Archives for posts with tag: how to


A few months ago I thought it would be cool to convert my turn signals and brake lights to LEDs. I had seen them on my friend Greg’s truck and I liked the crisp on/off quality. I thought it updated the look of the truck and, of course, LEDs use much less power and last practically forever. In this post I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make the switch to LEDs, and I’ll also tell you why I opted not to do it, for now. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been very happy with my ARB Bull Bar bumper and its on-board turn signals, except for the fact that they’re not waterproof. Every now and again I’ll drive the truck through a stream, which inevitably rusts out the bulb sockets, corrodes the contacts, makes the bulb hard to change, and sometimes cause the light to fail.

My solution: waterproof the lenses.

The first thing I did was order a set of replacement lights. My friend Greg tipped me off that they’re the same lights as used on the Mark 1 VW Golf/Rabbit, so they’re easy to get. You can find them here at German Auto Parts. Read the rest of this entry »

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All photos: Gregory McDonald

If you have a Coleman military-spec lantern and are looking for a case to house it, my friend Greg has a solution. He takes it from here.

Sometime ago, I lucked upon an old army lantern, which I childishly coined as “The Lieutenant”; aka, “Lieutenant Lantern”; aka, the “LT”.

Tiring of the fleece blanket wrap to keep the “LT” from banging around in back of the truck during trips, I bought a black Coleman Lantern Carry Case.  Designed to fit Coleman’s current line of lanterns, specifically the 220, 290, 295 and 3000000946, the hard case comes as two pieces – a cover shell and a base.  The lantern slots tightly into the base, which has two tabs that the cover shell snaps onto.

Unfortunately, with the taller army lantern inside, the shell comes about an inch short of snapping onto the base tabs.  The MacGyver voice within, promising a solution, kept the case from being returned.  A few weeks of back burner mental engineering and a “I-wonder-what-to-do…” afternoon later, I took a ragtag team of tools and set to work.
The inner wall of the Case’s base held the lantern an inch above its lowest portion.  If I could get the lantern an inch deeper into the base, then the cover shell would reach the base tabs.  I sliced off the inner walls of the base, sparing the four protrusions that friction-held the lantern down.  In order to get the lantern deeper in, the protrusions had to be sliced once more, at the horizontal.  By chance, what was left on the bottom were four upright protrusions that would hold the inside lip of the lantern’s bottom while the upper protrusions, despite most of the inner structure sliced off, still had enough rigidity to friction-hold the lantern.  With the lantern now sitting deeper in the base, the cover shell slides completely over and low enough to snap onto the base tabs.  Challenge conquered!

Now I can use that fleece blanket to wrap the old Coleman stove.

More pictures after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an informative video on 4×4-based desert survival, including tips and tricks for sand driving. It also tells the tales of others that have been trapped in the desert and made it out alive, and others that weren’t so lucky.

Thanks for the tip, Greg!

I’ve always liked the idea of PTO winches. Here’s an interesting video showing how one works on a Land Cruiser FJ60.

All photos: Jonathan Ridgeon

Read the whole post here.

Are you looking for a winter project, maybe something you can use come spring? Well, how about this canvas, skin-on-frame canoe build from Jon’s Bushcraft? It’s about 14.7 feet long, 3 feet wide, and big enough for two.

The canoe is made mainly from hand-sawn ash. The ribs are steam-bent hazel. A little bit of oak trim along the gunnels, and some cane for the seats, round out the project. A skin of 9.5 oz canvas, stretched and painted, keeps the water out. There aren’t any plans for this canoe. You just build it by eye.

When I followed up with Jon, he said the project required 3 or 4 months worth of weekends, and about £180 (~$285 at today’s rates) in of materials. Most of the cost is in the ash and the canvas. The hazel for the ribs, which he collected from a nearby woodland, was free.

He reports that the canoe feels light on the water, turns well, and that the canvas is pretty sturdy. Of the three canoes he’s built, he’s never had a puncture. Still, he recommends to only paddle on calm lakes and streams.

If you paddle solo, especially in a breeze, the bow can be tricky to control (as with any canoe). The solution I like is to fill a 3 or 4 gallon dry bag with water and place it in the bow. The extra weight, far forward, will keep canoe on a steady course no matter what the breeze.

Start now and by the time the warm weather hits, you’ll be taking your first test paddle. The results are beautiful.

More photos after the jump.

Link trail: Jon’s Bushcraft, 3rd SOF Canadian-style Canoe Read the rest of this entry »

A new year brings new adventures. As you go about planning your trips, I thought you might like to see how we prep for ours.

This YouTube user, WheeliePete, has a lot of great videos. In this one he explains how to extend the diff breathers on a Toyota 4×4. You may find the basics applicable though, even if you have a different truck.

Couldn’t make to Africa for the big safari this year? You could still send out an awesome photo in your Christmas cards with some simple Africanization. Read the rest of this entry »

Did you develop a taste for Vietnamese coffee after visiting Southeast Asia but now can’t quite remember quite how to make it? Well, San Francisco-based production company, High Beam has a video that can help you out.

If you happen to live in the Bay Area, check the Vimeo link for stores which offer all the equipment and ingredients.

Link Trail: Dump > Highbeam Media > Vimeo