Tag Archives: goal zero

Goal Zero’s Light-A-Life Solar Accessories: The Ultimate Way to Illuminate Adventures

When Goal Zero officially became one of the Simply Adventure trip sponsors, I was beside myself with excitement about powering the van through solar equipment. It is incredibly valuable to be able to charge my laptop and camera while I’m on the road, but my favorite piece of Goal Zero gear isn’t a heavy duty generator or sweet portable solar panel: it’s a small, simple LED light.

The Goal Zero Light-A-Life is a modestly sized solar lantern that we currently power from our Extreme 350 generator. These incredible 3-watt LED lights turned my dim van into a bright home. We use it when we’re cooking, lounging in the evenings, and on those frequent occasions when we’re frantically searching for something we lost in the van.

Niko uses the Goal Zero Light-A-Life to illuminate our kitchen space in the van while cooking at night.The Goal Zero Light-A-Life powers our van cooking adventures every night.

The first time I plugged in a Light-A-Life, I was blown away by how powerful they are. We used the van’s cabin lights on the first night of the trip, and once we finally opened up the Light-A-Life, it was like entering a whole new world.

We use two linked together in the van, but a single Light-A-Life easily lights up the main interior. You can link up to eight lights together. A small carabineer located on top of the Light-A-Life makes it easy to hang up no matter where you are.

The Goal Zero Light-A-LifeAnd they’re durable. Before realizing we needed a better way of securing them to the beams along the van roof, our Light-A-Lights took many hard falls while we were bumping up and down dirt roads in Joshua Tree. One dirt road was shaky enough to eventually dislodge the LED bulb from the lantern, but it was completely fine even after taking a tumble onto the floor. According to Goal Zero, they aren’t quite waterproof, but will still work even in a steady downpour.

The only thing I would change about the Light-A-Life LED solar lantern is making them comptabile with a Guide 10 battery pack. I’m no engineer, but since the Light-A-Life takes up so little energy, it seems like it should be able to be powered by something more accessible than a big ‘ole generator. We lugged ours out to a picnic table the other night, and the Extreme 350 is so heavy that it almost made taking the lights out too much of a chore.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Light-A-Life LED laterns to anyone with a Goal Zero solar set-up – and retailing at $39.99, they’re surprisingly affordable. They’re the perfect accessory for your solar gear, and make life on the road so much more convenient. We use ours every day, and would be totally in the dark without it.

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Caught Red-Handed in a J-Tree Parking Lot: The First Simply Adventure Video

I still owe you a ton of updates from our time in Hueco Tanks and Arizona, but I couldn’t resist sharing this ridiculous video of Niko and I. Before you watch, here’s a backstory on how this little film came to be:

So after a very windy day of climbing at Joshua Tree National Park, Niko and I retreated back to van in a relatively deserted parking lot. As we were packing up, a curious chick came clamoring towards the van with all sorts of questions about who we were, what we were doing, and how we had outfitted our van. After a few quick introductions, we ended up spending over an hour cooped in the van talking about our trip.

This photo by Alexandra Klos (KlosUpPictures.com) perfectly captures the essence of my dirtbaggery.

The chick ended up being this awesome photographer who was visiting two friends in Los Angeles hoping to discover exactly what she wanted to do with her life. She had spent the entire week raving to her two friends about the idea of buying a vehicle to live in while she traveled the country to photograph the outdoors – and totally took our chance encounter as a sign. By the end of our little chat, she was convinced that fate was telling her to just do it.

Stoked on our trip, she asked if she could film a little and take some photos of the van – and this is what she ended up with:

*Warning: I look like a TOTAL dirtbag bum. It ain’t pretty, folks.

Big thanks to Alexandra Klos for putting this sweet video together on the fly, it was definitely a much appreciated ego-boost to hear y’all tell us we were “iconic,” however untrue that may be! If you want to check out more from Klos Up Pictures, visit her Vimeo page, or head over to the Klos Up Pictures website , which is currently under construction, but I’m sure will soon be exploding with incredible photography.

But seriously. I look like such a bum. If it makes anyone feel better, the day after this photo, Niko and I rented a cheap motel room and I totally showered. I promise.

PS: Alexandra, we better see you out on the road living in your own van soon!
You’ve go the spirit and the guts to make it happen, and we hope you follow your dreams!

Simply Adventure update: Sponsorships, funding, and buying the van!

Wow. At first, Janaury 25th felt like it was a lifetime away, but as our departure date approaches, everything is beginning to feel a lot more real. And by real, I mean a truly overwhelming cacophony of excitement, terror, and pressure.

In 102 days, Niko and I will be officially beginning
the yearlong journey of Simply Adventure.

And, Simply Adventure has a lot of updates to share! So here goes:

Trip Planning: The most exciting item we’re planning to purchase for the trip (besides the van) is a giant map where we’ll start to plan out our route. We already have the first few months outlined: first, a jaunt to Houston to visit our climber friend Teresa and go climb at Reimer’s Ranch – followed by a few weeks in Hueco Tanks. Afterwards, we’ll head south of the border for what promises to be an amazing multi-pitch experience at El Potrero Chico in Mexico.

After Mexico, our plans are very vague – so we want your input! If you’ve got a local crag we must climb at, want to offer us a shower and/or place to park the van for an evening, or just want to meet up for some adventuring, let us know! We’ll be ironing out our plans more solidly over the next month.

Sponsorship: In the past few weeks, we’ve been connecting with a lot of fantastic outdoor brands that have been eager to lend a hand in supporting our mission to spread the word of conservation, outdoor recreation, and land stewardship. We’ve received wonderful gear sponsorships from Teton Sports and Columbia Sportswear, and our climbing lifestyle is being supported by Stonelick crash pads, ClimbOn! products, and Tallahassee Rock Gym. Over the weekend, we secured another sponsor:

The Simply Adventure project is officially
powered by Goal Zero solar energy!

Documenting and sharing a yearlong adventure while living out of a van is going to be no easy task – but thanks to Goal Zero, we’ll never be left in the dark. Our cameras, computers, and all our electronic gear will be kept charged for the entire journey – so you’ll always be able to connect with us! We are beside ourselves with excitement, thank you Goal Zero!

The Van: Our self-imposed deadline for getting our Sprinter is quickly approaching, so I’m headed down to Miami next week to see what I can do about turning my 2009 Scion tC into a Sprinter van. (Anyone want to buy my Scion? But really.) You can expect a huge, excited blog post once we finally have our new home. I can’t believe I’m going to be living in a van for a year – Niko always talked about it when we first started dating, and I told him he was nuts. Now here I am, selling everything I own to move into a Sprinter. Touché, Niko. Read More…

This week’s #ATQA Adventure Travel twitter chat recap – “Technology on the Trail”

After requesting any suggestions that the Adventure Travel Q&A chat community may have, we received a great inquiry about discussing the relationship between technology and the outdoors from Adam Nutting. The result was a great Twitter chat that generated plenty of opinions about topics like taking technology on the trail, favorite gear, and the merits of knowing how to navigate by compass when your GPS fails. We also had a few great guest appearances by awesome outdoor technology brands like Goal Zero, Pocket Ranger, and Point6 Socks.

Check out the conversation recap, and add your answers to the comments section!

Q1: What’s the role of technology in the outdoors?

Read More…

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