Hottest New Outdoor Camp Gear From 2017 Overland ExpoPosted in Product Reviews on June 23, 2017
Choosing camping and overlanding gear can be an extremely polarizing depending on whom you talk to. Some people have fully embraced the solar-powered adventure pants phenomenon, while others stubbornly cling to their father’s 40-year-old Colman white-gas stove that leaks fuel and occasionally singes eyebrows. Regardless of your preference, most of us can agree that camping technology for the off-roader has come a long way, even in the last decade. Keeping up with that tech could almost be a fulltime job. Fortunately, you don’t have to follow the daily camp-upgrade forums because you have us. We recently visited the 2017 Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, to get you caught up on the latest overland gadgets and must-have camping items. For more info about the 2018 western and eastern events to be held later this year, check out overlandexpo.com.
Exploration Outfitters (explorationoutfitters.com) specializes in parts and turnkey overland vehicles. The company’s American Safari JXL features a do-it-yourself conversion kit that provides a 15-inch extension as well as a popup camp top.
The Bugout Rack (bugoutrack.com) storage system attaches to nearly any free-hanging spare tire. Optional brackets and straps are available to secure a farm-jack, a CO2 tank, a fire extinguisher, recovery rope, and even a chainsaw. More brackets and rack styles are also in the works.
If you need a convenient workspace or dining table, the TailGater Tire Table (tailgatertiretable.com) may be just the thing. It is adjustable to fit most tire sizes, measures 23x29x1.5 inches, and weighs a mere 12 pounds so it’s easy to stow away.
Overland Customs (overlandcustomsllc.com) introduced the MOAT, also known as the Mother of All Trailers. It features 60 cubic feet of interior storage, a 1 1/2-inch swing arm axle, an articulating hitch, and a 1,800-pound payload. Additional features include a heated tent, hot and cold running water, a shower, a two-burner grill, and a stove.
Solavore (solavore.com) makes it possible to cook with the power of the sun thanks to the Sport Solar Oven and TR-86 Reflector. The Solavore website even has a full menu of meals you can cook with the oven, including roast turkey, green chili cornbread, and chicken fajitas.
The Campfire Defender (campfiredefender.com) kits give you better control over your campfire and hot coals regardless of weather. The fireproof cover protects the campfire from the elements and keeps campfire coals hot for use later.
Every vehicle should have a proper first aid kit. Outer Limit Supply (outerlimitsupply.com) offers several sizes of kits to fit your needs. Most kits come with all of the common first aid gear packed neatly into a sealed waterproof case.
Many of the adventure trailers out there come with exorbitant price tags. This lightweight trailer from Trail Tested Manufacturing (trailtestedmfg.com) comes as a do-it-yourself kit to keep the price down. You can build and option out your trailer on the Trail Tested website just like you would a new car.
Off-Grid Engineering (offgrid4x4.com) offers smart bolt-in, dual-battery systems for several popular 4x4 models. Universal kits and individual components are also available so you can create a multibattery system in any 4x4.
If you don’t have the space for a hard-sided kayak and don’t want the complexity of an inflatable kayak, look into the ORU Kayak (orukayak.com), which folds into the size of a suitcase. Three models are available to fit your off-road floating needs.
Fullsize 4x4 adventure vans are getting more and more costly. Even well-used 4x4 vans fetch a premium. To help solve this dilemma, ML Off Road (mloffroad.com) offers a kit to sling a Super Duty solid front axle under the front of your Ford Econoline van. Add a transfer case and driveshaft and you can build your own 4x4 van.
Storing water for camp showering has never been easy. Road Shower (roadshower.com) simplifies this task with an air-pressurized and solar-heated shower that mounts up and out of the way on your roof rack. It holds 5 gallons of water, which gets heated by the sun to as hot as 115 degrees on a typical day.
No matter whether you’re cooking for the entire camp or are simply a big eater on your own, the Mojoe Outfitters (mojoegriddle.com) Mojoe Griddle can help you serve up a hot meal. It can be placed on a cooktop, a grill, or over a campfire and provides more than 3 square feet of cooking surface.
If you just can’t give up your long hot showers when out on the trail, the Kariba (karibaproducts.co.za) Xtreme 4x4 expedition water heater system is what you need. Just add gas and water and you will be washing up warm in no time.
You may not always need the large cooking surface of the TemboTusk (tembotusk.com) 18-inch Skottle. In situations where you want to pack light, the 12-inch TemboTusk Adventure Skottle grill kit can be used for all your compact camp cooking needs.
Nighttime lighting couldn’t be any easier than it is with the FreeSpirit Recreation (gofsr.com) ReadyLight. The solar panel charges the lithium battery for up to 30 hours of lighting. There are USB ports to charge electrical devices, and each ReadyLight features four removable light pods. The ReadyLight comes complete with a tripod, a carry bag, and anchoring stakes.
Ever worry about the security of your base camp or vehicle while you are away? Worry no more with the Larry (larryalert.com), an electronic alert device that connects to your smartphone. Larry uses ranged radar to monitor specific areas. It features a built-in camera so you can see what’s happening in real time. Larry comes with an alarm and a speaker you can talk through it to scare off would-be thieves and animals.
McLean Metalworks (mcleanmetalworksmfg.com) offers a folding hammock mount to help you get your relax on at base camp. It fits all 2-inch receiver hitches and accepts hammocks up to 114 inches long (9 1/2 feet). Other features include angular adjustment to compensate for vehicle height and a built-in bottle opener.