Web Log

Land Rover Defender Products in Production

Almost exactly a year ago I began design and development for a small selection of products designed specifically for the most legendary Adventure Tool of all, the Land Rover Defender. This week they are going into small batch production. The intent was to create high quality products made from hard anodized (type III) aluminum which are lightweight, strong and completely rust resistant. I began by designing an aluminum version of the classic Defender plastic grill. A much more rigid and durable design means increased protection for the radiator and the new design also has an integrated mounting system on the vertical support on the the rear of the grill. A special mounting bracket can be fixated in any of the locations of these slots, in order to mount accessories such as lighting.

In addition to the grill I also design a set of front headlight guards to match the aesthetic of the grill design. These are also made from type III anodized aluminum they will never have rust issues. All of these these designs utilized an innovative puzzle-like male-female interlock construction in order to achieve outmost structural rigidity as well as minimize exposed welds and seams. These products are made to last, just like all things related to the Land Rover Defender should be.

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten".

Fjällräven Tents

Tiktaalik will be one of the first in the US to carry Fjällräven tents starting in 2016. Pre-orders will be begin in the fall of 2015. Please contact Tiktaalik for preorder details and instructions. Fjällräven makes strong, stable tunnel tents in a 2- 3- and 4-person version with an extra large apse that is designed to be extremely safe in the high mountains no matter the season of the year. The tent walls are reinforced at the bottom for extra durability where it is needed most. The main apse holds a lot of equipment and has entrances on two sides, which is practical in strong winds and when several people are going in and out of the tent. Extra apse at the foot of the tent with its own entrance. The fly and the inner tent are raised at the same time and the attachments between them are X-shaped to distribute the weight across a larger surface. Three colour coded poles and extra large pole sleeves that can hold two sets of poles for expedition camps (requires special foxfeet, an accessory). Easily adjustable foxfeet simplifies handling and twelve guy line attachments provide stability even in hard winds. Mosquito netting covers all openings and windsleeves with brass wires on the short ends provide good airflow. Strong zippers with extra large pulls can be gripped even when wearing gloves. Clothesline inside the tent and in the apse, compartments and pockets for small items. There are also attachments for a number of other accessories, such as extra pockets, an equipment shelf, a reinforced floor and a tarp that creates an outdoor space. Stay tuned for further updates.


New Tools added to the store.

A couple of new items have been added to the store and are now ready to ship. The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder made in Osaka,  Japan is perfectly sized to bring with you on your travels. The replaceable ceramic burrs will remain sharper much longer than steel burrs and imparts no taste.  The excellent Field Notes Waterproof Notebooks and pencils are also in stock, as is the Mel Pardue Griptilian folding knife by Benchmade. The last new stock item this week are the Shinwa Stainless Steel Measuring Tools which I use on a daily basis. Besides being a beautiful instrument they are great not only for taking measurements but also for distance readings on maps, bookmarks and as a letter opener. Make sure to check out the Tiktaalik store frequently for newly added products.

The intent here is for Tiktaalik to seek out the best and highest quality adventure gear possible and to display it to you in a highly curated environment so that you can rest assured that anything you find in the store is of the outmost quality, functionality and usefulness. Coming soon are Tents and Sleeping bags as well as Tiktaaliks own line of adventure products so make sure to stay tuned!

Tool of the month.

I have always had a soft spot for well made tools that are void of unnecessary decorating and adornment. There is an inherent honesty, a straigtht-forwardness and a professionalism in focusing only on what is necessary and due to function. I call it Function driven design. Any aesthetic elements or considerations are driven by the function and they are not an end goal in themselves. Each decision in the design process can be practically and logically justified. The end result being an object that is more holistically considered and more beautiful than an object where the form and function are treated as separate elements. 

The new Phase One Alpha A-Series Camera is such a tool. It combines a selection of high quality components including lenses, mirrorless body and digital backs into the ultimate digital medium format camera that is, in my opinion, one of the more beautiful new cameras I have seen in a while.

Designer: No Name.

This is a book about the things that no one usually cares about. Ordinary objects that were industrially produced at the turn of the century. Objects that were designed to work. They fulfill a need. Someone had carefully considered all the aspects of its use for practical matters and often this someone was anonymous. These objects are so common-place, so self-evident and so removed of the unessential that they almost become invisible. Just like a good tool should be. I find there to be profound beauty in this functionality and simplicity. 

The book is called "Designer: No Name". From the book: "Two hundred thirty everyday articles from the first phase of mass production. All intended for practical use. All adapted to the attributes of the materials. The designers are unknown. This is a book about anonymous self-evident design." Published in 2002 by Byggförlaget, Sweden.



Here's a couple of well made objects that I really appreciate and that I carry around on more or less a daily basis. The Field Notes FNC-17 notebook is the Expedition Edition of Aaron Draplin's popular Field Notes Series. A light grey dot grid graph pattern is printed on tear and water proof Yupo paper. This nifty little notebook was designed in Portland, Oregon, printed and manufactured in the U.S.A and is now available in my store. The FN-17 Field Notes Space Pen is a really nice compliment to the notebook and the Shinwa metric ruler is indispensable in my daily work . The black leather wallet was designed and fabricated by my good friends at The Good Flock also located in Portland, Oregon. The Joe Pardue Griptilian Knife by Oregon knife company Benchmade is also a favorite. The high visibility orange color makes it easy to find when camping or when it is hiding under piles of objects on my desk. Lastly there is the somewhat polarizing, comically large iPhone 6+.

Tools for Adventure.

Welcome to the very first post on the Tiktaalik Web Log. 

One of the reasons the Tiktaalik website still is being finalized is that I have been busy doing what I do best; design and develop products. I have several new products currently in development and the majority of this first batch happen to be accessories for the legendary Land Rover Defender. Defenders in my mind being the ultimate tool for adventure. There is much more to come here both for Defenders and other Tools for Adventure so stay tuned.

I designed this useful little object below so that I could make the otherwise wasteful scrap areas useful when water-jet cutting aluminum parts for my other products. Scrap turned into something useful and aesthetically pleasing. The Tiktaalik bottle opener will soon be available for purchase in the Tiktaalik store.