Hallo traveller!

Since I got a lot of questions about the equipment I use I decided to build this little page.
At first I like to tell you, that all, that is written here is just my opinion and this is
not a complete list of things, which may be available in the shops. I don't get any money
of one of the firm I'll name here.

Sleeping on top of your car - A roof tent!
After some tours with the Niva and a normal tent, I was looking for a better solution.
We found that there are rooftents available. In the GDR they produced a soft version for
the Trabant-Car. When we started searching for, we found that there are a lot of different
kinds available today. There are soft-top-versions, which are made of a wooden bottom and
a tent-like top, which has to be folded to be opened. Normally they just need half of it's
normal size on the car, when you are driving. But it could be a problem, when you have really
strong wind. We found that the soft-versions are not strong enough to go camping in Iceland.

We found also different brands of hard-cover rooftents. There are also different systems available.
one system is that you have a hardcover-box, which is to be opened like a triangle. Front top part stays
in connection with front bottom part and rear side turns about 35-40degr. around this point.
So you'll have a triangular design and a lot of space in rear part. You can order this version with
one or two entries. We have a light inside, that is powered by cars battery.

We found the unique construction of the Maggiolina (italian for "lady-bird") strongest and best
for our requirements. There are crossed metal-rods on each side. They are connected to threaded
rods, which will change the angle of the rods and lift up the the Hardtop parallel to the bottom.
This gives us a lot of space inside. The quaility is really good and on the front is an extra roofrack,
which can carry about 20kg. Inside you have a 8cm (3inch) mattress of foam. It's really comfortable
to sleep there. We have a the version with 2 entrances (each side has one) and two windows (front and rear).
The Maggiolina is possibly the most expensive way of getting a rooftent, but You'll get get staisfied by the
quality If you'll find one used, you can save some money. We payed about half price of a new one.

The Maggiolina can be mounted on every car, like every rooftent, by using normal roof racks or
simple carrier systems. But be careful! The Maggiolina has a weight of about 60kg and You can
carry a lot of things in it like sleeping bags, pillows, ladder, chairs, table.... It comes up to apprx.
80kg. If you want to got really offroad, You must use at least 6 connection points to your
car. I'd prefer to use up to 8 points next time. Never do more than 10kg per point when offroad!
So now some photos:
. .. .

At first open the 'butterfly'-locks, the place the crank and spin it. The Box will be opened. You can have
a look inside a One-Door-version here. You may order with 2 doors, like I did.

. .
So it looks, when You have opened it completly. The ladder is telescopic. At the right photo you can see it mounted on my Niva.

I just know two saler, which will sale these phantastic tents. You may check out: http://www.sahara.ch
or fax or call Woick-Travel-Center (Tel: +49+711-7096700, Fax: +49-711-7096770). Both of them will
offer world wide shipping.

What the right way? - A GPS-Receiver!
Since I wanted to go to the desert I was looking for a thing, that may help me to find the right way.
I decided for a Garmin GPS, which may be uses in horizontal or vertical position and is quite cheap.
I've bought the Garmin-GPS IIIplus and MapSource Map-CD's and am really satisfied by
using this equipment out there in the Sahara and on Europes roads...

That's just a little photos of it. To find out more about GPS and Garmin, search for Tom's GPS page, or
ask Garmin at http://www.garmin.com.

What else? Photos! Stove!

How to get something to eat outdoors? What about a hot tea after 10 hours in the rain on your mototrcycle?
I decided to carry a stove. After an ESBIT-Stove, which is powered by hardened alcohol, I bought a GDR-made
Stove called Juwel. This stove works like a really powerful soldering lamp. It is very reliable and I never had to
touch the mechanic within 4 years of intensive use. But the starting procedure is always connected with dirty
hands. It was heated by burning normal fuel and this will produce al lot of soot.
When I found a special offer in one of the outdoor whole salers I decided for the new Coleman 440. This stove
needs unleaded fuel but it hasn't to be heated before starting because of it's special pump. This
stove must be used more carefully but may be as reliable as the Juwel-Model. I'll test it in the next years...

. . . .

. . . .

For the photos you can see here on my Homepage I normally use Praktica-cameras that were produced in
GDR and Germany. I used a MTL5 with 1.8/50 for some years, then I changed the lens to a zoom-lens
3.5-4.5/28-70. The camera was fully manual. Than I used a semi-automatic (time-automatic) Praktica BC-1
w/1.8/50 and a Praktica BX 20S with 3.5-4.5/28-70.
After that I changed for a CANON EOS 300 with Tamron Revoluzoom 28-200, Tokina 19-35 and Metz 28AF4C...
I wasn't not really satisfied by this equipment because both the body and the Tamron still needed manufacturers
repair and assistance. So I changed the EOS 300 for an EOS 50E eye controlled focus.
This camera quite often also had problems. So I sent it to Canon for repair. After
8 weeks of waiting they told they can't find it anymore... I got my money back for it.

But now you shouldn't think, that I changed for another manufacturer - no ! -
I ordered an EOS 30 eyecontrolled by Canon. This is about what i expected now.
The camera was on one motorcycle tour with me to the north cape. It works fine.
The eye control is better than at EOS 50E and the camera still works... ;-)
I hope it will last longer than all the other Canon's did.

I use Fuji Sensia II slide films or Fuji Superia print film with satisfaction.
In addition to my normal camera I always carry one of these small full automatic camera. I changed to
Olympus mju-II and I'm sure to have one of the best on this market.
But the autofocus modus very often must be changed to "single-beam-modus",
because the camera focusses very often to the bacjground instead of the foreground.
I use it only with print films and can take photos while riding my motorcycle up to 100km/h...;-)

For slide shows I own a Rollei Twin 35 digital projector. This is a very well working
thing after an expensive repair at Rollei Germany... :-(

Well that's for now. Tell me, if you want to know more...

Mail your opinion: