Overland News of the Week

Rivian Introduces New Camp Mode Feature

Rivian’s latest R1T and R1S software update introduces Camp mode, which offers users additional options for exploring the outdoors. The new features include vehicle leveling using the vehicle’s air suspension, flood lights (located on each side view mirror), and a camp courtesy setting, which turns off exterior lights, vehicle sounds, proximity lock/unlock, and the Gear Guard alarm sound. Camp mode also optimizes vehicle energy use while parked, setting timers for charging ports and outlets and turning off interior displays while not in use.

To learn more about Rivian’s Camp mode, visit stories.rivian.com/software-update-camping.

Redarc, Orange Sky, and Canva Launch Solar-Powered Laundry Van to Support Remote Communities in Australia

Australian non-profit Orange Sky, supported by Redarc, and design and publishing provider Canva, launched a solar-powered laundry van equipped with three washers and dryers to provide access to free laundry services, warm showers, and a connection with community members across Australia and New Zealand.

Powered by four 180-watt Redarc solar panels, 600Ah lithium batteries, and a battery management system, the RV3.0 vehicle undertook a three-month venture to 29 remote Indigenous communities from March to June this year. “Many people and families in remote communities don’t have access to basic facilities like washing machines and if they do, they are often overused and don’t last long -with new washing machines being extremely expensive and geographical location making it challenging to find a technician to repair items,” said Orange Sky Remote Program Manager Judith Meiklejohn.

Redarc Electronics Managing Director Anthony Kittel says they believe in the Orange Sky mission to ‘positively connect communities.’ “We are delighted to partner with Orange Sky to support their remote community expansion plans. Redarc’s mobile power tech provides a more reliable and sustainable mechanism for Orange Sky to deliver their critical mission,” Mr. Kittel said. The RV3.0 produces more power than it uses, reducing electrical consumption by up to 80% per shift. To learn more, visit orangesky.org.au.

Trek Light Gear Blankets

With millions of tonnes of textile waste created each year, Trek Light Gear has figured out a way to recycle the leftovers of fast fashion, repurposing excess clothing materials into adventure blankets made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials. First, clothing is shredded into a pulp, then upcycled into yarn before it is handwoven in Mexico on a traditional wooden pedal loom by Indigenous artisans, many of who continue the tradition of home weaving. The result is a 6.5-foot by 4.1-foot blanket that weighs approximately 3.3 pounds and is made of 50% acrylic, 40% polyester, and 10% cotton. Trek Light Gear has added three new blankets to their ample collection: the Summit, Mountains, and Bowie.

Prices vary | treklightgear.com

2023 Mazda CX-50 Earns 2022 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 proved itself at this year’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards, earning good ratings in six crashworthiness evaluations, including driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. The CX-50 also impressed with its superior front crash prevention system, which was assessed in vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. The curve-adaptive LED projector headlights, seat belt reminders, and child seat attachment hardware also earned good and good-plus ratings.

For a complete list of 2022 Top Safety Pick winners (including small and large SUVs and pickups), visit iihs.org/ratings/top-safety-picks.

Enter to Win a Custom 2021 Jeep Wrangler JLU with Tread Lightly and HCF Motorsports

Tread Lightly and HCF Motorsports are offering the chance to win a two-seat Jeep buggy with one-ton axles, 42-inch BFGoodrich sticky tires, long arm suspension with Radflo coilovers, and more. With an automatic transmission, granite crystal metallic exterior, and 20-inch KMC beadlock wheels, this 2.0-liter turbo also features a Warn winch, Factor 55 recovery gear, R1 Concepts pads and rotors, and PSC Hydro assist steering. Those interested may enter to win by October 6 by visiting treadlightly.org/jeepgiveaway/.

Third Eye Headlamps

Third Eye Headlamps remind us that outdoor gear doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. What about fun, art, color, and whimsy? Designed by contemporary artist and adventure enthusiast Sean Anderson, Third Eye Headlamps shine bright with 168 lumens, six brightness settings (with both red and white lights), and punchy, unique designs made of recyclable, non-toxic plastic, and a lifetime warranty. As the only headlamp member of 1% for the Planet, Third Eye offers a 100% return policy and an IPX6 waterproof rating. Also on offer are the company’s 1-inch headbands, providing a universal fit for your Black Diamond, Petzl, or Princeton Tech lamps. From tie-dye to floral, gingham, galaxy, and camo, there are opportunities for everyone to express themselves and have fun while doing so.

$49.99 | thirdeyeheadlamps.com

The Last Overland Series Trailer Has Arrived

The historic Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition of 1955 has inspired many, including filmmaker Alex Bescoby, who connected with expedition member and author of the First Overland, Tim Slessor, about a project of a lifetime. The plan: to recreate the trip from Singapore to London in the original Oxford Land Rover. But when Slessor falls ill shortly before departure, Bescoby must cope with the change, and Slessor’s grandson Nat George joins for the ride. A new docuseries, The Last Overland, chronicles the journey and recently debuted on All 4, while the series trailer is now live on YouTube. For more information, visit lastoverland.com.

Pit Command Fire Pit Tools

Pit Command’s mission is to bring a cool factor to fire pit tools—and we’re not talking about temperature. The 30-inch Commander, designed for large pits and bonfires, features an axe-like chopper for splitting burning wood, a serrated hook for rolling big logs, and a poker for moving the rest. Made from carbon steel, the Commander offers custom molded grips and weighs two pounds. The smaller, lightweight version of the Commander, the Ranger is Pit Command’s answer to medium-size fire pits and campfires. Finally, the Talons are lightweight grabbers with 24 inches of reach and 2-inch pinchers on either side. Built out of carbon steel specifically for smokeless pits, the Talons weigh one pound. All Pit Command products are made in the USA.

Commander/$149, Ranger/$119, Talons/$129 | pitcommand.com

Go Fast Campers Releases New Truck Topper With 800-pound Load Rating

Go Fast Campers has added a truck topper to its product lineup, boasting an 800-pound roof load rating (with four crossbars), a triangulated space frame, and the ability to mount accessories on a T-track load halo surrounding the roof. The company points to the topper’s accessibility as a primary benefit, along with aluminum locking panels and a translucent honeycomb roof that permits light while keeping heat out. As with most of GFC’s products, the topper is designed and manufactured in Montana from parts sourced in America.

$3995 | gofastcampers.com

High Camp Flasks Tumbler 2-Pack and Soft Case

Enjoying a beverage or cocktail from an elegant stainless steel tumbler really upgrades the camp experience. These High Camp Flasks tumblers include a wool-felt carrying case for travel, weigh 6 ounces each, and are double wall insulated—perfect for hot and cold concoctions. The tumblers’ 6-shooter design pays homage to the American West, holds 11 ounces of your favorite whiskey, wine, or other, and a lifetime warranty inspires confidence in even the toughest skeptics.

$49 | highcampflasks.com

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Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash