A blog about off-road vehicles, overlanding, 4×4 trips & travel. We write posts about interesting trucks for sale, help you improve your driving and camping skills, learn about gear, show you amazing places to go, and share stories of adventure. We like to go out and explore, and we love adventure.

Iwatani stove, via West County Explores Club

My friend Greg from gadmachine, who’s an avid home and camp chef, pulled out this cool little camping stove on a trip last summer. It’s a Iwatani butane-powered, single-burner stove. This particular one (Model ZA-3HP) puts out 12,000 BTUs and costs about $35. They make another version (Model 35FW) that puts out 15,000 BTUs that costs about $80. For comparison a standard, propane Coleman camp stove will produce 10,000 BTUs per burner.

That extra heat is great for searing steaks. You can even use it indoors, so it can do both camp and home kitchen duty. Greg says they’ve been making them forever in Asia and really have the design nailed down. People seem to love them.

They both come with carrying cases and might make great gifts.

Links:
Iwatani 12,000 BTU stove on Amazon, and Central Restaurant Products
Iwatani 15,000 BTU stove on Amazon, and Central Restaurant Products
gadmachine tumblr

 

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About a year ago the forgotten ghost town of Seneca made national news after Paul Reubens (of Pee Wee Herman fame) tweeted about a long-idle Craigslist ad listing the town for sale. This year the “town,” which is just three rundown cabins and an old bar, sold. The bar, once called “The Gin Mill,” did come with an actual liquor license, so who knows, maybe it’ll reopen one day.

I mention it here because, if you live anywhere near the Sierras, it might make a good overlanding trip. The town sits at about 3600′ elevation in a canyon along the Feather River, about 50 miles northeast of Oroville and about 75 miles southwest of Redding. It’s actually just south of Lake Almanor, if you know where that is. Here are the coordinates: 40.112083,-121.0848

The roads to the site, though not that rough looking, are said to travel along 1000′ dropoffs, so if you go in winter, bring chains, shovels, and another friend with a truck.

Keep me posted, if you go check it out!

Links:
Craigslist ad

Google Map

LA Times article

Facebook page

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http://vimeo.com/56287630

Here’s a beautiful video showing how a Damascus steel knife is hand forged. The blade gets folded and hammered flat over 300 times. The sheath is handmade too. Gorgeous video.


There’s a great post on the Expedition Portal Forums about a guy and some friends that do some overlanding through Idaho’s Bitterroot Mountains and the Morrison Jeep Trail in Northwestern Wyoming. Early on they suffer the consequences of some deferred maintenance (in dramatic fashion) but get truck home, fix it, and get back out on the trails.

The photos are amazing.

Link:
The SOS Report on Expedition Portal

 

 

http://vimeo.com/110973394&w=600

This is what I love about heading into the wilderness, having experiences that not many other people have, like these guys. They hike into the Sierra Nevada, fish, and just skate the smooth, 100-million-year-old granite. Pretty awesome.

Land Rover Series 3, West County Explorers Club

This fully restored 1984 Land Rover Series III 109 wagon was listed on ebay this summer. I haven’t seen that many long-wheelbase two-doors. The truck looks stunning in grey with cream steel wheels.

Here’s what the ad had to say:

During the process of the restoration the car was fully dismantled and all automobile components, frame, engine, transmission, body details, wiring, brake system and cooling system has been checked and rebuilt.

All components have been cleaned from dust, rust and the old layer of color. After cleaning the metal components were galvanized, covered with powder color or colored. All aluminum body panels were cleared from old color and covered with qualitative primer, which shields it from oxidation.

The floor, the roof, the engine cover and the doors have been lined with sound-proof panels. Individual roof side and floor lining has been set up.

Regulation of valves, carburetor, wheel alignment, brakes, manual brakes and front lamps, as well as tire balancing has been carried out.

A 500km long test ride has been made with the automobile, after the test ride, a technical test has been carried out and regulation was checked no defects were found.

The automobile is in excellent technical and visual condition, it is ready to participate in road traffic or increase a collection.

The asking price was $49,000 and the truck was located in Latvia, in eastern Europe.

More photos after the jump.

Link:
Original ebay ad Read the rest of this entry »

rough-skinned-newt

In honor of Halloween, here’s a spooky but true tale. In the 1950s three Oregon hunters went missing. They were discovered, weeks later, dead, around their campfire. There were no signs of foul play. Nothing had been taken from the camp nor did any of the hunters bear signs of injury. The only odd thing investigators found was rough-skinned newt, also dead, at the bottom of their coffee pot.

The case remained unsolved for about 10 years until a biologist named Butch Brodie discovered that the newt’s skin produces a toxin called TTX, a toxin 10,000 times deadlier than cyanide.

Apparently though these rough skinned newts don’t just go killing everything they touch. They only produce toxin when they feel highly stressed or threatened, like being scooped up from a stream in a coffee pot and boiled alive. In those kinds of situations, they arch there heads back as a warning and then let the toxins flow…

To read more about this, and to learn how these newts got so toxic in the first place, check out the links below.

Links:
Discover: A Beautiful Web of Poison Extends A New Strand : The Loom

Mental Floss: Silence of the Newts

I’m not usually into guitar-heavy videos, but this one of BJ Baldwin winning the 2013 Baja 1000 is pretty awesome. The way his truck flies across the top of some of the whoops seems to defy physics. And the music is pretty decent halfway through.

If you’ve got some time and would like to see some amazing riding, check out this full-length, GoPro video of Jonny Walker winning the 2014 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble. Even just the first few minutes make for great viewing. Check out the hair-raising jump at 1:31.

The Erzbergrodeo is a four-day event held in Eisenerz, Austria. It closes with the Hare Scramble, which looks like one tough race.

Links:
Erzbergrodeo site

Red Bull Erzbergrodeo 2014 site

I’ll admit I didn’t know there was more than one way to lace up a hiking boot. This video shows techniques for really locking the boot to your ankle to prevent heal chafe, as well as different lacing styles for people with high arches or flat feet.

My feet are slightly different sizes so I love the idea of getting a more custom fit depending on how I lace up. Good stuff.