We have returned from Overland Expo, our shoes may still be muddy, but we are back. Though the weather was more in line with spring in the Rockies, the expo did not disappoint! If you want to meet a demographic of people who are ready for anything mother nature can dish out, including snow, in May, in Arizona, it’s the Overland clan.
The poor conditions may have scared off a few fair weather fans, but the expo was still hustling and bustling. This years Expo West boasted 30 additional vendors on site, bringing the total over 100! This is a clear sign of the growing popularity of overlanding!
The range of people who showed up for this event included anything from car camping to half million dollar rigs. Some of the expedition companies featured trips around their local states, to full-scale expeditions such as the Pan American Highway.
One of the main attractions was the Sportsmobile 4×4 Sprinter Conversion. Sprinter recently introduced the 4×4 option to North America in 2015. Sportsmobile was one of the first to get their hand on it. They beefed up the wheels, tires, and suspension and paired it with a full conversion on the interior. For more info on their products check out Sportsmobile.com
A well thought out interior sporting a fridge, sink and microwave. The van sleeps four with a pop up roof and the fold down bench seat. Base price for this conversion comes in at $110,000.
At the Overland Journal booth they officially revealed the Jeep Wrangler Africa Edition. Not to be ignored was this sweet BMW moto. Stocked and ready to take you anywhere in the world. I’ll take one of each please!
Check out more about the overland lifestyle at OverlandJournal.com
We stopped by the Unimog headquarters. These machines are not to be messed with on or off the trail. Check out some of their overlanding adventures at Perky Mogs Facebok Page.
Now this beast was one of my favorites. Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, their Turtle model is based on a Ford F550 chassis with a 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel power plant. This rig is ready to take you way, way, waaayyyy out there. The interior was efficiently laid out. Keeping the living unit a manageable size for both on and off-road driving. The Turtle is on my list of future purchases, maybe even add one to the rental fleet!
The competition was fierce but I think the most “popular” vehicle of the weekend was this deuce and a half. The campground had turned into an absolute grease fest over the weekend. Not only vehicles, but people fell victim to this slippery, shoe removing, Earthroamer devouring mud. This 6×6 behemoth was busy all weekend yanking people out of the campground and to safety. Anything from a 35ft A class to an Earthroamer was recovered by this retired military vehicle and other well equipped patrons.
We managed to stay out of the “rescued” category for the weekend. With the hard sided roof, propane heater, and some careful mud pit negotiation we stayed high and dry all weekend. Most of the time we cooked in the camper but we managed to catch a break in the weather for some grilling action.
We had a great time at the expo. Saw some amazing vehicles and met some great people! Already making plans for Overland Expo East in October! See everyone at the next one!
2015 marks the 67th anniversay of FIBArk, the nation’s oldest whitewater festival and Salida’s signature event. Since 1949, every June during the Spring snow runoff, Salida has hosted FIBArk, “First in Boating on the Arkansas.”
Stand Up Paddling has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and it’s huge here in Colorado. Veteran river rats are rediscovering the adventure of Class I-III rivers that may not pose much of a challenge while sitting down, but when standing up they present a whole new set of challenges and adventure.
Calling this a whitewater paddling event may be generous, but saying it is one of the most fun events of FIBArk would be right on. The Hooligan Race is open to anything that floats that’s not a boat.
Salida Colorado is located 2.5 hours from Denver. Take the Beautiful drive through Pike and the White River National Forest in a Sportsmobile.
There are many more events, food, and music at the FIBArk Festival. For more info check out FIBArk.com
Take the ultimate adventure vehicle to the ultimate adventure mountain games! Enjoy the competitions, music, and film festivals during the day then escape in the evening and enjoy some backcountry camping with your 4×4 Sportsmobile!
The country’s largest celebration of adventure sports, music, and the mountain lifestyle returns once again when The GoPro Mountain Games returns to Vail, June 4-7, 2015.
Professional and amateur outdoor adventure athletes from the Vail Valley and around the world will converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in nine sports and 25 disciplines including: x-country and road cycling, freestyle, 8-Ball, sprint and extreme kayaking, raft cross, World Cup Bouldering, stand up paddle sprint and surf cross, as well as trail, mud and road running, dog comps and the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.
In addition to the athletic events, the GoPro Mountain Games will include a mountain photography competition, adventure film school, film festival, an interactive exhibition and demo area, live music, and mountain lifestyle parties.
The Mountain Games are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.
As TGR Stash Matt Reichel started burning out on his job in the Mid-West as a construction project manager, his love of mountain biking was leaving him daydreaming about days touring bike parks in Colorado and the Northeast and the small taste of exploration and adventure those long-weekend burst trips had granted him. So, when it all became too much, Matt made the move: he bought an RV over the phone from a guy in Arizona, started liquidating most of his belongings, saving money, and putting himself on a budget. Then he quit his job, and moved into a campsite in Breckenridge for the winter .
After working as a ski instructor, he used a nationwide bike park pass from MTBParks.com as an excuse to road trip it around the West hitting as many bike parks a humanly possible, from Crested Butte to Angel Fire to Steven’s Pass. He swapped vehicles from an RV to a truck-top camper, and after almost two years living on the road, decided to use his experience and enthusiasm for the mobile lifestyle to start his own adventure van rental company, Into The Wild Expedition Rentals . He bought a 4X4 Sportsmobile van in San Francisco and set it up in Denver, a perfect hub for shorter-term off road adventures, with Rocky Mountain National Park, all the I-70 ski areas, and desert spots like Moab and Fruita all within striking distance……..
Check out the rest of the article at Teton Gravity Research!!
Before the first renter hit the road to southwest Colorado last week I made a stop at one of my favorite stores, REI! I had a fairly long list of items to stock the van with. I’ll be honest, it was more of the “kid in a candy store” than actually shopping for the business. With everything from plastic wine glasses to a solar shower, the van is now turn key and ready for renters.
The van will come stocked with all your cooking and kitchen ware, french press, maps and guide books, folding chairs, linens, a 3 person tent and sleeping bags for extra guests. I also picked up some dry goods, such as coffee, creamer, spices, and cooking oil. I’m sure there will be items to be added but with my year long excursion in my RV, you’ll be more than covered!
We are exciting to attend this awesome event! We will have a campsite at the venue site, feel free to stop by and say hi!
Here are some quick stats on what’s going down.
I recently dropped the van at Boulder Off Road Vans for a couple upgrades. The biggest one is adding a heater. The vehicle had spent most of its life in Texas, so it already had an auxiliary A/C but no heat for winter camping in the Rockies. I’m also adding an awning, a front receiver hitch, and a lockable storage box on the rear bumper for spare fuel and water.
There are definitely more upgrades on the list and my love for tinkering will only add to it! stay tuned for more upgrades!