Off Grid Trailers – Whipsaw 2020

Off Grid Trailers – Whipsaw 2020

A video story of a four day adventure to the infamous Whipsaw Trail of BC, Canada – towing five industry leading expeditions trailers.

Off Grid Trailers wanted to test all of their line up, but in particular their all new Switchback R and Switchback S.

A great few days with a fantastic group, some experienced, some not so experienced. That being said, everyone applied the same ethics, kindness, professionalism and support throughout the trip making it a complete success.

Off Grid Trailers
Whistler Olympic Park Welcomes Adventurous Travellers

Whistler Olympic Park Welcomes Adventurous Travellers

by Emanuel Sequeira

WHISTLER, BC – New friends. New memories.

That’s what the BC Overland Rally (BCOR) at Whistler Olympic Park is about to Christopher Walker, Overlanding BC certified off-road training instructor.

“We go because it’s simply a ton of fun, with people who are like-minded wanting to have a good time,” says Walker. “Learn some cool stuff, meet new cool people.”

The third BCOR, part of the international Overland Rally Series, shifts to Whistler after outgrowing Sasquatch Mountain Resort in Agassiz. The first year attracted 550 people, the second year jumped to 850. Ray Hyland, owner and organizer of the BCOR, is hoping to attract up to 1,200 people.

“Whistler is a destination on its own. We’re very excited about not only the infrastructure of the Olympic Park, but also all the exciting things to do around Whistler for people who are interested in outdoor activities,” says Hyland. “It gives people an opportunity to not just come to the show to learn, but to use that as an excuse to have a mini holiday.”

Industry influencer Sunny Eaton (@Vagabroads) says along with off-roading, overlanding is about traveling and seeing the world, camping and living differently. To live that lifestyle, the BCOR will feature several seminars and classes. Among them are working remotely, vehicle recovery (a popular recovery class include winching, understanding straps and shackles, etc.) vehicle trail repair, how to choose a quality repair kit, and others. There is even an optional morning yoga session to start each day right.

“There is so much variety of training, seminars to discussions, to the really cool talks in the evenings,” says Walker. “Sample a little bit of everything. Get around and talk to the awesome vendors promoting the interesting stuff they have.”

There is also the nightly campfire and prizes. Each evening a free raffle gives away a huge selection of fun prizes around the campfire, everything from winches, driving lights, roof-top tents, luggage, camping gear, recovery kits, and lots of other cool stuff. Overlanding is an inclusive community, including singles, couples and families. Eaton and her wife Karin Balsley are some of the best known. Having traveled from the U.S. to Panama and back, Eaton says they like to participate in the talks and the campfire gatherings.

“The BC Overland Rally is really oriented to that community,” says Eaton, a Tennessee lawyer, who is an unofficial ambassador for the Overland community. “These events are about spreading the message of overlanding, connecting with people who have similar interests, and educating people who wouldn’t think about doing something as nuts as what we did.

“When you are traveling on the road long-term like we did, other overlanders are all you have,” she continued. “That’s your lifeline. They become your friends and your family. One of the benefits of events like these is we get to reconnect with those people.”

As the event grows in population, so do vendor numbers – from 45 last year to 77 this year.

Bryon Dorr, contributing editor at GearJunkie.com, says the curated vendors are the backbone of the overland rallies.

“They supply amazing knowledge for the many classes and seminars, they provide quality gear for sale and for the raffles, and above all they provide amazing people that are deeply passionate about the overland community,” wrote Dorr in an email.

Vendors also provide a wide range of products for everyone. As much as they are there to sell products, they have more time to chat about the gear and be involved with the community than other overland events, Dorr says.

Walker’s biggest tip to enjoy the BCOR is walk around the campsite and talk to people about what they see. “It’s a young industry right now. Overlanding is exploding,” says Walker. “Education will grow and grow as the whole recreation aspect gets bigger. Take advantage of that opportunity of next to nothing cost.”

Quality instructors play a big part in the success of the rally, says Hyland. They are highly trained, and certified via Cities and Guilds of the United Kingdom, which is recognized in 180 countries.

Overland Rallies is also striving to change the perception of women not being independent adventure drivers and explorers. Overland Rallies has several female instructors, some of whom are among the best in the industry. Through a partnership with the Rebelle Rally, the largest female-only off-road navigation race in North America, women now teach many of the classes, and lead the trail rides. This is something Eaton loves.

“He really gives women a voice at these events,” says Eaton.

Register

Please click here for registration for the BC Overland Rally in Whistler June 27-30 2019.

For more information:

Contact Ray Hyland, BC Overland Rally organizer at bcoverlandrally@gmail.com

History

Established in 2017, the BC Overland Rally in Whistler is the Canadian stop in the Overland Rallies Series, a popular collection of camping festivals where experienced and novice travellers alike gather in a scenic location for three full days of classes, fun, inspiration, seeing new gear and making friends. The other two events are the Northwest Overland Rally in Leavenworth, Wash. and the Rocky Mountain Overland Rally in Gunnison, Colo. The series was launched in 2010.

Colorado 2018

Colorado 2018

This trip came about for several reasons; as a group of colleagues / friends we wanted to spend some time away from the “desk” and enjoy some off road travel together without having to work, as a gathering of old friends & new friends to celebrate an icon of the industry after his passing and as a way of exploring new places.

It’s an honour to spend time with these folks, they are first and foremost friends, but are advocates, supporters, mentors and colleagues as well.

Part 3 – Outfitting our Land Rover Defender 90

Part 3 – Outfitting our Land Rover Defender 90

Already our Defender 90 had been through a lot. A full service career with the Italian Carabinieri, re-imported to the United Kingdom, exported to British Columba Canada and then a major engine over haul and upgrade. This little Defender had seen it all on both sides of the world so far.

Our intention was always to be respectful to the brand, to the heritage and to the vehicle by not doing too much in the way of cutting, chopping and going over the top.

Part of our self brief was to do work on our vehicle that:

  • Respected the original vehicle.
  • Preserved what we had.
  • Cut & drilled as little as possible.
  • Not created a vehicle that was far from original specifications.
  • Adapted it for our needs.
  • Helped preserve the longevity and retain value.

What we wanted was a vehicle that had the following characteristics:

  • Simple.
  • Reliable.
  • Functional.
  • Has forms of protection.
  • Awesome tires.
  • Good suspension.
  • Good storage.
  • Practical.
  • Capable of long overland journeys.
  • Highly capable off road.
  • Made us smile every time we drive it.

What we have ended up with is a long list of very cool but well thought out additions or upgrades that enhance the vehicle in terms of practicality, form and function but retains it’s original looks.

The very last thing we wanted was a huge lift, massive tires, great strain and stress on an older vehicle.

The true reality is that an old Defender 90 is an exceptionally capable vehicle stock and straight from the factory. There is something about driving a vehicle using pure technique with amazing old mechanical technology and not relying on electronic traction aids (not that there is anything wrong with them..)

A huge thanks must go to friends, colleagues, mentors that helped advise, helped build and give feed back to make it possible. Fred Monsees, Sean Gorman, Tim Scully, David Rees, Jim West, Ray Hyland, Paul Cooper, Matt Kerr & Don Macdonald.

  • WARN Zeon 8S Winch & Fairlead.
  • Terrafirma Pro Taper HD Winch Bumper.
  • Factor 55 Flatlink Expert.
  • ARB Awning.
  • Trasheroo.
  • Flat Dog Ladder.
  • Flat Dog Rear Swing Tire & Hi-Lift Carrier.
  • Hi-Lift Jack.
  • Terrafirma Bumperettes.
  • Transport Canada / ICBC mandated 3rd Break Light.
  • Terrafirma HD Sliders (tree kick outs).
  • Treeline Tamarack Constellation Roof Top Tent.
  • FrontRunner Slimline 2 Roof Rack.
  • Sceptre Fuel & Water Jerry Cans.
  • The Perfect Co-Pilot / Navigator / Moral Builder / Activity Co-ordinator.
  • Devon 4×4 Twin Battery Tray.
  • 2 x PC1500 Odyessy Batteries.
  • Dual Battery Solenoid & Wiring.
  • ARB 24 Spline Banjo Rear Air Locking Differential.
  • 300tdi Pyrometer.
  • Terrafirma 300tdi HD Hoses.
  • VDO Pyrometer Gauge.
  • VDO Water Temperature Gauge.
  • Icom VHF.
  • Series Defender Carling Switch Holder.
  • Carling Wiper Washer & Spotlight Switch.
  • ARB Rear Air Locker & Compressor Switches.
  • Bluesea USB.
  • Land Rover Factory HD Floor Mats.
  • Factory Original Carabinieri Safety Sticker (shame to remove history…).
  • ARB 50 Quart Fridge.
  • ARB Fridge Slide.
  • Custom Made Drawer & Storage.
  • ARB / WARN / Red Winches / Factor 55 Recovery Gear.
  • Custom Amsteel Blue Recovery Gear.
  • On Board Air Outlet.
  • ARB CKMA12 Compressor.
  • ARB Air Tank.
  • ARB Braided Air Hoses.
  • Blue Sea Auxillary Fuse Panel.
  • ARB Safari Snorkel.
  • FrontRunner Snow Cover (on cabin air intake).
  • FrontRunner Aluminium HD Steering Guard.
  • ARB OME Steering Damper.
  • General Tire Grabber X3 33″ Tires.
  • ARB OME 2″ HD Springs & Shocks.