The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors

If there is a single item of outdoor equipment that symbolises a Kiwi’s love of - and indeed unique relationship with - the Great Outdoors it is the Thermette.

Invented by Manawatu plumber, John Hart, in 1929 and standard issue for NZ troops in North Africa during WW2 (where it was nick-named the Benghasi Boiler) a Thermette quickly and efficiently boils hot water and produces heat for cooking using little more than a match and scrap or two of paper and a few twigs.

A third generation is now using the MacKay family Thermette and I consider myself very lucky both to still have it (and the hessian sack it has always been packed back into) and be able to still use it.

These days you can buy a new one, either in  basic tin for $129 or altogether flasher copper for $229 from Auckland-based home and outdoor ware specialist Wilson  & Co ( and as it says on the website, ‘there’s no such thing as a bad cup of tea in the bush with a Thermette!’

With summer coming those of us with a 4WD and a yearning to find the road (or preferably a track) less travelled will already be putting a serious amount of thought into where we might want to go, either for a holiday or simply weekend or day trip away from home.

To this end we got on the blower to our regular feature collaborators and asked them to come up with some new/different/exciting products aimed at the adventurous 4WDer….and his or her family!

This is what they came up with.

Ironman 4x4 – Rooftop tent
Ironman 4x4 have a range of products to make camping and exploring the outdoors that much easier and fun.

Why bother looking for a hotel or a camping ground when you can have a rooftop tent attached to your vehicle which only takes a few minutes to set up and needs little more room than your vehicle!

The luxury rooftop tent has a number of features including a raised “climate cover” flysheet to control temperature and reduce condensation, a pop-up window awning and flyscreen windows, all made from a premium quality waterproof, breathable rip-stop material.

The rooftop tent floor is made from lightweight aluminium and is insulated. To aid a good night sleep, it comes complete with a 65mm high density foam mattress.

Access is via a retractable aluminium ladder with the entrance under cover to keep you dry on those wet days.

When set up the tent measures 1.4m wide by 2.4m long and 1.3m high and can easily be set up coming complete with tools and instructions.

When being transported the tent is covered by a rugged 1000D waterproof PVC “on car” cover.

An option with the tent is the annex to enclose the area out to the side of the vehicle. Once installed on the vehicle it takes only a matter of minutes to set up and pack away!

Other Outdoor Equipment
After a long day on the road, you can’t beat pulling up at your campsite and getting comfortable in a luxury chair.

Ironman 4x4 have strong and soft arm foldable chairs which are rating to 150 kg and have side pouches for storage and insulated cup holders – you won’t get more comfortable than these!

Other products include a rechargeable camp shower, food grade silicone products such as collapsible buckets and a kettle and even a foldable bush toilet!

Don’t forget the range of other products made by Ironman 4x4 for letting you get to those fishing, hunting and camping spots. These include suspension upgrades,

bull bars and winches, recovery gear, driving lights and snorkels.

For a full range or further information visit our website or phone 0508 IRONMAN.

ARB - SkyDome Swag

If there is one area us Kiwis could learn from our Aussie cousins it is in the value of the contemporary ‘swag.’

Like Australia’s, New Zealand’s colonial past has plenty of references to the down on-his-luck ‘swagman.’ But that hasn’t stopped our Trans-Tasman neighbours breathing all new life into what in effect is a practical, simple, and cost-effective outdoor overnight option for one (or at a stretch two!).

Take ARB’s state-of-the-art  SkyDome swags, designed from the ground up to meet the needs of 4WDers and other assorted outdoorsmen and women alike.

Over the years, the humble swag has evolved from a simple sheet of canvas to a tapered design, and more recently to dome shaped structures. This evolution continues with the ARB SkyDome swag.

The SkyDome range includes both single and double configurations and can be purchased with the optional Boot Swag to keep footwear and other gear dry and away from the elements.

If on the other hand, you can’t bear the thought of leaving life’s little luxuries behind, ARB dealers can sell you the next generation of portable fridge.

ARB Portable Fridge Freezer
Developed in Australia to handle extreme conditions, ARB fridge freezers offer uncompromising performance, giving you the convenience of cold food and drinks no matter where your journey takes you. With rapid cool down and low power consumption, you’ll never have to worry about buying ice.

This range is the result of more than three years of research and development, followed by extensive off road testing.

Available in 35, 47, 60 and 78 litre capacities, all backed by a three year warranty.

ARB products are sold and fully supported throughout New Zealand by the ARB network. For further information of a free catalogue phone 0800 ARB 4WD (272 493) or go to www.arb4x4/

To read the full story in the September 2016 issue of NZ4WD go to (August  22) or purchase your own hard copy at the Adrenalin store.


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