Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Roll-X Tonneau cover for 2012 Nissan Frontier SV (58.5" bed) from Bak Industries bakindustries.com


Disclaimer:

I know this isn't bushcraft/camping/survival related, but i wanted to write up a quick review of a new tonneau cover i purchased. When i was researching these covers for my truck, i had a hard time finding anywhere that showed my specific truck, and this specific tonneau cover. I spent a great deal of time reading through various Nissan truck forums  (www.nissanforums.com, nissanforum.org, www.clubfrontier.org. www.nissanclub.com) ,  but still didn't find what i was looking for. So here it is, and maybe someone will stumble across it while doing a google search. The review will be about the Roll-X Tonneau cover by Bak Industries.

Picking the Tonneau Cover for me:

I looked at several different types of covers and when it came down to it, it was a choice between a tri-folding type of cover or some sort of retractable cover. What i didn't like about the retractable ones, was that they use big canisters blocking off the rear part of the truck, and since i already have a short bed, this would only make it shorter. The tri-folds are nice, but they block 1/3 of the back of the truck also, unless it's the Bak Industries (BakFlip) ones, which allows for the third panel to lay against the window, but this will block your rear view (not really a huge deal, since i tend to carry things that block off the rearview anyway). The nice thing about the Roll-X is that you can roll it up, have full access to the truck bed, and it doesn't obstruct the rear view. The downside is there is no incremental opening. It's either open all the way, or closed.

Must Haves:
  • Must work with Utili-Track System
  • Must look good
The Nissan Frontier i have came with the utili-track system and i wanted to make sure i had access to that as well. All the Bak Industries covers work well with the system from what i can tell. I also like the more uniform look of the Roll-X compared to the tri-folds where you see 3 big creases where the folds are located. 

Price:

The next step was looking for the best price. These covers seem to be anywhere from 800 - 1k dollars. Plus, it depends on if you're going to install it yourself or have someone do it.  I searched around and as of 10/2012 the best price online i could find was from http://weboffroad.com/ and total with shipping/tax was $745.33. 

The model for the Nissan Frontier 2012 (58.5" bed) is  "Bak Industries 36506"

Installation:

One of the best vids i saw before installing was this one:

Took about an hour, didn't require anything other than a wrench, and was fairly straight forward. There is no drilling required.

Final Results:










Final Notes:

I just wanted to state, that it does indeed work with the Utili-Track system, it doesn't get in the way of the clamps, and the bed extender should work with this as well. If i ever get a sliding bed extender i will post updated pics showing it working with it.

It has been a couple weeks now since having it, and i have to say it's been really nice. I have hauled several loads, and it's always great being able to quickly move the cover out of the way, and haul stuff. As you can see in the pics, i have a couple of plastic containers i bought from Walmart that are being held in place with a tension bar (cargo bar). I have heard people on the forums state that this is not the greatest when it comes to keeping rain out of the cargo area, but that's why i have the plastic containers. With this setup i'm not really all too concerned about water getting under the cover, and i live in California, so there isn't any concern about snow either. With this setup, i normally keep my B.O.B. gear in one of the containers, and I leave the other empty. This way, i use it for groceries or other small items. I also can easily stack the crates into the rear of the cabin, and then have the full bed available for hauling items. 

** UPDATE ** (05/17/2014) :

I recently found this model available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/BAK-36506-Roll-X-Tonneau-Cover/dp/B006VRSKL2

For $703.12 w/ free shipping.
I also left a review under the name Morgas. Overall i'm still very happy with the product, and even though i had some small problems with the tonnaeau, when i decide to purchase a new one, i probably will give their newer version a try.  You can check out their new video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie0wCiMsgzc


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bushcraft USA Contest - PSK Knife

Over in the bushcraft USA forums, a kind member (name and link omitted because i didn't ask permission) is running a contest to design a PSK knife. I decided to take my shot at it, and this is a work in progress. This is what i was able to get done tonight:

This is how it starts, with cardboard, scissors, a pen, an Altoids
tin, and a dream. :)




Some of my favorite knives

From top to bottom:
Cold Steel Pocket Bushman
Mora 840MG Carbon Steel
Pathfinder PLSK1 (1st run original version)
Becker BK2
Cold Steel Carbon V SRK
Blind Horse Knives Woodsman Pro (not shown DOH!) 

Decided to base my PSK off the Pathfinder PLSK1

Used my flashlight to create a finger choil




NEEDS MORE GIMPING (TNP reference)


Even with a paracord lanyard , this setup felt way too wobbly

Some other random PSK's that didn't make the cut (pun intended)

At this point, i started to think about adding handles to the knife









Doesn't look pretty, but it held tight


Not going to lie, it's not super comfortable
in this position, due to the "H" biting into
your middle finger, but it should be good enough
for light tasks, or until you get the handles on.

Enough area under the knife to hold it for skinning. It's
very comfortable in this position. This is where i would
attach the lanyard in case your hands were slippery while skinning

I was thinking about making the handles as wide as the knife, so they can match up better and you'll have a wider handle.

another idea i had was to make the scales out of sharpening stones of different grits (or something else, to make them multipurpose) so you can sharpen you're knife in the field. I'm not sure if you can make flat firesteels, but that would be cool to have the other side be a strikeable material for sparks. Or if the blade was made out of carbon steel, then have the other side be a flint.


to be continued.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bushcraft USA - Make a Simple Snare


Used 24 Gauge Brass Wire




Bushcraft USA Elective - Make a lanyard for your firesteel

OD 550 Paracord, Bank Line, Light my fire firesteel parts

OD 550 Paracord, Bank Line, Light my fire firesteel assembled!

My new firesteel and lanyard in BHK woodsman pro sheath

Bushcraft USA Elective - Whipping Rope & Tool Handles

OD 550 Cord and Bank Line

Whipped 550 Cord

OD 550 Cord and Becker BK2

BK2 With Whipping front

BK2 With Whipping Back

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bushcraft USA - Elective - make a PSK (personal survival kit)


When i go hiking i typically carry everything i need in my Condor 4x10 water holder, and edc. But i did decide to try my hand at making a psk.

there just isn't really a good way to cram everything into a altoids tin, so i made a altoid tin + a pouch that would carry the primary shelter and cutting tool.

Maxpedition RAT Wallet (front)
Maxpedition RAT Wallet (back)
Cold Steel Pocket Bushman Folding Knife

The duct tape fits in a hidden pocket on
the back of the RAT wallet

The main pocket holds a Emergency Blanket,
Emergency Poncho from bepreparedtosurvive.com
and a Large Hand Warmer (Heat Factory). The outer pouch
holds the survival altoid tin.

another shot with everything out.

The tin holds 30 feet of bank line and 3 ranger bands

a glimpse inside the tin

Everything laid out!

The tin holds:
 - various lengths of electrical tape
 - small pea lighter from county comm
 - 2 fishing hooks with weights already attached
 - 1 band-aid
 - 1 whistle (i think this is an old fashion train whistle, got it from ebay)
 - SOL (survive outdoors longer) mini rescue mirror
 - 4 micropur water purification tablets
 - 1 liter bag from bepreparedtosurvive.com
 - 3 tinder quik
 - 1 nano streamlight
 - 1 fresnel lens from bepreparedtosurvive.com (hard to see, it's on the cloth, next to the gum).
 - 1 piece of gum (wrigley's 5 spearmint)
 - 1 trick birthday candle (doesn't blow out easily)
 - 1 Spyderco grasshopper
 - 1 pin
 - 1 pair of tweezers from a swiss army knife classic
 - button compass
 - small firesteel
 - 2 strike anywhere matches
 - about 3 feet of snare wire
 - 1 needle
 - A small patch of cotton bandana that i cut. This is for making charcloth, or a makeshift band-aid. It also helps protect the fresnel lens from being scratched



**UPDATE**
Was able to fit a UST Pocket Chain Saw
to the front under the altoids tin


sweet saw :)


I was also able to fit in some ibuprofen, benedril and a wet wipe.