We are very fortunate to be partnering with a superb host of companies, all of whom share our passion for travel. Currently, we’re utilising an array of product for White Rhino (our Toyota Hilux) including all the pre-requisite gubbins – parts, components and equipment – handy on a Cape-to-Cape expedition we’re calling The Mega Transect from Northern Norway to South Africa via the Faroes and Iceland!
Thanks to like-minded and passionate people investing in and enabling us to stay on the road, pay it forward, and foremost, create the visual content that we live—as much as love—to produce, we’ve earned ourselves a healthy following tied into a life of adventure. To all those that have gone the extra mile in keeping us on the road, we wouldn’t be able to continue our overseas endeavours without such backing. A heartfelt thank you to everyone on board with Four Wheeled Nomad. (And previously, Two Wheeled Nomad.)
BIG love to all of you!
“Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, independently owned brand from Portland, Oregon, that’s on a mission to create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outside adventure. Founded in 2003, it launched a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of the Newport adventure sandal and has donated more than $17 million to non-profit organizations and causes around the world to promote responsible outdoor recreation, and land and water conservation. KEEN strives to show the world through its products and its actions that a business for good can actually be good for business. By giving back, reducing impact, and activating communities and individuals to protect the places where we work and play, KEEN puts its values in motion and takes action to leave the world a better place.”
Impeccable timing, Keen comes on board at a time that sees us in temperatures as low as -12C (10F), raging wind and rain, and snow that would bury your torso. It is November after all and Arctic winter is coming to Iceland! For someone whose feet err on the “nesh” (greatly susceptible to the cold), and for Jason’s heavy footedness – an innate ability to wear out anything wrapped around his feet faster than should be humanly possible – we are incredibly grateful to be insulated down to -32C(-25F) alongside well-equipped underfoot, a buttress against the unforgiving elements.
“At BFGoodrich we’re not the type to stand back and hold our breath as we watch what you can do with our tires. We are right there at the heart of the action – gearing up for our turn. Our brand is built for driving enthusiasts, by driving enthusiasts, which is why it is our promise to always offer the following: We stand shoulder to shoulder with our customers at a multitude of events all over the world. From trade shows to small grassroots efforts — if you know a race or community that we need to be a part of, let us know.
On- and off-road, we provide unmatched capability through tires designed for performance in difficult and extreme conditions. From the world’s most grueling track races to the planet’s toughest terrain, our products are torture-tested to make sure you’re ready for any driving situation. Whether for performance or appearance, every design is crafted with a purpose.”
Our needs around tyres suitable for the Nordics – including the windswept Faroes and the highlands of Iceland in autumn through December – as well as the African playground, were pretty straightforward. A set of rubber that can strike a balance between most terrains with a tread pattern more suited to regular off-road usage. Also ones able to deal with hilly and uneven trails.
Unbelievably, we’ve been supported with a set of BF Goodrich K02s, which according to countless tried-and-tested reviews, boast excellent handling and cornering characteristics, decent on- and off-road performance including being able to hold their own in snow, longevity and quiet acoustics. Part way through our expedition now, we can attest as BF Goodrich converts, the K02s are doing all that and some. Thank you for giving White Rhino happy feet wherever we decide to negotiate him through!
“Easier internet all over Europe! Tested and used by us in over 30 Countries. Motorhome WiFi is owned and run by Sophie and Adam, together they have travelled more than 40,000 miles and visited over 30 countries in their motorhome. Our iBoost System is our best selling WiFi booster that allows you to boost and share a remote WiFi connection with multiple devices. If a WiFi connection is not available, an Internet connection can be achieved via the mobile 3G and 4G networks. We’ve made getting connected even easier with our 4G Packs. They come with everything you need to a make a tidy, temporary or permanent installation.”
In this digital age when it’s as easy to chew through data like you’re Homer Simpson chowing down a box of donuts, what, do I ask, is better than not just enabling one’s WiFi connection, but enhancing it in virtually all corners of Europe and beyond? Thanks to Motorhome WiFi, we’ve transitioned into tech savvy nomads. No longer a battle of the bandwidth, it’s pretty fly for a Wi-Fi. #girlgonewireless #IbelieveWiCanFly
“RSI (Rock Solid Industries) was founded in 2007 by Michael Voss (Mech. Eng.) with a vision to create, and engineer products for both the Leisure and Commercial sectors. Our passion for the outdoors and working environments has enabled us to produce award-winning hardtop canopies, toolboxes and specialized solutions. We utilize World Class Metal forming technology and employ highly skilled artisans. Our product lines consist of the RSI SMARTCANOPY®, RSI SMARTBOX® & Specialized Canopy Solutions. Our passion for manufacturing canopy solutions for a wide range of markets keeps us at the cutting edge of this exciting industry. We make solutions for people who love to adventure and for workers who need added functionality and efficiency in their industries.”
RSi Smartcanopy is a company that permitted us to seriously up our game from the get go. Especially in terms of ramping up the gear we needed as much as wanted while on the road for months on end. Or, perhaps it will be years at a time if the last trip is any indication. One of the biggest restrictions endured on our motorcycles in the Americas was the freedom to carry all the cameras and lenses in Jason’s possession Alas, he didn’t and compromised. Not to mention the lack of means to adequately secure the equipment once you reach a trailhead. Such a challenge in our two-wheeled life is applicable no more. RSi Smartcanopy has transformed the Hilux to a thing of pragmatic beauty. Boasting endless supplies of storage inside a secure space but foremost, it comes complete with a cleverly equipped kitchenette in one of the gull wings. Baie dankie vir alles RSi Smartcanopy and Tuff-Trek for the terrific install that went without a hitch.
“iKamper’s products are the creation of its founder, Soon Park, also CEO, a professional guitar player, self-taught engineer, business owner, and serial entrepreneur, who enjoys bringing his creations to life. The Skycamp shook the rooftop tent industry, becoming the most successful tent project ever on Kickstarter, raising $2.37 million USD. Its innovative design, comfortably sleeping 3-4 people and allowing set up in less than a minute, led to its success: within 6 months of producing the first unit, Skycamps were shipped to 46 countries and sold at dealers in 14 territories. The most satisfying feeling is seeing happy iKamper customers around the world, traveling and sharing pictures of their adventures.”
iKamper and two of its distributors (CAMPWERK and iKamper UK) both profoundly share values that are on a par to ours. Like us, iKamper believes that the best times are spent exploring, unearthing new places in foreign lands with those you love most. To have such an innovative product in tow – a robust, spacious and comfortable sleeping arrangement with a set-up time of a mere minute – is akin to boundless joy. As is the awning for a ground dwelling and practical living space below. We’ve no doubt that the ensemble through Africa will be a godsend. Here’s our interview on iKamper’s website about why we switched from two wheels to four!
“In 2001, Electrolux divests its interests in the leisure market to EQT, a private equity firm. Dometic has to stand on its own feet. Which it does by staying true to its roots and relentlessly developing smart, often award-winning, solutions. As the new century progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that ever more people across the world want to live mobile. For some, like professional truck drivers, it’s business. For the rest, it’s leisure. But they all share essential needs – like cooking, taking care of personal hygiene and maintaining a pleasant temperature. This simple truth provides the foundation for a new concept that captures the Dometic offer: Mobile living made easy.”
It’s one thing to keep it beautifully simple astride two motorcycles for 80,000 miles through 21 countries over nearly five years with nothing but a double-walled water bottle to keep our liquids hot or cold for a day, but when you migrate to a 4WD, you enter a brand new world of self-sufficiency. Your means multiply ten fold, and all at the push of a button. Gratifyingly, we have been bestowed with a total lifestyle change on the road thanks to Dometic. Namely through the ability to refrigerate our food in a portable CFX50 and keep it charged with a PLB 40 handheld Lithium battery. Read our feature story on Dometic’s brand ambassador page.
Incredibly, to further enhance our self-reliance status, Dometic has also supplied us with wall power. Whoa! Including a battery charger and sinewave inverter which means we can stay somewhere remote for days on end without as much as paying a thought to the resupply. I still have to pinch myself that we’re able to plug 240V appliances into mains electricity. Our sincere thanks extend to RV Installations for hooking up White Rhino with the install of a comprehensive electrical wiring system. And all under the cover of a Dometic awning to take refuge from the scorching African sun and monsoon rains ahead of us. What, I ask you, could be more civilised?
“Transporter Energy is the UK and European division of the US company Dragonfly Energy. Dragonfly Energy is a technology company that researches and develops the world’s most efficient lithium-ion batteries and energy storage products. As the sole distributer of these lithium-ion batteries in the UK and Europe, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience with these products, as well as with the leisure industry. We currently have two outlets in the UK, the main headquarters based at AMC Motorhomes in the south and North Oaktree Motorhomes in the midlands.”
In other words, because of Transporter Energy‘s tremendous support, we have the power to keep not just all smartphones and small USB devices continuously charged, but our laptops and drone batteries as well. I’m overwhelmed by the power ensemble we have at our disposal. It really does facilitate a self-sustaining, unassisted journey to unfold every step of an independent way. Dankie. Search “Four Wheeled Nomad” and read our interview on Transporter Energy’s News page.
“Formed in early 2014, RidgeMonkey® is a think tank of like-minded anglers, striving to bring to market a range of thoughtful products that make a difference. In a short time the company has grown from a single idea to a multichannel retailer, selling a top quality and fully encompassing range of terminal tackle, mainlines, powerpacks, gadgets, gizmos and everything in between allowing the everyday angler to take their fishing to the very next level, and more importantly at a competitive price.”
Anglers we’re not but like-minded, we are! Gratefully, RidgeMonkey have hooked us in with a plethora of gadgets and gizmos. Comprising a foodie’s dream cook system, quality storage cases to land some serious organisation through our bits and bobs, super soft apparel and some stay-put polarized sunglasses – our life on the road has just reached an unprecedented level of sofishtication with a boatload of fully-featured solutions. Our overlander’s arsenal has just been schooled, thank you! Without scaling back or being koi, giving you guys our Boaty McBoatface best smile.
“At Powertraveller, we are on a mission to enable our customers to enjoy nature on their own terms with the help of lightweight, portable power sources. Technology helps us get the most out of the time we spend outdoors: It keeps us connected with our loved ones and fellow adventurers, lets us capture unforgettable moments and charges critical devices in the field. Our team is committed to delivering products that let you focus on exploring the beauty in front of you. Create life balance and extend your retreats into the great outdoors. Take Powertraveller products with you and re-discover your connection with nature.”
As people that are permanently out in the field, we rely almost daily in staying connected to the outside world. More than ever, we’re part of the digital cohort, just like most people, so to have the innovative, reliable and on-the-fly means of keeping everything on while we’re off-grid is invaluable as much as it’s overlanding bliss. Thank you, PowerTraveller.
“Osprey was created in California, in 1974, by a single sewing machine, with a head full of ideas and a desire to design and develop innovative, high-quality backpacks. Today’s Osprey products continue in the same pioneering spirit, and are used on everything from the highest mountain peaks to the most remote islands and everywhere in between.”
“My personal philosophy is that I appreciate life if I am surrounded by things that I have created myself. I thus understand my surroundings better and feel a stronger connection to my environment. It was a love for developing products and making things for myself and my friends, which made me end up in this business.” Mike Pfotenhauer, Founder and chief designer
My goodness, how many times have we endured a footslog with an ill-fitting or sized pack prone to getting sodden when yet we’ve always demanded a Gucci tent, sleeping bag and mattress? Too many, it’s as though we’ve regressed through the years. Not any more. Thanks to Osprey Europe, we have the solution to carry a full load, including Jason’s camera and drone ensemble, to take us without fuss up to an epic summit, overnight on a moody mountaintop or go through-hiking for days or months on end. For us, this is spine-tinglingly priceless.
“True passion is essential to making great shoes. From drawing the first sketches to presenting our finished shoes in ECCO stores around the world, we apply the utmost attention to detail and quality. Unique to our industry, we make leather at our own tanneries and produce shoes at our own factories. Our global family of employees, representing 60 nationalities across the globe, is the driving force behind our products. Design, development, production, and retail – we take responsibility all the way.”
Waterproof, comfortable and ergonomic footwear with high performance tread and longevity built-in as standard, is asking a awful lot from something we wrap our feet in all day long. That said, we’re priviledged to join ECCO OUTDOOR and not only put their footwear through its paces from Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland but all the way down the African continent, to boot! Happy feet? You bet.
“No matter how you define your real life, a Leatherman equips and prepares you for the everyday adventure or the unexpected challenge. Select one of the profiles to see which Leatherman is right for you.”
As location independent photographers and adventurers, drivers of a Toyota Hilux currently traversing Northern Norway to South Africa, our needs for the multi-tool are ten-fold. Thanks to Leatherman, we’re in seventh heaven with limitless, innovative little ways and means at our fingertip’s disposal to maintain the status quo, fix and repair by the roadside.
“Hard Korr® Lighting are pioneers in the LED lighting and portable solar power industry. We design, manufacture and supply a range of products that are unrivalled in quality, durability and value for money. When we first started the company in 2008, we set ourselves a simple but ambitious goal: to manufacture products that were equal to or better than the incumbents, without charging the extraordinarily high prices they had been getting away with for years. We’re now selling to over 900 stores across the globe, and our list of retailers is growing daily. Our success to date means we have spawned our fair share of imitators, but we are supremely confident that we are at the forefront of technology, continually refining and adding to our range.”
There’s a finite limit to how useful all this power is without any means of charging the batteries that fuels everything up. Particularly when making camp in one glorious spot for a few days, or weeks. That’s where Hard Korr Lighting (Australia) has graciously stepped in; providing us with solar panelling and ample lighting for that matter. Utterly indebted to this company for their precious backing and welcoming us to Team Hard Korr, it’s a real privilege to be on board with these folks.
“Designer and Manufacturer of Outdoor clothing and equipment, including tents, bivi bags, rucksacks, sleeping bags, gloves, headwear, socks and gaiters. Owner of the brands Terra Nova, Extremities, and Wild Country Tents. Four successive Guinness World Records for the Lightest Tent (for the Laserlite, Laser Competition, Laser Photon, and now the Laser Ultra 1.”
Impressive awards aside, light, super strong and compact tent properties are precisely the reasons we’ve teamed up with Terra Nova Equipment. Fortunate, as well. As we cover some seriously epic stomping ground in the Nordic countries, carrying a full camera, tripod and drone ensemble, space and weight on our backs are at a premium. Now we have a shelter that won’t kill us in bulk and weight en route, life when you’re trudging up those steep trails goes beyond manageable, we get to be mindful too.
“At Gearmate Limited we aim to make life easier for our customers. We believe that key to this is innovation, problem solving, technology and most importantly bright people. The Gearmate design team have developed a range of products that offer our customers a solution to their problems. UK owned and managed, based in Warwickshire, England, Gearmate is part of a group of privately owned companies that have been supplying the automotive sector for over 20 years.”
Next up: we are pretty darn blessed to have a bespoke foam-cut drawer system precisely housing all the valuables/breakables (with a Fort Knox level of security) in the double cab. Beneath the canopy, another robust drawer system can be found atop of a splendid slide out that’s the epitome of practical. The whole ensemble is superb quality, British designed and manufactured. Moreover, it’s custom-built to cater to every cameraman’s want and their assistant’s need on the road. Africa-ready, it is child’s play to operate but Fort Knox to break into. It’s the Gearmate solution that will manage the stress levels well when the vehicle’s not nearby, and for that, we’re deeply indebted.
“IRONMAN 4×4 UK importers, West Coast Off Road Centre specialise in the preparation of 4×4 vehicles for expedition and adventure travel.”
Without an Ironman Snorkel on our Toyota Hilux, we’d be up the creek without a paddle. Namely, screwed during the deeper water crossings, fjords and every other watery endeavour endangering the engine between Iceland and Cape Town. Just how many of those we’re likely to encounter is arguable but one thing’s for sure, when we do, we’re going to be beyond grateful for West Coast Off Road‘s investment. It’s all about maintaining clean, cool, dry air, is it not? Thank you to Africa and back. #nicepipe
“ICON Vehicle Dynamics is a premiere performance suspension manufacturer specializing in aftermarket suspension components for trucks, SUV’s and off road suspension development. The company’s business is customer-driven, technology-influenced, engineering-oriented and focuses on world-class manufacturing processes and techniques. Led by head engineer and SCORE champion driver Dylan Evans, ICON Vehicle Dynamics has the unique qualities to design and build the highest quality suspension components and test them in both real world applications as well as race conditions. With a reputation built on quality, performance, and service it’s clear that ICON Vehicle Dynamics is the top choice for performance suspension systems and shock absorbers for the most popular trucks and SUV’s on the market.”
ICON Vehicle Dynamics took a real punt in collaborating with a couple of motorcycle faring Brits. Thanks to ICON, we have beefed up the rig with a set of seriously robust wheels – intent on sky-rocketing the ride quality, comfort and fuel economy while diminishing the noise levels. Heck, they’re even stylish. Two wheels is how we used to roll, but not any more. ICON really has pimped our African ride – beautifully!
“We’re often asked, ‘What does it take to make a Tilley hat?’ It takes more than one pair of hands to usher a legendary Tilley hat into the world. In all, it takes 23 pairs of hands. In all, those 46 hands follow 41 steps, a precise and practised process that begins with cutting cotton and foam canvas and ends with steaming and packing the flawless final product. Guaranteed for life, an iconic Tilley hat fits low and loose, floats, hides a secret pocket and blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. Proudly made in Canada and designed to endure whatever the world can throw at it, a Tilley hat is more, though, than simply a lightweight, practical, durable, reliable, stylish travel essential. It’s history on your head.”
Tilley’s mission: “To help make it easier for travellers to pack in more memories than clothes, allowing each individual to embrace their spirit of adventure.”
Short, sweet and to the point – a great backstory but there’s a mission after our own heart. Thank you Tilley for taking a punt on two Brits with a hat for each of our bonces. For someone that doesn’t like the burning rays and another who absorbs UV like a superhero (that’s redheads for you), we’re sincerely grateful for head protection from the relentless and sometimes ravaging elements. #tilleylife
“We have come a long way from the hazel-nut and bamboo pole of the 30-ies, to the light and breakproof carbon tube of today. Ever since the foundation of the company, more than 80 years ago, 100% of all KOMPERDELL poles have been produced in Austria in order to secure top quality and consistency.
Credibility: We put words into action and do not look for one-time successes. Sustainability in developing our team and an honest appearance on the market give us stability and consistent values, within our company and on changing markets. Personality: One of our core values is to support the strong personality of our athletes and of our employees. We know each other personally! Individuality and team spirit affect day to day decisions in a constantly changing market. Innovation: Always looking for new challenges, we try to understand and anticipate the changing demands of our customers. To compete and succeed on local as well as international markets is one of our assets. Courage: Our athletes’ spirit of adventure inspires us. To create products for critical and bold situations is our constant incentive. Passion: Since 1922 we have dominated the ski pole market more than any other brand. Traditional values and the enthusiasm for new developments are a challenge for us. Customer is King: Without our customers we would be nothing. In daily contact with them we come to understand their needs, so we can continuously improve our products to offer maximum performance.”
In short, everything you’d look for in a pair of poles to alleviate the stresses placed upon your spine and joints – taking care of not just the musculoskeletal needs on the trail but preventing injury in the immediate term, which in turn elongates the walking career, too! Thank you, Komperdell.
“We are a global market leader in the design and manufacture of technical socks for Walking, Hiking, Trekking and Mountaineering as well as Running, Skiing, and Everyday outdoor styles. We are governed by 3 principles… Fit, FusionTech and Guarantee. Fit – don’t tell anyone but this is the secret behind every Bridgedale and ensures they’ll feel like a new sock after every wash. Fusion Tech – the unique blend of yarn and knitting technology that sets Bridgedale apart from our competitors. Guarantee – a badge of confidence that we have designed, developed, tested and manufactured products worthy of our brand name. We have earned the trust of millions of customers and they are now available in over 40 countries around the world. Whether for walking the Appalachian Trail or climbing Mount Fuji, Bridgedale have become the most trusted and comfortable sock brand on the market.”
When your Bridgedales are working as hard as your boots to protect and care for your feet in the backcountry, you can’t really ask for any more than that from a pair of socks. #happyfeet
“After suffering through numerous equipment failures on their expeditions around the world, Front Runner decided to take their shared passion for vehicle based adventure travel and dream up new, smart gear and build it stronger than “the elephants at the watering hole 1 klick over.” And just like that, before the moon gave way to the sun, we were born. With the gruelling African bush as a testing ground, we at Front Runner focused on a tough love approach to developing products. With both feet facing the future and little sentimentally for mediocre ideas of the past – common approaches to off-road vehicle product design were quickly jettisoned in favor of innovation, new materials, and superior manufacturing practices.
Today our products have a well deserved reputation for quality, intelligent design, and durability. Our roof racks, water tanks, tents, awnings, drawer systems and camping accessories are enjoyed, used and abused around the world…That’s our origin story.”
With my bottom parked in one Front Runner‘s well engineered camping chairs (you have to see it to believe it), after washing from the water tank installed in our vehicle housing the Hi Lift Jack and Spade Shovel inside, plus two sets of MaxTrax near the roof rack, I am in awe of the complete must-have kit bestowed on us from Front Runner.
“From humble beginnings in the heart of Derby back in 1997, Direct4x4 has grown to become one of the largest 4×4/SUV accessory retailers in Europe. Renowned for our thousands of premium quality luxury product lines and excellent customer service, we here at Direct4x4 stock over 58,000 square feet of imported accessories and custom auto styling upgrades for 4x4s, SUVs, MPVs, pickup trucks, vans, minivans and off-road vehicles. We are also proud suppliers of OEM style accessories…These products are tested to reach the exacting and well-renowned standards of the manufacturers themselves, assuring you the same high quality but without the high manufacturer price. If you’re looking to add style and practicality to your pride and joy, Direct4x4 would be a very sensible choice. Get in touch and we’ll go that extra mile to find the right accessories for your vehicle and lifestyle.”
Well, the extra mile was certainly seen for us when Direct 4×4 completed our ensemble out with the final piece of the jigsaw – a shower cubicle! Namely, an expedition fold-out shower privacy tent. Perfick for getting changed, rinsing off the salt water, or scrubbing off the day’s hard-earned sweat and sun cream while maintaining the dignity wherever we are on the road. Couldn’t be happier, thank you. #happyasaclam #cleanasawhistle
“We are specialist suppliers of Winches. Our range of winches is extensive, as are our high quality tow ropes, spares and services, winching accessories and replacement motors. Our TDS Goldfish range of electric winches are waterproof. Goodwinch also supply the incredibly strong and lightweight Dyneema® Bowrope, a 12 Strand Synthetic Fibre rope to replace the usual wire winch rope. One of our primary strengths lies in the fact that the Company was founded and is run by off-road enthusiasts. This enables us to provide advice and information based on first hand experience from specialists who are dedicated to remaining at the forefront of the driver training and off-road equipment market. Over the years we have continually refined our systems to the point where they enjoy International recognition as some of the very best winch systems available. The design, function and performance have been proved time and again in the widest possible range of environments and applications.”
What I love most about the guys at Goodwinch is the fact that they’re as crazy about winches as much as they are towards rock-crawling, off road racing and anything else you can (and can’t) imagine doing in a cage on wheels. Their love, commitment and energy injected into developing winches and rope is indicative by the time dedicated to testing them in the field. We’re talking years of mud-caked experience and hands on involvement. Best of all, we were given fantastic service and advised: “We hope you never have to use the winch.” Thanks to Goodwinch, it’s there if we do!
“Xtreme Sales, based in Christchurch, specialises in modifying pick-ups to a standard required by the toughest of commercial uses, fitting products that transform them from a highly capable working vehicles to unbeatable all-round, reliable trucks. Pick-up sales are extremely healthy as more and more utility companies and commercial users turn to the 4×4 with traditional off-road abilities.
A modified 4×4 pick-up truck fits the requirements of companies who require a workhorse that can cope with constant off-road abuse, fewer breakdowns and get from A to B through the toughest of terrains. Xtreme Sales is a young business, but has built up a strong client base and is securing new relationships with commercial customers and can offer the commercial operator a boutique service, talking through the specific requirements. The demise of the expensive and often unreliable Land Rover Defender in commercial operators’ future plans and the costs of vehicles such as the Unimog, mean a modded pick-up truck is an excellent choice at a fraction of the cost but offering excellent reliability and tough off-roading capability while providing a more refined on-road drive.”
A genuine company out to genuinely supply only the parts and components we actually need on our 4W jaunt through Africa. Forget the flashy bells and whistles, we opted to source a Black Rhino bumper to finish White Rhino’s front exterior. It looks the business as much as does the job. Undeniably, we couldn’t fault the owner of Xtreme Sales 4X4 – Will knows his stuff, is hugely forthcoming about anything 4WD related and doesn’t half make a good brew. Thanks for all your help, advice and sustained support, it’s sincerely appreciated.
“The 120 mile White Rim Trail in Utah’s Canyon lands inspired the creation of Road Shower. On the White Rim trail, which is a vehicle supported mountain bike ride, we would ride into camp, dusty, dirty, and sweaty. We would fill up a solar shower, the plastic bag kind, and try to find a convenient place to hang it. This is not easy in the desert with few trees. Then, since it was already getting late, we would take a cold shower, since there was not enough time to heat the water. The year before we tried tying the solar showers to the top of our cars, but you can imagine, they didn’t last long up there, and we lost one, and one got punctured. Even when you have it tied up somewhere, the pressure isn’t very good, and the nozzle is hard to work with soapy hands. Also filling them up by yourself is not easy. So in 2007, I set out to make a better solar shower that heats up while you drive. I came up with a rack mounted pressurized solar shower. You mount it on your car rack. It is as sturdy as mounting a bike rack.”
There’s nothing not to love about the Road Shower 4. Thanks to Road Shower and Boondock Trailers (the UK distributor who is impassioned by all things outdoors), we basically get seven gallons of pressurised water wherever we go. The thing heats up as we drive, courtesy of the sun, ready to supply instant hot water when we want it. As someone with a lot of red hair, I’m in heaven. And if we just want a big body of cold water, the camp hose is perfect for washing down dusty gear, the dirty dishes, extra drinking water or the mud off your boots. Practically anything that needs a good hose down. Aqua-cadabra!
“In 1971, a fortuitous mix of unemployed engineers, a leaky foam gardening pad, and the dream of a better way to sleep under the stars came together to change how we experience the outdoors forever. Today, Therm-a-Rest has become a legendary provider of all things comfortable for your outdoor adventures. The goal is to provide you with the finest solutions to outdoor comfort, so you can stay fresh and make the most of every moment outdoors.”
No matter how strenuous, challenging or rotten your day has been whether in or out of the saddle, what’s the one thing everybody needs to keep going? A fantastic night’s kip. Get your eight hours and you’re fresh, ready and raring to go again–batteries recharged and better able to face the day ahead. Thank you Therm-a-Rest for facilitating “sleeping with the best” with your restorative NeoAir XTherm MAX mattresses and the insulating Oberon sleeping bags. We’re beyond thrilled with the breath-free battery-operated pump to boot.
“There isn’t a single one of us who is against the “Tread Lightly” philosophy, and many of us pack out our own trash, but how many of us pick up trash when we see it? Or, how often do we end up with some nasty burrito or sandwich wrapper in the vehicle and end up smelling it for the rest of the trip? Trash should be kept outside where we can’t smell it, it can’t drip on interior parts, and there should be more than enough room in a trash bag for what you bring and what ever you might find and want to pick up. The problem is, hanging a X-gallon Hefty bag off the back of your vehicle doesn’t work too well, one bump and its gone; and the old-style canvas bags that many of us are fond of flop around back there- damaging paint, and sometimes dropping more trash than they hold. Enter the Trasharoo. With high-quality wide buckles, denier nylon, a heavy-duty attachment to your existing external spare tire, and positive-closing cover, you can haul away all the trash you accumulate in a weekend and maybe even make the trails a little cleaner as you go, without having to turn the inside of your rig into a disposal site. With the owner of CTP being a Tread Lightly trainer he understands the ethics of the outdoor world we must live by. If we don’t start respecting our land we’ll end up losing it. The product is a perfect fit.”
The Trasharoo is one nifty addition to the Africa ensemble. There’s countless uses for the Trasharoo bag. Apart from the rubbish, it’s the perfect place to throw any damp gear including the wetsuits, muddy footwear, a bundle of firewood or charcoal, lightweight recovery gear, sports equipment or just about anything that smells (probably not your dog). It’s ideal for 4WDs, RVs, Toyhaulers and 5th wheel travel trailers. This thing just works.
“Create the most delicious meals, using clean ingredients, to be enjoyed wherever your adventures take you. Nowadays, when it comes to food, the words “quick” and “healthy” aren’t often used together. You can have one, but don’t expect to have the other—until now. We aim to change how people eat on-the-go. Chef Jennifer’s creations are thoughtfully crafted to provide a meal that not only tastes great but is truly good for you. Whether you’ve hiked all day for that summit view, rose with an alpine start to earn those backcountry turns, or are simply looking for an easy-to-make option at home, all you need is boiling water and in minutes you’ll have a delicious meal. We strive to offer meals to suit all diets, which is why all of our products are gluten-free, low in sodium, and made with no preservatives. We also offer several vegan and vegetarian options.”
Advert featured in Overland Journal (Autumn 2018)
To our minds, investing in your health long-term with food on the road is as crucial as opting to use decent gas in the tanks of our bikes or the best oil for the motorcycle that you can afford. You are what you eat, and sometimes, it’s a challenge to achieve that through foreign lands, especially in the United States where the budget-led options tend to be pumped full of added sugar and salt, artificial colours and E-numbers, sulphites and an unappealing plethora of other unrecognizable nasties–akin to the components of a chemistry set. Other times, such as the months we spend in meat-heavy cultures such as the unmissable one found in Argentina, getting hold of fresh greens is nigh on impossible. Practically every cut of the cow, yes, but not too many whole foods to achieve a healthy balance of nutrition. Further, it’s a myth if you think one can survive on pot noodles and cans of tuna for years on end. It’s thanks to Good To-Go that after four years on our bikes, we engage in a partnership where our basic need for great sustenance will be met. Providing us with nourishing options, vegetarian and vegan meals, leaving us on the inside as much as the outside, with much and more to be thankful.
“For more than a century, Yokohama has been a world leader in the development of outstanding tire designs and technology, giving drivers better control on the road. Since its establishment in 1917, we have devoted ourselves to advancing the leading edge of the industry. We were the first Japanese tire manufacturer to be granted ISO9001 certification in recognition of a quality-assurance model-company in design, development, manufacture installation, and related services. Driven by the needs of people, Yokohama continues to respond with environmentally-compatible solutions engineered to outperform, whatever the performance need.”
A set of Yokohama UK Geolander A/T GO15s broke us into the Cape-to-Cape expedition with ease and reliability, taking us thousands of miles around the west coast of Scotland and the outer Hebrides, through France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the entire length of Norway.
Established in July 2014, Weego is a brand of Paris Corporation that’s penetrating the “portable power industry with unique products that offer something for everyone. Weego is a personification of who we are as a company. Our aims and values center on providing high-quality and affordable power to your entire family. From moms to mechanics, from ATVs to boats, from cell phones to tablets – we have a charge for everyone and everything. Weego where you go, when you need us, wherever you need us. Our lab-tested products are built with quality at the forefront – Weego to great lengths to create a trustworthy brand on which you and your family can rely. We’re constantly working to make sure you have the power you need, all the time – here, there, everywhere.”
After being caught a handful of times with either a low-voltage battery and, or faulty stator – once halting a serious five-day expedition deep in Death Valley, we are thrilled to be partnering with Weego. Gratefully, we’re field testing their Weego 22 that’s rated to jump up to 5-litre gas engines, has Smarty Clamps (that have been designed with smart technology to identify when you have a great connection, any reverse polarity, and some). Further, the tips are tapered so you can get at the motorcycle’s terminals by the simplest means possible. It’s also IP65 rated for water, dust and dirt resistance. Not to mention its other core function of charging up the digital camera batteries, head torch batteries, Sena intercoms, iPad and iPhones, NiteRider Lumina OLED 1100 Boost lights, to name a few. Practically every electronic USB device we have. If that doesn’t keep us rolling, nothing will! As total Weego converts–not sure what we’d do without the Weego.
“In 1969, Seattle engineer and lifelong mountaineer Larry Penberthy formed Mountain Safety Research as a one-man crusade dedicated to improving the safety of climbing equipment. The fuel behind Larry’s passionate fire was a simple belief that still drives our team today: THE IDEA THAT BETTER, SAFER, MORE RELIABLE EQUIPMENT IS THE KEY TO UNLOCKING GREATER ADVENTURES.”
“Thanks to one of MSR‘s flagship and most rugged offerings, we’re utilizing the GuideLine Pro 2, which was built to withstand the rigorous demands of professional guides and outfitters. There is no mistaking the build quality of the oversized Easton® Syclone™ MAX poles, Xtreme Shield™ waterproof coated anti-snag fabric and YKK zipper sliders. Undeniably, it’s built for the long haul to go the distance with heavy usage and foremost, in fierce and extreme conditions.
“In 2008, Giant Loop® pioneered the original horseshoe-shaped biomorphic motorcycle saddlebag design with the bolt-on Giant Loop Saddlebag. Since then, our Giant Loop adventure proof packing systems…have made hundreds of trips with riders in the most demanding conditions around the world. We are confident that if you embrace the “go light, go fast, go far” theory of on- and off-road adventure, sport and dual sport motorcycle riding, you will enjoy the tight, low-riding weight distribution of our system. We have been out for extended, self-supported motorcycle camping trips and have yet to find ourselves wanting more space or more stuff. Typically, riders need to stop for fuel and food almost everyday. And once you really pare your motorcycle kit down to the essentials, you realize that truly, “less is more.” Whether you ride a sleek sport bike, a big adventure touring motorcycle, a versatile dual-sport, a commuter supermoto or lightweight dirt bike, you will appreciate the minimal performance impact offered by carrying gear with the Giant Loop high-performance adventure proof motorcycle soft luggage, packing systems and camping gear.”
A fully featured, waterproof and bombproof but compact luggage system for our needs of two-wheeled exploration is exactly where a synergistic relationship has been struck between Giant Loop and us. Aware of their offerings for a long time, and seeing the product reach many far-flung corners around the globe, serviceability and joy to many, it made complete sense to switch to a lightweight yet rugged luggage ensemble where every ounce counts. Unbelievably, the Giant Loop luggage system is around 30 pounds lighter than typical hard luggage. And the horseshoe shape of the predominant cargo carrier positions weight exactly where it’s designed to go–close to the bike’s centre. Pertinent to us going forward, as I plan to downsize from a DR650 to a 250cc dirt-oriented bike and for Jason who wishes to jump astride the DR. Undeniably, those nimble bikes in conjunction with Giant Loop’s equally nimble means of carrying our cargo, will make life infinitely more pleasurable on the loose stuff. Thanks to Giant Loop, it will be biking bliss!
“Driven by the continual feedback and input from dedicated test pilots and passionate customers, KLIM strives to do one thing above all—improve your riding experience without compromise. We invite you to experience the difference riding in truly technical riding gear from KLIM can make. KLIM technical riding gear is the global leader in designing, developing and manufacturing the most advanced motor sports apparel for the snowmobile and motorcycle rider. Utilizing the world’s highest technologies in waterproof, breathable, durable and comfortable materials, KLIM builds gear for the most demanding riders.”
In my response to my thoughts on 5-10 items that I would say SHOULD be the requirements of field testing motorcycle garments: “Thank you! This is a fantastic list. I appreciate the feedback.” Technical Designer, Motorcycle Category KLIM Technical Riding Gear.
In response to my consulting on a future women’s motorcycle suit: “Thank you for your feedback below, always appreciated.” Technical Designer, Motorcycle Category KLIM Technical Riding Gear.
Working closely with the Technical Design team at KLIM, we’re privileged to be part of a progressive project where mindful attention to detail is about to set a new precedent: getting KLIM gear from great to the calibre of flagship. Particularly for the “badass” woman rider!
Road testing specific pieces day in and day out in myriad conditions and environments, facilitates throwing every kind of abuse imaginable at them. Representing a cross-section of both women and male riders, we’re excited to be part of evolving a set of products where technical brilliance meets visual pleasure: the point in the universe at which performance, function and beauty intercept (a concept derived from Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).
“We have been producing top-of-the-range helmets for more than 70 years. Our most important goal is to provide our customers with the best possible helmet: For the next big ride. The next job. The next mission. We want you to be able to concentrate fully on what you are doing. And keep a clear head for what lies ahead of you. We concentrate on this, because this is the only way we can specialize in so many applications – and remain so in the future. With the appropriate accessories and equipment, it goes without saying. Designers are constantly working to make our helmets safer, more comfortable and functional – with new materials, functions and production processes. The necessary testing accuracy is assured by our Development department with climate test rig, wind tunnel, acoustic laboratory and shock absorption test center. Every detail has got to be right before a helmet can become a SCHUBERTH helmet. Today, a team of more than 400 employees in Magdeburg develops and produces helmets for 55 countries.”
- Aug 2016 – Photoshoot commission to showcase the 2017 E1 and C3 Pro helmets at the 2016 EICMA in Milan, the SCHUBERTH website and through other marketing materials.
- Sept 2017 – Photoshoot commission to showcase the 2018 C4, C3 Pro and E1 helmets at the 2017 EICMA in Milan; Jason’s images are featured on the Schuberth website, against the E1 helmet, C3 Pro and the brand new C4 helmet.
It’s not a myth that having more of your face on show to others, particularly from other countries, different cultures and backgrounds is boundlessly better and more sociable than riding into a remote village and greeting folks in a full-face, blackened visor or heavy duty goggles for example. It doesn’t take more than a lick of sense to appreciate that it’s personable when there’s a smiling face in front of a stranger–offering up infinitely more openness. Opting for Schuberth flip-up helmets don’t just facilitate greater friendliness, they also lend themselves extremely well towards those grab-your-camera-now and shoot NOW moments, easy roadside snacking and the convenience of quick face-to-face conversations to name a few. Rider safety isn’t compromised either so for us, they’re a genuine ‘Must have’ component of our riding ensemble. Moreover, the C3 Pro Women is not only one of the quietest helmets on the market, it’s optimized for the smaller head too, which factors in the different dimensions of the female face. A special cushioning in the area of the cheeks offers a higher wear comfort for women and therefore becomes a safety feature to boot.
“We are enthusiasts at Sena! We make products that satisfy the most skeptical riders – ourselves! We ride motorcycles and enjoy doing things in the outdoors, cycling, hiking and more. We develop our products with the understanding of what consumers want and need in a Bluetooth device. This innovation is driven by Sena’s desire to deliver a product the consumer can count on. Innovation means Jog Dial, the most intuitive wheel-like user interface for device control, a glove-friendly user interface with one-face one-button design philosophy, the most reliable and easy-to-use intercom system for seamless communication, and ongoing firmware upgrade system that ensures your device is always up to date.”
We are stoked to be collaborating with Sena USA as two of their adventure seekers. Functionality, adaptability and the most cutting edge of innovative communication technologies comprise the essence behind Sena’s driving force, which they have beautifully combined in the donation of various intercom systems from the 10C to the 10U, a Prism camera and a GoPro Audio Pack to us. You’ve left us speechless, and no, the irony isn’t lost on us..! Having the technology in which to communicate easily and lucidly with one another via weather-proof devices on our helmets, on two motorcycles, on all terrains, in all traffic conditions and in any weather is priceless. Heck, the 10Us even read out our text messages and enquire whether we wish to respond while riding. Talk about staying connected doesn’t really cover it. Thank you from two of the happiest riders out there.
“As much as a love for wrenching, we are driven by a philosophy that the wheel is nothing less than the most important invention of all time whose utility is seen in all things, big and small. Since the evidence of the first wheel in ancient Mesopotamia it has worked its way into the soul of humanity. With soulcraft we preserve the harmony between man-and-machine, and this awareness inspires the quality and performance that has made Woody’s Wheel Works legendary since 1973.” TG “Woody” Witte – Master Wheelsmith.
Quite simply, the craftsmen at Woody’s Wheel Works understand what makes wheels work on a profoundly flawless level. I can vouch having been treated to a factory-tour that each wheel–whether undergoing restoration or being custom built from scratch–is given astounding attention to detail. Herculean strength and longevity in each wheel come as standard, and because absolute trueness is achieved on top, precise handling and minimal wear follow suit. There’s zero tolerance of “hop” and “wobble” in the rim where the wheel jumps up and down, or left and right respectively. Having been blessed with a set of super-laced wheels, Woody has left us well and truly on the straight and narrow. Technical brilliance meets aesthetic pleasure: the point at which optimal performance and beauty intercept. I’d even go as far as saying the finished article is made complete by a je ne sais quoi, something from the soul. Something you can’t quite name but you know is sacred.
“Founded in 1946, the company started with the production of molded rubber products. Heidenau GmbH & Co. KG was founded [in 1993] with a focus on the production of two-wheeler, kart and special-purpose tires which has continued through today. Our success is based in the continuous improvement of our production process and products. With our customer’s satisfaction as a primary concern, we keep an eye on the last motorbike developments for new applications, while keeping in mind the needs of our vintage motorbike enthusiasts. Starting in 1993 with 35 tire sizes, we now offer a range of 550 tire designs for most applications. Our flexible production processes allow us to meet very specific needs, work out individual solutions, and manufacture even small lots needed.”
If there’s one thing that you can’t avoid wearing out, no matter how much you strive to carefully use, look after and elongate, it’s tyres. It’s what separates a great ride from just a good ride. As people that err significantly more towards the dirt than the highways, it’s with complete gratitude that we are collaborating with Heidenau Germany. Humbled as much as honoured, thank you for keeping our trip rolling, the wheels round and capable of going for it on all terrains known to Mother Nature and man. As far as longevity, steering, stability, grip and tread are concerned, on and off road, there’s no brand in our experience that comes close to Heidenau. In fact, their dual sport offering may just be the best mileage tyre ever. My first tyre on the trip, a front K60 Scout lasted me 31,000 miles, and I’d argue there was at least another grand to be wrung out of it. Yep: we’ll be Heidenau converts forever more.
“Travel; being outdoors; exploring new cultures; discovering epic places–that’s what makes us tick. Travelling gives us a buzz that nothing else can equal…Every clever idea we’ve ever come up with is down to our experiences. Sometimes it’s the experiences we imagine ourselves having–those escapist thoughts that lead us to consider the clothing we’d wear if we were trekking through the rainforest, sailing rugged coastlines or summiting volcanoes. On the other it’s about the experiences we’ve already had. Those moments where we’ve thought, ‘This is it; this is where I want to be.’”
Craghoppers UK have just about summed up our driving force behind why we ride motorcycles; being connected to the outdoors and engaged in nature’s finest offerings. Supplying us with an impressively tailored ensemble from Craghoppers and in particular the NosiLife range–key pieces from which possess tech-savvy fabrics and come with endless supplies of ruggedness as standard, are foremost “Jason-proof”–will keep us going for quite some time. We’re so grateful to these guys and gals in Manchester!
“Overland Empire isn’t just a camping brand. It’s not all solo hikes and pretty scenery. Overland Empire is an adventure brand. It’s a movement. It’s about style, getting dirty, building off road trucks and motorcycles, cooking great food over a fire, being outside, having fun and feeling the dirt under your feet and the sky over your head. We’re adventurers, bottom line. The difference is that we approach each adventure with a style that’s our own.”
Cotton soft with a peach finish really does give Overland Empire’s apparel that gorgeous feel against the skin. It’s beyond wonderful to replenish our expired clothing with a fresh new bundle, and we’d absolutely agree that the cut and finish focus on style.
“BLOC Systems Ltd…fuelled a revolution in sports and fashion eyewear across the world and over the proceeding years, we blew apart the notion that perfection can only be achieved with excessive price. Our ability to both forecast and react quickly to changes in sport and street fashion alike play a crucial part in our growth and development as a company. Our desire for perfection is limitless, as we continue to explore the boundaries of new production materials and eye protection. In an increasingly competitive world, the dream of offering the very best is now a reality.”
BLOC Performance Optics UK generously recognised that folks such as us riding almost permanently in direct sunlight will reap benefit from the highest eye protection. They’ve aptly combined style, comfort and performance to our faces and delighted us with two pairs of BLOC polarised sunglasses. Fantastic, thank you!
“Established for over 30 years, RoadRunners Despatch Ltd is an independent same-day courier company based in the East-Midlands. With couriers in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, & Loughborough, we have the availability to offer unparalleled levels of service for all our clients throughout the East-Midlands…We offer a round the clock service, 24hrs a day, 363 days a year. Using a computerised routing system, we can provide immediate and accurate quotations to/from any postcode in the UK.”
Absolutely indebted to the director of RoadRunners Despatch for safely storing the limited possessions we have kept to our names–namely the non-pannier friendly items unable to come with us on the bikes. Much obliged to you, Clive!
“The Solo Stove is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove that incorporates a secondary combustion for a more efficient and cleaner burn. The bottom vents allow air to enter and flow up the bottom of the grate to feed the primary combustion, a top down smolder. In addition, air entering in from the bottom vents heats up within the inner wall and rises up and out the top firebox vents causing a secondary combustion at the top of the stove. The Solo Stove doesn’t just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice! This technique makes for a cleaner burn which means less smoke and also allows the stove to burn more efficiently which means it requires less fuel than regular wood stoves.”
As much as we relished using a multigas stove that could burn white gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel, white gas is expensive and the others are not exactly clean fuels under which to cook food for human consumption. Even if kerosene and gasoline are cheap and convenient when filling up the bikes. Taking a measured step in the direction of simplicity and health, we’ve switched to a stove that is no longer reliant on cooking with the same stuff our motorcycles run on. The Solo Stove is capable of burning any natural matter lying around that will burn–and moreover, it comes with an alcohol burner in the event that there’s no tinder/wood to burn. Sounds pretty failsafe to us, effective as it is efficient, leaving a minimal footprint to boot.
“We took a year out and rode the bikes overland through Europe, the Middle East and down to the Indian Sub Continent, then we flew the bikes from Katmandu to Bangkok and toured around South East Asia before flying the bikes to New Zealand and then briefly to Australia before having to return home prematurely due to family illness.If you click on The Route we Travelled you can read the blog…We learned a few lessons from our travels – firstly we took too much stuff with us (most people make this mistake) and we spent to much time in Europe and not enough in India. Now we are running a small business importing Jesse Luggage into Europe, when we were travelling we used Touratech panniers. Hopefully we can use our knowledge and experience to provide you with accurate and helpful information and service. Cliff and Jenney started life as Two Wheel Trekkers and used this for our travel web pages. In early 2009 we started our online and trade show business as Two Wheel Trekkers going on to open The Adventure Bike Shop in February of 2012. Our online business continues to grow steadily and the new shop attracts many customers and fellow travellers. Coffee is nearly always ready to serve and we would love to meet you one day.”
Despite a spirit that’s hard to dampen when the weather turns or the terrain gets taxing, I am a traveller first. On occasion, this means jumping out of the saddle and trekking for a mile or three to see incredible sandstone formations, clambering up and down boulders at Joshua Tree National Park and sliding through slot canyons in Arizona. Or simply walking around dusty streets in Bolivia or exploring the landscapes on foot in Peru. Neither a road riding boot or motocross footwear will work for my years-long trip across the Americas. Thanks to partnering with The Adventure Bike Shop, our bootwear affords us maximum protection, yet we’re still able to walk a few miles here and there, accommodating the feet when it’s sub-zero to searing hot, not to mention keeping them bone-dry through water crossings. Opting for the Sidi Adventure boots (we’re on the third pair, they’re so good), a heavily armoured adventure solution that includes a hinged ankle for walking short distances. There’s no doubt, these are not your Nana’s slippers. They are Fort Knoxs for the feet and that level of protection won’t go unnoticed should you require extreme armour for everything below the knees. And who wants to risk their lower legs, ever? I would unreservedly recommend giving them a try. Thank you from Argentina to Alaska for giving us Happy Feet.
“Originally hailing from Rhodesia, Mornee is a six-year United States Marine Corps veteran who drives the ideas, innovation and direction of the company. As Chief Visionary Officer, he holds himself responsible for driving every team member to perform to the best of their capabilities. Consistently thinking outside the box, his knack for creative solutions to complex business obstacles is truly unmatched. If Lume Cube was a well-oiled vehicle, consider him “The Driver”.” Mornee Sherry, Chief Visionary Officer.
What’s the one thing a happy photographer who lives for chasing horizons, wants? Incredible light, of course. Day or night, indoors or outside. Grateful to be utilizing the latest product from Lume Cube, these beacons of waterproof light don’t just facilitate preserving the big moments forever. They aid Jason in knocking the boundaries of creativity out of the park while being in the environments he loves, and noticing something in an alternatively beautiful way. Encapsulating unseen realities and telling a story about an experience, a place or a subject. Undeniably, the cube’s key to unlocking more of Jason’s potential is staggering.
“A motorcyclist rides to work at an aeronautical machine shop. It’s frigid, wet and blustery. The faster he goes, the colder he feels. Machine shop owner and engineer is inspired; Gerbing Thermovelocity Protection™ is born. For over 40 years we have been industry leaders in developing heating technology to overcome cold weather conditions. Whether you’re jumping out of an airplane at 30,000 feet, ripping a first descent at sixty miles-per-hour, running wide open on your bike in the dead of winter, or just spending an extended amount of time in the elements, Gerbing delivers the highest performance and most distinctive designs in the outerwear market. We are born from aeronautics. Fueled by a passion for the outdoors. And engineered to withstand the fridged conditions.”
Personally, being cold in the saddle is distracting as it is disagreeable, sometimes agonising on the extremities. Gone are the old school days of having no option but to suffer and suck it up…thank goodness! Having ridden in -10 degrees Celsius, we’re very aware as to how cold and miserable life can get in the saddle without heated clothing. Plugging the gear straight into the bike, snug warmth and permanent comfort is ours whenever the wind chill picks up or temperatures plummet. For me, heated clothing has revolutionised cold weather riding; the only way to facilitate permanent pleasure whatever the weather. Thank you Gerbing: our every fibre, finger and limb cherishes your superb support.
“NiteRider began by accident and by necessity. Tom Carroll, a fanatical athlete and outdoors man from Southern California had a problem. The best surf around was better at night, after the crowds had gone home. Since there was nothing even remotely usable to light up the waves, Tom had to design a solution from scratch. The goal was to define everything that a light for “extreme sports” had to be – waterproof, very bright, lightweight and hands free. What he found is that it not only worked for surfing, but for the long bike trails that accessed those perfect, hidden breaks. Tom and his wife Veronica built NiteRider at their kitchen table, working hard all day and then coming home to design, assemble and ship their lights by night. To this day, they still run NiteRider – designing and building the lights with the same meticulous attention to detail to ensure their customers have the best product available. Tom still answers the phone, listens to his customers needs and helps them with service. They live the NiteRider lifestyle and know how important top quality and performance is…To them, NiteRider is not just a business, it is personal. We understand that ownership of a NiteRider light is an investment, and we support that investment with a 25 year tradition of providing each and every customer with world class USA based customer support. We take pride in our technology and design and it is the people that makes NiteRider what it is today!”
This great team in San Diego, California was somewhat intrigued by our initial contact in reaching out for a bicycle product for our motorcycles; particularly when NiteRider supply motorcycle-specific lights. Our rationale was simple. Without doubt, the stock lights on Jason’s F800GS motorcycle are infinitely below par and thus, his ability to see at night, is shockingly poor. Let alone to forewarn road users to his presence in the daytime—riding or stopping on the roadside to service body or bikes. Having personally come a cropper because of waning light levels in Latin America—particularly Bolivia, Peru, Honduras and Mexico—with their jaw-on-the-floor offering of: uncovered man holes; unmarked topes (speed bumps); pot holes and gaping holes; roaming wildlife; melted pavement if not broken sections of road; alongside the construction of new and repair of old roads—has given rise to a serious need to address this ongoing safety issue. Cue NiteRider’s Lumina OLED 1100 Boost. Undeniably, “thank you: is a weak term, NiteRider: you just may save my life or Jason’s one day.
“The mission of RMSTATOR is to offer high quality affordable electronic parts and components to the powersports industry. We have developed the knowledge to create innovative products and are committed to offering the best customer service. We know that we are the last resource for most of our customers, and act as such. We care for them and follow them through the entire buying process.”
What happened in Death Valley is a paver short of a patio, so it bears being described. We’re story animals after all, where individual stories sometimes piece together human existence into a unified whole. Exactly two years ago, we were forced to leave the desert of extremes due to a failing stator on Jason’s motorcycle. Wending our way towards but never making it to the Racetrack; from head to whole, Jason was gutted then so geared up to take her on again. All set and raring to go, second time lucky. “Oh, you’re kidding me! No. You’ve got to be joking,” spluttering in sheer disbelief on the roadside. En route to the Racetrack. Not for the first time, I felt a reassuring shiver of dislike for the F800GS. Or, just Jason’s. “That’s the second stator that’s gone in two years.” Well at least you’re not bitter, I mused, refraining to verbalise the nearest off-the-shelf remark. Alas, the realisation kicked in as the bike flatly refused to start. The irony was almost comical, save for the exquisite timing. Thanks to RMSTATOR and their intervention of stators and regulators for both bikes, we cherish that its components are engineered to nigh on perfection, and all things being equal, we won’t be incurring another darn stator issue anytime soon. Phew, that’s one less thing!
“Hydro Flask was founded in 2009, when we launched the first all-insulated bottle line-up into the market. From modest beginnings, we exploded with hydration-loving fans everywhere to hit 1 million in sales by 2011. We then turned our attention to the beer market and launched the first-ever insulated growler. And we haven’t stopped since. We continually strive to bring new, innovative solutions to our customers. From insulated caps, to the lightest weight bottles in the insulated category, our dedication to our products and culture remains our number one focus. Six short years later, we now offer over 100 products in four different categories: hydration, coffee, beer and food…Through it all, however, one thing remains clear: we are committed to bringing you unexpected refreshment, wherever your adventures take you. Join us on our mission to save the world from lukewarm.”
“I really appreciate you guys being so awesome about sending us updates and photos. I’d love to make it more official and have you guys as an official part of our ambassador team.” PR & Communications Manager, Hydro Flask.
Purchasing plastic bottle after plastic bottle is not exactly kind on the environment and will only get you so far when they eventually perish and leak all your spare water, cooking oil and milk. As a typical Brit, if I don’t get my cup of tea after a hard day’s ride, I reach a state of spitting feathers! (To be very thirsty, usually for a nice cuppa, a metaphor for the mouth being so dry it feels like it’s full of feathers or to be very angry – foaming at the mouth.) Thank you Hydro Flask for preventing such a raw emotional state from arising again. And for giving us the keys on Instagram to spearhead a giveaway extravaganza: here, here, here, here, here, here and here!
“Peter Dornau co-founded the Company in 1973 around a single product, Star brite® Auto Polish. This polish revolutionized the industry through its advertising programs such as the now famous Star brite® commercials which included the “Junkyard Test” where an automobile selected from a junk yard was transformed into a vehicle of beauty in minutes utilizing Star brite® Polish. Over time a greatly expanded line of products were developed around the polish to maintain the appearance of vehicles. Despite its early success, in the mid-80’s the Company began shifting its product line focus into the wide open boat care and appearance market. Now, nearly twenty years later, the Star brite® brand is the nationally known standard for boat appearance and care. The Company has also established solid niches in the recreational vehicle, aircraft, home care, aviation, outdoor power equipment powersports and motorcycle markets.”
After 2.5 years, 21 countries over almost 45,000 miles on the road, it takes just a lick of sense to stay selective about what we carry. And often times, it has to be double-duty: less is more and size does matter. Namely space and weight will always be at a premium when living out of two panniers and a roll bag. Thanks to Star Brite making us field pro-staff (a wee article here), we are testing and bettering our gear with nifty products such as the Enzyme Fuel Treatment and Screen Cleaner & Protectant spray with PTEF. Nifty, you say? The spray alone leaves the visor sparkling (inside and out); disintegrates the carnage of bugs left splattered on the helmet and moto (without affecting the paintwork); effortlessly cleans the glass on the laptops, iPad and iPhone to a high shine; eliminates the smudges and smears on our sunglasses and removes the dust and dirt (including to Dawson and back!) from the windshield, headlights and mirrors. What’s more, it acts as a leak finder in the pinhole tyre punctures, doubles up as a lubricant when changing / mounting a new tyre and in the words of Stephen Fry: “Suck my pants and call me Noreen”–smells just like Pina Colada! (Confirmed by all.) Did I say double-duty? I meant myriad multi-purpose, these products are the Leatherman of motorcycle maintenance liquids.
“Overland Journal is a perfect-bound magazine printed on high-quality stock, published five times per year. From a premier-issue length of 96 pages, we have increased to the current 136 pages. Our 30% advertising content cap is well below the national average and ensures ample editorial space for in-depth coverage of equipment and vehicles, as well as full-length feature trip stories that span the globe. Our strict standards for writing and photography, in addition to our striking layout, means that our subscribers receive an expedition and adventure travel magazine that is at once inspiring, informative, and attractive. Our extremely high readership satisfaction level allows us to offer an unconditional guarantee.”
“Great writing, by the way! I’m always very entertained by your prose…It’s a perfect blend of descriptive prose with ample wit to keep it light and fun. You both are a great team…It [X piece] is beautiful and as I would have expected, superbly written…To be honest, all of your pieces are fantastic.” Senior Editor, Overland International.
Overland Journal is a prestigious publication that flies off the shelves internationally like hot cakes. It’s not far fetched to say it’s the Nat Geo equivalent for overlanding. The 2016 fall issue showcases Jason’s stellar artwork in its Latitude section, and I’ve got to say, what a fabulous team of well informed, extensively travelled and talented people that beaver away behind the glossy cover. They are professionalism personified. We’re honoured to have the support of such a fine publication as much as being given the opportunity to contribute.
“Aero Design & Mfg. Co. Inc. was formed in 1983 to develop a completely new type of textile-based gear for motorcyclists. We wanted to invent a lightweight armored garment offering convenience, comfort, and high levels of protection in bad weather and crashes – all combined in a coverall-type suit made for everyday motorcycle use. That garment is still named the Roadcrafter suit. In 1995 we began adding a few related resale items to Aerostich’s mail order catalog. Today the catalog offers several thousand specialized products that help make riding better, safer, more comfortable and easier. Many of the ‘Aerostich Riderwearhouse’ catalog items are unique, or hard to find elsewhere. Every Aerostich manufactured product is subject to a process of continuous incremental refinement. Each is intended to make motorcycling easier, more convenient, more comfortable, safer or better. Selling Aerostich gear factory-direct allows us to provide the best service and prices. Each customer receives expert answers to questions about a product’s fit, function, care and use.”
Predominantly through swopping my beloved Pearl (BMW F650GS), albeit hefty old motorcycle, for a much lighter and nimble set of wheels, Mr Jangles (Suzuki DR650), a very real need arose to fully embrace the concept “less is more”. Having been known to carry excess luggage—struggling off road as a direct consequence—then yes, it’s time to realise size does matter, particularly as I wish to undertake more technical riding through rocky terrain, loose gravel and lashings of sand. Cue the impeccable timing of Aerostich offering up a solution to accommodate: a yearning desire to prove I can travel light, reap the soul-singing joy of actually travelling light and as well, to facilitate keeping me on my toes. Wonders will never cease. I’m excited as much as privileged to be in partnership with this fine set of people.
“Black Dog Cycle Works focuses on ONLY the toughest and most rugged hard parts, accessories and armor, specializing in BMW and KTM adventure bikes, but other bikes as well. We design and manufacture our own parts—but also offer other hand-picked gear we’ve rigorously tested for their worthiness. The emphasis is on protecting your motorcycles for the adventures ahead…With over 15 years of adventure riding and constant product development, Kurt and Martha have learned what works best, what will last, what will protect your bike—and most importantly, what will help get you home. They tirelessly punish their own machines—having broken, bent or destroyed more than their share of parts in their ongoing quest for perfection.”
Fiendishly footsore and unhappy our feet are no more. BDCW has set us on the straight and narrow, or rather, luxuriously enlarged. A myth if you believe size doesn’t matter. Our bike’s OEM equivalents have been discarded and superseded by two very sturdy pairs of pegs doubtless defying all others out there. Incredibly, such a simple product will elongate our day-long comfort when riding off road, and when you can’t find your bottle opener at the end of the day, it’s the footpegs to the rescue, which will perform even that task for your beer without any fuss. A nice touch, thank you!
“Based in West Yorkshire, England and founded by two dedicated and passionate adventure motorcyclists who personally use and endorse all of the products they sell, Adventure-Spec supplies the very best in adventure motorcycling parts, accessories, and clothing.”
Adventure-Spec is another one-stop shop for everything you’ll need on a moto-adventure, no matter how big or small. Having had the privilege to collaborate with Adventure-Spec, their ethos is built on true conviction. Every product is a considered one and continually tested to achieve excellent build quality with function and performance. For Adventure-Spec, the product must speak for itself.
“Fifteen years ago we shipped our first sleeping bags and pads to outdoor stores. In many ways it seems like yesterday, while in others it’s been a long and wild ride…Since we’re gear providers and understand some things are out of your control, our advice is that life is too short to use bad camping gear. Whether you travel light and fast and bivy next to the trail or you pull into a campground with your fully loaded [vehicle], comfort is king. So gear up for it, and eliminate any suffering. Camping gear quality has improved so much that there really is no excuse for sliding off your pad, freezing your butt off or waking up to puddles in your tent. We’ve traveled the globe and searched nearly every continent for fabrics and materials in an effort to make the gear that we think you’ll want to use because it’s what we use and what we’ve put through real life, backcountry testing…Our urge to sleep under the stars and breathe fresh mountain air is what continually drives us and keeps us motivated. In the end, the bluebird summits and nights spent listening to raging creeks or even highway noise have made the journey awesome and, truth be told, we wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Impeccably timed, as we venture into the wildernesses offered up by the northern States, Canada and Alaska, it’s high time we got geared up with the right insulated clothing. Cue cutting edge water repellent down and its wealth of warmth awaiting the user. “Nesh” (susceptible to the cold) on a mild day, I’m excited to wear a Big Agnes jacket and revel in Big Agnes coziness. What’s more, camp in one of their ultra lightweight 2 man tents and relax in a Helinox chair–all of which couldn’t be more “motorcycle pannier friendly” where space and weight is always a premium.
“Founded in 1974 by two outdoor enthusiasts in Manchester, England the brand quickly became one of Britain’s leading outdoor clothing companies. Sprayway has been keeping the British public warm, dry and comfortable in all conditions ever since…Now in its 40th year, the SPRAYWAY® brand continues to use innovative fabrics across a wide range of products and continues to produce garments which utilise cutting edge technology whilst remaining true to our Mancunian roots.”
I am an unashamed loyalist to the Sprayway brand. Having worn my first Sprayway fleece at ten years old–the same garment is still going strong a quarter of a century on–one of my prized pieces for the outdoors. Simply, it’s a company that leads the way in terms of cutting edge design and manufacture of clothing and equipment for the backcountry enthusiast, which performs in a way that it’s supposed to–keeps you warm and dry or cool and ventilated. Superb.
“A vision that began ten years ago in Bozeman, Montana now has roots around the world. We love the outdoors. And the way we figure, the more trees, the more outdoors for us all to enjoy. It’s about as simple as that. We plant a tree for every pair of Oboz sold. The shoes we don’t sell make a difference, too. We donate our unsellable (but still trail-worthy) shoes, partnering with Project Sole and local non-profits to find feet in need. We carbon-offset our shoe shipments—and then some. We also carbon-offset all employee travel, commuting (although almost everybody bikes), and the office utility bill with the help of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Our HQ is powered by clean wind energy. 100% of our office juice comes from Wind Farms in Central Idaho and Washington, through the EPA Green Power Partnership.
Bozeman, Montana. It’s where it all started. It’s what inspired our name. And it’s what motivates us to lace up daily and explore the 18 million acres of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that surround us. A vast and breathtaking landscape of peaks, valleys and rivers just waiting to be explored on two feet. At the heart of everything we do are the folks who make the magic happen. A group of likeminded footwear-industry vets who left our big-brand jobs back in 2007 intent on doing business a better way. So far so good, if you ask us.”
‘True to the trail’ is the Oboz strap line; that’ll do nicely, Oboz. Undeniably, we wouldn’t be without our Mid Drys for staying grounded to the earth and tethered to the trails – feet firmly planted on terra firma – no matter what Mother Nature decides to bestow on us throughout her terrain. It’s hiking bliss.
“In 1984 a small group of climbers from the world’s flattest continent pulled off an audacious ascent of Mount Everest – they put a new route up the north face in lightweight style with no oxygen or sherpa support. Six years later, one of the summiteers, Tim Macartney-Snape decided to return to Everest after he realized neither he nor any other person who had climbed the mountain had truly climbed the entire 8,848 meters, as that would have meant starting from sea level. That is, no one had yet climbed it from “sea to summit”. In the spring of 1990 Tim had a swim in the tepid waters of India’s Bay of Bengal then set off on foot across the Gangetic plain toward the distant Himalayan foothills.Four months later, after climbing alone from Base Camp and without the assistance of oxygen, he set foot once again on the highest point on earth. Tim’s solo ascent of Mt. Everest was named the “Sea to Summit” expedition. Back in Australia, Tim joined forces with climbing friend, sewing enthusiast and design guru Roland Tyson to build a business that could make use of their knowledge of the outdoors to create truly ingenious, well-made but affordable outdoor equipment. They named their company Sea to Summit after Tim’s expedition and the business prospered. Today the Sea to Summit brand continues to provide innovative gear and serves a growing band of outdoor enthusiasts all over the world.”
“I wanted to touch base with you both in regards to our pending 2017 partnership. I’ve had a chance to discuss with the rest of my team and there is no question we absolutely love working with you folks, and we appreciate the superior photo content & editorial that you consistently deliver.” Marketing and Social Media Co-ordinator, Sea to Summit.
Sea to Summit is a company of wilderness-seekers that strives to supply the very best solutions for those of us that live, as much as love, to be outside: seeking durable, lightweight and compact gear. Having hauled far too much weight in our ensemble for three years on road, it’s high time we smartened up our act. Namely relieve the tension from the heaving motorcycles, making a U-turn from the stresses and strains of being over-laden. Gloriously, Sea to Summit has stepped in and enabled just that; electing us Brand Ambassadors, they’ve enabled us to shed a shocking number of pounds, organised a lighter load into an accessible, efficient and convenient one, and foremost eradicated the frustration of digging deep to find that “needle in the haystack” item lurking somewhere at the bottom of the pannier. Life has been made infinitely simpler in and out of the saddle, harmonious even. Setting up and packing away on a day-to-day is no longer an event, it’s just business as usual. As nomadic travellers, we’ll be forever indebted to Sea to Summit for facilitating a happy equilibrium. Thank you!
“We believe in building positive long-term relationships with our suppliers, staff, and customers. Like all relationships, they’re built on trust, honesty, and commitment. The successful beginnings of our company were due in large part to our first suppliers taking a gamble on our vision, and we appreciate their long-term support. Our clients’ support, contributions, and suggestions are what makes Twisted Throttle a continued success. Interacting with our clients remains our greatest single reward from this endeavor. Thanks for the many moments that continue to make this journey a wonderful adventure. We’ve got more people running around here than I can count some days. Throughout it all, we’ve continued to take motorcycling seriously without BEING too serious. There’s still a chicken hat on my desk…” Founder and CEO, Twisted Throttle LLC (a.k.a. Mr. Twisted)
A compelling company, Twisted Throttle is a one-stop shop for everything you’ll actually need, as opposed to what you think you’ll need, for a two-wheel trip. Be that for just a few hours in the saddle to embarking upon a round-the-world wander. Twisted Throttle takes pride in championing its offering with true conviction. The company has gone to extraordinary lengths to design, product test and capture the essence of why it’s such a thrill to be part of the motorcycling scene. If these guys can’t inspire you to get out there, then really, no one will.
Having the honour to be partnered up with Twisted Throttle, their ethos is built on the personal passions of the founder and a talented team in tow. Every product is considered and continually tested to hone a blend of build quality, functionality and performance without compromising style. For Twisted Throttle, the product must speak for itself and with unabashedly, we are Twisted Throttle converts.
“SW-MOTECH is already known for producing well thought out products that fit even better than many OEM parts, but that is not enough. The recent addition of 3D scanning technology is one example of how our company is continually seeking new ways we can improve. As a result we can develop parts with a higher level of precision and efficiency, allowing us to design bike-specific products that are perfectly integrated into the geometry of each individual motorcycle.”
SW Motech’s response to our contributions: “I really love what you are doing. Everytime I see some of your photos I would love to pack my stuff and leave… :o) And another very positive point: You are so active and it is very nice that you keep me up to date.” Marketing, SW-Motech Germany.
We’d agree. Lighter and smaller has increasingly become our preferred way to travel and being on the receiving end of the highest end soft luggage manufacturers is well, superb! We needed something bombproof and we don’t doubt for a second whether the inner dry and outer roll bags from SW-MOTECH Germany are up to the job, particularly in all weathers and terrains. Good work guys and danke schoen!
“Lowepro begins, as do all authentic brands, with a story. It begins with Greg Lowe, in his small garage, in a Colorado town near the Rockies . This breakthrough design innovation helped packs fit close to the back and minimize load shifting – so gear-wearing adventurers can climb, bike, ski and scramble with more ease. Mountaineer, photographer, filmmaker and incessant product innovator, Greg developed the internal-frame backpack and the first lightweight and foam-padded nylon cases to protect camera and cinematography equipment from the hazards of climbing. These ideas and solutions came out of a need to carry valuable gear to new places. Other solutions followed. And today, creating inventive solutions is the hallmark of this brand. We are proud of the Lowepro heritage and we are committed to maintaining our tradition of providing innovative functionality and remarkable protection.”
Privileged as much as honoured to be in partnership with Lowepro, we wish to convey much excitement, particularly Jason, in receiving the perfect solution for his tech ensemble. Seldom products designed to specifically house and quickly access expensive equipment, are 100 per cent weather sealed; protected from uneven road surface impact; built to last; or enjoy zero built-in obsolescence to boot. Lowepro has given us ultimate peace of mind. Thank you, you’ve no idea how easy you’ve just made the on-the-fly life of a passionate motorcycling photographer.
“The story of Helly Hansen started in 1877. After many years at sea, norwegian captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Maren Margarethe began producing oilskin jackets, trousers, sou’westers and tarpaulins, made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil. In the 20th century, Helly Hansen made several breakthroughs in product development to complete the layering principle today known as the 3-Layer System™. The layering story was completed in the 1970s, with the development of LIFA. This wonder-fiber…kept the skin dry and warm by pushing moisture away from the body, making it the ideal baselayer fabric for outdoor and workwear use. In 1980, the Helly Tech technology was launched, using both hydrophilic and microporous technology, which meant the apparel was both waterproof and breathable. This meant that anyone who participated in high-activity outdoor sports could expect their clothing to work with them, not against them. The heritage from Helly Juell Hansen is still our cornerstone. Today our gear is used by world-class sailors, skiers and adventurers who spend their time between human will and nature’s forces, and demand full protection and performance when the conditions are at their worst.”
Well if the fabric quality of Helly Hansen is good enough for world-class sailors, it’s good enough for us regular folks riding motorcycles! Thank you for replenishing our travel wardrobe with some versatile and bespoke garments for the upper and lower portions of our bodies. It will be a joy to finally wear some great travel clothing designed for the long haul.
“No premiere tour company in the sublime business of whale watching springs from just one individual. It takes an entire team united behind something big. Together, at Juneau Whale Watch, we work hard, we laugh a lot, we brainstorm nonstop, and we give the best high-fives in town. All of which, we feel is testament to why we have the highest quality personnel in our employ, enjoy the number ONE ranking on Trip Advisor and must-see whale watching tours in our offering.”
Thrilled to be collaborating with such a fantastic family-run enterprise (comprising Juneau Whale Watch and Juneau Tours), we feel the universe aligned upon meeting these fine entrepreneurs, who from ground zero, have organically grown their offering to become the best in town. You know that “right time, right place” magical thing…that happened! Not only when the humpback whales engaged in the unique phenomenon called “bubble-net feeding,” but that extends to forging fast friends and a solid partnership with this people-impassioned company. Certainly, one that’s in the inspirationeering business of cruise ship passengers, fly-in vacationers on their Alaskan trip of a lifetime, walk-ins looking to be wowed, and well, motorcycle travellers to boot.
“In 1971, Bo Hilleberg, a professional forester, founded his own company, Hilleberg AB. That same year, while on a ski vacation in the Austrian Tyrol, Bo met Renate Neuner…An avid, lifelong outdoorsman, Bo was terminally frustrated with tents that required pitching the inner tent first and then covering it with a loose rain fly that usually displayed the same properties as a kite in the wind. He envisioned a tent that had an outer and inner tent that pitched together, simultaneously – but he didn’t have the necessary sewing skills. With Bo and Renate’s marriage, conjugal and commercial became one: Renate took charge of the sewing while Bo handled design and sales, and with their combined efforts, the company flourished. Today, family and business are still inextricably linked. Bo is Chairman, and is still in charge of design and development; daughter Petra handles all company business outside of Europe; and Bo, Renate, Petra and her brother Rolf make up the governing board of directors – clearly, family synergy continues to beget success.”
The more we travel, the more we find ourselves out in the wilderness and increasingly on terrain that doesn’t always lend itself to staking pegs in the ground. Namely snow, super soft sand or solid rock. Cue the Staika, which Hilleberg have taken the time to design a durable, uber simple and foremost, free standing dome tent that is well, perfectly suited for our adventure. Dome Sweet Dome! Thank you Hilleberg.
“We are the largest aftermarket motorcycle parts, clothing, and accessories store in Alaska (since 1979)! We manufacture the world famous “Sheepskin Buttpad” right here in Alaska, and ship them to every corner of the planet. We carry men’s and women’s casual leather jackets, leather hats, gloves, wallets and belts. Our shop also specializes in leather repairs and cleaning, and we mount and balance motorcycle tires! Alaska Leather is the home of the $399 motorcycle gear package deal, which includes a helmet, jacket, chaps, boots and gloves. Everything we carry is not on the website because we’re just not that organized yet. Please stop by and see us, we are open 7 days a week!”
Having had the stellar good fortune of sampling a butt pad from my great friend Kristina Goodwin in Alaska, I very quickly experienced the moment of no going back–the tipping point for my gluteus maximus. Thanks to Barbara Smart, owner of Alaska Leather, it’s ‘Heiny heaven’ from here on out–beyond comforting when you’re munching miles over 12-hour days in the saddle upon the approach to the top of the planet. No more ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ for my backside, it’s bumtastic all the way. Thank you Barbara Smart.
“Designed in England by a dedicated team of motorcycle obsessed engineers, Kriega motorcycle backpacks, motorcycle bags and motorcycle accessories offer innovation, along with the highest standards of functionality and craftsmanship. Kriega kit is built to perform, with an exceptional 10-year guarantee on all packs…Kriega utilizes only the best materials and manufacturing processes to deliver the best luggage solutions and equipment made solely for motorcyclists. Each Kriega motorcycle backpack, tail pack, tank bag, Enduro hydration kit and accessory is developed to withstand extreme on or off-road use and with the rider’s very particular requirements in mind.”
There’s something idyllically convenient about not having to stop mid-flow while munching the miles on the bike, pull up and route around to grab your bottle of water. It doesn’t always but can interrupt the harmony of a serpentine ride through sweeping bends or simply, having no safe place in which to pull over isn’t always conducive to maintaining one’s comfort level. Kriega has kindly added the Hydro-3 Enduro backback to our riding ensemble, giving us instant access to hydration, where ever and whenever our thirst requires quenching.
“In 1991 TomTom was founded and began a journey that would change the way people drive forever. From the start, TomTom focused on making technology accessible for everyone, beginning with software development for business-to-business mobile applications and personal digital assistants for consumers. In just two years TomTom became the market leader in PDA software with navigation applications such as RoutePlanner and Citymaps…The launch of the first TomTom GO in March 2004 revolutionised the way millions of drivers got from point A to point B. The first ever PND was affordable and accessible to everyone and became the fastest selling consumer technology device ever, reaching one million sales faster than the introduction of the mobile phone. Demand grew rapidly across Europe and North America, since then, over 75 million devices have been sold in 35 countries, guiding drivers over 280 billion kilometers. In the years to follow, TomTom continued to innovate and create new products.”
The icing on the cake has to be when you no longer have to follow your partner blindly like a sheep. Until now, namely, for the last 33,000 miles through 17 countries over 21 months, I’ve not had my own satellite navigation device. Thanks to incredible support with the TomTom Rider 400, the pair of us have been generously given a couple of TomTom RIDER devices. And changed the dynamic of our daily riding experience into the bargain; what a treat it will be to lead Jason from A to B, through the crazy traffic of big cities or better still, wending our way through the wilderness–off the roads less ridden–and ultimately take the onus off Jason in undertaking all the leading for a change. “Come along Jase, follow me–it’s this way!” Thank you very much, TomTom!
“We are HEX Code, the creators and developers of the GS-911 Diagnostic tool for BMW motorcycles! Above all, we are passionate about BMW motorcycles. The first GS-911 was shipped in 2007 and we have not looked back since. Functionality is continuously being added and the best aftermarket diagnostic tool for BMW motorcycles is continuously improving.”
It’s all well and good hoping for a quick fix when your BMW motorcycle takes a turn for the worse and breaks down. Certainly with joyous amounts of riding on all terrains in all conditions; trust us, it’s not a case of if but when. And as much as we don’t mind such interruptions, we’d much rather spend minimal time to get back on the road and rolling forward! Thank you HEX Code South Africa for rescuing us in our hour of need with a GS-911 WiFi Enthusiast. You have awarded us the gift of time by being able to instantly determine the problem with such a priceless diagnostic tool. Dankie!
“Teva was born in the Grand Canyon back in 1984, when a river guide rigged two Velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops and created a shoe that wouldn’t float away. Three decades later, we’ve grown up into an icon of comfort and utilitarian style. How you choose to live is the ultimate form of personal expression, and around here, we want to seize every second—to live light and loud. If you’re up for anything and love the thrill of spontaneity, then we are your people. This adventurous spirit—the one that pioneered the very first pair of Teva sandals—takes form in everything we create.”
Comfort, style and performance all in one pair of footwear. Perfick for slipping into after a long day in clunky motorcycle boots, munching all those miles on the road. Superb and thank you so much, Teva!
“Rab Carrington built his company on two things: A deep understanding of what climbers and mountaineers need, and a commitment to practical gear that works. It’s this down to earth, honest approach that still informs the design and testing process linking us firmly to that modest beginning in 1980’s Sheffield. Those same qualities of innovation, integrity and function have endured, remaining at the heart of the Rab® brand today…Whilst the brand continues to grow, we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to design hard-wearing gear for the mountains. We have built up a community consisting of some of the best climbers, mountaineers and explorers in the world, regularly supporting groundbreaking expeditions and climbs across the globe.”
“Thank you for constantly wanting to check in and make sure that you are in good standing as far as our relationship and partnership goes. Its very clear that you care about the Rab brand and want to help us expand, so really, thanks!…I enjoy your content and the photos you and Jason produce…The product placement in magazines and the face-to-face “influencer” capacity is great…I do want to mention that we are super thankful for everything you guys have done so far, you are the first “ambassador” this company has had (at least in North America).” Marketing, Rab USA.
Holy smokes! As the first non-climbers to be in collaboration with Rab USA, we are enraptured to be on board as non-climbing ambassadors. As one of the USA’s strongest and pre-eminent market leaders in technical, high end apparel, it will be our pleasure to utilize Rab’s adventure-proof gear from head to toe daily and champion the brand. Thank you.
“We share your passion for the outdoors. From climbing the Old Man of Hoy to cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, our staff are brought together by a love for anything and everything outdoors. In our spare time, we are walkers, climbers, cyclists, trail runners, skiers, hikers, swimmers, kayakers – you name it, we do it…”
After 16 months and 23,000 miles of living on the road, your somewhat limited travel wardrobe all but disintegrates! Cotswold Outdoor UK came to our rescue with a fantastic range of adventure-proof apparel, carefully selected to meet all of our needs both beneath the motorcycle suits and on foot. Professional brands such as Arc’teryx and Mountain Equipment will be sure to see us through our journey, and beyond! Thank you to the moon and back.
“Millets can trace its history right back to 1893, when JM Millet opened a drapers and outfitters business in Southampton and Bristol. In 1923 JB Spielman (grandson of the founder), took over the Victoria Street business in Bristol and from this the present business grew.” Their mission statement: Great value outdoor clothing and equipment when it comes to tents, camping equipment, clothing, footwear and accessories.
Millets UK have generously given us their buy-in with some customised adventure-proof clothing, going beyond the extra mile to keep us on the road, for that much longer. Thoroughly grateful for such a tailored ensemble that has exceeded both our needs and hopeful wants. And what a pleasure to be appearing as guest bloggers (check out our posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) on the Millets website..!
“Ultimate Outdoors is the number one destination for everything outdoors. Whether you are experienced in the mountains, or a family heading out on your first camping trip you will find the right gear for you at the best price. The range we stock is second-to-none featuring the biggest names in the outdoors. We have been providing quality outdoor gear for over ten years.”
What’s the one thing all happy travellers on the road need at the end of the day to keep having a ball well into the evening? A pair of head torches of course..! Thank you Ultimate Outdoors UK for being a beacon of light in our darkest hours.
“Blacks – the outdoor experts since 1863. We offer a huge range of premium outdoor gear, from clothing and footwear to camping and hiking equipment. We only work with the most trusted outdoor brands known for their outstanding technical performance.” Their mission is quite simply: Equipping you for life outdoors.
Akin to us, Blacks is all about life outdoors. To be supported by Blacks UK with a bespoke bundle of brilliant traveller-friendly gear is beyond great. Thanks so much, here’s to testing the clothing to the max.
“In 1950, Roger Störling founded the family busines initially specialising in jogging wear. The earliest products were made in the kitchen of an old farmhouse in Kokkola on the west coast of Finland. The company acquired its first welding machines in 1953 and broadened its product range into the area of waterproof rainwear. The flags in the modern-day Rukka logo stand for the letters R,U,K,K,A in the international flag signal alphabet – a homage to the sport of sailing which once constituted the core of Rukka’s business. From the planning stage to the final product, Rukka spares no expense to obtain the best possible results. Every single kind of material is tested several times by both the supplier and Rukka before it is used in the production. The findings from countless testing sessions in cold and hot weather, rain and snow are also taken into account before the product is approved for large scale production.”
“Thank you so much for these amazing awesome pictures! Absolutely breathtaking!…Can we use some of your photos in our marketing? We are impressed. We at Rukka HQ are impressed in everything you have done.” Motorsport, Rukka, Finland.
One of our first supporters to come on board, Rukka is undoubtedly a high-end brand. Their magnanimous offering of two all singing, three season, Cordura and weatherproof Gore-Tex suits has well, gone beyond our wildest dreams. Breathable and permanently waterproof; windproof when you want it to be, ventilated when you don’t; both the Flexius and Flexina are bombproof with a tailored cut, fit and finish. I’m not sure what more you could ask for from a motorcycle jacket and trousers. Rukka completed the ensemble with motorcycle gloves and microbial (won’t offend after days upon days of constant wear!) undergarments on top. Simply stunning build quality, thank you!
“Necessity – the mother of invention. Sealskinz is a creation of necessity, it’s about the need to be first out and last in, the need to defy the outdoors, the need to defy the cold and the wet, the need to perform, the need to protect. If you think about it, in the outdoors the “Achilles heel” is in fact an Achilles; foot, head, ear, finger, or toe and this is where we are vulnerable, this is where we need protection. This necessity created Sealskinz, the first laminated sock, keeping wet out and warmth in, Sealskinz three-layer patented sock broke the mould, hats and gloves followed using the same technology…to enable you to defy the great outdoors.”
Defy the great outdoors we will try! It was Billy Connolly that said something along the lines of ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’ – exactly where we think SealSkinz are coming from and wanted to express our sincere thanks for making this possible with a fine selection of hats, gloves and socks. Toasty and watertight!
“Yes we ride! Enduristan is not just our company, it’s a passion for us. Enduristan can’t be found on any map, but when the daily grind is left behind, and the adventure begins, that’s when you realise that you are there.”
What’s the one thing that proves beyond useful when riding in all weathers? One of them is undeniably a FULLY waterproof tank bag. Enduristan Switzerland have supported us with two heavily discounted Sandstorm tank bags, which we’re thrilled about because neither require tank bag rain covers. Superb!
“Mike Sheehan is the owner of Alt-Berg, and he has been making boots for over 40 years. He was taught by the Shepherd family of Rochdale – and carries forward the heritage that started over 80 years ago, in a small co-operative in Rochdale. Today Alt-Berg make some of the best boots in Europe. Their boots are a testament to skills and knowledge built up over many years.”
“In the early days of Alt-Berg, things were very bleak, and we had some days when we had no money, no orders, and the machines kept breaking down… I didn’t know if we could last another week… But I was taught – by a good man, who had survived the dark days of the 30’s depression – and he would say… ‘when times are bad, just concentrate on making good boots… there’ll always be someone who wants a pair of good boots…’ and that’s what we did, and that’s what we still do…” Mike Sheehan, Alt-Berg Senior Bootmaker
Having worn out our boots from almost two years of everyday usage, the time came to refresh our footwear. Jason opted for the Hogg All Weather dual use motorcycle boots and I went for the Tethera boots, both capable of going the extra mile and keeping us on the road a lot longer. Thank you to the wonderful Alt-Berg team in Yorkshire, that provided us with happy feet for a long time to come.
“Being an industry leader in outdoor apparel and products takes passion, and an understanding of people who love the outdoors as much as we do…We enjoy the outdoors as much as you do, which means we know what you need. We know that being cold and wet is no fun. Blue eyes may be sexy, but blue lips aren’t. And, while a sunny day is excellent, sunburn sucks. That’s why we make high-quality performance products that keep you comfortable and protected, no matter where your excursions take you. The outdoors isn’t all about remote expeditions or climbing the world’s highest mountains. Anyone can enjoy the outdoors. It’s easy. Just open the door and go outside. From the mountain peak to the neighbourhood park, from the glacier to the garden, and from the Tour de France to training wheels, Columbia helps you enjoy your outdoor adventure anywhere you like to play.”
Couldn’t agree more with the fine folks at Columbia Sportswear, who have kindly assisted us with a bespoke bundle of outdoor clothing and some fantastic footwear. We’re grateful for your support to Guatemala and back and can’t tell you how impeccable your timing is on top. Thank you very much.
“I know that the consumer of [today] is extremely knowledgeable and knows exactly what he or she need and expects from our products. What consumers tell me will be incorporated in our future offering – I guarantee you this. I want us to create a product with actual and relevant added value. Thank you for making it all possible. I LOVE MY JOB!” Frank van Wezel (CEO)
With Jason being particularly heavy-footed, he can wear out a pair of boots like nobody’s business. Thanks Hi-Tec for supplying some sturdy boots for us both, keeping us in the comfort of the dry with footwear that’ll also keep us going for quite some time to come!
“Tech Trial UK Ltd has been devised by tech enthusiasts, for tech enthusiasts. Our aim is to make what we believe to be the most exciting new tech on the market accessible to everyone. Tech Trial offers a unique and unparalleled customer experience of trying before you buy!…If, after trying out a new gadget, you decide it isn’t for you, then simply return it at any point during the trial period. If, however, you decide you can’t possibly live without it, then we’ll happily refund the trial cost against the purchase of a new one!”
Sounds like a no brainer to us. Remarkably, the guys at Tech Trial UK in England took a punt, who before our moto-travels had even begun, played their wildcard and donated a GoPro Hero 3+ to us. We sincerely hope they like the aerial and eyeline footage we’ve captured to date using their product…more coming soon! Thank you very much.
“Welcome to Motohaus Powersports voted “Wholesaler of the Year” by Motorcycle News, the UK’s leading consumer motorcycle publication. Partners with outstanding manufacturers around the world we develop and support some of the industry’s top brands for the benefit of you, the enthusiast.”
Having bumped into the MD at Motohaus Powersports at Motorcycle Live 2015 in Birmingham, we soon got chatting and to our surprise, we were offered some support. Days later, a comprehensive puncture repair kit arrived just in time for the second leg of our journey, from Los Angeles up to Alaska. Thank you very much, it’s nice to know we’ve got it covered the next time one of our tyres come a cropper!
“ExOfficio believes that the magic of travel, whether you seek different cultures, epic scenery, or the thrill of the unknown, is a chance to create perspective and vitality by opening your mind to the wonders of the world. Since 1987, we have celebrated the traveler by crafting garments that allow you to experience the world unhindered.”
It gives our derrieres such pleasure to receive two pairs of ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go® underwear that are made from lightweight, wrinkle-free fabric with bug, sun and water protection. The ultimate we’d say in intelligently designed products promoting both comfort and performance; leaving two resultant appreciative backsides, in and out of the saddle!