May 31, 2017
Overland Expo is the ultimate trade show for people interested in overland rigs, expedition-quality gear, and everything in between. With over 250 exhibitors from around the world, informative classes, live product demos, a film festival, on-site camping, and plenty of food and beverage vendors, it's one of the biggest and best overlanding events in the world. We brought the whole Trail Kitchens team to Flagstaff, AZ this year, so we were able to get out and see a lot more than usual. Here's a collection of the best overlanding gear we came across at Overland Expo West 2017.
Skottles were all the rage this year at Overland Expo. These cast iron wok-style cooking discs run on propane and have different cooking zones allowing you to throw everything on all at once and alternate as needed. When you're done, just wipe it off, pack it up, and toss it in your rig. ($185-395)
Constructed from laser cut 11 gauge steel, this flat-packing little grill-fire pit combo is all you need to cook over an open flame in the middle of nowhere. Rumor has it, these things were so popular, they sold out halfway through the show. ($149-219)
This oven is powered completely by the sun! Similar to a crock pot, just prep your ingredients in the morning, toss everything in the oven, and go explore while your meal simmers to perfection. The oven absorbs the sun's energy throughout the day and traps it in, creating a mini-greenhouse effect. ($287 with reflector, $244 without)
There are lots of freeze dried food options out there, but few are as healthy as Thrive Life. These guys have everything: fruits, veggies, dairy, meats, grains, sauces, seasonings, and beverages, you name it. Use them as meal toppings, mix them together to create complete meals, or just eat them right out of the bag. They're lightweight, ultra-convenient, and they last forever. ($5-15 average)
Coffee made specifically for overlanding? You betcha! And boy did this stuff hit the spot after 3 long days under the hot Arizona sun. These single serving "pour over" style packets rest on the rim of your mug and hold 16 grams of coffee grinds, resulting in an extremely fresh and delicious cup o joe that all your friends will envy. ($11.25 for 5)
Decked makes some of the nicest sliding storage systems on the market. They're light, strong, convenient, and made from recycled materials. We think these drawer systems are so awesome that some of our products are designed to fit perfectly inside. (Starting at $1079)
The folks at Aluminess make some pretty badass bumpers and racks, but their storage boxes are what caught our eye this year. Specifically, this swinging Deluxe Box on the back of a Four Wheel Camper with some really nice 1UP Products bike loading racks mounted on top. ($675 for the box, $189 per rack)
Mount this aluminum tube directly to your roof racks and let the sun passively heat water wherever you go. Pressurize it with a bike pump and use it to take a shower, clean off your gear, or wash the dishes. ($300-400)
Raise or lower your topper 17.5" above the rim of your truck bed with the push of a button. This nifty 12V system was originally designed to accommodate larger loads like ATVs, but their Weekender Camper Package, pictured here, seals up like a tent, making it a pretty neat alternative to a cab-over camper. (Starting at $1300)
Our very own slide-out camp kitchen-water system combo turned out to be a big hit at the show. Throw it in the back of your Jeep, SUV, or Subaru and bring this self-contained unit wherever you go for the ultimate off-grid experience. ($2490)
This beefy new edition to the CVT catalog is outfitted with 31" tires, 3500HD Timbren axles, LEDs, and a locking tailgate. Toss all your gear inside the main compartment and attach your rooftop tent to the racks on top of the aluminum lid. ($6800)
These efficient little units from South Africa run off of propane and can be used for showering, washing dishes, and anything else that requires hot water. Some of them even convert into single-burner stoves. The whole unit weighs less than 10 lbs and comes with a 12V pump and hose to attach to a jerry can. (Starting at $350)
Gear Aid has makes lots of awesome outdoor products, and this LED light + power station is no exception. Use it to light up your vehicle or campsite, all while charging your tech gadgets via USB. They also sell some really handy GoPro-style suction cups and magnetic mounts that allow super convenient, 100% hands-free illumination. ($50-150)
Made from weather resistant silicone and woven fiberglass, the Campfire Defender prevents sparks and embers from leaving the fire while protecting your fire and fire-pit from inclement weather. It also controls the burn rate of the wood in the campfire, prolonging the life of the coals for up to 8 hours. ($140-250)
There were several awesome sprinter van outfitters at Overland Expo, but the one that really stood out was Adventure Wagon. Their Adwag Modular System is a standardized interior kit that comes with insulation, fans, power outlets, and tons of L-Track for easy plug-n-play seating, storage, and bed configurations. Buy a fully outfitted van, have them outfit the one you already own, or rent one to try before you buy.
Trails Offroad is an online directory of over 2,000 offroad trails around the US. Each trail has its own page, complete with a detailed description, helpful stats, photos, and an awesome map. There's also an option to download GPX files, which is especially cool. (Free)
Attach this ultralight self-recovery anchor to trees, rocks, or bury it in the ground to winch yourself out of a variety of sticky situations. These guys have a Kickstarter campaign going on that ends June 11th, so if you're looking to get in early and beef-up your recovery kit, definitely check them out. ($160)
Nomad America rents all-terrain 4X4 expedition vehicles to people traveling in Costa Rica. Their rigs are ideal for local roads (i.e., Jeep Wranglers, Land Rover Defenders, Toyota FJ Cruisers and Tacomas/Hilux, etc.) and come fully-equipped with camping, cooking, and sports gear, giving you an all-inclusive road trip around some of the most wild and scenic parts of Central America. (Starting at $55/day)
Got any experience with any of these products? Have a question about one? Let us know in the comments below.
October 18, 2016
Amazing 4 day backpacking trip starting in Buckskin Gulch near Wire pass in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and ending at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River.
October 12, 2016
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