Thursday, October 4, 2018

ECOA Recovery Guide - Phase 3: Adding to the basics

In the last recovery article I spelled out a basic list of recovery equipment I consider essential to every 4wd vehicle that considers off-pavement travel.  In this article we'll take that basic kit and add to it.  By fleshing out the kit with a few additional accessories and additional recovery equipment we can make sure out slightly modified vehicle can still be recovered.

This was a tricky recovery requiring an angular pull with the winch.
A strap was also used from the rear of the Toyota to the front of the Jeep.
There was also a lot of digging.

Another bonus of fleshing out the recovery kit is increasing the ways in which the basic recovery gear can be used.  The more functional an item the better.  Read on for more details...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Progress update on the Poor Man's Teardrop 2.0

A while back I posted some pictures of a new trailer project.  I acquired a surplus M116A3 generator trailer chassis from the local Army Depot.  It was too good a deal to pass on.  The original plan was to turn it into a flat-deck dual-purpose utility trailer and toy-hauler.

M116A3 Generator Trailer purchased from a government surplus auction

Well, that was the original plan at least...

Friday, April 6, 2018


One of the overlooked areas on most modified vehicles whether they are cars or 4x4's is brakes.  A lot of people emphasis going fast, few emphasis handling, and even fewer stopping power.  Given the heavy E load range tires, towing a trailer, and the fact that the Jeep is my daily driver, my brakes have been long over due for an upgrade.

LJ on the lift at work.
For once I'm not the one turning the wrenches.
Luckily I work with some talented mechanics.

If you're familiar with ECOA then you know I like to do my own work.  Most all the work done to the LJ and the trailer has been done by me and my friends.  Very rarely do I resort to paying someone else to do my work for me.  Sadly current events (like getting a job) have cut into my free time.  Luckily my day just happens to be a a 4x4 store with it's own shop.  Anyway, read on for the details of my much needed brake upgrade...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Small Upgrades #1 = Radio Communications

If you look back at some of the posts here at ECOA there are some pretty cool flashy upgrades.  Everything from tires and suspension to extended range fuel tanks.  With much of the big stuff taken care of, it's time to turn attention to some smaller upgrades.

Redundancy layers are essential when it comes to communications.
Cell phones, radios, and satellite devices are a great way to have a backup for when one form or another fails.
In particular, radios are great because they all for easy interconnectivity within a group.

In the past I've written about how to prepare for your first adventure.  One of the things I covered was communications.  In that article I talked about how redundancy is nice, but it's important to have layers of different types of communication.  The time has come to upgrade my radios a little bit in preparation for my next adventure.  Read on for the upgrades...

Saturday, February 24, 2018

[Product Review] L.T. Wright Knives Camp Kitchen & Bushcrafter HC Knife Review

At Overland Expo East last year I had the pleasure of crossing paths with the crew at L.T. Wright Knives yet again.  A perennial favorite at both overland and off-road shows in the Mid-Atlantic area I've spent more than a few minutes <cough> hours <cough> drooling over their knives.

Checking out the LTWK booth at the 2017 Overland Expo East event

The end of 2017 they debuted their new Camp Kitchen.  It features four handcrafted chef knives ranging from a Large Kitchen Knife to a Small Pouter.  Together they cover all the bases for any kind of camp cooking.  The set also features a wood cutting board and comes bundled together in a handcrafted Blue Ridge Overland Gear clam-shell bag.  Read on for my full review of the set and a bonus review of the LTWK Bushcrafter HC Knife...