Entries tagged with: outdoors

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 107):

*notcot in home+decor - 0 Notes

Rumpl Down Puffy

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Wow. The Rumpl Down Puffy is SO WARM. The kind folks at Rumpl sent one over last week, and taking it up to the Cowboy Cabin in Julian, CA was the perfect test! At a “trekking size” of 54”x80” (like a slightly short twin) with 600 fill duck down insulation - it weighs in at a mere 1.12 lbs. And it is WARM. I overheat curled up with it on the couch at home, but in the cold rainy mountain night in a 1940’s cabin… it was perfect! I ran around outside in a tank top wrapped in the down puffy and stayed cozy. I curled up in it as we got the fire going, and it felt SO good! And when we needed an extra layer on the bed at night - it warmed us up fast! Though being made of 200 Ripstop Nylon (like a sleeping bag) is it incredibly slippery, so we had to retrieve it from wherever it would slide off to in the night. We’ll be tossing the Rumpl Down Puffy in the car for future road trips and adventures for sure! Check out the pictures and unboxing on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Timothy J. Reynolds for North Face 2016

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The North Face Homestead Collection grabbed me instantly with the popping faceted, shadowy graphics… which are by 3D illustrator Timothy J. Reynolds. They feel like a modern digi-camo taken to a whole new level… you’d blend right into a vintage video game campsite made of polygons? Somehow the Americans get red, and the UK get green (and their tent comes with the Tentertainment system?!?!) - but both are pretty stunning. Discovering the Homestead Collection on Timothy’s twitter, i had to know more! See the pictures and more details of the collection on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Trader Joe's Coffee: Brew In The Bag

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Trader Joe’s Pour Over Coffee that you Brew In The Bag! As usual - Trader Joe’s has fun with the graphic design on their private label goods. How could we resist trying out this adorable Pour Over Coffee that you brew in the bag? Just add hot water! Also - we much as Shawn’s all about the chemex and fresh stumptown… it’s pretty good! Supposedly the quality falls somewhere between a traditional pour over and french press.

A bit of research quickly shows that the danish company behind this fun packaging and concept is Grower’s Cup. They have this setup for both coffee and tea - as well as specialty kits (like Irish Coffee!) and you can even find some on Amazon. While not necessarily something you need at home - it’s perfect for on the go, especially camping! AND… the cheap, flat packaging is REUSABLE! Just scoop out the grounds and refill.

See more pictures of all the details on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 1 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Off-roading Arches National Park

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There’s an incredible 20+ miles of unpaved/4x4 trails in Arches National Park! And it’s especially spectacular on a sunny, snow covered winter day! Also incredibly - while there were tons of tourists packing ever view point on the main roads, we spent hours off-roading and taking in the stunning rock formations without seeing another car - or person! The funny thing is that we’d tried to go find some of the off roading trails around Moab, but many of them were heavily snowed in and pretty unpassable, so on the way home we figured we’d cruise through Arches quickly to get a peek at what to explore next time… but then we looked down at the map… noticed the 4x4 trails… and a few hours later we popped back out of the park! The trail put our NOTFZJ80 (and our driving skills) to the test - and it handled fantastically. Take a look at our adventure - and if you find yourself that way, we definitely recommend it. Lots of pictures and videos on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Epic Holiday Road Trip: LA-Nashville-LA

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It has been QUITE the holiday season this year. 2015 will definitely be remembered for all the labs in our life… from Shawn’s Beast who lived to 12.5 years old, our Bucky the NOTpuppy, and the brand new Caleb! With Beast getting ill, family situations, and more - an Aspen christmas turned into an epic 3 week 5000+ mile road trip for Shawn, Bucky, and I in the NOTFZJ. We quickly went from LA to Kingman, AZ to Albuquerque, NM, Fayetteville, AR over to Nashville where we spent a week and a half with his family before venturing back west slightly slower. On the way back we bounced from Nashville through tornado weather over to Columbia, MO to amazing BBQ in Kansas City, spending the night in Burlington, CO… venturing to dim sum and dog parks in Denver/Boulder for Christmas, out to Grand Junction, CO… then ending up in a tiny cabin high in the La Sal Mountains in Utah for two nights… offroading the incredible trails in Arches National Park… then on to St George, UT and finally back home to LA yesterday. PHEW Exhausting and amazing to recap all the places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen… and on the next page is only the @notlabs instagram highlights! The journey as been incredibly fun, exhausting, eye opening, and thought provoking on so many levels - so jump in and see what we’ve been up to on the next page while i go relax and reflect on how awesome 2015 has been!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Bass Pro Toy Sets and Ride-on ATVs

bpstore0.jpg Driving across country from LA to Nashville, we had to stop at the epic Bass Pro Pyramid (Bass Pro moved into the Memphis Pyramid downtown) - and it is truly a disney style adventure inside… giant outdoor store with hotel (where rooms have screened in porches with rocking chairs), aquarium, ponds, nature dioramas, waterfowling heritage center, a fish themed bowling alley, restaurant, shooting ranges, an elevator to the top of the pyramid and more. And during holiday time, it was even more over the top. But what was most surprising (beyond seeing it all in person) - was the TOYS. I had no idea that they had so many toys… from their own brand… representing all types of outdoor activities (for adventure boys and “girlz”) from camping and kayaking, to fishing and hunting, 4x4 and rafting, motocross and more! They even have a “Sporting Dog Vet Set”! Also adorable ride-on ATVs for toddlers… which as far as how you ride them goes, it looks a lot more realistic than the mini Mercedes and Porsche ones! Take a peek at what grabbed my attention on the next page.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Brendan Monroe (+ Expedition) Field Notes

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I have been far to obsessed and giddy about Brendan Monroe’s black and white 3D looking landscapes - they are magical as huge murals, mesmerizing online… and when i saw the limited edition 2015 XOXOfest Field Notes with his work on the covers, i couldn’t resist! For less than 10$, you get three amazing little pieces… and i love them all so much, after writing this post i’m off to find the staple remover so i can frame them up!

While ordering that set, i also gave in to the waterproof Expedition Edition too! How can you resist the ” hi-visibility “Antarctic Survey Orange” front cover and “Polar Night Black” back cover, with a subtle varnish effect featuring a topographic map of Antarctica.” And who doesn’t need a notebook made of Yupo Synthetic paper which is water- and tear-proof paper extruded from polypropylene pellets in Chesapeake, Virginia. So perfect for NOTFZJ adventures! And they even threw in their signature Clic Pen and the Field Notes Band of Rubber fits perfectly around a single notebook. So fun! See al the details up close on the next page…

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Pigro Felice: Inflatable Seals

seal0.jpg Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she explores London Design Week 2015!

On fun eye grabbing booths at 100% Design London, you couldn’t miss the inflatable booth of Pigro Felice - which is Italian for “Lazy Happy” - a perfect fit! Especially when you see their incredible huge inflatable seal… and mini inflatable seals… and fun seal logo! They have everything from beachwear and towels to Modul’Air, which is an interesting series of modular inflatable loungers that can be shifted from chairs and couches to floating daybeds, giant rafts, and more. See the details (and the adorable seals) on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

72U Venice Pop Up Park - Fence Tables

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Saturday marked the opening of the Venice Pop Up Park at 1021 ½ Abbot Kinney Blvd! On fun NOTlabs projects, Shawn and I had the pleasure of helping the latest 72U group (ad agency 72andSunny’s 12 week creative residency program) bring this park to life. An idea sparked at TedX Venice Beach was to turn a 1,500 sq ft dirt lot where a house once stood just off the uber-hip Abbot Kinney Blvd into a community co-working park of sorts where people can meet, collaborate, relax, have lunch, and more!

72U brought us in to lead their diverse group of 6 creatives (artists, engineers, architects, and everything in between) from around the world - who had never built something of this scale before! It has been an incredible journey the last 2.5 months… from ideation and concepting to prototyping and planning, and the final few weeks of hardcore manual labor in the hot LA sun! There is no detail they didn’t get their hands dirty with.

All their hard work has created an incredibly inviting pop up park due to their innovative FENCE! Tasked to fence in the park (it’s on private property) when closed, they found a work around to keep it feeling as open and inviting as possible to passersby by having the fence transform into tables. When open, the fence panels hinge inwards to make tables and bars. The design is further highlighted by their geometric mural that hides the table tops in plain site. Take a peek at the making of, the fence/tables, and the launch party on the next page.

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*notcot in wearable - 0 Notes

Leatherman Tread - Wearable Multitool

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The Leatherman Tread in real life! I’ve been far too curious and excited to check out this “wearable multitool” in person since it was announced - and it’s here! Leatherman just sent this over, and we’ve been test driving it the last few days. First impression? It feels great, and definitely attracts a lot of attention. As a hefty (somewhat heavy) stainless steel linked bracelet with up to 29 tools that you can get through airport security (or into Disneyland with - which inspired the Tread!) the more you wear it, the more useful you find it. So far i’ve opened many a bottle at the 72U Pop Up Park launch party, tightened a few hex screws (IKEA sizes on your wrist!), popped the sim card out of my iPhone, cut paracord with ease, and popped sockets onto it. While i have been using my Original Leatherman Wave since the late 90’s and added the matte black New Wave with Bit Kit to my purse a few years back - the Tread complements them nicely.

Bottom line - it’s basically the ultimate functional charm bracelet. You can remove and rearrange links as needed. I had to give up 2 links/6 tools to get the fit right! People who noticed and asked about it either wanted to have it, or buy it for their significant others. Those who didn’t notice, probably only saw a chunky metal bracelet.

Take a look at the full unboxing and detail shots of the Leatherman Tread in action on the next page.

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Gateway Camping Gear + REI EVRGRN

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There’s GLAMPING (Glam-camping) and ATHLEISURE (Athletic looking leisure wear)… and there’s been a fascinating, growing space of what we’ve been referring to as GATEWAY CAMPING Gear… that bright, happy, playful, hipsterific, instagram-ready camping gear that transitions easily from apartment/patio to mountain top… it works just as well for a picnic/hike as it does for extra party seating… and it all folds right up to pop into your car or pack. Don’t get me wrong - i’m a fan. (In fact, my fascination with the space may be part of how Shawn convinced me into building the NOTFZJ Project!) It’s fun, colorful, and i love seeing more well designed, efficient, multipurpose products as well as more technical materials making their way into our everyday lives. It’s been mesmerizing to watch it all unfold! These are the products that are easier to justify to a “once in a while” camper - because you’ll probably end up using it at home and in the yard and it won’t look too out of place. It’s the perfect ‘off to college’ gift genre since it works for your dorm room and outdoor adventures.

If you’re still trying to picture the brands that embody this - think of Poler, Alite, Nomadix, and Rumpl - maybe even aspects of Snowpeak, Biolite, Treeline Outdoors, Best Made Co, and Camp Brand Goods. It is all about the lifestyle! The perfect lovely, tranquil, mosquito-free, lakeside, tree-surrounded campsite - curled up with your closest friends around the camp fire with no one else in sight… as the birds tweet around you and a gourmet meal is being prepared. You know - that ideal postcard/instagram moment! Where all is perfect with the world - and maybe you have cell signal/wifi and proper bathrooms nearby. Another example? That resurgence of enamelware mugs and more permeating our kitchens… as well as our camping kits.

I know, it may sound cynical, and i certainly don’t mean it that way - it has just been fascinating to watch the emergence of this Gateway Camping Gear that helps ease the transition from city kid to the outdoor adventurer - just like Glamping took camping to the luxurious extreme, and Athleisure made it ok to run around in workout clothes (without working out) - Gateway Camping Gear is helping made the slide from urban living into woods easier! And you’ll notice more and more traditional outdoor/adventure brands leaning towards less hardcore, more playful, lifestyle products to pull people in. The latest is definitely REI’s evrgrn collection (yes, fashionably named with arbitrary vowels dropped even). Take a peek on the next page at REI’s new evrgrn collection - it’s not hard to see where their inspiration comes from!

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*notcot in home+decor - 1 Notes

Lotus Belle Tents + Assembly

tent0.jpg I haven’t been able to get these Lotus Belle Tents out of my head since i ran into one while exploring Mercado Sagrado. They feel part “normal” tent + part yurt + part awesome inflatable structure looking shape… that all fits in a duffle bag (or two! depending on size) - and it’s SO spacious! They come in 16ft and 13ft sizes - and “The 16ft Lotus is 56% bigger in size than the 13ft and fits everything but the kitchen sink!”

Of course the part that was intriguing me next - HOW do you assemble it? And of course they have an adorable instructional video… and the cutest hand drawn pdf instructions! It’s also surprisingly simple to assemble, even alone (though i’m sure help would speed things along nicely.) Basically you lay the waterproof floor down, pop the walls up, pop the roof up, poke the pole up to hold the center up, and velcro wall and roof together… and you’re done! Depending on your needs, they have a few variations - adding various doors, screens, and other luxuries. Take a peek at it all on the next page - i’m so tempted to pop one up in the yard, or for our next adventure!

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*notcot in home+decor - 0 Notes

KETTAL Cottage by Patricia Urquiola

cottage0.jpg I’ve been researching far too many decks, patios, gazebos, hammock structures, mesh pavilions, building codes and more as of late… i guess i’m itching for a new LARGER design project to toy with, as well as an excuse to spend more time lounging in the yard. On fun inspiration, currently loving this new KETTAL Cottage by Patricia Urquiola! In some ways it feels like an old school platform tent you can rent at some camp sites, in other ways it’s like a mini house/cabana to chill poolside. What’s especially nice is how versatile your options for the side panels and roll down covers are! Also thinking that Bucky would totally try to hop in and splay out taking over the whole thing… perhaps a mini or a platform attachment for the dog would be a fun add on. Take a peek at far more pictures on the next page.

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Ice Screw Apple Corer + Apple Ribbon Galette

galette00.jpg On random inspiration from our Ice Climbing Adventure in Johnston Canyon last week - i feel ridiculous saying this - but when i was playing with the ice screws that we were hanging from, all i could think was… APPLE CORER! The one i’d been using previously was hard to aim accurately (honestly, most apples don’t have perfectly vertical cores!), sprayed a mess of juice all over, and were hard to get the cores out of. The ice climbing screws are precision engineered to make a perfect hole and displace the ice out of the center. The Black Diamond Express Ice Screw even has a little crank knob that flips out to make it even easier once you get it going. Inspiration comes from everywhere, right?

I’ve also been experimenting with different things i can do with my Benriner Spiralizer - mostly because it’s so fun, and its fascinating to see how a recipe changes when you alter the form of the ingredients! So coring the apples, then using the spiralizer to slice the apples into ribbons (basically take out the blade with teeth), creates a delicious pie filling! Much more tender than the usual chunky apple slices, yet they still hold their form nicely. I love the way it tastes and feels! (You’ll understand once you try it!)

So freshly home, and catching up - I had to make an Apple Ribbon Galette inspired by our Alberta Winter Adventures! So the apples are cored with the ice screw from ice climbing in Johnston Canyon, Banff, they were sliced up on the cutting board i made with Oliver Apt, Edmonton, and spiced with apple pie spice from Silk Road Spices, Calgary! Check out my Apple Ribbon Galette recipe and more on the next page!

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*notcot in nature - 1 Notes

Snowy Owl Dog Sledding - Canmore

dogMAIN0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Dog Sledding!!! I’ve always been curious about what dog sledding is like, so when Travel Alberta asked if we wanted to try it, of course we said yes! Today we joined Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours for a 2 hour adventure, and it was eye opening! First, for a bit of back story - Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault as one of the first dog sledding tours, and is now run by their kids, Jereme and Carlin. They have around 175 dogs, and tend to breed/adopt their dogs. While they are of racing stock, they really train them for tourist adventures - meaning they are all extremely people and camera friendly, and love the hugs and attention from all the visitors. Their website is extremely detailed about the high standards of their kennel, their dog training, feeding, and why their dogs are everything. The love between the dogs and the Snowy Owl folks is apparent as soon as you meet them all - so much playful passion and work ethic from both the dogs and humans! Even though the snow was minimal, and the adventure was not as awesome as it can be (i’ve got to try again in fresh powder!) - the experience was fascinating, the dogs adorable, and Shawn and I learned a lot riding with Jereme.

Take a peek at the stunning adventure on the next page! And of course, tons of adorable dog pics.

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Ice Climbing with Yamnuska - Johnston Canyon

climb0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Ice Climbing! As far as our itinerary for this adventure, I knew that the intro to ice climbing with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures would be the most ambitious new experience on the list. Based in Canmore, they are over 30 years old, and have an impressive (intimidating?) team of incredibly qualified guides. In fact, as i research to write this post, i’m still floored by the background of our ice climbing instructor, Barry Blanchard, who has been with Yamnuska since the beginning! A quick internet search, shows he’s pretty much a legend in the alpine world… and as Shawn and I know, he’s also one of the nicest, most patient, passionate, intelligent teachers we’ve experienced! I don’t even know where to start - so take a peek at his wikipedia entry for the highlights, he’s also one of Patagonia’s first ambassadors, just published his memoir, and is a go to by Hollywood for alpine related films.

But all that aside, before we got to know Barry, we knew little about ice climbing at all. We met with him, learned the gear basics, put our crampons on, and hiked into Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park to the upper falls. Once there, he walked us through the basics, and got us climbing! The experience was AMAZING - also made me realize how much i need to get into shape so we can get even further next time! Take a peek on the next page for the experience, and the breathtaking icy falls of Johnston Canyon.

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*notcot in home+decor - 0 Notes

Rumpl Beer Blankets

beerblanket1.jpg On more Instagram inspiration (yes, i’ve been finding a lot of that lately) - the @GoRumpl #BeerBlanket made me wish a tiny bit that i went to Outdoor Retailer. So, Rumpl is a “high performance blanket” company - that started making blankets and throws out of sleeping bag type materials. They remind me of the unzipped rectangular sleeping bags… but without the zipper! (You may have seen then before on NOTCOT.org.) And on unique, adorable tradeshow swag - their Beer Blankets are mini versions (stuff sack and all) for your beer!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Packaging + Design of BioLite

biolitemain.jpg Ok, so by now, it’s pretty well known that BioLite with its “Energy Everywhere” tagline - has everything you need to not only survive, but charge your gadgets whether you’re camping or weathering inclement weather. With their first product, the CampStove you can get things heating with twigs - no fuel needed! AND the energy can be used to power your devices via USB. The Portable Grill is the perfect add on to expand its capabilities… and my favorite, the KettlePot is a brilliant multipurpose piece that not only serves as a pot and kettle, but also a brilliant case/space saver for the CampStove itself! As they keep expending the line - there is now also a Base Camp stove, as well as the KettleCharge for those times when your power goes out, but you can still light the stove - simply boil and charge!

So yes, they are all incredibly functional for a multitude of situations. And our NOTFZJ80 Land Cruiser feels just a bit safer with them packed - just in case! But what i love even MORE than that about the line - is the packaging and design details! Everything is so thoughtfully created… from the minimal recycled packaging that just pops off the shelf (making them extra awesome holiday gifts!) to the playfully elegant color choices, and smart details that make them intuitive to use. They were kind enough to send over the CampStove and Portable Grill before our epic Alberta Adventures, and we had to add the KettlePot into the mix too! Check out all the packaging and design details on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Road Trip: Oregon + NorCal Coast

roadhome0.jpg 4,000 miles and 2.5 weeks later - we are HOME! From LA up to Alberta and back… the first part took us from LA to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the second part was 8 days exploring as much of Alberta, Canada as possible, and this final part is the journey home! To get home we crossed over to British Columbia and crossed the border into Idaho through Spokane, WA over to the Oregon Coast and followed the ocean down to San Francisco then dropped back down central California home to Los Angeles! I’m still amazed (and exhausted) reliving how much we’ve seen and done the last few days as i put this post together! Take a peek at the journey and discoveries on the next page - from the “world’s largest truck” to a few breweries to spontaneous forest (and redwood) hikes to a cheese factory to driving the NOTFZJ80 on the beach to 3 dozen elk and mini deer to finding a whole new level of “dog-friendly accomodations” and the pushed up ocean floor at the Stornetta Public Lands… phew what an adventure! Though it is good to be home, even for a few quick days!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Test Trip, Big Bear II

map0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

So for Part I of the NOTFZJ80 Test Trip, we focused on Camping… in Part II, it’s time for off roading! And in this case, we decided to explore the Forest Service Roads around Big Bear further and really put the NOTFZJ80 through its paces. So from paved roads and highways… we headed down Forest Service Roads to find our campsite. They varied from paved to dirt to rocky… as we used the yellow post sites as an excuse to weave our way through the mountains as we checked out a few more spots, we arbitrarily picked service roads to explore! The result? everything from easy scenic routes to steeper routes… super steep rocky routes… weaving from peeks of lake views… through once burned forests starting to get lush with new growth… coming across a surprised family of deer… and more! Most importantly? It was fun, relaxing, and the NOTFZJ80 handled like a tank! you can see our route on the map above - the X is where we camped, and the rest is where we wiggled before popping out in Fawnskin. Take a peek on the next page…

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Test Trip, Big Bear I

maincamp0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

I can’t believe we’re finally at this stage… TEST TRIP! For our first quick test trip there are two big things that need testing: #1 Camping! #2 Offroading! It still blows my mind how quickly we’ve gotten here, and how much we’ve done. It looks like such a different car from when we first brought it home. Looking back for a moment - we’ve been asked “Why THIS project car?” quite a bit, and without a doubt, it’s all about the experience for me. This isn’t exactly the type of setup you can just rent - and there’s something different when you do it all yourself bit by bit to make your ultimate setup! And as NOTCOT closes in on 10, I can’t even count how many incredible experiences i’ve been exposed to as i’ve run around covering events, exploring brands, testing (new) cars all over the world, but what has been lacking are the random vacations and goal free explorations I used to have. So the NOTFZJ80 is our way to do something that none of our other vehicles can do, and a reason to simply venture out, get lost, and get inspired by the unplannable unknown. Will it work? I can’t wait to find out!

So back to first test trip… having just gotten back from Atlanta, and heading to Iron Mountain, Michigan tomorrow… we didn’t have much time to squeeze in a little test trip. So it had to be close to home! A bit of research landed us on Big Bear! Only 2.5 hours away, gorgeous lake, and an easy spot to camp for a night and off road a bit… so take a look at part one (Camping!) on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

NOTFZJ80: PART IV

fzjupdate.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

Wow. We’ve so much has changed since the last update on our NOTFZJ80 Project. When you last saw it, we installed the front bumper + winch and were in a holding pattern as it got some work done at TLC. Well - it’s back! It’s had front axel, transfer case, bushings, and differential rebuilt and new Old Man Emu suspension, DBA brakes, radiator and rear bumper installed. Since it’s been back we’ve also installed a 40” LED light bar and snorkel on the front - awning off the passenger side and annex under the rooftop tent - and filled the rear bumper with jerry cans, spare tire, MaxTrax, and grill! Needless to say - we’ve been busy, and we’re just about ready to go test out camp with the NOTFZJ80. Check out our progress on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: PART III

update0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

Seems about time for a NOTFZJ80 Project update! This update is a combo of accessorizing and… waiting. So much patient waiting… as the Land Cruiser heads in to TLC to get some work done. But just because the car isn’t here doesn’t mean there aren’t NOTFZJ80 Project related tasks to be done. In this update we’ve got the front bumper + winch installed, dropped it off to the shop, started the scavenger hunt for parts (which even brings us over to AutoNation Toyota in Irvine), amusement with jigger siphons, jerry cans, MaxTrax, D-ring shackle bracelets, marine grade battery and more… check out the latest progress on the next page! We are nearly adventure ready!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Laser Smashball Experiment

smash1.jpg It feels like it’s been summer here since february or so… and when we were checking out at the supermarket, had a nostalgic moment when i spotted Smashball - that beachy wooden paddle ball game thats been around since the 70s with such an adorably iconic logo. It also seemed like a fun one to experiment with in the Laser Cutter! Remember the hexagon experiment from the laser challenge? Well we threw some of those patterns together and played with painting and etching it into the paddles and toying with some custom colored plastidip. Take a peek at more details of the experiment on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: ARB Simpson III Roof Top Tent

arbtent0b.jpg So excited to announce that The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

On NOTFZJ80 updates - the truck is currently in the shop at TLC and we have put in an order for some OEM parts over at AutoNation Toyota Irvine - so big updates to come in the following weeks! Currently the biggest update is the addition of our ARB Simpson III Roof Top Tent we received, installed, and climbed around in… (No, i haven’t spent the night in it yet!) I’m still in awe of it - so fun, so BIG, and i love the way it opens and closes. While rooftop tents have long been the norm in places like Australia and Africa (keeps you up above the creepy crawlies and such) - they are starting to pop up more and more in the US lately. It took Shawn a bit to convince me it was the way to go - until our adventures at Overland Expo where i got to climb in and around a few models to fully understand how this was so different from camping in a regular tent… and picked this one!

So what’s so different? Firstly, THE VIEW! Everything looks so different peeking out from the windows up above the car. And they say a shift in perspective can do wonders - i’ve even heard that taller beds often changing the way you dream! There’s also something treehouse like about being perched up there. Secondly, the nearly queen sized foam mattress! Yup, this isn’t just sleeping on a sleeping pad in a sleeping bag. You can even close it up with your bedding in there. And thirdly, the way it opens and closes with ease - just pull off the cover, slide out the ladder, and pull it open! With a little practice, we’re getting faster and faster with it!

Oh, and yes the cantilever is super secure - and no the ladder is not structural. (First thing everyone asks as they climb up in there!) Ready to see all the details of it up close? To the next page!

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