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Gear Review

51mps54x6OL. SX384 BO1,204,203,200
Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

As you might imagine, driving 65,000km while hiking, camping and living outside as much as possible for almost two years is a good stress test of even the highest quality gear.
Below are the items that proved invaluable to me.

Camping Gear

Kathmandu Mountain Tent
A 21st birthday present, this tent has been with me for every adventure of my life. Thousands of hours in the sun destroyed the fly, and half-way through the adventure Kathmandu sent a new one all the way to Ecuador, no problems. Free.
After an estimated 1000 nights of use, it was finally falling apart and I left it in Argentina.

Petzel Headlamp
I can’t fathom how I ever camped without one of these. Recharging the AAA batteries while driving was great.

Trangia Cook Stove
I’ve had this alcohol burning stove kit for 4+ years and it’s still going strong. Completely indestructible, I’m confident I’ll have it for years and years to come.

Therm-a-rest Sleeping Pad
A Christmas present to my brother something like 8 years ago, the trusty Therm-a-rest is a must have. I sleep better on it than in a bed these days.

MEC brand -7°C Sleeping Bag
I saw something close to -20°C at Yellowstone in this bag, which I’m still using every weekend, as good as new.

Raichle Hiking Boots
I bought the boots a couple of years before setting out and finally destroyed them on the hike into Machu Picchu after many thousands of hours of hiking. I’m buying a new pair ASAP. (Raichle is now owned my Mammut)

Electronic Gear

Fuju FD6000FD Camera
Four years and tens of thousands of photos later, I still use my camera all the time. Even after a huge tumble in Ecuador, and a large amount of sand inside from windy Patagonia, the camera is going strong.

Dell Mini 9 Netbook
Over two years and a $35 replacement screen later, I’m typing on this tough contender right now. All the connectors and inside are rusty from the salty sea air in Central America, and it’s still going strong.

Jeep & Gear

Dunlop Radial Rover RvXT Tires
77,700km on one set of tires.

Jeep Wrangler TJ
After 65,000km without a single mechanical problem, my Jeep was by far and away the best piece of equipment I had.
By very definition, it was the perfect vehicle for the job.

-Dan

The Yeti Rambler 18 Insulated Bottle is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from 967 cusomter reviews on Amazon.

10 Responses

  1. Rich says:

    Hey Dan!

    Found and read your blog last month, beginning to end. Have wanted to do the journey in forever. Getting all equipment ready now, hopefully leave end of year. Thanks for putting the info together :) Have you considered writing an ebook guide for those interested?

    I chose a 4-door Cherokee for my trip. Glad I made the right choice based on your desire to have been able to sleep in your vehicle, which I csn.

    What spare parts should I take, on your experience, besides fuses and lightbulbs?

    Thanks!

    -Rich

    • Dan says:

      Hey Rich,
      Awesome you are heading off on your own adventure! You are going to have fun, that’s for sure.
      As for some kind of ebook, well, lets just say you should keep checking my blog once in a while. I will have something to show you before you head off. (Hopefully in less than 2 months)… in fact maybe you’ll be able to help me with it. I’ll be in touch.
      As for the Jeep – Great choice man. I loved my old XJ, extremely reliable.
      I like to carry the basic spares like serpentine belt, rad hoses, a good spare (you will get flats), coolant, oils, etc. Of course all the tools to do any of those, and probably the Gregory’s manual is worth it to. You will go through countries that simply don’t have Jeeps, and you will hit countries that have tons of them. You’ll do great.
      -Dan

  2. Rich says:

    Thanks Dan!

    Absolutely reach out. I have more than a few ideas that popped up while I read your blog.

    Keep in touch.

    -Rich

  3. Ossie says:

    Hello Dan !!!
    Everything on your blog is great, It have given me a lot of information about traveling
    the Americas, I have been following you for a while now, and I always find something new to read
    I wrote you before and my trip was delayed from last year to this year.
    I will be leaving on august, probably around the 20th, I can’t wait to take off and see everything I have read in different blogs I have followed in the past.

    here is my site: http://www.myonewayhome.com

    I hope to hear to hear from you soon but this time on my website.

    thanks

    • Dan says:

      Hey Ossie,
      I remember looking at your site months ago, it’s great to hear you are still going ahead with the adventure.
      Good luck!
      -Dan

  4. Jim K in PA says:

    Good summary Dan. Did you use any water treatment/filtration gear? Successfully?

    So when is the next adventure?

    Jim

    • Dan says:

      No, I bought bottled water for the entire trip (the 20L bottles you usually sit upside down on a stand).
      Next adventure… who knows. I need some recharge time right now, and so does my bank account :)

  5. adam says:

    Great site Dan!
    I am unemployed and have a few grand in the bank and was thinking about seeing how far south I can make it. I’ll be starting out from Monterey, California, and have a Honda Civic right now. Think I should even consider doing it with a lil car or do I need to upgrade to something with more clearance/4×4? The civic would definitely save on some gas/repairs, I’m just a bit concerned about the road conditions, especially since I want to be able to hit the coast for some surfing regularly.

    got here via google search for ‘panamerican highway cost'; what an awesome adventure; thanks for turning it into a great resource for us all too!!

    • Dan says:

      Hey Adam,
      I’m sure I found a blog online about some guys that did the same trip as me with a Honda Civic. It was slow going at times, but they made it.
      Getting into the coast for surfing is always an adventure on terrible dirt roads. I’m also not sure if you’ll save money on repairs – a Civic is a reliable car when driven on good sealed roads, but when pushed to it’s absolute limit on horrendous dumpy/dusty roads, I have no idea what it will be like. Remember, even if you get 30MPG in your civic, you still need to budget on gas being around $3.80 US / Gal, so it will eat up your “few grand” pretty quickly.
      Heck, I say go for it!

  6. Jeep Wrangler TJ
    After 65,000km without a single mechanical problem, my Jeep was by far and away the best piece of equipment I had.
    By very definition, it was the perfect vehicle for the job.

    -Sweeter words have never been spoken. I am sending your link to my fellow Wrangler lovers on http://www.wranglerforum.com

    Check it out:

    http://www.wranglerforum.com/f23/from-alaska-to-south-america-in-a-jeep-146261.html

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