Four Months To Go

There are now only four months until my retirement and the start of the trip. Work is underway to make some improvements to the Defender and I’m in the process of buying more stuff for the trip.

The new headlining and the X-Eng disc handbrake have been fitted to the Defender. The next jobs include tackling some rust areas on the doors and fitting a replacement front bumper that has an integral recovery point. The underside will also be cleaned and Waxoyled.

The Europe trip highlighted the limitations of an iPad when it comes to typing blog entries so I have bought a Macbook Air (11 inch). The size and weight of the Macbook Air are minimal but it brings more computing options when compared with the iPad. I’ve also bought a Western Digital My Passport For Mac (1TB) portable back-up drive to use with the Macbook. It gets its power from the laptop via a USB cable and is very small, so it will be well-suited for overlanding. I will probably also take the iPad along .

Macbook Air, iPad and WD My Passport back up drive
Macbook Air, iPad and WD My Passport back up drive

The Macbook requires a 110 power source for charging so I’ve bought a Black & Decker 100W power inverter that will convert 12 volt power from the Defender to 110. The unit claims to be ideal for laptops but I’ll be testing it out prior to the trip. Depending on how it performs, I may purchase a more expensive pure-sine inverter.

Black & Decker 100W inverter
Black & Decker 100W inverter

I needed a good quality mini flashlight that can be carried on my belt. Having looked at available options, I settled on the Nitecore SRT3 Defender. The LED flashlight puts out 550 lumens and is powered by a CR123 battery. It comes with a belt-pouch as well as a belt clip so that it is always close at hand.

Nitecore SRT3 Defender flashlight
Nitecore SRT3 Defender flashlight

I’ve also bought a Platypus Gravityworks water filtration system as an additional option for water treatment. We’ll be carrying water on the truck in jerry cans and will have Milton sterilising fluid to treat water of an unknown quality. However, should we find ourselves having to collect water from streams, ponds or lakes in the less populated areas, a method of filtering the water would be beneficial. There are many different water filtration products on the market, some of which are expensive and bulky. I’ve opted for the Platpus Gravityworks product due to its simplicity, compact size and light weight. It consists of two clear 4-litre bags that are connected by a tube with an inline filter. Dirty water is collected in one bag which is hung up, allowing the water to flow through the filter by gravity and into the clean bag. The manufacturer claims that the system will filter 4 litres of water in 2.5 minutes and can remove particles, protozoa and bacteria down to 0.2 microns. Together with the Milton fluid, the filter should ensure that we have a clean supply of water throughout the trip.

Platypus Gravityworks water filter
Platypus Gravityworks water filter

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