Adventure-Ready: Equipped for the Rebelle
By Sedona Blinson
Fully packed, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is loaded, and the road to the start of the Rebelle Rally is calling. I am ready, I hope. Even with five years under my belt and a thorough checklist, I still get a tiny bit nervous I will forget something. With a deep breath, I take comfort in knowing I have the essentials to get me through the grueling yet invigorating competition.
The Rebelle is not a race. It is an endurance rally centered around precise navigation for seven days through the stunning desert of Nevada and California. No GPS, no cell phones, just paper map and compass navigation. In 2021 a full roster of 104 women, fifty-two teams, challenged themselves, traversing 1500+ miles of varying terrain, each with different goals to chase.
You would be hard-pressed to find a Rebelle that doesn’t compete without extensive preparation. Lyn, my teammate, and I are no exception. We spent the year leading up to the rally on facetime calls and meeting in the glorious desert landscape that perfectly lends to practicing for both a driver and a navigator. As the weeks crept towards the October start date, it felt like we did nothing but eat, drink and sleep the Rebelle.
When it came down to it, we knew we had the skills and the tools to be formidable competitors. We took comfort in knowing we had all the right gear. Especially the equipment that falls under the “best to have it but hope we don’t have to use” category, like our Wagon Tech Mighty Impact and the iOnBoost V10 that was tucked away for those just in case moments. Our practiced skills nestled similarly in ourselves, ready to be utilized at a moment’s notice.
Both of us have competed before; we had the hindsight to understand that the Rebelle is more than simply having the right stuff. When Jimmy Lewis, the Rebelle’s stony course director, takes the time to say, “Don’t forget to take a look around at where we are taking you.” Don’t forget to look around at all the beauty the course has to offer. Treasure the instances between the grind of finding checkpoints.
It is moments like this year’s self-camp night with the cotton candy-colored sunset that trails over our camp’s mini oasis in Razor OHV. With camp set, I drop the tailgate and begin plotting out the next day’s course. Thanks to Wagan Tech’s Wayfinder lights securely perched above the taillights, our workspace is a glowing beacon inviting others to join in on all the checkpoint plotting fun. Joined with friends, we convert our tailgate into a Rebelle-style charcuterie board of Mountain House meals, road trip snacks, and of course, meats and cheeses. Eating, laughing, pushing through the work, and distantly dreaming of a great night’s sleep. It was a memorable night under the stars and one only the Rebelle could provide us.
The truth is we practice, striving to ingrain every intricate part of competing in the Rebelle, having each stroke of the painting create the perfection we expect. But in reality, it’s the Bob Ross “happy tree” moments, like an evening around a tailgate, among the most incredible women, that we can begin to understand the whole picture. That’s the Rebelle.
They say, “Confidence comes from being prepared.” Although immensely helpful, preparing isn’t simply about having all the right gear. It is coming equipped for the highs and the lows, embracing minor setbacks that blend into masterful successes. No question, arm yourself with the best gear for the incredible adventures (Seriously, the Lithium Cube is a must.) but with it, feel confident in being equipped to welcome the full view of the adventure.