I rolled my beloved Saturn SL just before Christmas.  I owned it since it was new in 1998.  There was nothing fancy about it and that is why it served me so well.  

High up and far into the backcountry in the Okanagan Highlands, I kick started the Saturn when the battery went bad in 2003 .  I also loved to show off our my trophy claw marks  from a visit to Bear Country in South Dakota, the cherished foot long bear claw scratches down the trunk.  The Saturn recieved this trophy after I waited for one large black bear sow to stand with her front feet on the trunk, slidedown twice and then lumber over to the rear window and peered in at my 6 year old son…..ahh (ya I know…)

So now that the car is scrap metal, I am forced to purchase a new vehicle as the Kelowna bus system is not reliable enough to get me home after working night shift.  I want my new vehicle to be a great vehicle for the British Columbia backroads that lead to great hiking trails but still be good on gas.  I will also want to be able to carry around my camping, backpacking / Search and Rescue gear all summer in a sealed and bomb proof lock box. 

So my question is since Mahindra will not be exporting trucks to North America until 2010,  http://www.mahindrasmallcv.com/pikup_home.asp hiking truck for discovering backcountry hiking trails 

would the 2009 Ford Ranger be adequate to get me into the backcountry if I carry a little weight and maybe attach a winch or something to help get me outta the tough spots?

Image of my car above shows the location of the Pyman Rd. entrance to the Black Mountain Hike in Kelowna.