Is that the case and if so, does that cause issues?

Thanks! This is all such great discussion for me and my prep

Edit: I’m thinking the Warn 9.5XP. It looks nice!

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Killa set up mate, I have a sidekick down here in Central America it goes good. All you need is a roof rack for the surfboards and your set :call_me_hand:t4:

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stream of semi-consiousness:

machete
baseball bat
10 passports + docs :roll_eyes:
:dollar:
secret compartamentos muchos :ballot_box_with_check:
duct tape. enough said.
thin-ish aircraft cable/wire-rope(5mm? check weight limits)

winches front AND rear
high-mount driving lights
water-crossing snorkel for engine
rear-view back-up camera

spare bulbs for virtually everything

collapsable fuel container - easier to store empty, but who wants an empty one? :laughing:

medical coverage?
jungle rot proof your feet - may consider some alternate footwear when you’re there(i.e. free-er breathing)

GPS beacon(emergency type)

:man_shrugging:

:four_leaf_clover: :four_leaf_clover: :four_leaf_clover: :four_leaf_clover: :four_leaf_clover:

:evergreen_tree:

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I’m here too … I dream of something like that …
Many positive vibes for you friend …
Everything will conspire in your favor …
If you descend to the south of South America, you will have a stopping point for sure …
hug

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What an adventure. If I had it all to do again…
This is an awesome thing you’re doing.
Be safe!!!

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