Cast iron skillet for a traveling motorcyclist?! Some of you are already wondering, “What the heck is this guy thinking?!” Those take up too much room and weigh a ton! You cannot possibly expect someone to travel efficiently on a motorcycle and bring a cast iron along.
Well my friends, today you will learn that it can be done and with a lot less weight than you might expect. You will be surprised with just how little room it actually takes up when packed correctly.
One of my New Year’s goals was to cook more while camping, which was partially inspired by my Latin American friends. I already had a pot to boil water in and some very tiny saucepans, but wanted something I could really cook with while on the trail. I did my normal YouTube research, read reviews, and almost bought an aluminum saucepan.
Luckily I didn’t! For whatever reason, maybe pure luck, I came across an ad for “Field Company” while on Facebook. It was like the computer read my mind and this creation of a forged light weight cast iron skillet appeared!
I clicked on the ad, which brought me to a very professional, clean looking site. As I was scrolling down admiring the amazing looking foods cooked inside the pan, there was the verbiage, “Light enough to use everyday,” and just underneath it, “25-50% lighter than most cast irons.” My interest was piqued and I continued stalking the site.
Upon clicking the products link, I learned Field Company offers two sizes, the No. 10 and No. 8. I measured the size of my OEM pannier on my BMW R1200 GSA and was delighted to see that the No. 8 would lie flat inside.
Before purchasing or supporting companies, I always like to know a little something about them. Reading over the “about” tab on the Field Company website, I learned of the company’s rich family history and the thought process behind recreating a tradition, while adding a modern touch to improve upon their designs. Another awesome feature about Field Company is that you are supporting an American made product with your purchase. The pans come with a lifetime warranty and you can have peace of mind that it will be passed down from one generation to the next.
I decided to reach out to the company to express my desires and expectations. I was greeted with a welcoming response and my brand new, adventure camping No 8. skillet arrived within a few weeks.
After a few back and forth phone conversations about how to properly care for and season the pan, I hit the ground running and started cooking bacon like any normal man would do!
Over the next few weeks of camping, I tested out a wide array of foods inside the pan. The skillet was tested over direct flame made with wood, coal, and just about anything lying around, including Amazon boxes and Starbucks cups. After using it in the field (get it, “field” as in Field Company….ah, never mind), I brought it home and used it on my glass cooktop. This truly is one pan that rules them all.
Ok now for my set-up… I initially used a towel to wrap the skillet and placed it flat side down on the bottom of the left pannier. Keeping the skillet at its lowest point on the motorcycle is crucial for proper packing. The towel worked but took up extra space. I went to my local hardware store and picked up a thin rubber tool mat, cut it to size, and used that for vibration control and protection. To protect the seasoning, I placed a piece of aluminum foil over the top. My additional camping items then fit inside the skillet, taking up almost no room. I use the sides and corners of the pannier to hold my salt, pepper, and garlic in place.
If you like camping, meat, and motorcycles, this is the pan for you! I encourage you to give it a try!
Till next time, ride safe and I will see you on the road less traveled!
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #camping, #campinggear, #castiron, #cooking, #explore, #madeforadventure, #makelifearide, #motorcycle, #outdoors, #review, #xladv, cast iron, R1200GS by admin with .
Is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear?
From the tundra of the Arctic Circle to camping in your backyard, Snugpak has you covered with a wide selection of gear.
I brought the MML 3 Softie Smock and the Tactical 2 Sleeping Bag along on a recent adventure. The MML 3 Softie Smock is a pullover, insulated jacket, which is extremely compressible for convenient space saving during packing. The fabric is super comfy and kept me warm throughout my trip. It is rated from 0 celsius comfort to -5 celsius low. Thus, it keeps you warm in some of the coldest climates. While at Prudhoe Bay, I only needed to wear an under shirt and the MML 3 Softie Smock while exploring the Arctic Ocean. This created a perfect combo, along with my riding jacket for the outwear, for my trek to the far north.
The tactical series of sleeping bags gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. I was on the quest to find the most compact, space saving sleeping bag which would still provide me with the low temperature rating needed for my trip. I found the cost to be reasonable when comparing it to other brands, which attempt to compete with its size and temperature rating, but cost significantly more.
Something that I personally feel strongly about, and place my full support behind, is a company with traditional values and heritage. To my knowledge, Snugpak is one of the last companies of its kind which still engineers and produces several products at their vintage mill dating back to the 1800’s in West Yorkshire, North England. Because of this, the products come with reassurance that the price you are paying is supportive of workers being paid a fair wage to produce a quality product with pride instead of a bunch of machines doing the job.
So again I ask… is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear? Why yes, yes it is.
To view the full US product line, click on the link below:
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #adventure, #camping, #campinggear, #clothing, #motorcycle, #outdoors, #snugpak, #travel by admin with .
Today, I am going to cover some great products from a company you might not have known about. The company’s name is Trekology, and they supply a wide selection of economical gear for camping, hiking, motorcycling, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Now when I use the term “economical,” it does not mean that the products are of poor quality. It is the exact opposite. I have found that sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.
While on my Alaskan adventure, I brought along several items from the Trekology catalog, including: the folding compact camp chair, ultralight camping table, friendly tent light, mosquito repellent bracelets, and my favorite, the compact inflating pillow.
The folding chair comes with its own carry bag, and is small enough to pack inside a pannier. When opened, you have the ability to adjust the seating height of the chair from legs that collapse inside themselves to conserve on storage. This helps increase your comfort quite a bit.
The ultralight camping table is just how it sounds, “ultralight.” This also comes with a storage bag, which the unit sits inside. The condensed size was extremely small and manageable on top of my pannier system. When camping, it was a great table to eat from and use for my laptop.
I can see where they get the name from with regards to the “friendly tent light.” It’s extremely small, easy to charge via a USB connection, and can last a very long time depending on your light intensity setting.
Something else I packed for my group was a bunch of mosquito repellent bracelets. We have all heard the stories of the Alaskan mosquitos from hell. So bringing these along just sounded like a good idea on top of our other bug sprays. At first, the group was a bit skeptical that the bracelets would work. But once they put them on, you could tell a definite difference. Some of us decided to wear them as headbands. Now by no means is this a replacement for spray while in a deeply infested mosquito territory, but it is a great addition to your bag for camping or other outdoor event.
My absolute favorite thing was the compact inflating pillow. The size is so small that you don’t even know its around. You can pretty much store it anywhere, and when you need it, it blows up in seconds. What I found really great about this pillow vs. many others I own, was the size and overall comfort. I could never really get a good night’s sleep with some of the other big named brands. This design conforms to your neck, providing support to much needed areas, whether you’re a back sleeper or a side sleeper. I used a shirt as a pillowcase to give it that home-y feel.
Sometimes, we tend see the most expensive, well-known name and buy their products instead of shopping around. I hope those reading this article give Trekology a try, and see for yourself that sometimes you can get great gear for a fraction of the cost.
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #camping, #campinggear by admin with .