Although we try to escape citylife when we head for the forests, we mostly carry electronics. For safety reasons -your mobile phone-, or entertainment. We’ll use a GPS to point us in the right direction when we get lost. Everybody who has used a GPS knows the batteries drain quickly. Most smartphones need charging everyday. A portable powerbank is a good solution. The problem with most portable powerbanks is that they’re designed for life in the city….That’s why we like the Xtorm extreme, a powerfull waterproof powerbank that charged our GPS, IPad, iPhone, USB camplight, Kindle & GPS. A powerbank and a solar panel will keep all your electronic devices charged.
This is my basic equipment when I go walkabout, depending on the destination and purpose I will omit or add a few things. There’s no food or clothing here, we’ll talk about that in another article.
Last autumn we met up with our Croatian friends to go for a scouting trip in the north & central part of Croatia. Most people heard about the beauty of Croatia’s mediteranian coast line, but when you venture inland, this country becomes even more amazing! The mountains are vast and desolate, and posess an unspoiled beauty that became hard to find in Europe. The landscape is extremely diverse and changes from one beautiful vista into another. This area is one of the last true wildernesses in middle & south Europe and fortunately big parts of it are conserved as National Parks now. To be able to get to the best spots you need to cover some distance and a 4×4 is the most practical way to do it. It gets you to all the cool hikes, camping spots and places to do some serious wildlife spotting.
11 months ago we took delivery of a brand new Defender 90. After 31.000km it has seen more terrain than most Defenders do in their lifetime. The little Defender spent more than 20.000km off tarmac. We zig zagged through Iceland for 3 months, explored the mountains in Croatia and went greenlaning all over Europe.
Here is our conclusion:
While preparing to guide an adventure/overland trip to Croatia in October with our good friends in Croatia, we were also invited to hunt roebuck and wild boar on their hunting grounds. Hunting in Croatia is a way of live, people hunt for food, not for sports or as a hobby. As our hunting guide explained, they work all year round to take care of the animals and keep them healthy. Especially during the winter time animals are given extra food like hay, corn, and salt. We were very impressed with the biodiversity in the Croatian woods. Also the abundance of wildlife cannot be compared to the densely populated Benelux area that we live in.
I’m a big fan of hammocks. A good hammock is your friend in every environment. Most people think hammocks are for jungle trips, not true! I’ve used them in Sweden and Canada for wintercamping, on jungle trips to Borneo & beach holidays. The Blackbird is manufactured by Warbonnet located in the foothills of the Rocky mountains, Evergreen Colorado.
I know this is not the first time I write about Iceland. But I can’t help it, this land has a magnetic effect on me. I have spent 3 complete months in it’s amazing highlands in the last 5 years. But last summer, the summer of 2014 was something special. Read more
This trip we headed out to a lesser visited area of Australia, the Northern Territories is the least populated region. Just the way we like it. Cattle-stations, gigantic Mango Tree plantations and a lot of space. it’s also aboriginal country. Our plan was to hire a 4×4 vehicle with a rooftop tent and go camping in national parks. We rented the most reliable and best known expedition vehicle in the world: a 1994 Toyota Landcruiser V8 4500cc. Australia is the most 4×4 friendly country in the world. Everybody drives a fully equipped off-road vehicle. As the distances between villages can easily be a few 100 kilometers everybody carries at least 2 extra tyres and basic survival equipment.
Binoculars are essential for wildlife observation, as it is nearly impossible to approach wild animals in their habitat without being spotted. Animals often have much better senses than humans and they will hear, smell & see you from miles away. It’s a good idea not to interfere with their natural routines. For example Roe Deer are very sensitive to any human disturbance often leaving their habitat and sometimes abandoning their hidden fawns. That is why forest rangers tell visitors to stay on paths and yell at you when your dog is running loose…
Nordisk is a Danish tentmaker that has been delivering high end tents for more than 100 years. I was on the lookout for a single person light compact tent that could resist everything the harsh Icelandic nature could throw at it. After a lot of comparisons I opted for the Svalbard with the optional footprint. On paper it should prove ideal for Iceland with a hurricane resistant 40 meter per second wind rating and industry leading water resistance. With an amazingly small pack size and a total weight of only 1,7kg (including everything from pegs to storm lines and even the carrying bag) you can tuck this little tent everywhere.
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