It’s a cold and misty morning. I feel like the Michelin Man geared up for a dive in the Silfra pass in Iceland. Thermic underwear, an artic undersuit that is thicker than my skisuit, A thick neoprene drysuit and about 20 kg of lead…If it wasn’t clear before it’s clear now; this is not going to be a tropic dive. The water temperature is two degrees celcius. And believe you me, you can’t imagine how cold that is untill you stick your head in it!
In 1933 the Italian economy wasn’t doing much better than today. Coffee crazed Italians were forced to limit their usual trips to the coffee bars because they were running out of money. That’s when Alfonso Bialetti invented the Moka Express! A personal stovetop espresso machine provided excellent coffee and looked pretty damned good too! The Italians were sold and now 9 in 10 Italian households own a Moka Express. The iconic object has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the London Design Museum. By 1953 there were so many copies of the Moka Express around that Alfonso commissioned the Italian Artist, Paul Campani, to design a mascot for his beloved coffee maker. L’omino coi baffi or “the mustachioed little man” was born. Today you can find the little man on the side of every genuine Moka Express, and in the back of my overland truck.
It’s never over in my Rover, but it always starts with a delicious espresso! I even take the thing on board every dive trip to avoid the “put-some-powder-in water” excuse for coffee they usually serve there.
A knife is by far the most important tool to carry in the wild. However, a dull knife is useless and dangerous. Knifesharpening is an art and an exercise in Zen meditation. Wax on wax off! Take your time and control your breathing. Remember, practice makes perfect…
This is the sharpening set I take with me when I’m out.
That’s how I felt about my Land Rover Defender yesterday. It’s not comfortable or practical at all. Just like expensive female footwear It serves little other purpose than make you look good. Every 10 hours I drive the thing I spend one hour fixing something. If she wasn’t looking so freaking gorgeous I wouldn’t put up with this sh*t. Despite all her bad manners I keep looking forward to every ride. Once you leave the tarmac the little truck pulls some Jeckill & Hide magic on you though. It feels like it just belongs there, and it runs circles around every other 4wd on the market. Yeah, it breaks down even faster now, but you can fix it with some inguinuity and a leatherman, so who cares…Since me and the little Defender are going to do a lot of posing together, I think we are a good match. Watch this space! I am going to treat it to some nice jewellery (read accessories), teach it to behave and try to make it into the perfect little overland companion.
I imagine that’s what was heard over the radio on the saturday of november 24 in 1973. A United states C-47 Skytrain was forced to attempt an emergency landing on Solheimasandur’s black sandy beach in the south of Iceland. The crew survived the crash, and the wreck still lays in the exact spot where it hit the earth almost 40 years ago. Since then it became a landmark in Iceland and a great photo opportunity for those who are able to find it. Putting these coördinates in your GPS might help: 63.459523, -19.364618. My picture was taken with a Nikon D2X and a Sigma 14mm 2,8 lens on a tripod with a long exposure. Happy hunting!
To be honest, coffee is essential on the trail and there’s only one item that is more important to me, a knife!
If you are a hard-core city tripper you’ll probably won’t see the need to carry a knife. However, when travelling off the beaten path you will find a knife indispensable.
A bushcraft knife, custom made by Studio Blade
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