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Overland Expo saw attendees from all walks of life.

Overland Expo featured innovative gear and activities

Those who were fortunate enough to attend the Overland Expo outside of Flagstaff, Arizona had plenty to keep them busy throughout the weekend. From the latest in lockbox designs for Jeep owners to an off-road Land Rover course, the Overland Expo was a hit.

Hosted at Mormon Lake Lodge, event-goers were able to take in the beauty of the ponderosa pine country of Arizona while conversing with other outdoor enthusiasts, checking out the latest gear and taking part in some great activities. The drive into the secluded expo allowed adventurers to an unbeatable view of where this event takes place. Known as the largest natural lake in Arizona, Mormon Lake’s water level has dropped throughout the years, allowing overlanders to set up shop in the middle of May where water once was.

The vast and picturesque scenery, combined with wildlife in the area, made Mormon Lake the ideal location for the expo. Upon arrival, those in attendance drove by Mormon Lake Lodge, a quaint western steakhouse and saloon where cowboys are hard at work all year round. And while there were plenty of horses at the lodge, the expo featured a few more creative ways to travel the earth than on a four-legged animal. Before even being able to park, it was impossible for event-goers not to notice the plethora of amazing vehicles.

Ranging from minimalist Winnebago campers to the latest six-figure priced overlanding vehicles, the expo saw attendees and equipment from all walks of life. From innovative homemade designs – putting tents on top of just about any vehicle one could think of – to adventure motorcycles outfitted to travel for thousands of miles, there was no shortage of rides to admire. However, it was machines like EarthCruiser’s expedition vehicle that truly turned heads.

“American outdoor enthusiasts are asking for much more than just a camper stuck onto the back of a four wheel drive truck,” said Lance Gillies, executive of EarthCruiser. “This is a serious expedition vehicle that has been recognized around the globe for engineering and design features that provide safe, exceptional comfort and capable travel.”

Activities galore
One could have spent their entire trip at the Overland Expo marveling at the vehicles, but there was plenty more to do. An endless amount of classes, from outdoor survival to cooking classes, were perfect for those looking to get educated on the lifestyle of an overlander. And the expo had plenty of entertainment for these personalities.

A motorcycle arena, featuring a wide array of off-road obstacles, gave motorcycle attendees opportunities to show off their rides. Even those who didn’t have their own vehicle were encouraged to get behind the wheel of the Land Rover or Range Rover of their choice and navigate some tough terrain. After a number of hills, twists and turns, the Land Rover course culminated in a driver going up on three wheels to navigate the final obstacle, accompanied by an experienced instructor, of course.

Vendors for the gear enthusiast
Aside from the enjoyment derived from the atmosphere of the event and wide array of activities to enjoy, those in attendance at the Overland Expo got to shop for and learn about the latest outdoor gear. From Benchade knives to an on-the-go grill known as the Grub Hub, there was plenty of products to enjoy.

However, when it came to leading security equipment at the event, the vast amount of Jeep owners and outdoor enthusiasts crowded the Tuffy Security products tent. A mounted lockbox to keep valuables safe in an otherwise vulnerable vehicle resonated with Jeep owners looking to improve security.

Whether it was the selection of handmade sodas or the debut of the Ram Power Wagon, the Overland Expo had something for everyone.

Avoid having a car or home broken into with the necessary precautions.

Get tough on vehicle and home security with mini safes and lockboxes

Whether you’ve just had a break in or you are trying to take measures to avoid one, there are ways to prevent thieves from making off with your belongings.

Your house and car are likely the two primary places you keep valuables, and therefore, they’re likely targets for criminals. As such, it’s essential to ramp up security.

A home
Improving security in a home is essential to protecting your family and personal items. Your peace of mind will be jeopardized after a break in, and you may never feel safe again. That’s why taking measures now to improve security is the ideal solution.

  • Reinforce doors: Homeowners are encouraged to install kick proof doors into their home. Certain wood or fiber glass doors might make it easy for a criminal to break into a home. Reinforced steel, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. In addition to stronger doors, homeowners are also encouraged to install a dead bolt lock.
  • Secure windows: It’s also a good idea to install stronger security window film. Where certain windows make it easy for a thief to get inside a home, some manufacturers offer a film that can resist anything a criminal will try to break a window with.
  • Lock items away: While it’s best to try and keep a criminal out of a home at all possible costs, sometimes they still find their way in, so it’s important to be prepared. A mini safe will keep valuable items secure in the event of an intrusion. While they are most likely searching for valuable items laying around the house, like jewelry or electronics, a homeowner can simply lock them away in a mini safe that is mounted to the wall and deter the impact of the crime.

A vehicle
Another popular target for thieves is a vehicle. Prowlers will go after a vehicle they think has expensive items or will be an easy mark for theft. However, vehicle owners can take a few precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

  • Install an alarm: While it might sound obvious, equipping a vehicle with an alarm will not only help notify you that your car is being broken into, but it can also deter the crime from taking place at all. Thieves will see a little blinking light inside a car and a sticker that says an alarm has been installed and will keep moving.
  • Add a lockbox: Another great item to install in a car is a lockbox. Vehicle owners can mount this product in their car or truck, keeping valuable items out of sight and locked away. A lockbox can make all the difference in giving an owner the confidence in storing their personal items in their vehicle.
  • Keep the spare keys separate: Too often owners keep a spare set of keys hidden in a car, and too often it’s stolen as a result. Vehicle owners should keep their extra keys hidden or with a loved one in order to prevent theft. Getting tough on security means avoiding habits like these, which criminals will take advantage of.
Products help Jeep owner secure their belongings.

Jeep lovers love Tuffy Security Products

Whether they are headed on an off-road adventure or just parking their vehicle for work, Jeep owners turn to Tuffy Security Products to keep their items safe.

Considering many Jeep models have open tops, security can be an issue for owners. Someone who owns a Wrangler can’t leave a laptop or cell phone in their vehicle over fear it might get stolen. However, with innovative Jeep parts and accessories from Tuffy Security Products, owners never have to worry again.

Jeeps are ideal for off-roading, so naturally their owners want to push the limits of their vehicle, heading deeper into the woods or taking a road they’ve never gone down before. However, no matter where they are in the world, security can be an issue, and keeping items – like passports while you’re in a different country – locked away is critical. That’s why Jeep owners love Tuffy products. They have the wide array of selections and unique designs made specifically for Jeeps, which owners know they can trust.

Some of their security solutions include a tailgate enclosure, lockable glove box, rear cargo aluminum storage box or a security storage trunk. The list goes on as the security options for Jeep owners are vast with Tuffy.

Tuffy makes it easy for any owners looking for the right products for their vehicle, and that goes double for Jeep owners as the company has so many options. All an owner has to do is plug the make, model and year of their vehicle into Tuffy’s website, and they will provide a list of all the available products.

Lockboxes will be a popular option, as they can be mounted to the inside of any vehicle, and Jeep owners have a lot to choose from when it comes to security.

Camping in the near future? Get a lock box

The warm weather has arrived and Americans are taking to the woods for camping and other outdoor activities. That means they’ll need to start preparing now.

As Memorial Day is also on the horizon, camping trips will be a popular endeavor. However, while many campers know to bring the bug spray and tent, too often they leave behind much needed security equipment to keep valuables safe. A lock box is the ideal product for a camping trip. It can easily be mounted inside a vehicle, including the trunk, keeping expensive or dangerous items safe.

Whether someone is just looking for a safe place to keep their cell phone while they enjoy Mother Nature or they need a secure place to store their handgun so children won’t get their hands on it, a lock box is the answer. This product will make it impossible for someone to access valuables inside, keeping a family safe and secure on a camping trip.

And for those who need even more secure storage space, a car roof rack is the perfect accompaniment for a camping trip. All gear and other items will be safe on the roof of a car, freeing up space inside.

An true overlander offers his insights on safe travel.

Security products allow a traveler to feel comfortable doing more

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Overland Expo at Mormon Lake Lodge outside of Flagstaff, Arizona and was able to catch up with a veteran of the event.

J. Brandon, founder and president of American Sahara, a marketing, communications, and event management services for adventure travel companies, has attended the expo since it started four years ago, experiencing its significant growth. Overland is designed to encourage and educate attendees on traveling, and this year was another hit.

With no place to sit down and interview J., a combination coffee/paracord vendor kindly offered me one of their tents, representing the camaraderie event attendees have at the Overland Expo. I got another taste of that sense of community when J. asked me when I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride across Death Valley.

Donning an all-khaki ensemble, a hat and a beard, J. Brandon could have been pinpointed as an overlander by his appearance alone. But he also had the attitude to match. A true adventurer, Brandon was eager to convey how great this lifestyle is, asking if he could do anything to help us. I made it clear I was there representing Tuffy Security Products, and J. immediately recognized the trusted brand.

“Good, good products,” he said. “And a great brand recognition in the Jeep community.”

Tuffy designs a wide array of security products that help keep valuable items safe, and as Brandon noted, they have a great selection of security equipment for Jeeps as well as a good reputation among law enforcement.

And while J. noted that he had taken the necessary precautions to avoid having his vehicle broken into, he said he understands the importance of security equipment.

“I have traveled with folks in open Jeeps,” Brandon said. “The classic Tuffy audience. And those guys are all about security. I’ve also traveled with guys who are law enforcement officers and they’re armed all the time because it’s their job. So security is 100 percent important for them. You can’t go camping with people you don’t know and have a gun in your car and have it fall into nefarious hands.”

Brandon added that he’s been on trips with a wide array of people, some he only met on the Internet through an online community of travelers and off-roaders. And with that being said, security is all the more important.

“This independent adventure travel is all about being prepared when things don’t go according to plan,” Brandon said. “And so that being prepared means I have the right equipment, I have the right skills and mostly the right mental space… If you miss your plane, the appropriate response is just to go and get a beer. And so that sort of mindset is one of the cultural traits of this community. And those of us – this ain’t our first rodeo – we’re all about helping new folks learn because we want them to be a part of our community.”

J. is from an area near Lake Tahoe in Nevada. He rode his 2005 KLR 650 dual sport bike the nearly 800 miles to be in attendance at the Overland Expo, and what he calls a “very doable trip.”

It’s all about risk assessment when traveling
The Overland Expo saw a wide range of travelers in attendance, from those with multimillion dollar equipment to recently retired couples in campers. And J. said that depending on a person’s level of risk, they need to take the necessary precautions to avoid any disasters.

“It’s a all about risk assessment,” he said. “And good risk assessment skills come with experience – plus I got a little gray hair, that helps…Some people are just more or less risk averse. If I had small children at home, my sense of acceptable risk would be different. My children are grown. I have a wife and dogs who are totally self contained. If I didn’t come home for a month the dogs would get fed and the laundry would get done.”

The point J. is making is that people need to plan accordingly with their level of risk. A Jeep Rubicon owner would benefit from a lockbox since they can’t secure their vehicle in a traditional sense because they have an open top, for example.

“If some guy is carrying firearms in his vehicle, that’s high risk,” Brandon said. “If he’s only got a spare water bottle and some socks, that’s not really high risk. A guy who’s got a Jeep he paid $30,000, plus another $20,000 in modifications, he needs to be concerned about security and his risk assessment is critical.”

Whether it’s equipping a vehicle with a mini safe or taking some other precautions, high risk requires more security, and J. understands just how important Tuffy products are.

“If you follow the guidebook, you can expect to have the guidebook experience,” Brandon said.

instead of following a book and sticking to the road, when your belongings are safe, you can afford to go off the beaten path. And that’s where the experience really starts.

Thieves ransacked South Carolina homes and vehicles.

Spring brings warmer weather, vehicle break ins and home invasions

Home and vehicle owners should always take precautions when it comes to safeguarding their family and belongings, but that goes double during the springtime. As the weather improves, prowlers and teens are out wreaking havoc, looking for opportunities to steal. Those who are prepared can make it tough on these criminals, and a lockable storage box would likely make all the difference.

Recently in Montgomery, South Carolina, three teenagers were arrested in connection with 15 reported vehicle break ins. However, when it comes to keeping the contents of a vehicle safe, simply locking a door can make all the difference. The three who were charged were D’Aaron Colston, 18, Tavis Colston, 17 and a 16-year-old, only entered vehicles that were unlocked, stealing several unnamed items from the unsuspecting victims.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris told the Herald that many of these crimes could be prevented if vehicle owners locked their doors. He also encouraged them to take their valuables inside every night so thieves aren’t even tempted to break in.

More incidents of theft
This past weekend was a rough one for the citizens of Montgomery, as there were 10 reports of vehicle and home break ins, accounting for nearly $9,000 in stolen items and hundreds of dollars in damage, the Montgomery Advisor reported.

In one home, thieves made away with a 42-inch television, watch and necklace, totaling $1,300. Aside from the home break ins, there was a wide array of items take from cars in the area. Here’s a short list of what victims reported as having been stolen:

  • 120 GB iPod
  • Seven-inch Samsung tablet
  • Wallet with $500 cash
  • Kindle Fire
  • Social Security card
  • Debit card
  • Driver’s license
  • Perfume

One thief even broke into a convenience store and stole a $3 bottle of wine and a $60 carton of Newport cigarettes.

Keeping items safe at home and in cars
Whether it’s due to the spring weather or not, incidents of theft seem to be on the rise, and home and auto owners need to have some extra security in place. Making a few easy adjustments, like locking a car door at all times, can be the difference between becoming a victim of theft or not.

Lockboxes are also a great option to keep valuables in homes and vehicles safe. Storing expensive items encased in steel will keep them safe, and a lock box can be mounted in an inconspicuous place, likely deterring a break in altogether.

Watch out for your vehicle if you go by Mike or Liz.

If your name’s Michael or Elizabeth, you’re more likely to have your car stolen

Don’t think your name has anything to do with your car being stolen? Think again.

A study from Erie Insurance recently investigated the boys’ and girls’ names attached to those who are most likely to have their vehicles stolen. The insurance provider used the the Social Security Administration’s annual list of popular baby names, along with its claims data, to see which names have the most cars stolen. And sorry if your name is Michael or Elizabeth, because these were the No. 1 male and female names to have their cars stolen.

“Of course we don’t think parents should use this information when choosing a name because a person’s name has no bearing whatsoever on anything related to their insurance,” said Matt Myers, senior vice president of claims, Erie Insurance. “But people are fascinated by baby names, and as a car insurance provider we have claims data that can be correlated to names. We thought we’d share the information knowing that people will find it interesting.”

Following Elizabeth as the leading name for vehicle thefts were Emily, Emma, Olivia, Sofia, Abigail, Ava, Mia, Isabella and Madison. For the boys, the list continued as follows: William, Daniel, Alexander, Jacob, Noah, Ethan, Liam, Mason and Jayden.

The data showed, and rightly so, that a number of the most popular names for babies were featured on the list of those likely having their vehicle stolen. Michael was the seventh most popular name this year while Elizabeth was 10th. Considering the popularly of these names, it’s no wonder they are more likely to have a vehicle stolen, since there are so many Michaels and Elizabeths out there.

Protecting your car and belongings
If you own a vehicle – even if your name wasn’t  featured in the 10 most likely to have your car stolen – you are encouraged to take precautions to ensure you are not a victim of theft. Here are some best practices to avoid having a vehicle stolen:

  • Always lock doors, no matter how long you are away from your vehicle.
  • Choose your parking spot wisely; a well lit area is a good bet.
  • Make sure valuable are out of sight

While it’s not always a good idea to keep expensive belongings in a vehicle, sometimes it’s not an option. Lockboxes are the ideal solution to keeping items safe inside a car. These products will mount on the inside of a vehicle, keeping personal possessions out of sight, locked away and safe.

Crime doesn't pay for the ambulance thief.

Woman arrested after stealing ambulance from fire station

She might have been aspiring to be a paramedic, or maybe she just took the video game Grand Theft Auto way too seriously, but things didn’t end too well for 41-year-old Terri Efaw when she broke into a fire station in McMinn County, Tennessee and stole an ambulance.

Not only did she not get away with her bone-headed crime, but she caused quite a bit of damage on her way out of the volunteer fire station.

“The ambulance crew heard a vehicle start up,” Englewood Fire Chief Billy Roach, told Englewood ABC affiliate WTVC. “They heard the racket, came outside and she was driving straight through the bay doors.”

The theft left firefighters with quite the mess from the ambulance smashing through the bay doors – one is now being covered with plywood until it can be fixed. Although the fire station does have a security system, storms that recently moved through the area knocked out the power, so authorities were unaware Efaw broke in until they heard her.

“This week we had storms and the power went off,” Roach said. “We have electronic codes on them and once the power’s out, if the battery back up doesn’t kick in, it unlocks the door.”

Efaw made it only a few miles before police officers stopped her. She was arrested for theft, vandalism and criminal trespassing, and is currently in McMinn County jail on an $11,000 bond. Total damage to the bay doors and ambulance is estimated at nearly $8,000.

“The one thing about Englewood – we’re a small town but we battle back and we’ve got good people here,” George Carroll, who lives across the street from the fire station, told McMinn County NBC affiliate WRCB.

The kicker
Efaw actually had a pretty good reason for wanting to get into an ambulance – she just should have called one. When police asked her why she stole the vehicle, she said because she was pregnant and needed to get to the hospital fast. Surely there was a better way for Efaw to find a ride.

Law enforcement, firefighters and other similar personnel are encouraged to take extra precautions when securing gear and vehicles. Whether it’s adding a reinforced lock to an ambulance, mounting a lockbox inside to keep valuables safe or adding a mini safe to keep gear secure in a station, there are helpful products on the market.

Jeep's five-year plan looks to poise automaker as go-to source for SUVs.

Jeep making big moves in the next five years

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Machionne recently released five-year plans for the automaker, and it appears Jeep is in for some monumental changes.

The automaker is looking to reposition itself as No. 1 in sales of sport utility vehicles and crossovers. They intend to do this by ramping up the brand’s image as rugged and releasing all-new Jeep models.

The first new model to be released will be the new Renegade subcompact, which is set to debut in 2014.

“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, president and chief executive of Jeep Brand. “Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment with a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability while at the same time delivering outstanding driving dynamics and the open-air freedom customers expect from Jeep.”

In 2015, the Jeep Cherokee will receive a major update, while the Patriot and Compass are expected to be phased out in 2016 and replaced with a new compact crossover. However, perhaps the largest news of the Jeep five-year plan was the re-release of  Grand Wagoneer. Set to hit dealership floors in the mid-2018, the Grand Wagoneer is the what Manley calls the “most premium Jeep we will have ever made.”

Jeep accessories ideal for improving performance
Fans of Jeep vehicles are likely thrilled by the automaker’s push toward innovation through new models. However, as these vehicles are highly customizable, owners often add Jeep parts and accessories to best suit their needs.

Whether someone wants a lock box mounted in their Jeep for improved storage security or they want a cargo drawer for quick access to gear, products are available to help.

Travelers are flocking to the Overland Expo this weekend.

Overland Expo encourages attendees to get out and explore the world

This upcoming weekend is the 2014 Overland Expo. The international event is held outside of Flagstaff, Arizona and looks to educate and inspire people to get out and explore the world by bike or vehicle. Each year, there are two Overland Expos, one held outdoors in Flagstaff in May and another held inside in Asheville, North Carolina in October.

Travel enthusiasts from across the globe will be flocking to Mormon Lake, where the upcoming event is being held. They will have plenty of things to keep them busy this year as the one-of-a-kind event will feature more than 140 different classes, workshops and roundtable programs. And that’s not even close to everything this event will include. Over 180 companies are also putting exhibits up at the event, featuring everything from motorcycles and ATVs to security products like a portable safe for travelers.

Event-goers will also have the chance to speak with various experts, authors and videographers from across the globe, as well as enjoy a wide array of food and drink options. The event will even include a film festival and various happy hours. This year, event planners expect that more than 6,000 attendees.

For someone who travels often, the Overland Expo might be the only place they can call home. And with so many travel enthusiasts arriving to the same location for a weekend of fun, there will be onsite and nearby camping available.

Registration for the event is still open, giving attendees a full, all-inclusive education package known as “the Overland Experience.” However, day passes are also available for those who can’t make it for the whole weekend. Those who choose this option can still participate in a number of “a la carte programs,” according to the Overland Expo website.

Representatives from Tuffy Security Products will also be at the expo, both presenting and enjoying the events each day, so be sure to stop by, say hello and check out our products and services.