Why replacing the cabin air filter before an expedition
The cabin air filter is the most overlooked component on the Jeep scene. You guys never want to spend a dime on it. It might work to NEVER replace it if you just enjoy wheeling during the weekend with the windows rolled down or topless. But if you plan a long-distance expedition or a long stay in the remote wilderness, your dream journey could turn into a nightmare.
1. Your Jeep will turn into an incredible mess : You can see everywhere on my website or my Facebook page that I rarely roll down my windows. If you don't care, your Jeep will trap a lot of dusts, flying debris, insects, leaves, acorns, etc. It won't take long before you hate your new lifestyle. A hiker can wash his clothes on long hikes. But you can't wash your Jeep. And you won't have a vacuum cleaner either. On my side, driving a clean Jeep lifts my spirits on a daily basis.
2. Harmful respiratory conditions : An expedition will require you to spend a lot of time in your Jeep and hygiene matters because pollen, allergens, germs and insects impact human health. Having asthma or any other respiratory condition on the trail will disable you in some way. So, you should do your best to not spread particules and organic matters all over the cabin.
3. Water trucks are super scarce : Yes, they exist in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories and other regions. But watering dusty roads for long distance is really expensive and a single watering (when they occur) may be effective for only a few hours.
4. Fuel efficiency : A clogged filter will force the air conditioner or the heater to work harder to push air through the membrane. As a result, your Jeep will burn more gas. And gas is the most valuable resource in the wilderness because gas stations are scarce and a Jeep doesn't allow you to carry much extra fuel on the trail (I personally carry two 1.75 Gallon Rotopax on the tire carrier). That one quart of fuel you don't waste might save your butt one day.
5. Wildfires : Off-road adventurers and remote workers know how dangerous (and scary) wildfires are during the summer. When you have to drive nearby or across a wildfire, you need to keep cabin air as clean possible because that smoke is incredibly hard to breathe. It contains extremely toxic gases and clouds of particles from burning trees that irritate your eyes and respiratory system very quickly. And the surroundings of wildfires are very hot (40 Celcius / 100 Fahrenheit and more), even if you are wheeling 1 mile away from the closest visible flames. So, while you run the air conditioner at maximum power, make sure a quality air filter is keeping most fumes and particles out.