Check out our 2018 Team Merch: DrinkTank Growlers & Cups, stickers and more!

Meet Elise Bent and Mercedes Lilienthal. Competitors in the 2018 Rebelle Rally.

Meet Team #179: the Free Range Dames

We are two women competing in the 2018 Rebelle Rally, the first offroad navigational challenge of its kind in the United States. The course spans over 2000km from Lake Tahoe to San Diego over 7 days of competition. Elise will be navigating and Mercedes will be driving the built 2012 Toyota Tacoma you see above (provided courtesy of Bomber Products). In the Rebelle Rally, no GPS is allowed, only old-school map and compass, making it one of the toughest and most unique challenges. Join us as we train by subscribing to our social media, and follow along in real time during the rally itself! Learn how you can support us and cheer us on by reading more below: 

Elise Bent

Elise is a passionate explorer with an insatiable curiosity. She grew up in a family of outdoor sports enthusiasts who nurtured in her a thirst for learning and adventure. Elise strongly believes in “making it happen;” achievement comes from a combination of grit and simply taking the first step. Elise is a freelancer specializing in geospatial applications, web development and also helps her husband Josh with his business, Bomber Products. Recently, Elise co-founded Big Sky Overland Rally, the first overlanding event of its kind in Montana. When she’s not ripping around the continent in an overland vehicle, you can find her hiking, skiing and kayaking in the Montana wilderness.

You can follow her travels and adventures on Instagram at @elise.bent


Mercedes Lilienthal

Mercedes is a Portland Oregon-based freelancer and adventurer who specializes in all things related to vehicular adventure travel. She, along with her husband Andy, run Crankshaft Culture, an automotive website dedicated to “getting out there” (no matter what type of vehicle you own). Currently in their stable, they have two right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishis: a 1989 Delica Star Wagon (aka The Space Tractor) and a 1992 short wheelbase Pajero. In addition, they have two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes, a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, loves to travel. Her most recent trips include exploring New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and many of the western states.

You can follow her travels and adventures on Facebook and Instagram @crankshaftculture and @mercedes_lilienthal

Read More:

OutdoorX4 - Article Series

"I’ve known Elise through overland rallies and events. During the last few years Elise and I become friends and hoped someday we’d compete in the Rebelle Rally together. This year, the dream is becoming a reality! I’ll be the driver and Elise the navigator."

New Doc 2018-07-26

4WD Magazine

"We’re not exactly sure what to expect, other than an epic adventure." Click above to read the whole article!

The Gearhead Project Podcast

In this episode, we talk about the countless hours behind the scenes, doing the grunt work. Dealing with the not-so-glamorous nuts-and-bolts of the affair. Looking fear and uncertainty straight in the eye—and making progress no matter what.

“We had the privilege of catching up with Team Free Range Dames at the NW Overland Rally in Plain, WA. After a short conversation with Elise, seeing her passion along with her genuine persona, we knew having her and her partner Mercedes on the podcast was something you would find great value in. ” Click above to see the shownotes and take a listen! 

The Off-Road Podcast is a show for anybody that loves getting off the highway with their rig.  We don’t judge here, having an adventure off-road is all the matters. In this episode, Offroad Podcast talks to the Free Range Dames. 

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Support Us

Amount Raised to Date
of $18,000 goal 47%

Why is our goal $18,000?

  1. The entry fee alone is $12,000 because of permitting, food, support crews, rescue crews, tracking equipment and course design, etc. Running an event on this scale in the US is no easy feat!
  2. While our vehicle is already well outfitted, it also needs some repairs to ensure our safety and ability to complete the Rebelle Rally without any mechanical issues. 
  3. This is an epic, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our families, supporters and our sponsors deserve only the best photography and videography. 
  4. Travel expenses such as fuel and hotels for 1 truck and 2 people to make it from Oregon and Montana down to Lake Tahoe, CA, and then back from San Diego, CA. 
  5. Fuel costs during the event
  6. Mandatory or event specific equipment such as helmets and a rally computer. 

How can we help?

  1. Make a cash donation or buy a required item off our “Rebelle Registry” on Amazon.
  2. Buy some of our merchandise!
  3. If you are a business owner or have a garage sale coming up, consider donating a portion of the sales. 
  4. Sponsor us! Contact us for our sponsor opportunities, for both business visibility and product testing and advertising. 
  5. Share our story! Tell your friends, have us on your blog, magazine or podcast, share us on facebook, all of it helps! 
  6. Hire us as content producers or speakers at your next event. 
  7. Cheer us on and follow along on the LIVE tracking during the event! 
  8. The sky is the limit… let us know if you have a great idea! 

Contact Us