There are some killer new (and upcoming things) in this week’s recap, like a remotely driveable electric camper trailer, but I also included two quick updates on the Rebelle Rally and OpenAI that I think you’ll find interesting. Here’s the best new gear this week:
- Rivian wins Rebelle Rally
- Pebble Flow electric RV
- Vandoit MOOV camper van
- Uncharted Supply Zeus Pro
- ARB Intensity IQ lights
- Helly Hansen Odin BC Collection
- 2024 Nike sneak peek
- Infiray smartphone infrared cam
- OpenAI figuring out OpenAI
Rivian wins Rebelle Rally with “bone stock” truck
The 8-day, 2,500km Rebelle Rally isn’t just a women’s only race, it’s the longest off-road rally in the U.S. It’s also done without any electronic navigation aids – no GPS or cell phones, just paper maps, compasses, and plotters (and stars, I suppose). Rivian fielded four teams, three driven by employees and one with a customer’s personal R1T.
Rivian became the first full-electric vehicle to win, driven by two of their engineers, and all four vehicles finished. They also competed “Bone Stock”, meaning they weren’t modified for competition in any way. They’re the same Quad-Motor trucks any of us can buy, which is pretty cool. (more story here)
Pebble Flow electric RV camper trailer you can drive via app
The Pebble Flow is a full electric RV trailer with a massive LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery system that’s 3.5x larger than a Tesla Powerwall, letting it run off grid for up to 7 days. But its best trick is that you can remotely drive it with an app, maneuvering it into just the right spot or more easily backing it into place. The motorized wheels can even assist propulsion while driving, reducing the load on your vehicle and increasing an EV’s range. Top it off at any charging station, just like your car.
It’s also very aerodynamic, and weighs just 6,200lbs, so most full-size SUVs can pull it. Inside is a full bath, kitchen, and queen size murphy bed plus a convertible full bed. Fold up the queen to create a work space with desk. Push a button and the legs, stairs & awning deploy, taking just seconds to be ready to camp. Starts at $109,000. (video here)
Vandoit MOOV camper van is optimized for couples
Vandoit’s third model, the MOOV, debuts with a first-for-them build that’s limited to just two passengers. The brand’s first two, LIV and DO, were built on Ford Transit passenger vans and could have lots of seats. The MOOV is built on cargo vans (stock or the new Transit Trail model), giving them more space in the back for convenience features.
The modular build starts with full electrical and a complete aluminum T-Track skeleton, and gets a new “drawbridge” bed that lowers from either side to create a full-width platform. Fold it up for easier access to gear in the back. Add a kitchen pod, cartridge toilet, their new shower module, and more. Suspension upgrade options include a 2-inch lift, Bilstein front strut with upgraded coil, Fox rear shocks, and added OEM leaf. Starts at $114,900. (video here)
Uncharted Supply Zeus Pro restarts anything
If you have a big RV or heavy duty truck, the smaller portable power packs usually don’t have enough juice to turn over those huge engines. The new Uncharted Supply Zeus Pro stores 20,000mAh and pumps out up to 1,000A at once, enough to charge and restart 8L gas and diesel engines.
Lithium Polymer battery cells and short circuit protection keep it stable for years and years of use. Just need to recharge your phone? It’ll top it off 10 times. MSRP 159.99, jumper cables included.
Coyote Automatic Tire Deflator
When it’s time to air down for more traction (and comfort) on rough, technical terrain, the Coyote Vortex V2 automatic tire deflators make it easy to hit your target tire pressure. They’re adjustable from 8psi to 65psi, with +/-2.5psi accuracy. Just thread them onto the valve stem, pull the ring, and they’ll release air until they hit the target pressure. $83.99 for a set of four.
ARB’s $1,850 Intensity iQ offroad lights
LED lightbars’ day has ended. The new ARB Intensity iQ lights combine four distinct segments (Super Spot, Spot, Flood and Midrange) with 31 total Cree LEDs to give you thousands of lighting combinations, with customizeable presets and functions.
It can throw light up to ~4,400ft down the road, but each segment has 20 brightness levels you can control with the app. They’re big, about 8.5″ round, and expensive, but oh so awesome. MSRP $1,850 for a pair with harness.
Helly Hansen Odin BC Capsule Collection is for serious winterneers
Designed with the ski patrol at Heavenly Mountain Resort, the new Helly Hansen Odin Backcountry Infinity kits are warm yet breathable, and lightweight but tough, perfect for active, adventurous pursuits in the snow. Three different jackets can be layered or not, and each keeps a front torso pocket in the same spot for easy reach (and muscle memory) even with a harness or waist strap cinched below it.
Tech features include a chemical-free waterproof breathable membrane, RECCO reflectors, helmet-friendly hood, multiple beacon pockets, and PFC-free DWR treatment.
2024 Nike shoes include fresh Dunk Low & ACG models
Clockwise from top left, Nike’s about to drop two Dunk Low colorways (Reverse Curry & Reverse Ultraman) that were exclusive to Japan in 1999, the Air Foamposite One returns in Royal Blue and Eggplant (along with some clogs), the ACG lineup adds Goretex plus revived past models and clogs, and also back from ’99 is the Air SNDR Max cross trainer. (via FootwearNews)
Infiray P2 Pro miniature thermal imaging camera for smartphones
The new Infiray P2 Pro is the smallest thermal imaging infrared camera you can put on your smartphone. Available in USB-C and Lightning models, it’s powered by your phone and lets you see where heat is (or isn’t) coming from. It measures from -20º to 550º C, captures photo and video, and the app can even measure temperatures in “pro” mode.
For home use, you can use it to see leaks in your HVAC or around windows and doors, or just entertain yourself by seeing how much heat your appliances and home stereo put off. But for outdoors, it’s a great way to see what’s in the woods at night. I’m headed to the AZ desert near the border and thinking this might be interesting…
OpenAI is preparing for a rogue OpenAI
As AI becomes more and more prevalent and powerful, with OpenAI often leading the way, it’s getting more and more important to create safeguards against Frontier AI models becoming too powerful. Frontier AI models are highly advanced but general purpose models operating at the forefront of what’s possible, and they keep getting better.
OpenAI is looking at ways not just of keeping the guardrails on its own creation, but also looking at what bad actors might do with it and how they could be thwarted. And they’re looking for people who want to join their Preparedness Team. Which is good, because we just created an AI Neural Network that can learn new words, integrate them into its vocabulary, and think more like a human. And ChatGPT has basically passed the Turing Test. So, yeah, it’s good to follow the Scout’s Motto.
- Here’s the best new games coming up for XBOX
- Overland Expo’s Dream Build truck & trailer are being auctioned
- This running store allowed theft if you could outrun their security guard
- Dane Jackson kayaks the steepest waterfall in the world
- These folks are driving LR Defenders around the world, oceans included
- REI Clearance Sale has winter & camping gear up to 50% off
- Backcountry.com Clearance Sale has winter gear up to 70% off
- Trek has a lot of bikes on sale, some 25% off or more
On Saturday morning I helped a friend build up a mountain bike. He’s been wanting one for a while, and I had the parts to make it happen. It was great to catch up, and since his son tagged along, I enjoyed teaching them some basics of installation and repairs as we worked.
After that I went to a casual memorial service for a family friend. It was (fortunately) a lighthearted affair as the person we were celebrating lived a great life and had a great outlook through the end. More than one person remarked that he was a role model, not just in life but in how he accepted death. He would have been 81 today.
My point in sharing those two things is that I had a good reason for sending this out a day late.
Adventures aren’t really about the gear, though the “stuff” does make it fun. And finding the right stuff, learning to use it, and learning to do more with it is part of the experience. The journey.
What we need to be careful of is letting that become the entire journey. Yeah, I could have dug around and found more great stuff to share, but there’d just be more next week. And the week after.
Every passion is another rabbit hole we can go down. And if you think outdoor gear is a deep hole, talk to an audiophile who’s into vinyl… it’s an abyss. A glorious, expensive, beautiful sounding abyss.
I have no problem missing my scheduled send if it means quality time with friends, and I hope all of you are able to skip work or chores or whatever now and then to seize the moment. Because as the memorial proved, life’s too short, and sending one more email is never the highest priority.
Adventurous Way of Life is a weekly recap of the best new gear, gadgets, and tech for those who dig the outdoors, health, fitness, camping, cooking, overlanding, vanlife, and the adventurous active lifestyle. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday.
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