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Senior Editor Ashley Giordano’s Overland Gear Picks from Expo West 2022

Event ticket holders, exhibitors, international overlanders, avid campers, and off-road enthusiasts attend Overland Expo West for many different reasons. Some seek the ultimate vehicle build for their next adventure, while others are eager to teach, learn, or test their chops at the dusty motorcycle demo or vehicle expedition skills area. And with over 400 exhibitors, gear enthusiasts can quickly complete their allotment of daily steps (and then some) by traipsing through the aisles of Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff, Arizona.

While I firmly believe that gear can’t replace experience, thoughtful, innovative pieces can serve a purpose by making our lives easier and pushing the boundaries of any trip. We all have stuff that we swear by, tried and tested items without which we would never leave home. These are often unique to the individual—after all, one wo(man’s) trash is another’s treasure. That being said, here are a few products that caught my eye during many hours of pounding the pavement in search of new or interesting things potentially worth a hard-earned paycheck.

Adventure Chef 6-Piece Summit Set

While we know that food tastes better outdoors, limited space can prevent us from bringing our favorite quality kitchen tools on our next adventure. Messermeister’s Adventure Chef 6-piece Summit Set stood out on Overland Expo’s exhibitor list, so I was happy to chat with chef Adam Glick about the kit inspired by his adventures on the water and in the wild.

The set features a 6-inch Chef’s knife, a 6-inch flexible filet knife, folding fork, knife, spoon, folding peeler and parer with a fish scaler, and a folding cutting board that promises easy cleanup and resistance from warping, shrinking, and swelling. The knives are constructed from 1.4116 German steel, prized for its toughness and ability to hold an effective edge. The case is small enough to be tossed into a backpack without the need to make space for a collection of quality knives.

$249.95 | messermeister.com

Geyser Systems Portable Shower with Heater

An intriguing solution to maximizing limited water, the Geyser Systems portable shower promises to use less than 1 gallon of water while running 10 times more efficiently than traditional camp showers. The system plugs into a 12-volt power source and features a scrubby in place of your usual showerhead. The sponge-like head comes in different colors and is removable, handy if you want to dedicate certain sponges for tasks such as dishes or showers. The device draws 9.8 amps and can run from 1 to 15 minutes per gallon depending upon the use (open flow, body wash, or washing gear such as mud-caked mountain bikes).

$324.95 | geysersystems.com

Go Fast Campers Chase Frame

Constantly innovating, Go Fast Campers has developed an 87-pound modular aluminum chase frame designed to haul gear and withstand off-pavement abuse. This modular system is strengthened by beef rack crossbars, a billet and tubular brace frame, and machined bed mounts, offering cab clearance for tight spaces. Users can attach awnings, jerry cans, Pelican cases, bicycles, and more; the frame is strong enough to support a rooftop tent. Go Fast is currently accepting $50 refundable deposits, and the first units will ship in late summer 2022. Supported vehicles include 2007 to current Toyota Tacomas (5- and 6-foot beds) and 2019 to current Jeep Gladiators, although additional models will be added based upon interest.

$2,100 | gofastcampers.com

Lava Linens Lightweight Woven Wonders Collection

Women-owned and operated out of Boulder, Colorado, Lava Linens was born from CEO and co-founder Mary’s search for an ultra-durable, natural fiber towel for a year-long backpacking trip. Dissatisfied with petroleum-based microfiber towels due to their less than ideal performance and impact on the environment, Mary turned to her mom, a textile expert who constructs each Lava Linen towel by hand. Made of 50 percent hemp and 50 percent flax, this towel collection is touted as lightweight, quick-drying, and antimicrobial. The desertscape-designed hand towel, bath sheet, and picnic blankets feature two hanging loops to allow for convenient drying. These vivid towels definitely caught my eye in a sea of camouflage, black, and gray.

Hand Towel | $34 | Bath Sheet | $100 | Picnic Blanket | $180 | shoplavalinens.com

Fifteen52 Bundt SV Wheels

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When it comes to Sprinter vans, the automotive market offers fewer wheel options than the average four-wheel-drive vehicle. The debut of Fifteen52’s Bundt SV wheels at Overland Expo West marks the company’s entrance into the rapidly growing van market. “The first in our SV series, the Bundt is our rugged interpretation of the original vintage Mercedes alloy wheel,” says Jason Sellers, President of Fifteen52. “Load-rated to a robust 3,300 pounds and available in our classic Asphalt Black and Magnesium Gray, the Bundt SV looks at home on any 6×130 Sprinter build.”

Price to be announced |fifteen52.com

Roambuilt Integrated Winch Bumper

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Fitting within the plastic factory bumper, Roambuilt’s new integrated steel winch bumper provides VS30 Sprinter van owners with the opportunity to avoid relocating or recalibrating Mercedes Benz safety features and sensors. Other features include soft shackle-compatible steel recovery points, custom color options, and the ability to mount a winch in a “Feet Forward” orientation, removing shear forces on winch mounting hardware. While installation requires removing the factory plastic bumper and grill, there’s no need to cut or grind the frame rails or remove large portions of the plastic bumper. Just two small cuts expose recovery points, and several bolts are required to fit.

$1,900 | roambuilt.com

Snow Peak Home & Camp Lantern and Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

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Snow Peak’s reputation for creating simple, high-quality, and Japanese-designed camp equipment draws me to their booth time and time again. This visit included a tasty cooking demo by a Takibi restaurant chef and outdoor dining tips from Snowpeak’s Beverage Director Jim Meehan.

Snow Peak’s Home & Camp Lantern caught my attention because it is incredibly lightweight and boasts a dimmable warm light. Many camp lights feature harsh LEDs, but I prefer a warm glow that mimics those in cozy living rooms. The lantern comes with a USB charging stand and adjustable handle.

Manufactured in Niigata, Japan, Snow Peak’s coffee percolator is a modern twist on the electric percolators of the early 20th century. Made of stainless and chromed steel and aluminum, the device is designed for groups and makes up to six cups of coffee with no filters required. If you’re traveling solo or as a couple, the basket can be removed to prepare individual cups.

Lantern | $159.99 | Coffee Percolator | $119.95 | snowpeak.com

BruTrek Dog Bowl

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Overland Expo West was well-attended by dogs of all shapes and sizes, and in the blazing afternoon heat, it was important for all of us to stay hydrated. BruTruk’s specialty includes coffee presses and insulated drinkware, but the company has expanded its line to include small (4-cup) and large (6-cup) dog bowls for liquids or food. The bowls are stainless steel with a non-slip bottom and are BPA-free, double-wall insulated, and food safe.

4-cup | $37 | 6-cup | $40 | planetarydesign.com

Enjoy additional coverage from Overland Expo West 2022 via Expedition Portal’s YouTube channel:

Our No Compromise Clause: We carefully screen all contributors to ensure they are independent and impartial. We never have and never will accept advertorial, and we do not allow advertising to influence our product or destination reviews.

Read more: New Overland Gear at Overland Expo West 2021 by Senior Editor Matt Swartz

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. You can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or researching wild medicinal plants. Ashley is a co-founder of Women Overlanding the World and crew member of Expedition Overland. You’ll find this Canadian-born couple exploring a different continent in 2021, and sharing their trip every step of the way at Desk to Glory.