This mini caravan with a telescopic roof is the stuff of off-grid dreams

August 11, 2017 by  
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The Slidavan Caravan is an ultra-compact, lightweight caravan with a handy telescopic roof that can be fully extended in less than a minute. The mini caravan , created by Wooden Widget , weighs a mere 300 kilos and comes complete with a living area that can be expanded to six-feet high, making it a dream home on wheels for any off-grid traveler. The Slidavan’s interior, although compact, provides all the basics of off grid living . The space-efficient design focused on creating a maximum interior volume, which led to the creation of an expandable roof. To provide the camper with flexible space options, a curved roof was designed to be placed on the camper’s box-shaped base. A handy lifting device installed directly underneath allows the roof to be raised in just under a minute, adding much more space to the interior. Related: Darling Tinycamper from Lithuania starts at just 7K The body of the caravan has two large windows on the side and the backdoor has a cutout to provide the interior with tons of natural light. On the interior, the built-in sofas on either side fold out to create a large double bed. A small table is mounted on the wall between the two sofas, and can be folded down when not in use. There is a small galley area on the left side, outfitted with a sink and a two-burner stove top. A hidden strip of LEDs provides the interior lighting. One of the most advantageous things about the Slidavan is its light-weight design. Constructed out of a sandwich of plywood over panels of extruded polystyrene, the caravan is a rigid, lightweight, durable, affordable, and well-insulated structure that can be towed by the smallest of cars. According to the designer, the Slidavan’s design was based on providing a practical camper van that was easily mobile, “In designing the Slidavan I confess I focused pretty much exclusively on practicality. The bottom line is, it’s all very well designing a fancy caravan with a nice flowing aerodynamic shape but it just adds complication to the build and the fitting out and at the end of the day you still have to drag this massive lump through the air at great expense and some trepidation.” + Wooden Widget  

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This mini caravan with a telescopic roof is the stuff of off-grid dreams

Scientists finally know what is causing the underwater ‘fairy circles’ and it’s not good

August 11, 2017 by  
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Have you — like many — been dumbfounded by the mysterious underwater “fairy circles” found in the Mediterranean and Baltic sea? If so, you’re not alone. Fortunately, scientists finally know what is causing the sea floor phenomena, though it’s not likely to cheer you up. It turns out the “bald patches” devoid of vegetation are actually caused by a foreign species which may put entire ecosystems at risk. In the paper “Fairy Circle Landscapes Under The Sea,” published by Science Advances , lead researcher Daniel Ruiz-Reynés wrote that the invading species are being driven into the areas by polluted waters and climate change : “The spatial organisation of vegetation landscapes is a key factor in the assessment of ecosystem health and functioning,” he wrote, adding, “Spatial configurations of vegetation landscapes act as potential indicators of climatic or human forcing affecting the ecosystem.” The scientific name for the seagrass is Posidonia oceanica, and its dwindling presence signals that the region it is located in is threatened. If large populations of the seagrass disappear, the planet’s larger ecosystem will be affected, the researchers concluded. Unfortunately, it appears the circles, which have been found around the Danish coast as well as the Balearic islands, are more prevalent than scientists realized. This is because they are located below water . “Satellite images and side-scan cartography reveals that complex seascapes are abundant in meadows of Posidonia oceanica, suggesting that self-organised submarine vegetation patterns may be prevalent but have remained thus far largely hidden under the sea,” wrote Ruiz-Reynés. Furthermore, because the seagrass has a very low growth rate, losses are “essentially irreversible.” Related: Strange “Fairy Circles” Appear in the Middle of Africa’s Namib Desert Using findings from previous studies and by creating a mathematical model based on seagrass growth rates and long-distance interaction between underwater plants, the team was able to determine the cause of the fairy circles . Long story short, the competition for resources changes the dynamics of seagrass growth and is largely propelled by both climate change and pollution . This discovery is both intriguing and frightening, considering enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the globe four times — and of that amount, 80 percent makes its way into the oceans . If humans collectively fail to curb carbon emissions and only haphazardly invest in sustainable initiatives, the effects of climate change will result in much of the planet becoming uninhabitable, as well as various species going extinct . + Science Advances Via The Daily Mail Images via University of Southern Denmark , Pixabay

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Scientists finally know what is causing the underwater ‘fairy circles’ and it’s not good

Solar-powered Tonke Camper brings a hint of nostalgia to off-grid living

June 20, 2017 by  
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Although the mahogany cladding on the Tonke Woodline Camper may seem like a blast from the past, this camper is designed for the modern road warrior. The camper is entirely powered by solar energy , and it comes with a large battery bank and water tank for those looking to go completely off-grid . Hand built in the Netherlands, the camper offers a compact, but comfortable living space. The interior comes with all of the basic necessities – a spacious sleeping area, kitchenette with a large, double-door fridge, and small latrine. Strategic storage throughout the interior helps keep the space clutter free. The dining table with ample seating backs up to the rear doors, which open to provide stellar views. The camper also has a number of windows, which flood the interior with natural light , making the living space light and airy. Related: Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button Designed to be used as a sturdy ride for on-the-go travel or just a simple home addition, the camper van’s Mercedes Sprinter base comes installed with four remote-controlled electrical jacks that can lift the camper off its base in order to use the truck’s cargo bed. This feature, along with its compact size, makes the Tonke Camper convenient to ship virtually anywhere in the world. + Tonke Woodline Camper Via Uncrate

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Solar-powered Tonke Camper brings a hint of nostalgia to off-grid living

Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

May 24, 2017 by  
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Even experienced road warriors need some extra space now and then. Thankfully, the roof of the new EarthCruiser EXP expands at the push of a button, offering more space and more light. The expedition vehicle is basically the Swiss Army Knife of campers, offering a solar power array and a variety of features that make living on the road a much more enjoyable experience. Whether used as a cabin for a quick weekend getaway or a permanent off-grid home, the EarthCruiser EXP design is meant to provide the ultimate in comfort and reliability. The imposing truck 4X4 chassis gives the vehicle a strong, sturdy body that is, according to the company, “nearly unbreakable.” Although, at just 257 inches wide, it can be easily parked, and even fits into a standard shipping container for easy shipping around the world. The vehicle is made of a lightweight, but strong fiberglass-composite that provides ultra insulating properties, making it especially useful for off-grid living . Related: Futuristic Nimbus E-Car is a cute hybrid microbus perfect for the eco-conscious road warrior The expandable rooftop opens upwards a full 24 inches to provide extra room on the interior. Surrounded by windows, the extended roof helps flood the interior space with natural light. For charging needs, a two-panel solar array is installed on the roof and provides plenty of energy for the vehicle’s electronics. The solar-powered battery can be used for up to 10-days, but if the energy level drops below 50%, an alarm will sound. This system was designed to eliminate the need for a portable generator. The vehicle is also equipped with an advanced water-purification system that allows users to collect clean, safe drinking water from almost any source such as a creek or lake. + EarthCruiser Via Techeblog Images via EarthCruiser

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Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

May 24, 2017 by  
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In Sweden, citizens aren’t only encouraged to explore the outdoors , they guaranteed the right to. The principle Allemansrätten, which is protected by Swedish law and literally translates to “freedom to roam” allows anyone to camp anywhere in the country – even on other people’s property. Because the government wants people to feel at home wherever they are in Sweden, the entire country was recently listed on Airbnb. The AirBnB listing reads , “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs – it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb .” Visit Sweden , the country’s global marketing department) worked with agency Forsman & Bodenfors to advertise nine astonishing locations on Airbnb. Listings include “ Rocky Island in the Stockholm Archipelago ,” Rustic Forest Retreat in Vintage Style ,” and “ Cozy Glade in Beech Forest .” Every location boasts 365-day availability and the reviews are just as inviting as the pictures. One can look forward to an “open roof bedroom” in any location they choose and is guaranteed “natural heating” through the months of May and August. Wild pets are also welcome – which is a plus for nature lovers. Related: Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods According to Jenny Kaiser, president of Visit Sweden’s US office, the arrangement with Airbnb wasn’t a paid placement. Kaiser said, “As the initiative is a pure branding campaign for Sweden as a destination, the partnership is strategic for both parties and no payment has been done from/to either side.” Additionally, this is the first collaboration between the country of Sweden and Airbnb. Some suspect other countries will follow suit to drive tourism and encourage more citizens to explore the outdoors. + Sweden on Airbnb Via Fast Company Images via Sweden on Airbnb

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Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

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