Karen and I have discussed numerous times what changes we will make when we head out for our next overlanding trip. What new cool gear will we purchase? What is the X that would have alleviated Y during our previous trip? Surprisingly enough, our list of new cool gear is surprisingly short:
Levelers – the things you put under the tires of the Casa to get it level. We managed fine by collecting rock, logs etc., to create ad hoc levelers, but it was pretty stupid not to spend the $31 and get the Lynx levelers at Walmart (we purchased a set when we got back to the US).
Portable grill – pretty handy to have a small Coleman style propane grill for fresh trout, shrimp, or Argentinian steaks. (Also purchased when we returned to the US).
Safe, secure, organized in-cab storage – We had three minor issues with theft from the Casa: 1) while shipping the Casa to Buenos Aires, we had a console unit – for storing maps, GPS etc., – in the cab of the truck stolen. Our fault, we shouldn’t have left anything, repeat anything, in the cab. 2) The driver side rear window of our truck was smashed outside the dinosaur museum in Trelew, Argentina, and and the thieves snatched a day pack, see this post. 3) shipping the Casa back to Jacksonville, FL, someone stole the windshield adapter for our GPS. Again, never anything in the cab of the truck while shipping Ro/Ro.
The first two pieces of gear were no big deal, the third item was much more difficult. We had tried to buy an in-cab storage system before we left for South America, but it did not exist. And we looked hard. So we built our own (not proud of the first prototype…)
My background is in high-tech startup companies, most of which required significant amounts of mechanical engineering. So, here is a classical startup situation: there is a need for a product (as in Karen and I wanted one…); the product does not exist; I know what it takes to design a great product. So, what did we do? Of course, started a company: ufyt Systems.
We are quite proud of the product – it rocks. After nine months, things are going well for ufyt and the future is bright.