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Some of John’s Favorite Products from 2020

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Some of John’s Favorite Products from 2020

If 2020 brought anything, it was an unexpected amount of time spent locally and at home. It feels like ages ago that we were spending seven months of the year on the road, traveling to events, races, and bike rides throughout the American West living out of our truck, grinding our morning coffee and cooking dinner under the stars. While it was and is a huge downer to be stuck at home with the Nation’s strictest Covid-19 restrictions, I cannot deny how much fun we had sticking to a radius close to our new home in the Land of Enchantment. While we didn’t do any month-long road trips, quick weekend jaunts provided plenty of inspiration as we familiarized ourselves with this beautiful state we now call home.

This year, a handful of products made my life easier in one way or another. Check out a quick list of some of my personal favorite products I used this year.

Thule Tepui Foothill: A New Ultra Narrow Roof Top Tent

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Thule Tepui Foothill: A New Ultra Narrow Roof Top Tent

There’s no denying that cycling trips often rely on cars. Whether it’s a mountain bike road trip or a short drive out of the city sprawl, it’s just a reality for when you want to get out into the great outdoors. Rooftop tents make great base camps for hub-n-spoke style rides, day trips, and even full-on bike tours. Having your sleeping platform and bedding on your roof can free up your interior cargo space but many rooftop tents engulf the entire roof footprint, rendering it unusable. The new Thule Tepui Foothill RTT takes up only half of your roof’s storage, allowing you to put a bike, or a cargo box, or just about anything on the other half.

We’re a big fan of these systems over here and it’s nice to see some innovation taking place within the cramped market. These Foothill tents will be available February 2021 at Thule.com, REI, and other select retailers.

-Tent weight: 110 lbs
-Tent capacity: 400 lbs
-Dimensions (closed): 83” x 24” x 9.5” (LxWxH)
-Dimensions (open): 83” x 47” x 40” (LxWxH)
-Retail $1,699.95

Make Your Next Road Trip Easier with Dometic’s Electronic Coolers and Battery Pack

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Make Your Next Road Trip Easier with Dometic’s Electronic Coolers and Battery Pack

While this is a cycling website, we like to give nods to products that make our lives easier while on the road. With the booming popularity of car camping and cycling road trips, come a lot of decision making about what products work best for extended or even weekend getaways. One such product that has been thoroughly vetted over the years over here are Dometic’s electric coolers. We’ve been using the CFX series for a few years now and these coolers have a big leg up on the competition in that they have the ability to run autonomously from your vehicle’s electric systems thanks to the PLB40 battery. Take a look below for more information and a promotional code for free shipping to readers of the Radavist.

Glorious CDT Singletrack on the Hopewell Gold Loop

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Glorious CDT Singletrack on the Hopewell Gold Loop

With New Mexico’s pandemic protocol still on lockdown and new restrictions rolling in each week, we’ve been looking to our backyard of Northern New Mexico for quick-n-easy jaunts to break the monotony of riding the same ol’ trails in our home town of Santa Fe. Our most recent outing brought a small group of us up to the Hopewell Lake region of the Continental Divide Trail for a short but sweet singletrack ride and fire road climb through tunnels of golden changing leaves. Read on for some notes on beautiful autumn riding…

Go Fast Campers’ Truck and SUV Pop Up Rooftop Tents are Perfect for Car Camping

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Go Fast Campers’ Truck and SUV Pop Up Rooftop Tents are Perfect for Car Camping

I know this is a cycling site but over the years, we’ve covered so many events where car camping is a theme and have spent many a weekend in the wilds of the Southwest with MTBs in tow. I get a lot of questions about our setup, so I’m tackling a big part of it with this article. If you don’t like cars and think they have no place on a cycling website, no worries, you don’t have to read this…

For the past few years – since moving to California – I’ve traded the jet-set life for road trips. I used to fly two or three times a month out of Austin, Texas, all over the world. These days, I like to make longer, meandering road trips out of assignments, or events and spend the summer months almost exclusively living out of our truck, sleeping in the Go Fast Camper Roof Top Tent.

Not wanting to limit our traveling experience, we’ve tried a number of sleeping arrangements in the Cruiser, but the Go Fast Camper has really been the best overall. These rooftop tents are the best on the market and while it comes at a hefty pricetag, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Read on below for our in-depth look at these unique campers.

Dress up the Rigd Ultraswing with a Camp Table

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Dress up the Rigd Ultraswing with a Camp Table

The Rigd Ultraswing, a spare tire carrier, and bicycle rack swingout system, just got a little more versatile as a car camping accessory with a camp table mount. Now when you finish a ride and return to camp, cooking on a camp stove just became easier. With drop gate real estate a top priority, the Rigd Ultraswing camp table gets the stove off of your drop gate, freeing it up for food prep and snacking.

Rigd offers a Front Runner table (pictured) or a Rago Fab table, offering up two solid options for your next MTB trip or gravel race weekend. Head on over to Rigd to see more.

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iKamper’s New Soft Top Roof Top Tent

We love roof top tents for road trips and MTB outings. They set up in seconds and offer the comfort of a legit mattress, while on the road. iKamper’s new softshell tent offers a lightweight option at 107lbs, with a 10″ closed profile. It’ll sleep 3-4 people and you can add crossbar accessories like bike racks to the top. Check out pre-order pricing ($1,950) at iKamper.

Get Deserted: A Photographic Essay of Shoulder Season Mojave Desert Exploration

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Get Deserted: A Photographic Essay of Shoulder Season Mojave Desert Exploration

Intent. In my design school education, we were taught that design without intent was vapid, lifeless, disposable, “junk space.” Yet, in the same breath, we were taught that intent should be interpreted without excessive explanation. That the work itself should stand on its own and most importantly, have meaning. Now, that’s design school and this is the real world. I look at college as highly concentrated cold brew coffee. Sure, you can drink it, but it’s going to wreak havoc on your day, or you can water it down a bit and enjoy the soft, edgeless buzz of caffeine. Not that I’m implying intent should be watered down, I’m just saying this is the real world and in a digital era, I’ve come to terms with the fact that people just want to look at pretty photos. Mostly…

Deserted’s definition means a place void of people and that’s good and all, but in this age, that’s almost impossible to achieve and in fact, many people don’t like solitude, instead, they organize caravans of their friends or like-minded individuals to explore with them. Spend enough time in the desert and you’re sure to see trains of 4×4 vehicles slowly careening through the landscape, HAM radios buzzing in the still air. There’s a lot to be said about the inherent safety of such a weekend trip. If someone gets stuck, or something breaks, it’s nice to have other people around to help. But the tedium of slow-moving exploration isn’t for everyone. In fact, having an agenda greatly alters the Lovecraftian intent of exploration; the unknown, the unplanned, and the inevitable “oh shit” moment. The latter keeps us feeling alive, as it strikes a balance between the “what if,” the “what it could have been,” and the denial of either potential outcome. Go explore, but be prepared for the inevitable.

Car Camping in Style

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Car Camping in Style

Yesterday, we drove up to the Bandito campground in the Angeles National Forest with Salsa Cycles, Topanga Creek Outpost and Golden Saddle Cyclery for a quick camping trip and mountain bike ride(s). It was a short overnighter but that didn’t keep David, one of the mechanics at GSC from bringing his vintage Campagnolo banner he uses as a sun shade for his van… Meanwhile, I took the scenic route home.