Today I would like to talk a little about the future of Survival Gear. We have not written a blog post in some time so I`d like to begin with a fresh topic.
In our future we foresee more and more products becoming multi-functional. Particularly clothing / fashion. We are beginning to see an enormous influx of smart clothing and travel gear that allow you to hold more goods in a more compact discreet fashion. This has evolved due to the fact that products are becoming more compact and lightweight as well as slim and sometimes flexible. This is perfect for outfitting a jacket for instance with as assortment of pockets that can carry an array of items without being seen or noticeable from the outside. Mobile phones are the biggest. Not only are the super slim, they also have things like a camera, compass app, the time, phone and news at your finger tips as well as digital downloadable survival information that you can either download or view thru the internet.
This has allowed us to carry less. Many of the items we carried in the past are now all on our smart devices. Its just incredible how fast we have come to this point in life and how our youth take it for granted. They have no idea the struggles we once had just 20 years ago.
The future is smart clothing combined with devices. Being able to create clothing that interacts with our phones. For example, a smart phone that controls the temperature of your jacket or can light up your jacket while walking at night. There are as many ideas as you can dream up. Incorporating survival gear INTO the jacket is another idea for those that desire it.
I would like to talk in more detail about this at a later date, but for now I would like to ask you to think of what we could incorporate into our survival wear and mail us your ideas.
Thank you, we appreciate your input!
Help us develop better and more advanced gear for YOU!
Let`s look deeper at Preparedness
Types of Survival / Emergency KITS.
Well this is where Alpenlore BELTS came to be. Ya know how a lot of us carry a little emergency kit in our house or car or even carry one in a little pouch on our hip? Yeah, well those are still great ideas and EVERY person should have at least one Survival KIT that they keep somewhere. But having 4 types of KITS are the way to go if you take preparedness seriously.
Let`s begin by talking about 4 types of Main Kits that you should have and then focusing on one for today.
Here they are but not in order of Importance because they are all equally important.
These 4 types of Emergency/Survival KITS cover your bases because when disaster strikes, you usually don`t have a clue in the world where you`ll be. aiSo let`s go over each one in detail.
Destination KITS which is what I like to refer to them is a place you think you might go when the Shat hits the fan. Maybe and hopefully if you`re lucky, it`s a place not far from where you live and work. A place you can get to in 20min or less. A place that is geographically safe. A place that has running water and shelter from wind, rain/snow and cold and other obvious elements of nature as well as being away from a highly populated area if you`re lucky. If you have a place like this that you can build up with necessities such as food and water and first-aid gear, you have the makings for a Disaster Destination SITE. Load up the car or truck and go!
When we get there we sometimes don`t know what to do so your destination site needs a few dry runs to prepare yourself and family / friends.
NOW, the Destination KITS I referred to gotta have stuff like Blankets and other items. Toothpaste, extra clothes, spare glasses for reading, boots, socks, knife, shovel, cooking supplies and a very big tank of purified water or have a water purifier or tablets and firewood. The list goes on for items you need but that`s not what we`re focused on today.
Your destination has to be solid and driven to regularly if it`s a place that`s difficult to remember, especially at night. Your final destination after an emergency or disaster. So this is what I mean about a Destination KIT. It`s usually not a KIT but a Place that is equipped with Gear and items to live and keep you safe and healthy.
That wraps up today`s topic of KITs and Destination KITS but I would like to comment that the Internet is RICH with information and professionals regarding survival and bushcraft and we are lucky to have it all so we can gather as much information as possible and enjoy reading interesting articles and ways to do things. Youtube is now full of Survival Guys teaching cool and interesting tips for survival and outdoor living. Ray Mears is probably my favorite although he had his own Television Program in the UK and basically taught Bushcraft which is not so much about surviving outdoors but more like Living Outdoors. This was an incredible eye opener for me and helped me gain a new perspective on the Lore of the Outdoors.
Next time I hope to cover the next type of KIT that is necessary in being fully prepared. Please join me in discovering these interesting types of Emergency KITS and thanks so much for tuning in my friends.
Have a great weekend!
Scott / Alpenlore Founder
Camping in Stealth Mode
Last week I talked a little bit about my camper and how I set it up with a combination of Goal Zero energy with solar as well as a composting toilet. Today I would like to talk in more detail about Goal Zero.
Goal Zero is an advanced battery bank that allows you to plug just about anything to it including toaster, refrigerator, power tools, and just about anything you can imagine. You also have a 12v connector for all those camper items that pull low power. It`s great for emergencies when the power goes out in your home or for powering stuff while working outdoors or camping, but for me, I want to use it in replacement of my camper battery by hooking it directly into my breaker box. I am really looking forward to enjoying the benefits of having power when parked in a Walmart parking lot or roadside wherever I travel.
Most campers have loud generators that help power the camper but are so noisy and draw attention to yourself. I prefer not to have anyone knocking on my door at night telling me to move cause my camper is too noisy. I really rather be stealthy and let my Goal Zero do all the work.
My Goal Zero has Solar hookups so you can add as many panels as you need to keep a continuous stream of energy to maintain a full or near full battery while you`re running everything inside.
The particular battery I have is the YETI 1400 Lithium, the biggest and best one Goal Zero makes. It sips energy and lasts forever it seems. It has a nice lit panel that displays your input and output of energy and also shows other useful information. You can really keep tabs on everything that`s going on with your battery. Just a great device for everyone.
Other cool things you can do to a camper / RV is to remove the heavy water heater with a compact Tankless water heater which heats up water as it runs thru a series of compact pipes and as the water flows thru it heats up to the desired temperature then releases the water in a shower. This will be the next project for my camper in 2018.
It`s always fun to buy a camper whether its old or new and change things around to fit your style or convenience. The sky is the limit. A lot of people that do these customizations tend to add space or turn a booth table into a side desk for example to open up the camper and allow for more livable space to stretch out because nowadays campers are just jammed packed with storage and creature comforts and are so complex trying to compete with competitors that there is no room and you feel so claustrophobic while inside.
Next week I would like to talk about this and some interesting ways of creating more space and how to use color to also aid you in this quest for spaciousness.
See you next week for our next topic!
The Staff at Alpenlore USA
Traveling Smart while Conserving and Saving
What are some interesting things that we can do to make travel fun without sacrificing things when it comes to our campers. Well in this Travel Blog I hope to shed some light on a few things YOU the Traveler may have overlooked. Let`s take a look at some of these things.
As I mentioned in my prior blog post, redesigning your camper to serve you better can be a whole lot of fun depending on how much you enjoy designing and putting in a little elbow grease. Some things take some serious skills but most don`t and I`ve found that some of the things you may want to do in regards to electronics can be done fairly cheap. With that being said, all the things you can think of with a camper can be a reality fairly easily. The smaller the camper the easier it will be and less time consuming of course.
Let`s begin with water. You typically have three tanks in a camper. Fresh water tank, black tank and grey tank. Fresh is obviously for fresh tap water going in and black for toilet and grey for shower and sink. Hope I got that right. Well, how many gallons of water do you use flushing your toilet. I don`t know but I would say with two people about a Gallon or more a day. You could be using that for an extra long hot shower OR just saving it so you don`t have to fill up all the time. Here is what I did.
A few months ago I bought a Nature`s Head Composting Toilet. Now these are not complicated, however you do have to dump them every 3 months or so but it`s a lot less messy than having to empty a black tank. I mean, come on, who wants to deal with that. Yuck! Having a composting toilet means you don`t need to deal with the black tank ever again and that my friends is music to my ears.
I simply unscrewed the Dometic toilet system that came with the camper, plugged the hole that led directly down to the black tank and boom that part was finished. Total time to complete that task was about 30 minutes. Next I have to prepare the install for the Composting Toilet. I decided to go with building a small 2 in high platform that sits on the bathroom floor where the original toilet was and this enables me to have something between the new toilet and the floor. This way I move the composting toilet further in the corner and I have more room for using the shower or mirror. When customizing your camper make sure to think of all the options available to you before you start in. You just might be able to make it way better than you thought. Currently I am waiting to put down some tongue and groove flooring that will give a nice glow to the floor and then I will put down the new toilet and other items like table insert in the floor.
Ok, now that my idea for my toilet system is underway I have t look at other things I can do to make life better inside. The next thing I did was replace every single bulb to LED. This was a really awesome move in regards to dry camping which means not plugging into a hardwired system for electric like a designated camp site where Id be paying anywhere from $35-$100 per day depending on where I am in the country. An LED bulb draws about 10% of what a normal bulb will and that means being able to stay out dry camping that much longer. BIG SCORE doing this. My camper came with a standard Deep Cycle battery but I purchased a GOAL ZERO Lithium battery bank. I have the YETI 1400 which can power my camper for days without recharging. And because I have solar connected to my goal zero battery, I can keep my battery fully charged all the time even though I`m using energy from it as the Solar unit is large enough to do so with ease. I would like to go into my Goal Zero system in more detail at a later date.
The other thing I have done to my camper is seal the roof and prevent any water leaks from happening and this is a big preventative measure that keeps everyone cozy inside. I used a combination of high quality sealants to do the job and do it right.
I have several more interesting things to talk about very soon so please tune in to my next blog post and find out what we have going on.
Thanks for tuning in!
Scott / Alpenlore USA
Some options to choose from
Traveling can be a great way to relax and just fulfill your dreams in life. Sometimes it is all we need to do in order to be happy. I remember my very best memories were traveling out to Colorado and Virginia as a kid and spending time with family and seeing the sights. I rarely meet anyone who does not love travel and seeing new places. My dream all of my life was to just travel just like many of you, even you the reader of this blog. However, it COSTS MONEY to travel and depending on your amount of free time and income, you are limited to what you can do.
I have thought of many ways I could travel and do it on the cheap. One big advantage to achieving the low budget travel is buying a cargo van and building it the way that suits you according to your budget.
However, traveling in a small space can be challenging for someone who needs privacy or claustrophobic. Making great use of space is the best thing to plan out before you start your build and make each part of your camper multi-functional.
Example, making your bed platform into a small storage container where you can store blankets and other items or if you build a shower, make it collapsible so you have that extra space when you`re not using it. Purchasing a composting toilet so that you can slide it out of the way to also create more space. Good use of space is what really allows you to feel comfortable inside your camper and most of the designs I have seen have been poorly thought out in regards to that. One design concept that I have found interesting that I designed myself is to make a center are of the camper completely Free of anything so you have a place to stretch out on the floor. Remember when you were a kid and always laying on the floor watching TV? Well this was my idea for the camper. If you can`t do that then think about making collapsible cabinets or shelves so that you have that space when you need it. Just remember that anything you have to secure while driving should be designed to be locked down once you get back on the road.
Next, we can talk about going Off-grid. This term is often used by people to going in the backcountry and camping without hookups. Well, camping at Wal-mart parking lots will also be considered as urban off-grid. It may not be a city but you`re still in a populated area. How do travelers do this without hook-ups? Well they usually have a generator OR they have a solar unit that feeds a battery inside in order to supply electric to run lights, water pumps, heaters, computers, phones and so on. THIS is the real way to travel so you can save BIG avoiding campgrounds. You end up paying for your Fuel and Food and whatever little things you use along your travels. My 17ft camper is currently going thru this transformation where Im replacing my dometic toilet with a composting and adding a GOAL ZERO Yeti 1400 to my camper to supply power to my 12 volt system. I can`t run the A/C but I can still use everything else, that is as long as my solar can supply the energy to my Goal Zero. I have a big soar panel but I could use 1 more set to really maintain a full supply of battery strength and maintain it while using all my camper electrical appliances and devices. I will have to see how that goes as time goes by and my travels extend year by year.
I will talk more about all these topics in detail in the coming blog posts.
Thanks for tuning in everyone!
Hurricane Irma Survival
Well, that was one heck of a disaster and our prayers and support have gone out to those affected.
Alpenlore USA has donated to this effort but we wish we could do much more.
Natural Disasters like massive Hurricanes are one of those things now that we can sometimes plan for. Earthquakes on the other hand we cannot. Other disasters or emergencies like flooding can many times come without warning and you just never know where you will be when they strike.
Having first-aid kits, survival kits or extra water and power are great ideas but its always good to have something on you at all times. That is where our survival belts come in handy.
We cannot equip them with everything you need but we can equip you with the essentials and thats what we do best.
We are ready to shift into the next year in regards to product development and we have a lot of ideas on the table. Winter season is upon us and we would like to get our Ski Belt in full swing so we can have it ready for this years ski season. If you have some clever ideas we are ready to hear them. A lot of planning goes into our gear and its difficult to find items that will fit into our belts so we also have to look into other types of wearable gear and technologies.
Please help us by mailing your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our trip to Colorado was pretty awesome. We were traveling for almost one entire month. From July 15th to August 12th. We first stopped in Idaho Springs where a dear friend of ours has a small cabin. We visited for one night then headed to Steamboat the next morning to meet some family who has lived there for several decades. Steamboat Springs Colorado is a really nice small ski town with a very relaxed image and feel. We spent a good 10 days there enjoying the sights, gondola, shopping, hiking, camping and some river play. We did attempt to do some trout fishing but the mosquitos were really bad. We were able to take some really great photos of our new belts and did some video as well. Lots of fun. We ended our visit with a trip to the hot springs there for an afternoon. Great time. We were lucky enough to stay at our cousins home which saved us a bundle of money.
After our 10 days in Steamboat we headed to Golden where the same friend who owns the cabin has a home and woodworking shop. We stayed a few days while he wrapped up some projects for a Sprinter van then took off camping near Bueno Vista for 3 days then near Aspen. Aspen area was incredible. It was like those beautiful photos you saw as kid of Colorado where everything was just perfect and beautiful. We really loved that part of the state the most and hope to return next year.
We made it back home to our Alpenlore shop several days ago and have been really working hard to ge!t back in the groove. We will write more about our adventures soon but its time to get some stuff done around here. Thanks for tuning in everyone!
Scott / Founder / Alpenlore USA
Several of the staff here at Alpenlore have been pretty busy enjoying the beautiful weather this July/Aug in Colorado. We came out here to see how our equipment works and to test it in some possible unforeseen situations where we may require some new item to assist us in wilderness survival.
What we found is that there are several things that we thought would be vital and many other items that would be helpful in some way to make surviving tolerable.
We are still currently in Colorado and are heading back in a few days to try and figure out a way to work these items into our belts while still maintaining a slim and trim design concept.
We are looking forward to developing these new items into our belts for 2018 or hopefully before.
2018 is going to be a great year with the addition of several new belt designs and we hope to move into other areas of survival/travel. We also want to sell some novelty items like T-shirts and jackets as well. Packs are another item that we are really looking forward to developing. Some cool stuff is always unthought of and we hope to be the guys to dream it up and create it for YOU the consumer. Remember, we are also consumers and we can think like a consumer and this gives us the ability to think things thru as to what makes life more convenient and fun.
Well thank you for tuning in and we will see you again soon!
the staff @ Alpenlore USA
Well, for all of you out there who are familiar with paracord, it seems that this very practical and essential piece of gear is becoming more and more popular these days. You can buy almost any color imaginable and now there are even glow in the dark and reflective paracord. It is being used a lot as bracelets and other things such as keychains and belts, gun slings and other creative products. Lots of people buy 20ft or so and just keep it in their rucksack or even keep a 300 ft spool in their vehicle.
So, para cord is all over the world and really has become a normal thing to carry or have for an array of situations. Survival is one of those situations and/or having it to use to rig up something or fix something around the house or work area. Para cord is just a wonderful little piece of gear.
You can now buy it in thicker widths for added strength all the way up to climbing rope strength.
The things that you can accomplish with it are endless. I`ve got some next to me at this very minute as I type this blog. I tell ya, paracord is a man`s best friend in some regards.
What will it be used for next you ask? Well the sky is the limit. I imagine it will be used more and more to secure a variety of things and be used as shoe laces and to weave camp chairs.
Alpenlore has been using it to create the shell of our survival belts for 4 years now and we keep seeing an increase in quality. We just love it.
There`s a book out there called 101 ways to use Para cord. Ive never read it but I do have my own version of that.
Some of the great things Ive learned are making a splint or building a stretcher to carry one to safety. Constructing a shelter in the outdoors to stay warm and dry. Carry or hauling forest materials back to your camp. I use it while camping to throw my food up into a tree and hoist it up in order to keep the bears and creates of the night away from prying into it.
If you have some stories or ideas for using this wonder material, please let us know.
We would love to add it to the list of uses.
Thanks again and have a great day!
The Staff @ Alpenlore USA
Made in the USA Pt2
While we are continuing to plan our NEW Shop location here in the US after being in Japan for 10 years, we are now back stateside and the planning to build Alpenlore here has us pretty busy.
We were careful not to build Alpenlore too much in Japan as we knew moving a company back home would be more difficult the bigger we were and would end up being extremely costly. So we exited at the right time and now our office is setup and we are ready to roll. Our ideas for Tactical gear, survival gear, travel gear and winter sports is starting to take shape.
Currently we are selling Three categories of belts and they are MOUNTAIN style, SPY style and TRAVEL.
However, we have a lot more categories to go and many new innovations to explore.
The theme of our products are pockets pockets pockets! Storing loads of goodies is where we want to focus our energy, but thats not where we want to stop. Offering survival tools is another big part of who we are. Travel products is something we have been focusing our attention as of late and I think this is another big area but somewhat separate from the products the tactical man or women may be interested. So we have lots of innovating to do and researching the types of features most travelers are looking for these days. We are really looking forward to exploring this area.
Further on down the road we would like to move into other products outside of belts, but understand that belts is where we started and we feel that this area is where we feel we are the very best in the business and want to continue pouring our focus into. We were sort of the first company to innovate the belt to this level and we want to make sure we are always the leader when it comes to this.
Part 3 coming soon.
The Staff @ Alpenlore