Archives for category: GEAR

If you’re looking for a winter project in order to get ready for camping season, these two excellent drawer projects might be the ticket. The Blake Weber video details “the ultimate overland truck bed kitchen drawers for camping” and to me that seems like a pretty good description. The project incorporates a grill, propane stove, sink, and pressurized water tank, among many other clever features.

The GVM Corner video, below, offers a clever take on a fold-out bed and basic kitchen set up. Hat tip to Nathan Donnelly from Northwest Resilience for passing this video along.

My only suggestion, if you build one these is to make sure the silverware and kitchen tools are stored in a way that will keep them from banging into each other. Otherwise the rattling on rough trails may drive you nuts.

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I’m a fan of The New York Times’ Wirecutter reviews. In this one they offer their take on the best camping stove. If you don’t want to click over there, the Coleman Classic Propane Stove came in as their pick. At about $44 it seems like quite a deal.

Another stove, not included in the Wirecutter review that you might be interested in none the less, is the ultra-slim GSI Pinnacle Pro Stove. It boasts two 11,000 btu burners (compared to the Coleman’s 10,000 btu burners) and packed height of only 1.4″. This stove just came out and I think they’re still hard to find. Expect pricing in the $175 range.

In an effort to have an emergency shelter for anytime of year, I recently bought a “hot tent” (a tent that can be heated) and a camp wood stove to go along with it. I’d like to try it as well for 4-season overland camping.

I found two companies that both make tipi-style hot tents and camp stoves that seem to offer good value. The first is a Norwegian company called Gstove. The second is a Chinese company called Pomoly.

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Last year my wife gave me these Caterpillar-branded, LED work lights and I want to recommend them because I think they’re great. These 500-lumen work lights run on four AA batteries and have an 8-hour life on low power. The best thing about them though is that they’re magnetic. When I check the oil on the truck at night I take one out of the back and pop it under the hood. It’s such a joy to have the engine bay so well lit. They’re also great for sticking to the side of the roof rack as area lights for when we arrive at a remote camp at night. They’ve made a good addition to the truck.

They’re available for about $34 on Amazon. There are other versions (not CAT-branded) that are plug-in rechargeable. Reviews on those are mostly good.

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If, like me, you miss the days when car stereos had actual knobs for adjusting bass and treble, and didn’t look like they were styled for the interiors of spaceships, you’ll probably appreciate Blaupunkt’s re-release of their classic Bremen head unit. The original was offered as a tape deck in 1986. The updated version offers media slots and ports under a door where the cassette slot used to be.

The unit, officially known as the Bremen SQR 46 DAB, comes equipt with Bluetooth, an SDHC slot, two USB ports, and is iPhone/iPod compatible. On the downside, the screen is same size as it was in the ’80s but display and lighting color is customizable. So nice to have dedicated knobs and buttons. And so nice to see a car audio product with such a handsome, understated design.

Like most things with understated good looks, they don’t come cheap. The Blaupunkt Bremen will set you back about 450 Euros (about $495). Read the rest of this entry »

 

Maxtrax are often the first thing overlanders grab when they get stuck. They’re easy to deploy. Just do a bit of digging and stick them in front of the wheels. A set will cost you about $300, which seems like a lot for two injection-molded plastic planks. Have you ever wondered if knock-offs are a viable alternative to an original set of Maxtrax? The verdict seems to be favorable according to this video.

If you have a Jeep and haven’t done this upgrade, keep reading. This wiring harness enables your truck to send power directly from the battery to the headlights via a couple of relays instead of routing the electricity into the dash and through the light switch. In Jeeps I’ve been told routing the electricity through the switch robs a lot of power and causes dim headlights.

In this excellent video from YouTube user BleepinJeep, he finds that this $25 upgrade more than doubled the light output from his stock headlights. That was even better performance than he got from his upgraded LED lights on the new harness (and the LEDs didn’t put out enough heat to keep themselves free of snow). He takes you through the whole install.

You can get this harness from a place called K Suspension Fab but they were backordered at the time of this post. Here’s a link where you can find it on Amazon. That link is for H4 headlights. Check first to see what kind of headlights you have.

Thanks to my good friend Nathan for the tip!

If you’re looking for an interesting winter project, you could do worse than taking inspiration from this excellent DIY solar shower video. The shower is designed to fit on a roof rack, be heated by the sun, and provide a 30 psi stream of water with pressure generated by an air compressor. It’s reported to get to about 95˚F after a day of driving around in mixed sun and clouds. Not bad.

I don’t think I’ve seen a more well thought out project. And the project’s creator calls it H2OT. Watch him explain and demonstrate the whole thing in a sub-six-minute video. Excellent!

This couple has a really nice overland camp trailer set-up that designed themselves on used, military HumVee trailer. It’s so organized and has neat features like solar power, skylights, and rainwater catchment.

Thanks to my friend Greg for the tip on this video!

ford_bronco_t-shirt-aa-brown-feat

Through my illustration shop, Nik Schulz Illustration, I illustrated and designed this vintage Ford Bronco t-shirt. I draw them in original, factory colors, and am really happy with the way they’re turning out. This one is a 1973 in Carmel Bronze.

If you’d like to have a look, check them out here. More colors after the jump.

Link:
Ford Bronco tee at L-dopa.com

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