JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Every once in a while a company will create a brand that inspires a lifestyle. Apple, Nike and Jeep are among the top to accomplish this kind of thing. There's another group of good people out there though, and their love for spending time swinging back and forth between two trees while embracing the "unplugging" of American culture has become more popular than ever!
Eagles Nest Outfitters all started when two bothers wanting to travel across country selling hammocks out of their van, hit the music festival circuit and went to work! What it's evolved into today is a nothing short than a movement. Hammocking is more popular than ever as people from all walks of life find an escape from their day to day life long enough to take a moment to breathe, and I'm all for it!
ENO has captured my heart. I love the products, I love the folks I've met from their staff the past few years and I love the lifestyle the brand represents. If you want a fresh, new way to camp or simply a way to escape the stress of a busy work day for a few moments check out Everything ENO has to offer at: https://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com/
If you're a fan of ENO like I am, you know there's always something fun to add to your collect of ENO. If you're new to hammocking and the ENO brand...now is the time to embrace your new, fun, RELAXED life!
What drives a person to be so passionate about a vehicle? To think about it when we aren't driving it, to drift off into daydreaming about the next adventure 5 minutes into a Monday morning? What drives that passion? We spend it's value in extra parts, we build our identity around, we even name it as it becomes less a mode of transportation and more a beloved member of our family. What is it? What is it about that boxy, low gas milaged, slow moving beast that brings so many of us together to laugh and share life with? That is a question with a different answer for just about everyone.
For some, it's a vehicle that can handle the terrain of their lifestyle. Living on a snowy mountaintop in the winter time for example. There are few vehicles that compare with the "straight from the factory" off-road capability and ability to drive through the elements like a Jeep. Others choose Jeep because they love their extreme hobbies and Jeep is synonymous with extreme adventuring. Hauling kayaks, surfboards, camping and outdoor gear is a breeze with the four door model and with the ability to build out your Jeep to climb, crawl and tackle any terrain makes Jeep a perfect fit.
For most of us, it's something way less practical though. Owning a Jeep somehow becomes a reflection. A reflection of what freedom, adventure and exploration looks like to us. It's a reflection of our lifestyle. It's a reflection of community as we all get together to share life. Owning a Jeep is a reflection of who we surround ourselves with and the things we do while hanging out with them, and for the most part everyone I've met are good people.
Most importantly though...Jeep reflects and inspires people to unplug from their crazy lives and plug into nature. It doesn't matter if you're a crawler, overlander, camper or person that just want to get away long enough to take in a beautiful sunset, getting off the grid and spending time in nature will absolutely teach you more about living peaceful, happier and with more fulfillment than any college course or time spent working overtime to pay for more things you don't need ever can.
So, what's the answer then? What drives that kind of passion?? All I can say is, it's a Jeep thing...you wouldn't understand.
Look...of course I didn't mean to bend my tie rod, but hey...sometimes you're going to ruin junk out there! That's why it's important to either have some trail experience or be with some folks that have some trail experience out there. There's nothing like a couple of old school, over 50 year combined off-roaders when it comes to bootlegging a fix on the fly!
The lessons learned here are...
1. Always have some tools and recovery gear when hitting the trails, even if it's going to be an easy day.
2. Learn from the trail vets! These guys have seen and done it all, and off-roading 20 years ago had a lot less conveniences. Chances are...they'll get you home.
AND 3. Always respect the old guys. That generation has been through a lot of life to make ours easier. Always give them the love and respect they deserve.
I have been trying full cargo racks on my Jeep for years with the same result. Over and over I end up removing them and beginning the search again. It's like it's some kind of evil weird cycle that I can't escape from! Until now...
GOBI USA is a company committed to bringing the Off Road industry a cargo rack like no other. Design, the best materials used, and functionality are all at the core of each rack. From the moment I saw my first GOBI rack, I knew they were a step above the pack. So, when it came to finding the perfect rack for the CoolGuyStuff.tv Expedition JK, the search was short and sweet. 100% Made in the USA and built to order, we went with the Jeep JK 45 Slantback Stealth and let me tell you...this thing is AWESOME!
Right away you know you're dealing with a company that cares about their product and their customer by the way the package arrives. There has only been one other company that has ever protected their product this well that I've dealt with. It was very impressive.
The second thing you'll notice is how well the powder coating is! This is a huge thing for me. I can't stand when company spends the time to design, build, market, sell and eventually ship their product with no regard for the PROTECTIVE coating finishing off the product. No worries here folks, GOBI clearly has a standard above the norm when it comes to powder coating, because this finish on our rack was as good as any I've ever seen.
When it came to the install, nothing shows a better design than how intuitive it is for the person putting it together. Don't worry though, the instructions are easy to read and simple to understand. Now, we had a couple things to work out with our install, our mirror movers and the snorkel specifically, but I think it actually took me longer to unwrap the rack than it did to install it. Everything lined up perfectly and the hardware used to assemble is actually a nice quality. There have been plenty of times I've felt like the hardware used with product is garbage, but again...GOBI commits to nothing but quality, so even the nuts and bolts leave an impression. The quick release mechanisms work perfectly and the optional rear ladders are not only rated for 250 pounds, they look very rugged. Take a look at the specs straight from GOBI...
-Fully welded construction prevents rattling
-Pressure tested to eliminate open welds and rusting
-Fully welded, traversable, expanded metal deck for easy loading and securing of loads 300lbs. safe driving load limit, 800 lbs. static load capacity. (Static load capacity typically for roof top tents and occupants)
-Gray epoxy powder undercoat rust inhibitor
-Black powder textured top coat for excellent protection against UV rays and road grime
-Black smooth powder coated aluminum wind deflector comes standard with all attachment hardware. Significantly reduces wind drag posing negligible change to gas mileage while eliminating in cab wind noise and turbulence
-Steel laser cut and formed support brackets for superior support, durability and stamina under the heaviest loads, on and off road
-2 welded in 1-1/8” cross bars for all your accessory needs. Compatible with Yakima and Thule accessories. Removable and position able cross bars also available
-Built in front light bar supports up to 4 off road lights, available in STEALTH or RANGER models. The Stealth model is designed for smaller 2” x 6” lights and mounts closer to roof rack basket’s upper tubing surface for a flat level structure front to rear starting directly behind front light bar. Cargo basket is 2” in depth (Great for canoes, boats, bikes, skies, roof top tents and large cargo boxes.). The Ranger model provides the option for larger off road lights from 5” up to 9” in diameter. The Ranger light bar mounts approximately 1-1/2” taller than the roof rack basket (Great for canoes, boats, bikes, skies, roof top tents and large cargo carriers.)
-Rear light tabs support up to 2 off road lights. (1 per tab.)
-Comes with pre-drilled rubber plugged holes in Light bar and roof rack both passenger and driver’s sides for a professional clean finish light wire installation
-Available Rear Ladder either Passenger or Driver or both for Roof rack access. 250lbs. capacity. Specially designed ladder will tilt back with roof rack.
-Available Sun roof insert provides additional storage space with a 150 lbs. capacity
-Hard top can be removed without tilting or removing roof rack by sliding hard top out towards the rear of the vehicle without ladder present.
-Hi-lift jack and Axe/Shovel attachments with locking knobs available. Designed so that the Axe/Shovel and Hi-Lift jack rest below the roof racks highest surface level while hugging closely to the roof rack reducing the potential of off road obstacle entanglements such as branches
-Gobi roof racks and accessories have been Awarded Prestigious US Utility and Design patents with many pending applications.
-No Drilling required! Uses existing body and or frame mounting points
-Easy to follow step by step installation instructions.
-All stainless steel and grade 8 hardware used.
-Roof racks and accessories fully padded and boxed ready for domestic and international shipping
-Proudly Made in the USA
-Full 1 year limited warranty
There are a lot of racks out there and maybe you have a different preference. That's ok too. BUT...If you're looking for a cargo rack that is Made in the USA, designed, built and finished off better than any rack I've ever seen give GOBI USA a try! The Jeep JK 45 Slantback Stealth goes on easy, fits well, doesn't make a lot of noise, and is rated for weights high enough to use a rooftop tent on.
GOBI USA is plenty of models and choices for many different vehicles. Check out the full GOBI line at: www.gobiracks.com and let your next adventure begin!
This weekend we had our monthly Jeep meet in Long Beach California. Like always, we had a blast and when I got home...that's when it hit me. Stay with me now...this is brilliant!
On my way to the meet there was a Clean white JKU in front of me heading the same direction I was heading. The first thing I thought...he must be heading to the meet. I caught him at the light and asked. Yup...a friend told him about it, so he thought he'd check it out.
As we pulled up we were greeted by some friends from the Jeep meet. After a quick introduction of Derrick (the new guy) to the Jeep fam, immediately everyone welcomed him and started sharing some Good ol' Jeep stuff.
They checked out his Jeep, he checked out theirs, fun times. Next thing you know we are all hanging out, talking. Laughing, sharing stories, snapping pics, just a bunch of Jeepers, different colors, different cultures, different economical statuses, all coming together through the commonality of loving the Jeep Life.
Later that night I couldn't help thinking...if we make the Jeep Wrangler the mandatory vehicle of all government officials, maybe...JUST MAYBE...we can stop all the B.S. and "Make America Great Again". (eh...ehhh...see what I did there?? hehehe) I love living the Jeep Life.
Bartact is know best for two things, the first...quality that stands out from the rest in the Off-Road industry. The Second is flying that Made in the USA flag that we all should be looking for. Well, now is your chance to give Bartact a try. For just under $25 bucks you can customize your belts with a pair of universal seatbelt covers.
Ok, honestly I thought, ok...they look cool, but what do they even do?? Well, I gave them a shot and guess what...they actually do make the seatbelt more comfortable to wear. What I really love about them though is the PALS webbing for MOLLE gear. It allows me to carry a knive right there in arms reach in case of an emergency. I love it!
Bartact's universal seatbelt covers are made of the same 1/4" padded, UV resistant, waterproof fabric as our seat covers, so you're able to match your Bartact seat covers and gear bags. Give your rig a little upgrade with the $25 buck, Made in the USA, Bartact Universal Seatbelt Covers.
Order them up and check out the rest of the Bartact product line at: www.Bartact.com
Today I spent some time with our newest team member Adam Dichter. Adam is an Endurance Motocross racer, well that and a whole lot more. Endurance Racing is so hardcore. These guy and gals will ride all over the world, across all kinds of terrain for hundreds of miles at a time. I don't know if you've ever riding a motocross bike before, but for me...10 miles and I can barely walk!
As the long day of shooting Adam doing his thing wrapped two things were certain. The first we signed Adam to the Venture The Wild Team. He's a man that represents the value system we love here...on and off the trail. Look for Adam to be representing Venture The Wild through all of his off-road activities as well as our many charity campaigns.
The second, the off-road family is big...real big! Although I may spend my time Overlanding America in my Jeep, there are those of you that love to rock crawl, or spend time on dirt bikes and quads. There's fishing and hiking, kayaking and rock climbing. All kinds of outdoor, off the grid, "off-road" activities out there and although some may not fall under the traditional definition of off-roading...they all stand for the same things.
Yup, it's a big off-road family out there and I love being a part of it.
Bertucci Watches is a brand a came across a few years back. Lightweight cases, clean easy to read dials and their patented lug set up was something that seemed to have a practicality to it like nothing I've seen in a watch case before.
Fast forwarding to today, I have a couple Bertucci watches now and love them. Their durable construction along with the accurate reliable movements will assure a life of no issues. Their fit and comfortability on the wrist makes it almost impossible to want to wear something other than a Bertucci when heading out for an active day.
The High-VIZ Super Luminous is watch that any outdoorsman will love. Staying true to Bertucci's brand, the tactical look and feel protects a Swiss movement and the patent lug system makes changing out straps a breeze. The High-VIZ's titanium case keeps the weight off so regardless what you're doing you can expect a comfortable fit all day. The super luminous dial looks great day or night, but trust me...when that thing lights up a dark you'll be able to see the time from anywhere in the room.
The High-VIZ is another hit from Bertucci. It's durability hangs with the best of them, the functionality is something you can rely on, and the design looks great both casual and tackling your next adventure. With a price point of just over $250 bucks, you can bet that the High-VIZ delivers.
• Durable U.S. patented matte finish solid titanium case
• Titanium screw down case back
• Hardened scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal w/ anti-glare coating
• Swiss made all-metal quartz movement
• Titanium screw down crown is ergonomically offset at 4 o'clock
• Swiss super luminous glowing dial (night)
• Optic yellow high visibility dial (day)
• Integrated unbreakable titanium band retention lug bars
• 100 M water resistance
• Equipped with durability certified Active Comfort™ high performance bands
• One size fits all
• 5 year battery life
• LBI - Low Battery Indicator feature will cause the second hand to skip, indicating it's time to change the battery
3 year warranty
Check out the High-VIZ and Bertucci Watches full catalog at www.bertucciwatches.com
Half doors are more popular that ever and even though the choices seem limitless, there are a few brands that half doors that stand out above the rest.
This year while at Forrest Fest I fell in love at first site. Yup, SAVVY Off-Road all aluminum half doors are the best looking trail door I've ever seen. The lines flow with the lines of the Jeep, the aluminum construction is durable enough to handle the the beating from whatever the trail kicks up at them, and the handles are probably the best I've seen on an aftermarket half door.
I first picked the doors up I tried vinyl wrapping thinking it would be a cool way to customize them. Well...that was a bad idea, the vinyl didn't even hold up from the install! Looks like owder coat it is. (My disclaimer) This may not be the way everybody wants to powder coat them, but I assembled the door without the handles then had them coated assembled. (Kind of a cheaters way of making sure everything stays tight).
While the doors were out being powder coated, I ordered up the Bestop uppers from www.Quadratec.com (they always have the best customer service) and when everything was back in my hands, it was time to get this project done! While installing the front uppers, I did have to cut the upper door stem frame so it would fit. It hits the handle of the door. It was easy enough to do though, a hacksaw and 5 minutes and you're done. Once on the fit great. I mean, sure the doors don't seal in the jam and they rattle at the handle latch, but for a trail door...they're great!
I live in Southern California I will probably run these doors 80% of the time, but if you live in a place where weather is a factor you're probably not going to want to switch to these full time. They will set you back a pretty penny at just under $1150 bucks for a set of four, (not including uppers) but these doors are all aluminum and will last for ever.
If you're looking to pick up the best looking set of trail doors out there, give these SAVVY doors a look at www.SAVVYoffroad.com