If you think the Jeepers Jamboree is all about roughing it — just you and your Jeep, conquering brutal trails before sleeping under the stars with only the bare necessities (and maybe a spare axle shaft or two) — you're wrong. Well, half-wrong. There are plenty of trails to tame and rocks to climb — and parts to be broken and fixed on the go. But the accommodations are, all things considered, pretty choice.
Consider this tidbit from our October 5, 1992, coverage:
"From the very beginning, the Jeepers Jamboree was meant to be extravagant. Preparing for that first trip in the early summer of 1953 the planning committee hauled in enough wood for a dance floor in the Rubicon meadow, a generator and a public address system. Later Jamborees would get progressively more opulent. Helicopters shuttled necessities like chicken, steak and Budweiser into the Rubicon Valley and would also bring luxuries like a baby grand piano, real country western stars and even wallpaper for the outhouses. Once they flew in 12 real, live, habit-wearing, singing nuns from St. Cecilia's Chorale in Colbert, Wash. Another year a Chinook helicopter landed in the meadow and delivered the U.S. Air Force Marching Band."
That sounds dangerously close to what we'd call glamping these days. The big difference, though, is Jeepers don't get choppered in themselves; they're taking the most difficult routes imaginable to get to camp. The big gimmick is the contrast — tearing up sheetmetal on the trail before sitting down to a gourmet meal.
And honestly, the whole thing is contrived anyway: These Jeepers aren't delivering vital medicine to wartorn countries. It's enthusiasts testing their vehicles' capabilities for fun's sake. Might as well go all out! If you don't quite get it, read on.
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Autoweek October 5, 1992 — Living the Jeep life on the Jeepers Jamboree(5.38 MB)Click here to download PDF