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Polar Nomad

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Polar Nomad last won the day on July 15 2017

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About Polar Nomad

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  1. Polar Nomad

    Honda Unveils 2018 CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports

    No, its definitely not something that happens often at all. If I didn't have my bike setup so comfortably, I'd be placing an order right now for the L2 version.
  2. Polar Nomad

    Beyond Starbucks Gold Route

    Thanks for the tour! To clarify on the sand comment, that was more sand than I'd ever ridden in one day before. Usually it's just a small stretch here or there and not a whole dang day of it in all depths. haha Good thing I've gotten a little more comfortable with that crap. I like the last bit of the video showing the extra lane along the side of the highway. ;-)
  3. Polar Nomad

    Honda Unveils 2018 CRF1000L2 Africa Twin Adventure Sports

    This bike seriously rustles my jimmies. I absolutely love my AT. The only things that I gripe (strong word) about on the bike are when i get very nit-picky. All of those items are addressed on the Adventure Sports model. Maybe I need a second AT. haha
  4. Polar Nomad

    Redverz Hawk II Four Season Mountaineering Tent

    The most versatile MotoTravel specific tent? I think so. I'm a bit of a tent whore. Being born and raised in rural Alaska, I've grown up spending a lot of time in a tent, camping, hunting, fishing, and just general exploring. I've owned several tents over the years, especially in the two years or so as I've been traveling more on a bike than any other form. Each time I bought a new tent it was due to discovering a tent that had more and more of the personal preferences I've been looking for. I started off with a Mountain Hardwear tent that I got for free as a teenager and it was still going strong. I moved on to a Big Agnes two person tent that was very light, semi free standing, and compact. It seemed great for me on paper as a MotoTravel tent but it was really meant to be a light backpacking tent. I then moved on to a MSR Hubba Hubba tent. Like just about all of the MSR camping gear whether it's a cook stove or a tent, it's great gear. After getting caught in several storms and having to set up the tent in the rain, I decided i wanted something with an external frame system. Enter the Hilleberg Anjan. I still have the MSR and Hilleberg tents but they don't get used much anymore now that I've got the Redverz Hawk II. With very little practice, you can set up the Redverz in a matter of just a few minutes. It's stupidly impressive how quickly this shelter can be setup by one person. The external pole sleeves on the outer tent make it so that you can set up your tent in a downpour while keeping the inside of the tent bone dry. Being able to crawl into a dry tent makes getting through storms significantly more tolerable. I spent six weeks essentially living in this tent this summer as I crossed the Trans America Trail and did plenty of other miles and side trips along the way. (My brand new AT now has over 15k miles on it.) This tent has now been used by me from Alaska to North Carolina to Oregon and a whole lot of in between. I was very pleasantly surprised with the amount of air flow despite not being able to remove the outer shell/fly. While sleeping in the tent in 90+ degree temperatures with extremely high humidity levels in states like North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi it wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it'd be. Keep in mind that I'm a born and raised Alaskan so temperatures like that are significant to me. I opened up both sides of the tent, all four doors, and turned the tent so the breeze was flowing through sideways. Perfect. I slept fairly comfortably on these nights just on my sleeping pad without any sleeping bag. This setup allowed for plenty of air flow while being able to keep the screen doors closed and keep the hordes of mosquitoes and ticks away. Perfect. On the nights where the temperatures were chillier this summer, I'd leave all four doors closed but open the vent at the top of each vent all the way. This kept it comfortably warm in the tent while seeming to be a perfect amount of airflow that I woke up every morning with ZERO condensation issues. Not having significant condensation issues is what makes me rank this tent over all of my others, including my Hilleberg, the worst of my tents when it comes to condensation. Inside the tent is enough room to actually have two people in the tent unlike a majority of other "two-person tents". Plus, with both people having a huge vestibule and separate doors to enter and exit from makes this tent extremely functional for a couple to travel together sharing a tent. This tent is a bomb shelter. My first night camping in the tent was steady winds strong enough that a Harley (not mine) was blown off of it's kickstand. That's nearly the equivalent of an aircraft carrier being blown off of it's anchoring. In the tent though (with every anchor line secured) I was good to go. I've been in a lot of tents in wind storms and never have I been in one that showed this little of deflection/collapse inside the tent. The three pole design is stout to put it lightly. That being said, it's not the lightest tent out there and you shouldn't expect it to be. However, it's not an overly large tent at all either. With three full length tent poles, each with a larger diameter than a most tent poles commonly used now, a full coverage footprint that even covers both of the huge vestibules, and a true full coverage rain fly/outer shell, you've got a beast of a tent that is actually quite small/light considering. I travel with it in a Giant Loop Rogue (17L sized) dry bag and have a lot of spare space in the bag. Personal Moto-Travel tip: use a double-ended roll dry bag to store your tent. On days where you're stuck putting away a wet tent and later have to dry everything out, you're able to open both ends of the dry bag to allow air to pass through the bag and dry it out very quickly. In the above pic, you can see the dry bag sideways on the tail of my bike. Compact bomb shelter. I keep the Hawk II tent as the only item in my dry bag. This allows me to leave my panniers secured while I setup my tent in the downpour. When the tent is set up, I can remove my panniers and go to my shelter that is completely dry inside and camp comfortably. I'm not one to write reviews on products unless I'm really impressed with something. For my moto-travel needs, this tent is the only one that I use now.
  5. Polar Nomad

    My wanderings

  6. Polar Nomad


    @michnus I'm not sure when it happened or of the exact particulars. Next time that I talk with Christine (Redverz) I'll have to ask her. It was quite a while back that I'd heard about it though. Redverz is a company in Denver. MotoTent / Lone Rider is a European company I believe. I have the Redverz Hawk II tent and like it very much. It's not the lightest or pack down all that small but it does check off every other box that I want in a tent. I'm a bit of a tent whore and have way too many. Constantly finding one that has something I want more than the other. I currently own tents from MSR, Big Agnes, Hilleberg and Redverz. I really can't say 100% one way or the other if the lawsuit is true and that 50% of Lone Rider garage tent sales go to Redverz. I find it very interesting though if it is true because as much as I love the Hawk II tent, it's very very similar to the Hilleberg Allak tent that I'm pretty sure was around before the Hawk II. ...? Interesting bit of info if the lawsuit thing really is true. There are definitely better tents out there for a base camp (Roof Top Tents) but they're much more expensive and I'd have to haul the bike in a hitch hauler instead of the bed of my truck. Lame. A MotoVan would be awesome but I already own a truck and don't want to invest in a van build just yet. Maybe at some point in the future I will. Dang! Talking about my tents really makes me want to go camping now! So glad that I'm at the end of my work rotation tomorrow and I'm headed to Baja over my two weeks off.
  7. Polar Nomad


    @beemer bunny I'd have said yes! Then posted the picture with a caption along the lines of "This is the tent that fully copied Redverz' tent but used lower quality materials in the design. However, still copied it so much that they lost in a lawsuit and a very significant portion of every one of their sales of this tent goes to Redverz." hahahaha @michnus That's exactly who I'd like to be. I don't want to just destroy a product just to destroy it. Any fart sack is capable of doing that. I like just riding my ride and doing before and afters of products. As for the massive tents, I actually like them sort of. I'm looking to get one to use as a base camp while truck camping basically. This next summer I'm looking to take my Tacoma, throw a dual sport in the bed of the truck, a good cooler full of tasty vittles, and whatever else I feel like hauling because I'm in a truck. I've been doing a bunch of longer trips and want to use the truck and a base camp to do "wagon wheel" style trips next year. Park the truck and base tent in one spot for a week or so and just do out and back day trips on the dual sport. When the weather sets in and you're set in one spot for a few days, having that insane amount of extra space is really nice to hunker down in to wait out the storm.
  8. Polar Nomad


    Product testing is what I was after. I want to run things through the paces, abuse the shit out of them and be able to help with actual R&D. That kind of thing is fun as hell and the design process is interesting to me. That's just how my mind works. I ended up with sponsorship and when that product failed, the reason was ignored and a replacement that was exactly the same was sent back. They did provide a new oil pan and all parts to me though. That was awesome. However, not revising the product showed me that making money was more important than making a proper product. I admit, I was one of those spammers. Why, because I didn't know any better and was just doing as I was instructed things needed to be done. Idiot. I'm all for businesses handing out product to people and telling them to run the gear through its paces and let us know what you find. That's awesome. Now that I'm back to doing the posts as I want them to be only, I've restricted all of my old posts on FB so only friends can see them instead of public, I removed nearly 5,000 followers from FB down to just actual friends that I know and people that I follow, and just my IG is public now. I may not get approached by any other products but I'm okay with that. So far, it hasn't seemed to stop them. A lot of people have no clue how often companies are willing to give away their stuff just for a "review" about how great they are. I know what kind of ear plugs work for me and what don't. I got a DM on Instagram the other day wanting to give me a set of plugs if I posted about them. I told them my response about going to tell it like it is, if they don't stay in place or aren't as sound deadening as my others, than I'm going to say so. They passed after that. Couple days later, I see a post from one that I follow about how incredible the plugs are. I lol'd for real. It's lame that being a free gear whore is more important than integrity anymore. I fell into it admittedly and it's greasy feeling, like a used car salesman. What's shit is when people take a product, don't run it through it's paces truly, then rave about something being the best in the world. It's sad that those "reviews" hold weight with a lot of people though. When someone is talking about crash bars being incredible but the bars don't have a single blemish on them because they've never had to prove themselves, that "review" isn't worth shit. @rtwPaul i love the name 2scam! hahaha!!
  9. Polar Nomad


    Yeah, it's down there. I haven't done any rides with it at all this summer. I'm down with my AT.
  10. Polar Nomad


    @michnusI'm not mad that I allowed myself to get sucked in. It cemented the reasons that I started riding and why I love it so much. I'm thankful for the affirmation. I've been contacted by several brands since and I tell every one of them now that I'm not willing to be obligated to any brand for a certain number/type/style of posts and they need to be okay with that if they want to provide their parts. Some aren't okay with that. Others believe in more subtle marketing and have been using it very productively. I'm excited to run some new kit through its paces and see if I like it as much as I think I'm going to. I've got a new build going on my Africa Twin that I'm excited to get some pictures up of it soon. I'm hoping it'll be done before my trip to Baja next week but I'm not holding my breath. :-( I'll likely have to ride my damned GSA southbound. haha Not too often do you see someone write a sentence like that.
  11. Polar Nomad


    I've got to say though, I mototravel as an escape from my career and riding/traveling re-instills my faith in humanity on every single trip. This summer I was on the sponsored side of the coin and thought "this is what I've wanted".... right?! Nope. It ended up seriously cheapening my experience on the ride. I hated be obligated to post for others rather than just for myself and my family/friends. I also hated when I cracked my oil pan on a very soft hit and was still obligated to try to sell that product to people when they asked me about what was on my bike. I felt dirty and my integrity was being sold off. I've since paid that sponsor for all of the product he gave me and politely turned down the sponsorship explaining that I'd rather just pay for things and be free of any obligations. I'm not destitute and need to ask sponsors for hand outs. Almost instantly, I felt better about my travels and was back to riding to experience the world again. Different strokes for different folks. Some want to get paid to ride. I just want to ride free and I got a good reminder of that this summer.
  12. Polar Nomad


    They do that a lot. I had to message them about reposting my salt flats picture a few weeks back on my TAT trip. They didn't reply to my message but fixed it pretty much instantly.
  13. Polar Nomad


    I absolutely love my AT. I'm going to Baja in a week and a half and I don't want to take my GSA. Both are sitting in the garage ready to be ridden but I'm likely going to take the AT. I just prefer it. The first question I get since I own the GSA and an AT is which is better. Such a stupid question. That's like asking which sandwich is best. It depends on the personal preferences of each person. The two bikes are very good at very different things and I don't think that it's even fair to compare the two bikes. PS, Anybody looking to buy a GSA? I have one that doesn't get ridden anymore. ;-)
  14. Polar Nomad


    Had a new bit of silliness recently on the ol 'Gram. I got a personal message from a crazy lady that I quit following a couple days prior. She was upset at me that I quit following her since I'd followed her for quite a while. She went on a soapbox of a rant in her message. I replied simply with "I'm tired of seeing your spotless bike in your garage getting more stickers added but never being ridden." No response. Just crickets. lol!!
  15. Polar Nomad


    The connecting with Like-minded people is probably my favorite part of it as well. I've been able to meet some truly awesome people because of IG. I just need more time to meet up with everyone that offers a place to crash or to buy a beer. haha!