Here’s your daily digit: Everyday, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the globe. That’s a lot of java, and I certainly contribute to that number everyday. Even when I’m in the deepest corners of the backcountry, a warm cup of Joe is really the only way to start the day. On my trips supported by a vehicle it’s not a big deal to break out the French press, but for uber-light trips I don’t always have room for such luxuries. This has lead me on a quest for the best instant coffee available. Just hearing the words instant coffee is enough to make my neck hairs bristle as most instant coffees are in a word––awful. At any rate, there are some instants to keep on your radar.
A few years ago, while on a backpacking trip in the San Juan Mountains near Durango, Colorado, I rounded a corner and stretched out before me was a massive meadow. The morning dew shimmered in the day’s early sunlight, and in the distance a faint column of smoke floated skyward from a tiny chimney poking out of a canvas tent. A pair of horses completed the scene, a vision of what camp life was like a century earlier. There’s something about a canvas tent that just looks right in the mountains. Maybe it’s because canvas tents harken to the golden age of camping when it was not just a recreational pastime, but a way of life. David Ellis of Durango knows this better than anyone. His canvas tents are a classic structures constructed of quality materials, new and old.
This is quite possibly the coolest truck you’ll see all day. Images of this beauty have been whirling around the internet for well over a year, but with very little information available. A quick peek at the decal on the door of the truck leads us to Afrika Offroad, a protracted expedition previously based out of a Land Rover Defender and piloted by German couple Sonja and Jan Gehler. This new platform, built on a Bremach T-Rex, is an impressive beast of a thing. With seating and accommodations for four, this new vehicle was fabricated with assistance from expert designer Marcus Haase.
Portable power packs are becoming increasingly common to overland travels, and for many are a critical component to daily life in general. Within just the last couple years, these systems have undergone an impressive technological metamorphosis with big power now squeezed into small and sophisticated packages. The latest power pack from the energy wizards at Aspect Solar, the EnergyBar 250 is perhaps one of the best systems we’ve seen yet.
via West County Explorers Club: I think I bought my Leatherman Wave in 1998 or 1999 shortly after that model first came out. Since then I've used it regularly for every conceivable thing: sawing branches, pulling splinters, tightening clutch cables, skinning small game, opening beers. If you have one, you know the list is endless.
Well, it's been about 15 years, and this year, before we left for our summer sailing trip I noticed that one of the blades wasn't locking anymore because the spring-steel locking tab had cracked. I remembered that Leatherman had an amazing warranty but I didn't want to send the tool back because I knew I'd need it all summer which, of course, turned out to be true.
When we got back, I researched their warranty and found that, if anything goes wrong, they will repair or replace the tools within 25 years of purchase. I'd never heard of a warranty like that and happily sent mine in. About a week later a package came in the mail. Inside was a brand new Leatherman Wave. Fantastic!
In case your Leatherman has lasted longer than mine and you haven't seen one in a while, here's what the Wave—redesigned in 2004—looks like today.
In my opinion, it's worth every penny and more.
Story by Jack Stuhler with an introduction by Paul May,
Jack Stuhler, the founder of Eezi-Awn, is an adventurous man and has spent his entire life exploring the African Continent. After driving from Johannesburg to the UK through the middle east in the early 1999, Jack set his sights on the Americas. He prepared a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Troopy by the name of Tubby for his journey and shipped it to South America. With his significant other, Margaret, their epic journey from Ushuaia to Dead Horse Alaska took over 18 months to complete in 2004/2005. They later returned south to Houston, and shipped Tubby home. Quite impressive for a couple in their 60s. Their adventures are an inspiration for us all.
These trucks really are fun to watch in action.