Eureka! Accompanies CleanMPG Members on a Very Special Adventure

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by xcel, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The Ford F150 EcoBoost – “A Star is Born” Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge is made even more comfortable with Eureka! Outdoor Gear.

    [fimg=left][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - April 16, 2011

    Eureka! camping gear makes visiting the Great Outdoors... well, Great!

    In the universe of camping equipment manufacturers, there are few that have the breadth of offerings covering the needs of the first timer to advanced adventurer taking on mountain peaks the world over. And who else would I have made a request to in order to keep 5 journalists and 7 CleanMPG members who are about to embark on a very unique adventure of our own making comfortable and cozy during the overnight hours?

    In the words of possibly Plato, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and that phrase is but one of the guiding principles of a company called Eureka! Not only do they design some of the greatest outdoor adventure gear on the planet, they are attempting to leave the smallest impact on the world we live in while doing so.

    Anyone that has listened to our Go_Hypermiling Podcasts knows about Eureka! and if you have not, the following describes the company’s history, its gear and its values with little more that needs to be said.

    Eureka! Built to handle anything… From backcountry to your backyard: Around the globe and across the street, Eureka! has been bringing families and friends together in the outdoors for more than 100 years. Their field-proven tents, shelters and sleeping bags are ready to take on everything from the rigors of Everest to the rowdiness of a backyard sleepover. With innovative features, Eureka! products are designed for a lifetime of use, providing the comfort that makes it easy for you to enjoy life outdoors.

    Fantastic Gear at a Fantastic Price!

    Eureka! Mission Statement
    Setting the table

    Some may remember the 2010 Yamaha WR250X X-Country Adventure Ride last fall. While it was a fantastic adventure ride in its own right thanks to sights that could not have been believed, I was left lacking one very important set of equipment. That being solid colder weather gear for the overnight camp stops. To put it bluntly, I was freezing my butt off in Douglas, WY and especially during my overnight stay in Yellowstone :eek:

    With that experience as a guide, I wanted to make sure I did not recreate the same unpleasant familiarity of the great outdoors for my compatriots as we work our way from the Pacific to the Atlantic on the first of its kind, 150 mpg person equivalent from a full sized 2011 Ford F150 with EcoBoost in what has been dubbed, “A Star is Born - Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge”.

    During the initial planning, we were fortunate to have Bob Winger available to help with gear selection and what was one of his first thoughts? Eureka! as it is gear he personally owns and uses “year round” for himself, his boys and the entire Boy Scout Troop of over 30 that he leads on local camping expeditions all over the Central East Coast.

    With overnight camping scheduled for the colder upper elevations of New Mexico and far northern reaches of Texas to the warmer and far more humid conditions of Mississippi and Georgia, it was found Eureka! had the gear that not only works but should provide this outdoor adventure a positive outcome for all concerned. After literally months of planning and hundreds of E-Mails, Eureka! is not only providing the team with some of the best consumer camping gear known to the outdoor world, they are looking forward to the results and commentary about their latest and just being released to the public gear just as much as we are!

    The Tents

    Where do we start? Overnights from freezing to warm and humid, from snow to clear and starry nights require equipment that not only provides functional shelter but comfortable accommodations as well. In addition, the gear is lightweight and stores small helping us in our quest to achieve > 30 mpg from a loaded, 6-passenger 2011 Ford Pickup truck that is approaching 7,000 pound’s with people and gear!

    Eureka! provides such a large assortment of excellent tents that it was a task just choosing what would meet our needs. Fortunately their just recently published Eureka! Camping Gear online catalog helped us sort out the variety quickly and easily. After 5-minutes in the spec sheets, it was discovered they not only offered what would meet our needs but from all appearances, would surely exceed them as well! Along the way, Eureka! management offered additional equipment suggestions in order that we experience the outdoors in a manner it should be experienced vs. a far less comfortable solution that other equipment makers would surely have provided.

    Eureka!’s Apex and Apex 2XT lightweight backcountry tents were designed for the new backpacker and have been completely redesigned for 2011. These easy to setup fiberglass 2 pole domes come with oversized dual doors, and two roomy vestibules. In addition, the Apex 2XT will be along for the ride providing a little more room and additional wet weather protection for smaller items like shoes and boots with a fully enclosed all-new fly design. The tent(s) can be rotated 180 degrees for easier tent entry during fair conditions. Our own Msirach (aka Mike Sirach), Seftonm (aka Mike Sefton), Rhwinger (aka Bob Winger) and the newest addition to the CleanMPG moderator core, FSUspectra (aka Brandon Daly) will be equipped with these excellent tents for their overnight accommodations.

    Eureka! Apex2 and Scenic Pass 2XT at the ready.​

    Our favorite New Yorker, Chris Bernius (aka MaxxMPG) is going to stand out from the rest in a tent that he selected for his very own. The tent was sourced from Eureka!’s Scenic Pass collection in the form of the Scenic Pass 2XT. A versatile 2 pole dome tent utilizing DAC Pressfit poles for strength & reduced weight. The unique fly design offers protected wet weather performance or can be rotated 180 degrees for easier tent access in fair conditions.

    The (3) journalists, Dave Hall from Consumer Guide Automotive, Jill Ciminillo from Chicago Now and Sebastian Blanco from Autoblog Green are each going to be camping in the lap of luxury as they are outfitted with Eureka! tents from the Outfitter series. These tents are built to handle the rigors of repeated use, year after year and in this case, Timberline SQ Outfitter 4’s were selected. The Timberline SQ 4 is a 4 person tent utilizing Eureka!’s proprietary injection molded SQ hub providing a 24% increase in internal volume over a std. A-frame design. In addition to its large foot print, the Timberline’s incorporate a significant increase in usable headroom over a similar sized dome tent the rest of us will be using!

    Eureka!’s Timberline SQ 4 and Sunrise 8 front and center.​

    And finally from Eureka!’s Recreational tent lineup arrives the Scenic Pass collection. Both Palemelanesian (aka Andrew McGuckin) and I will be equipped with the Eureka Sunrise 8, a performance freestanding 2 pole dome offering four-way ventilation, heavy-duty 210D poly oxford floors, plus convenience accessories that will provide for years of comfortable use.

    The Sleeping Bags

    Addressing the needs for both a colder, wintery environment (it is actually snowing outside my window here in Northern IL as I type in fact!) and a warmer ambient temperature environment we can expect in the Southeastern US, Eureka! has just released an all-new rectangular-shaped bag with a dual range of thermal efficiency while maintaining the packability their gear has been known for years. And what a better way to launch the “Hybrid”-rectangular design then with a group of Hybrid and high efficiency automobile enthusiasts from CleanMPG!

    The hybrid-rectangular design tapers at the lower legs, contours at the shoulders, and includes a trapezoidal 3D foot box for increasing “thermal efficiency”, all-the-while retaining the full width of a rectangular bag through most of the body for sleeping comfort. To add greater versatility to this new shape of sleeping bag, Eureka! engineered each side of the sleeping bag with differing amounts of their proprietary Rteq insulation.

    And an all-new collection of Sleeping bags was born. Meet the all-new, versatile performance hybrid-rectangular sleeping bags known as the DualTemp Series.

    Eureka!’s all-new 20/40 DualTemp Sleeping Bag – Ready to tackle your outdoor adventure.​

    The DualTemp Series sleeping bags are a unique hybrid-rectangular design that combines the thermal versatility of two temperature ratings with the compact performance of a mummy. These sleeping bags are ideal for campers who are:
    • Stepping-up in performance from a recreational rectangular bag
    • Mummy bag users who are looking for a far more comfortable bag
    • Base camping/family camping end users demanding both comfort and performance
    The versatile DualTemp sleeping bags are available in two models, the DualTemp 10/30 and DualTemp 20/40. We selected the 20/40 (20 degrees F/40 degrees F rated) series in both a regular (fits up to 6') and long (fits up to 6' 6") for optimal fit and comfort. Remember we have Jill Ciminillo who on a good day might reach all of 5-0” and Chris Bernius, the big guy of the group who on his best day still has to stoop under door frames less than 6-4” in height!

    The ever-important Sleeping Pad

    To outfit the group of long haul campers, I had originally thought of purchasing what the camping world had in the past generally deemed to be the most versatile camping pads in the business. Namely, a Therm-a-rest or in my own past experience, a Big Agnes Insulated Air-core. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Eureka was working on something far more advanced, far more comfortable, warmer and more packable when compared to designs currently on the market.

    I can almost remember the statement during a conference call while I was asking for guidance on a sleeping pad solution when Mark Hrubant's, Eureka!'s Brand Director at Johnson Outdoors said the following:
    Mike Sirach, Bob Winger and I at that exact moment were wondering what does Eureka! have up its sleeve that in one fell swoop would take the outdoor camping gear industry by storm?

    Here are a few of the quotes from Bob, Mike and myself that were passed along to the direct and only the direct participants after we found out what they had just recently developed.
    And here are those details…

    Eureka! Patent Pending Dualis & Singlis Technology

    What makes for a good night’s sleep while in the outdoors? There are many technologies and types of sleeping pads available with each having benefits and detriments. Many of us use two separate sleeping pads in an attempt to achieve a restful night’s sleep.

    Anyone that has tent camped has surely pondered or even tried alternate solutions looking for the comfort of home while in the outdoors. And trust me, none of us has really ever found it… Until possibly now.

    Eureka! just introduced two new sleeping pads. The Singlis ST collection is an air tube pad with integrated pump. And enter a Eureka! invention, the patent-pending Dualis Technology which provides an elegant solution for obtaining a good night’s sleep in the outdoors, and is used in the Dualis ST collection.

    Dualis Technology creates a multi-chamber sleeping pad combining the cushioning and thermal resistance of a self-inflating pad with the conformability, support, and compactability of an air tube mattress. The bottom chamber is comprised of open cell PU foam, like a self-inflating pad. The top chamber is a separate interconnected air tube pad.

    Each chamber has its own valve for independent inflation and control. Dualis Technology provides the user with home mattress-like comfort in a more compact size.

    New Technology

    The development and commercialization of Dualis Technology required extensive prototyping, lab testing and field testing; with the result being the introduction of the Dualis ST collection of pads. Dualis ST pads utilize TPU laminated soft-touch anti-slip fabric on the air tube chamber and durable anti-slip 150D polyester oxford ripstop with TPU lamination as the ground contact fabric of the self-inflating chamber. These fabrics offer durability, slip-resistance, and excellent next-to-skin comfort.

    Polyurethane open cell foam is utilized inside the self-inflating pad chamber, and each chamber has its own brass valve with polymer overmolding for independent inflation and firmness customization.

    Eureka Dualis and Singlis Sleeping Pad Detail.​

    The Dualis ST Regular with 1.2" of foam is designed for those participating in self-propelled activities where comfort and a good night’s sleep is valued. With an overall thickness of 4" and an R-Value of 3.7, it makes an effective all season pad. Additionally, being a dual technology system, redundancy provides a measure of security and confidence while in the backcountry.

    The Dualis ST Large is the ultimate pad for expeditions, family camping, and base camps which fits our needs to a tee! The plush 4.8" thickness of the Dualis ST Large, with 2" of foam and an R-value of 5.2, makes this pad more comfortable than many beds, especially if you sleep on your side or stomach! For a pad of this comfort, it packs a small 6" x 27".

    Dualis ST pads, utilizing Dualis Technology, are the only sleeping pads providing the insulation and cushioning of a self-inflating pad with the conformability and support of an air tube mat suitable for all end users valuing comfort and a good night’s sleep. Expect the Dualis ST pads to quickly become your favorites.


    The Singlis Collection is comprised of two models of integrated-pump air tube pads. The Singlis ST air tube pads are ideal for the camper or backpacker in temperate climates valuing comfort, compactability, and durability. The Singlis ST models utilize the same soft-touch anti-slip fabric on the top of the air tubes and durable anti-slip 150D polyester oxford ripstop on the ground surface, and brass valves as the Dualis ST models. The integrated pump makes inflation of these lightweight pads a quick 1.5 minutes for the Singlis ST Regular, and 2.5 minutes for the oversized Singlis ST Large.

    It is now time to consider Eureka! for the best night’s sleep while in the great outdoors. We will be sure to tell you how all of the above new technology works out after our first night under the stars just two short weeks from today.

    Eureka! camping gear promotion – A chance for you to win!

    I have described in detail some of the excellent Eureka! gear that will accompany us and there is even more which you will hear about in short order. That said, Eureka! is at this very moment setting up a Facebook landing page in which anyone friending them after hearing about our Adventure Challenge drive and especially those that meet us on the road will be provided an opportunity to win a prize package consisting of camping gear similar to the gear described above.

    In addition, the individual that guesses the closest to the overall final fuel economy we receive during our crossing of the Continent in the aforementioned 2011 Ford F-150 w/ the 3.5L EcoBoost loaded with at least 5 people at all times and enough gear for over a week on the road will also win the camping gear as spelled out in the soon to be revealed Eureka! promotion.

    I have not seen the Facebook page or its content yet but if it has anywhere near the time, effort and tenacity that Eureka! has put forth to date on our portion of this project, I am quite sure it will be a great place to visit for the very latest on your own outdoor adventure gear.

    From our past outdoor camping experiences and current perspective, the best value in gear comes from a company named Eureka!

    2011 Ford F-150 w/ the 3.5L EcoBoost – Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge Drive Route with nightly stop locations

    2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost - "A Star is Born" Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge Drive Route

    [ A ] Depart LA on Saturday morning, April 30th
    (Drive 436 miles) Arrive near Williams, AZ on Saturday evening, April 30th

    [ B ] Depart Williams/Circle Pines KOA - 1000 Circle Pines Road, Williams, AZ 86046 Circle Pines KOA
    (Drive 468 miles) Arrive at Santa Rosa, NM on Sunday evening, May 1st

    [ C ] Depart Santa Rosa Camp Ground - 2136 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435 Santa Rosa Campground
    Monday AM - Chase car returns to ABQ (117 miles west) for journalist swap and return (Jill departs for Chicago and Dave arrives into Albuquerque). Depart campground at approximately noon.
    (Drive 212 miles) Arrive near Sanford, TX on Monday evening, May 2nd

    [ D ] Depart Amarillo KOA - 1100 Folsom Road, marillo, TX 79108
    (Drive approximately 245 miles) Arrive in Oklahoma City, OK on Tuesday about noon, May 3rd. (Dave fly’s back out to Chicago and Sebastian fly’s into Oklahoma, City)
    (Drive approximately 160 miles) Arrive near Sallisaw OK Tuesday evening, May 3rd
    (405 total miles)

    [ E ] Depart KOA Sallisaw/Ft Smith West - 1900 KOA Power Dr, Sallisaw, OK 74955 Sallisaw/Ft Smith KOA
    (Drive approximately 310 miles) Arrive in Memphis, TN on Wednesday May 4th in the early afternoon (Pick up Brandon from the Greyhound Station in Memphis)
    (Drive approximately 70 miles) Arrive near Potts Camp, MS on Wednesday evening, May 4th

    [ F ] Depart Chewalla Lake in Holly Springs National Forest, Potts Camp, MS 38659 Chewalla Lake in Holly Springs National Forest Campground
    (Drive 412 miles) Arrive near Macon, GA on Thursday evening, May 5th

    [ G ] Depart Night of Thursday 5/5 - Forsyth KOA - 414 Frontage Road, Forsyth, GA 31029
    (Drive 193 miles) Arrive at Tybee Island, GA

    [ H ] Arrive at Tybee Island, GA on Friday afternoon, May 6th

    If anyone from CleanMPG would like to join us at any of the nightly stops, you are more than welcome. We will have a campfire, smores, marshmallows, (plenty of “Pepsi” ;)) and most certainly a variety of animated discussions about any number of topics related to our drive and anything else that makes its way to the top of the discussion tree.

    A special thanks go to Mark Hrubant, Rob Marcello, and Kristin Jankowski at Johnson Outdoors Gear, parent company of the Eureka! brand. We would also like to recognize Eureka's dedicated vendor partners, Greg Squires, William Robbins, Aaron Tatum, and Erin Keefe, for working together to make our “Challenge” that much more enjoyable from the aspect of a comfortable night’s sleep while outdoors and under the stars. Make sure to “like” Eureka! on Facebook at
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2011
  2. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    Great intro Wayne.

    The adults in Troop 180 have been using Eureka! tents for years. I'm into the 3rd year with my ATX2 and it gets used almost monthly. ;-) Easy set up, great 3 season tent. Plenty of room for gear out in the covered vestibules, but that gear is easy to get to if you need an extra pair of socks at 2 AM. ;-)

    Though I just started using a hybrid sleeping bag about 2 years ago, it's my winter bag only. I can say the hybrid bag approach is roomy in the body like a regular recanglular bag, but nice and comfy in the upper shoulder and head area - which is what you want on those sub freezing nights. But these dual temp bags - what a great idea! Now you only have to buy one bag for year round comfort.

    Can't wait to give 'em a test drive!
  3. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I told Bob today that I was very anxious to try out this new gear. I usually camp out for a week in the hills of North Carolina and at Green Drive Expo in Madison, WI. This should be a great adventure and we definitely are launching with the proper gear.

    I think this year in July, there may be at least 2 Eureka tent sets adding some color to Lake Farm Park Campground in Madison, WI.
  4. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Can't wait to try this stuff out! I enjoy camping but the gear I have is pretty basic. This will be like camping in a camper trailer by comparison.
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    This is awesome! I can't wait!
  6. jsmithy

    jsmithy Well-Known Member

    Great article.
  7. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    While I've never actually camped out before (unless the trunk of a Geo Metro in winter counts), I would meet up if you were about 400 miles or so further North. It would definitely provide a different view point from a newbie to it.

    Ironically, my brother is the type to go off and camp out and all that stuff. While I prefer roller coasters, skydiving (if it weren't so darned expensive), etc - more of the adrenaline rush stuff.
  8. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Matt: We are on a pretty tight schedule with the reporters flying in and out from various locales. Maybe you could see "if there is a will, there is a way!":D
  9. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Ford has promised to have the truck ready for pick-up Friday and I just got an email confirmation that the Eureka! gear will be at Wayne's on Friday. The trip is on! :Banane45:
  10. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Eureka camping gear will be like staying at the Hilton! I used to leave town on Friday with my boat and camping (cheap) gear and not come home until Sunday night. Every year I would need a new sleeping bag. I am very anxious to try out some great equipment!
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Updating this important news with pictures ;)

    First, I picked up the truck yesterday afternoon…

    2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost – A Star is Born - FE Adventure Challenge


    Drivers Side Rear​

    And then the gear arrived. It was funny because a FedEx truck arrived at 09:30 AM this morning so I went out and greeted him. He said they could not fit it all in this truck so another will be coming by around 12:30.

    At 12:45, a bigger FedEx truck arrived and the unloading began… And it kept coming and coming and coming. My entire back room was filled with boxes of every size and shape. Both the FedEx guy and I were joking that there is no way all of this gear is going to fit in the bed of the 2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost SuperCrew. I said it had better or I have some “splainen” to do ;)

    I unboxed and unpacked and filled the living room!

    Eureka! Gear

    On Floor L to R: 20/40 DualTemps w/ Dualis ST’s pads underneath and behind - Curvy Chairs - Tents w/ flashlights behind.
    On Couch L to R: Magic 400’s – pillows – ground cloths – Duffels.​

    I then repackaged everything in their individual duffels tagged with names of the 5 journalists and 5 CleanMPG enthusiasts and parked everything once again in the back room where I am waiting for the rain to stop so I kind “load up the truck and move to Beverly… Hills that is, Swimming Pools and Movie Stars”. And since we are going to Hollywood, I may as well make a stop in Beverly Hills with the truck as it is appropriately named, “A Star is Born”!

    After all, it is not like Beverly Hills is an unknown destination around these parts.

    The 2012 Ford Focus Titanium at the Beverly Hills Hotel Entrance late last month.​

    Back on topic… I will get all of the gear to fit somehow :rolleyes:

  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And now for something completely different in a cool sort of way…

    There is a Chase car and it’s a MT equipped 2011 Ford Fiesta SES. It needed to be moved from the LA Press Fleet to the Detroit Fleet so why not have us take it across at 60 + mpg vs. just about anybody else at a lot less ;)

    2011 Ford Fiesta SES – “A Star is Born”


    While not shown, a Eureka graphic will be emblazoned across the entire hood and from the design, is going to look absolutely fantastic :)

  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Washed the truck, drove to Eureka!’s parent, Johnson Outdoors HQ in Racine, WI and snapped a few pics :)

    2011 Ford F150 w/ the 3.5L EcoBoost





  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    It took most of the afternoon to fit the last of the foodstuffs but she is packed, buttoned up and ready to roll!

    2011 Ford F-150 w/ EcoBoost – The Load out

    The massive amount of gear took up the entire bed.

    Buttoned up and ready to roll!

    And the ever present Pepsi Challenge ;)

    Not all of that Pepsi is coming along… Or maybe it will ;)

  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost and Eureka! – Westward Bound


    At the St. Louis Arch!​

    After leaving the Arch, we just passed Meramec Caverns on I-44 in Stanton Missouri. Meramec Caverns is the largest commercial cave in the state of Missouri and was “Outlaw Jesse James” hideout during his days of debauchery.

  16. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member


    Trivia: What was Eureka's first notable items that they produced?
  17. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    I think we migrated away from Eureka to North Face and other gear due to needing more light weight gear for the troop I used to be in. I've got a Sierra 2 man, and north face mummy bag that have seen me through the last 20 years... hard to believe the elastic in the poles of the Sierra still work ;).
  18. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Another excellent adventure! Who's the chef, what's the cuisine, and will the hypermilers be driving the chase car for a record mpg result? I'll be disappointed if the journalists drive it. OTOH, if they truly chase you, they may get some unintended great fuel economy trailing you at 50 mph ;).
  19. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The chase Fiesta will be aiming for mpg as well. Mike Sefton, myself, and Brandon (FSU) will be taking care of that one.

    Cuisine? I know msirach has some excellent coffee planned.
  20. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Andrew, I missed seeing your name on the Cleanmpg list initially. That's what happens when you pick an oddball tent ;). Well, great. I'm more interested in how the MT Fiesta does, than how the F-150 does.

    The best camping trips have been the ones with Thai peanut sauce, fresh-cooked split pea soup, or shrimp creole. I've been on too many where dinner was a can of ravioli, or Dinty Moore beef stew ;).

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