JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Most that know me, know that I am a huge fan of using Midland 2-way radios for all of my explorations. They are simple, reliable and work great, why wouldn't I use them?? On the top of the Midland 2-way list...the MXT400. This beast offers up 40 watts of power and has a range like no other.
The MXT400 is not just for Jeepers though. Thanks to the crew over at OC Motorsports we rigged up my buddy's Toyota 4Runner with a MXT400 and guess what? He loves it too!
Check out the Midland MXT400 at: https://midlandusa.com/product/mxt400-micromobile-2-way-radio-2/
When venturing the wild safety and communication should be your top priority. There are two types of communications that you need to be prepared for. Long distance communication and short distance communication. We will be discussing long distance communication today and that is where the Garmin inReach comes to the rescue.
How many of you have been out exploring only to have no reception on your phone? Heck I can’t even really get reception in my home. What do you do in an emergency? The Garmin inReach can give you peace of mind that you will always be connected to help and your loved ones no matter where you are in the world. The Garmin inReach uses the Iridium satellite system which guarantees 100% global coverage with no fringe zones or blackout areas unlike other products such as SPOT that uses the Globalstar satellite system and does not guarantee 100% global coverage. The following paragraphs will go a little bit more into detail on why I chose the Garmin inReach over it’s competition for my go to long distance communication tool in my overland rig.
While most satellite communication devices on the market allow only one-way communication the Garmin inReach always for two-way communications. The SPOT allows you to push an SOS button in an emergency but will not let you communicate what your emergency is. In an emergency situation every second counts and being able to let your rescuers know exactly what the problem is will expedite the process. With the SPOT you have an SOS button but you can not send any more information about your problem and you can program a pre-written message incase of a non emergency for example to let your family know you made it to your destination or that your car broke down but there is no further communication once that message is sent. With the Garmin inReach you can create pre-written messages for convenience but you can send texts messages and emails to continue the conversation. The Garmin inReach connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet to allow full use of your keyboard, contacts and to use your device as a giant map. I currently have mine connected to a Samsung Galaxy Tab A which is a perfect size to use as a map and keyboard.
An awesome feature of the Garmin inReach is its ability to plan and track your trip, share your location, and let others ping your device or follow your journey via MapShare. Recently we ran The Arizona Peace Trail which brought us out of the state for a couple days. I created a MapShare so loved ones at home could following along and see how we were doing and if they needed to get a hold of us in an emergency situation they could simple send us a message. When you get back from your adventure you can log into your account and look at all the data from your trip and share your route with others.
Garmin inReach uses the 24/7 monitoring center called GEOS. Once you trigger the SOS you will receive a delivery confirmation (SPOT does not let you know if your SOS has been received) that help is on the way and a maintained 2-way text conversation with the GEOS emergency monitoring center. They track your location and notify the most appropriate emergency response for your situation. The GEOS team will stay in communication with you until the situation is resolved.
Weather has a funny way of changing drastically at any given moment. Even if you researched your weather conditions before you left there is nothing stopping a freak storm to head your way. With the Garmin inReach you can receive weather forecasts for your location with a click of a button.
With all satellite communication devices there are subscriptions so please visit their website https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/ to see which one fits your needs and to read more about all the awesome features.
When traveling off the beaten path you owe it to you loved ones and first responders to have the proper communication tools.
Stay safe and prepared my friends.
Experts are predicting fewer storms during the 2017 hurricane season, which kicks off June 1st. National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the perfect time to plan for an emergency. Ready.gov suggests completing these seven steps to be better prepared for the hurricane season.
You can find more information like this at: https://midlandusa.com/midland-news/
A lot of us love knives! We carry one everywhere and can't seem to get enough of them in our collection. The utility factor is endless, the self defense aspect is a must and if you are someone that loves gear like I do...consider it an accessory that accents your already way to cool looking outfit.
The knife universe starts with something everyone can afford and climbs from there. I like to break them down to a few basic categories. Disposables, The Work Horse, and Collectibles. My favorite of the three with out a doubt is the work horse! There is something special about a knife that is made well enough to beat up day in and day out and stand the test of time. One of the best in the business at creating a "work horse"...Spyderco. Their Made in the USA line is one of my favorites. Shapes, styles, colors, the choice is yours with the Made in the USA line, and I choose the Military Model G10. A cornerstone in Spyderco's Save and Serve line up.
The Military Model 100% meets the requirements of a high-performance. This light-weight folder is designed for hard use. The blade is made from CPM S30V steel. It's known for holding an edge and resisting rust. The 'Millie' has a modified clip-point blade laser cut with a 14 mm Spyderco Round Hole for a quick deployment.
The handle look is a Digital Camouflaged G-10 with the lock's liner nested directly into the scale. Spacers between the scales create a gap that makes things very easy to keep clean and not gunk up. The metal clip looks great and works even greater. Check out these tech specs...
Overall Length: 9.5" (241 mm)
Blade Length: 4" (102 mm)
Steel: CPM S30V
Closed Length: 5.5" (140 mm)
Edge Length: 3.687" (94 mm)
Weight: 4.5 oz (128 g)
Blade Thickness: .145" (3.7 mm)
Clip Position: Right
Tip Carry Position: Tip-Down
Lock Type: LinerLock
Origin: United States
All and all this is probably my new favorite from the Spyderco family. It looks awesome, it's built to last and of course it is Made in the USA!
Check out the full catalog from Spyderco at: https://www.spyderco.com/
Getting stuck in the middle of an unexpected thunderstorm is not fun. Being stuck in some kinda of civil emergency...even less fun!
There's no reason to get jammed up though, Midland USA's E+Ready line is an outstanding, affordable tool that every one should own. Up to date weather forecasts, emergency announcements and the am/fm bands with a built in solar panel to keep that battery charged are only a few of the awesome features though. The E+ Ready line comes with a flash light (with a becon mode), USB port to keep your cell charged call out low frequency whistle.
The solar feature of the E+Ready line is pretty sweet. Keeps the battery nice and full at all times, BUT an added piece of mind comes knowing if all else fails...you can also hand crank a charge, easy - peasey. You never know when things can get ugly out there. It's better to stay prepared with the E+Ready line from Midland.
Check out out the full Midland USA product line at: https://midlandusa.com/
A while back I discovered the MXT line from Midland and haven't looked back since! This is absolutely the best general form of communication for any adventure. CB's make for an awful experience and HAMs are just a bit much for an average guy like me. So, when the opportunity came up to help spread the word...I had to jump on it. I haven't met a person yet that has used and hasn't loved the Midland MXT line and the way the work with everyday handhelds. Now, someone will have the chance to join the family for free! Here are the details...
This month, we're giving away an Adventure Bundle. A T77VP5 Extreme Dual Pack with two T71 radios, accessories and a heavy duty carrying case bundled with an MXT105 MicroMobile®!
To enter this contest, follow the button below to our Instagram page, like the image on Instagram and follow us on Instagram to be entered into the contest! To get two entries in the contest, tag a friend in the comments. Contest ends May 29, 2017.
Every off-roader has their gear bag. You need to be prepared when you're out there or it can get really dangerous, really fast. Although there are many options for gear, I stick with a trusted brand that have stood the test of time. Tested and proven to hold up, high end quality for an affordable price and design to look as great as it works CRKT makes Gear worthy of your gear bag.
Check out what I call the CRKT Overland Series...
The TRENCHER - $99
Everyone need a good trail shovel, the uses for it are endless. The TRENCHER is a great, inexpensive, well weighted and built shovel that you won't regret adding to your gear.
Saw Blade + Beveled Edge for Cutting
Reinforced Steel Tip for Prying
Three-Position Head w/Threaded Locking Collar
Blade Length 7.875" (200.03 mm)
Blade Edge Combination
Blade Steel 1050 Carbon Steel, 40-45 HRC
Blade Finish Coating
Blade Thickness 0.080" (2.03 mm)
Closed Length 20.750" (527.05 mm)
Weight 3 lbs 10.3 oz
Handle Carbon Steel, Polypropylene, Nylon
Style Spade w/Threaded Cylinder Lock + Sheath
Sheath Material Black Polyester Fabric with Polypropylene Insert
Overall Length 27.188" (690.58 mm)
THECHANCEINHELL MACHETE '18 - $79.99
A machete is actually A LOT more practical than you would think...especially if you really like getting out there for some good exploration. The CRKT machete line is built tough and stays sharp! AND...I'm not sayin Walkers really exist or anything...but why not be prepared juuuust in case!
Black Corrosion Resistant Blade Finish
Football Texture Handle Grip
Reinforced Nylon Sheath
Blade Length 18.000" (457.2 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel 65Mn Carbon Steel, HRC 46-50
Blade Finish Black Powder Coat
Blade Thickness 0.106" (2.69 mm)
Weight 1 lb 5.6 oz
Handle Core - Polypropylene; Overmold - Thermoplastic Rubber
Style Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
Sheath Material Fabric - Weaved Polyester, Black; Insert - Polypropylene, Black; Cord - Nylon, Black
Overall Length 23.625" (600.08 mm)
WOODS CHOGAN T-HAWK - $69.99
This tomahawk is a "must have". Not only will it be one of your best friends in an emergency, nothing is worse than trying to get a good camp fire going with thick logs! I think splitting wood for a fire is what I use my T-WOOD for most actually. A replaceable handle and being able to keep a sharp edge makes this tomahawk a no brained for less than 70 bucks!
Hot Forged 1055 Carbon Steel
Tennessee Hickory Handle
Blade Length 4.21" (106.93 mm)
Blade Edge Axe w/Hammer
Blade Steel 1055 Carbon Steel, 50-55 HRC
Blade Finish Hammer
Blade Thickness 0.52" (13.21 mm)
Weight 2 lbs 1.4 oz
Handle Tennessee Hickory
Overall Length 19.13" (485.9 mm)
All New HOMEFRONT - $150
Being able to break this down and clean it up so easily is the biggest separator from the knife pack. When you're out for days at a time in all sorts of terrain and climates or gum in up your daily carry with pocket lent, in about 3 minutes your HOMEFRONT will be as good as new. Great build!
Breakthrough "Field Strip" technology innovation
Field Strip lets you easily disassemble your knife for cleaning without tools
AUS 8 Blade Steel with 6061 Aluminum Handles
Blade Length 3.502" (88.95 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel AUS 8, HRC 57-58
Blade Finish Brushed Steel
Blade Thickness 0.133" (3.38 mm)
Closed Length 4.728" (120.09 mm)
Weight 4.8 oz
Handle 6061 Aluminum
Style Folding Knife w/Locking Liner
Overall Length 8.313" (211.15 mm)
There you have folks. An inexpensive solution to filling your gear bag with quality, much needed gear. Check out these pieces and the rest of the CRKT line up at:
Most Jeep owners use their Jeeps for the things they were built for. That means they take a beating! What if I were to tell you there's a bumper out there that is twice as strong as your steel bumper, BUT only about half the weight? Would you buy it? What if I added that the style is original and sexy as heck?! Then would you buy?? Ok, ok, what if I added that it's priced comparable to bumpers of way lessor quality? Look...if that doesn't get you to buy, well...nothing will!
Check out the MC2X by WILCO OFF-ROAD. This bumper looks amazing and when Wilco combined aluminum and chromoly to manufacture it, it immediately took a place at the front of the line for me. The MC2X quickly became my favorite front bumper out there and obviously found its way to my Jeep.
The MC2X starts at just under $600 bucks and offers a customizable array of options. A set up like the one I have sits right around the $1000 dollar mark, BUT if you ask me...worth every cent!
-Fits 2007 to 2015 Wrangler, Rubicon and Unlimited, 2 and 4-door models
-Engineered for extreme durability and performance, with less weight
-Steel/Aluminum metal composite construction
-Tubular steel front leading bumper with D-shackle mounting points
-Features recessed buckets to mount the factory fog lamps
-Easy bolt-on installation
-Limited Lifetime Warranty
-Made in USA
CONSTRUCTION- CNC laser-cut, precision-formed for an exact fit
FINISH- Bead blasted and powder coated.
HARDWARE- Grade 10.9 carbon alloy steel with a corrosion-resistant black zinc finish
WEIGHT- 57 lbs (Standard bumper without stinger or winch)
SOURCE- Made in USA
WARRANTY- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Check out the full Wilco OffRoad line up at:
USE THE DISCOUNT CODE - Venturewld FOR A NICE LITTLE DISCOUNT!!
When it comes to getting off the grid for a little refuel time there are a few simple things that can be done to make the experience all you dream it is when you're miserable sitting at your desk daydreaming instead of working at the office. Being prepared makes all the difference in enjoying your time away.
Now, let me say we are starting in the beginning here. As you gain experience you'll gain the education needed to take you in any direction you want to go out there. Minimalist will want nothing and the family of 5 will want everything. I think that is part of the magic though..when we unplug from the chaos from an overworked, over informed, over stimulated, over stressed world and settle into something a little more simplistic in nature everyone will win regardless of the degree of "off the grid" you actually get.
First, food and water. The biggest tip here...MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH. Other than that, pack according to where you're going and what you're doing. An overland trip through the desert with a small crew means things sometimes become about need than want. If you're hitting a campground for the weekend with the kids and some friends...the party is on! BBQ, snacks, fresh fruits, all that stuff can be enjoyed as much as you want to pack it. Just be careful not to come home heavier than when you left. No need for that now, right??
Second up...gear! There is nothing worse than bringing the wrong clothes for protection or forgetting to pack up something needed for an emergency an the trail. Do your homework. Look into things like weather and conditions of the place your going before hand so you stay prepared.
Last and and certainly not least...base camp! I just spent the last couple months researching what the VTW BaseCamp needs to actually look like. What amenities do I really want vs really need? What does it have to be capable of doing? What I should comfortably spend on it? It's so easy to get carried away here, emotions are such a big part of how we buy over buying happens all the time. For example, just this week I came so close to purchasing a really nice, really expensive base camp trailer. Fortunately for me the busy season gave me time to come to my senses and get back to what I really wanted from the start. That pause to revisit my list of must haves and wants saved me about 15k.
bottom line is this...whatever your camping looks like, take a little time to make sure you are all dialed in. Wouldn't you rather be spending time enjoying your friends and family instead? Now let's get out there and soak in all the benefits nature has to offer!
I have discovered a whole new world of communication...and I love it! Like a lot of Jeepers and off-road enthusiasts I've used CB radios for years. They were a necessary evil to stay in communication with the crew while on the run together. Also like a lot of Jeepers and off-road enthusiasts, I've always been pretty unhappy with them. I mean, sure, they work and all, there just seems to always be something that isn't going as it should be.
The word on the trail has always been that a 2-way radio couldn't get enough distance to work well enough to use as a full time communicator, so I just avoided trying them altogether. WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS!! Midland USA has an entire stable of 2-way radios and the GMRS radios are the most powerful in the industry!
I took out the MXT400 ($249.99), the MXT115 (149.99) and a handful of X-Talker handhelds (79.99). From the most power of the bunch to the least powerful there was absolutely no issues with any. The battery life of the X-Talkers were amazing, easily lasting the entire day with plenty of juice left over. The ease of use is the best and tossing a handheld to a friend made it possible for everyone to stay connected. One of the best features for me, the ability to hop out of the Jeep and hike up ahead and still be able to hear and speak to the group about what's around the corner.
Midland 2-way radios are now my "go to" when it comes to communication off the grid. If you're like me...you have to try them! I can't believe it took me this long to make the switch. Buy one of the MXT models for your vehicle and grab a couple handhelds to pass off to your friends while you're out on your next adventure! Check them out at: