The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Camping

Ford F-150 RaptorTrax

Is it a truck or a snowcat? Whatever you call it, this is a backcountry lover’s biggest dream—a Ford F-150 with Mattracks instead of wheels.

The vehicle comes with about every toy you can imagine. The roof rack doubles as a cargo holder and can also be used as a rail for skiers and snowboarders to ride. Need a winch and a roll cage? Um, yes. Snowboard rack? Of course. Enough lights to spotlight the run you're hitting even when it's pitch black outside? That’s included. There are also super comfy Recaro racing seats in both the front and the bed of the truck.

This Ford even has a disco light. No, we’re not joking.

$120,000, specialvehicleconcepts.com

Read More

Moby1 XTR

As rugged as a Sportsmobile, the sexy, athletic Moby1 XTR is a handcrafted hook-up-and-go trailer. The 1,500-pound teardrop is big enough to store all of your camping gear, and it’s sturdy enough to get you to just about any campsite. All you have to do is dream up the appropriate adventure.  

The Moby1 XTR has more than five inches of suspension on independent A-arms with adjustable shocks, a multi-axis coupler, and a reinforced frame. Essentially, it’s like a dual-suspension mountain bike with storage that’s ready to tackle rough, steep terrain. Add a rooftop tent, awning, a sink with hot water, propane heat, toilet, solar panels, and a generator, and you might move in permanently.

Starting at $16,500, moby1trailers.com

Read More

The Gear to Outfit an Arctic Expedition

On March 7th, Ryan Waters and I will depart for the North Pole to hopefully break the current unsupported speed record (49 days). To achieve this feat, we’ll rely on a combination of careful planning, teamwork, quality equipment, and sheer will.

This journey to the North Pole is one of the most difficult expeditions on the planet. While there have been about 6,000 Everest summits, fewer than 300 people have completed the full trip from land to the North Pole.

Sure, Everest climbers must contend with avalanches and altitude, but those intrepid enough to make the traverse across the Arctic Ocean encounter polar bears, razor-thin moving ice, open water, and bitter cold—temperatures average around 55 degrees below zero. There are no Sherpas to carry the gear and forget about cozy base camps. Each day we’ll be pulling all of our equipment—which weighs 350 pounds at the start—over some of the worst surface conditions designed by Mother Nature. We'll then set up our small tent on a (hopefully) stable piece of ice.

{%{"quote":"If we run out of food or fuel or break something that we can't repair, we're done. Our ability to survive is directly linked to the quality, durability, and weight of our gear."}%}

This environment literally destroys gear. Plastic becomes brittle and cracks, nylon tears like paper, tent poles snap, and everything from Clif Bars to zipper pulls freeze. And it's not just cold temperatures that pose a problem. The Arctic Ocean—the iciest place on the planet—is so humid that moisture will build up and freeze in sleeping bags, clothes, and camera gear.

We'll have to cope with these elements for more than a month. Our journey from northern Ellesmere Island to the North Pole will span roughly 48 days. We're traveling unaided and unassisted, which means we'll pull all of our supplies—food, fuel, and gear—in lightweight Kevlar sleds for the entire trip.  

If we run out of food or fuel or break something that we can't repair, we're done (and not done as in, “Oh, by the way I think I'm going to call my mom and have her pick me up now.”) Our ability to survive is directly linked to the quality, durability, and weight of our gear.

While I could fill volumes about our overall travel strategy, I wanted to highlight some of the equipment that we will be taking along.

Read More

The Best Winter Survival Gear

Not many of us are interested in braving extreme temperatures through the night in a flimsy tent. It can be a miserable—and dangerous—experience if you're not well prepared. 

When you do find yourself out in the cold, you'll need the right gear to fight discomfort and maybe even hypothermia. So we rounded up ten expedition-worthy products to keep you toasty even when the weather goes south. Trust us, your toes will thank you.   

Read More

Earl—the Rugged, Revolutionary Tablet

Your iPad doesn’t mix well with the outdoors. Even if you keep it away from water and grit, you still have to contend with the lack of internet and electricity in the backcountry.   

That’s where Earl comes in. This new backcountry survival Android tablet works where your smartphone or iPad would fail. The rugged tablet can forecast the weather, determine your location, elevation, and let you communicate with folks back home.

About the size of an iPad mini, Earl is one tough gadget. It’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and it will work in temperatures from 32 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. You can submerge it in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes with no ill effects.     

Earl's GPS uses an internal magnetometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope to track your position. It’ll guide you even if you’re navigating dense vegetation or an urban jungle without a line of site. It also gives you access to more than 300,000 trails through the site everytrail.com and high-resolution topographical maps of North America. With Earl in your hand, you have no excuse to get (unintentionally) lost.

The little guy also has ANT+ and Bluetooth capabilities, so you can record heart rate, pace, and cadence. It comes with internal sensors—including a thermometer, a hygrometer to measure humidity, a barometer, and an anemometer to measure wind speed—to forecast the weather. 

Earl’s two-way radio connects you with friends, family, and emergency services. It can access analog and digital radio frequencies up to 20 miles away, and send secure text via Walkie-Talkie to let emergency responders find you if you get in trouble. An internal radio tuner lets you listen to music and emergency radio. 

The battery lasts for about 20 hours. And while Earl works worldwide, it currently only has North America maps. But Europeans, Aussies, and Kiwis need not worry—maps of Europe and the land down under will be available later this spring.  

Earl goes on sale this March.

$330, meetearl.com

Read More

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Outside GOOur hottest adventure-travel tips and trips. Sent occasionally.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Categories

Authors

Advertisement

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

Previous Posts

2014

2013

2012

Blog Roll

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.