Episode #146 Our Overland Life Shares the Joys and Skills of Overlanding Full Time
Show notes for podcast #146
Our Overland Life Shares the Joys and Skills of Overlanding Full Time
Matt Scott and Scott Brady interview Liz and Brett about living and working full-time as overlanders, including their hacks for making the transition to life on the road. They share the details of their E350 van, 4Runner, and Airstream projects, and how they hustle to keep the dream alive.
Life is short and a few years ago we had a dream to make the most of it. Jan 2019. we sold everything in our home, rented out our house, moved into our 1976 Airstream, and hit the road with our shiny tin can, 2 Toyotas and our 3 pups. We spent 2019 in the western United States and ventured up into Canada for a month. Most of our time was spent in the Tundra and sometimes we also traveled with the Tacoma because we both like to drive trails and Liz wasn't going to sit them out when we hit Colorado. 2020 we Spent the winter months in the Airstream, then we based out of areas for a few months at a time staying with friends and family. We took a 5 week trip in the Tacoma alone with both of us and 3 dogs. Then we bought the 4x4 van... see what happened there. 2021 Has us in the Airstream for the winter months and we are hitting the road in the van soon... keep in touch for the upcoming adventures!
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
Scott Brady: Welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I'm your host, Scott Brady. I'm here with my co-host Matt Scott. Yes, and Matt. We're gonna have some fun.
Matt Scott: Our Overland life. We're here with Brett and Liz. Best people in the world. We're super excited to have 'em on. We're gonna talk about their overland life, not our overland life.
But your overland life, not our.
Matt Scott: Where did we start? So how, how long ago did you guys really start living this, this fairly adventurous, very adventurous life.
Brett: February of 2019 is when we hit the road.
Liz: I was full-time. But before that, we were out adventuring and exploring for what, three, four years before that?
Scott Brady: And what, what area of the country were you living in?
Brett: We, we were based in Gilbert and Mesa, so based out of Phoenix area.
Scott Brady: Oh, okay.
Brett: So easy to, easy to branch off for a weekend and then come back and get back to work. Scott Brady: And how long had you guys been living in that part of the country?
Brett: 2013. And we were on California before that.
Scott Brady: And, and what's your, what's your backgrounds? The two of you, what were you [00:01:00] doing professionally and where did you grow up?
Brett: She grew up in San Diego. I was an Air Force brat, so I grew up all over the world. Like I was in Europe while the Berlin Wall was still up and you know, just traveled all about for that.
And then up, my dad retired in Tucson. It was his favorite place that he lived.
Scott Brady: Was that Davis Mohan down there?
Brett: Davis Mohan. Retired there. And then I moved to Phoenix for a bit. End of 2006. Went back to school in Santa Barbara for photography. And Liz, that's where I met Liz.
Liz: That's where we met.
Scott Brady: And you were, what were you in Santa Barbara studying?
Liz: Same. So we met at Brooks Institute. We were both studying photography. We met our second year I think?
Brett: Second out of three. It's a three year. It was a three year intense, six semesters a year. Year round school, you had seven weeks of class, one week off, and then you started your next semester. So it was, it was intense.
Scott Brady: Perfect. Awesome. Well, photography was your goal and what did you guys want to do? What was the goal with, when you got out of photography, did you want to go into film or did you want to go into, into being still photographers or what was the [00:02:00] goal?
Brett: That's still photography. I wanted to do automotive fashion editorial people and cars basically.
Liz: I was really more into still life and food photography.
Scott Brady: Oh wow. That's cool. The still life photographer is, it's, it's incredible. Yeah, it's art form, like it isn't an art form and exercise and psychology and communication and all of that. I mean, for me it's challenging. Doing that when I try, cause I'm, I'm a larger person, so I used to have like bigger lenses and so I always try to minimize my kit now. So it's not like the giant cannon white with like the giant human.
Brett: Big, big, big 300 millimeter tube.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It's so tough to, you know, and of course you always want to get permission from the locals before you take their photo, but. Yeah. Very cool.
Matt Scott: You actually have some really good portraits of thanks.
Scott Brady: I do have a few, I take great photos of my buddies. Yeah. Like I, I've taken good shots of you and Sinwei and people that are in my life I do tend to take okay portraits of.
Matt Scott: So let's go to 2019 and let's talk about the lead up to getting on the road. [00:03:00]
Brett: So we had decided initially we were going to renovate a vintage Airstream. We had a lot of family members and friends who. You know, someday when I retire I want to travel someday. You know, when I get there, like when we're done, we're gonna get this trailer and we're gonna see the US and Reta, Canada and Mexico and see the world. And then so many relatives or people in our lives, they'd get to that point and health would get in the way or something would just happen. And they were no longer able to do that. And they just met their whole life working to that goal. And so we're, we decided that, you know, We're young enough, we want to do that now. And you know, maybe when rolled we'll, get a job. You know, or whatever we have to do at that point.
Scott Brady: No, that makes a lot, that makes a lot of sense.
Brett: Exactly. Totally. Be on later. So we have been kind of following some of their Airstream accounts and, and seeing people renovate the older Airstreams. And we started shopping around. We found a 76 international overlander, a 27 footer. It was within the price range we wanted to spend, and we started renovating that to travel with. And that was our goal. We're gonna go, we're gonna hit the road. We're gonna at least [00:04:00] go for a year. So we need to, our plan was we need to get out of debt. We need to renovate this airstream. And then we'll go travel for a year and at the end of that year we'll figure out what's next.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And let's talk about that kind of, that financial process of being able to get all the ducks in a row to do this. Cause I think that that's, I think, a really cool story that we were, we were talking about earlier that I'm sure a lot of people are, are interested in. I mean, like how, how are you able to do it?
Brett: The big thing was picked up a job that I knew would pay well, that I was going to hate. And we set a five year limit up. So it was a commission based type thing, and we're like, Okay, we can make X amount of dollars over this period of time. We can pay off our student loan debt. All the rest of our debt are vehicles. What have you? Still build the Airstream out, which we were able to do ourselves. It's not like we were hiring shops to do that, but then we had to make a lot of personal sacrifices too. You know?
Liz: We were still, well, we also had a photography business, so we were still running our photography business. Full-time. We did portraiture and weddings and stuff. That, and your job, I think allowed us the financial side to pay off the debt and stuff. [00:05:00] But then we also, we kinda like stopped eating out and stopped going to the movies and kind of like sat down and assessed all of our expenses and what, like, what mattered.
Matt Scott: It really sounds like a deliberate with, with how you were doing it, how you were spending the money.
Liz: Yeah. Got rid of our cable and just had Netflix and. You know if that.
Brett: Got rid of all the subscription services, we were like, okay, we have Amazon, we already paid for Amazon Prime, we have Prime TV shows, we have music and canceled everything else, Netflix, all of it had to go. We also.
Scott Brady: And you really needed Prime cuz you were ordering all this stuff for the Airstream. Was there anything that surprised you, that you. You had, you, you were spending a lot more money on than you thought?
Liz: Brett's coffee in the morning.
Matt Scott: Oh, oh, Laura just added that up. Yeah, it's a car. It ends up almost being a car payment.
Brett: So we found out that if I bought a Breville dual boiler espresso machine and my own Grindr, we did the math on it and with what I was spending on coffee and about a year and a half. It zeroed out. To equal out a year and a half of buying [00:06:00] coffee out. If I have my own espresso machines to make it home. So from then on, now it's just buying beans. That's it.
Liz: We still have that espresso machine.
Brett: We still have it.
Scott Brady: is it in the Airstream?
Brett: Yeah It was non-negotiable. It got its own strapped down system.
Scott Brady: I do, I use the espressos in all of the campers.
Brett: Yeah, that's great.
Scott Brady: Because they're just so good, so good.
Brett: But yeah, coffee. Coffee was a big, big expense.
Scott Brady: It is crazy how much that stuff adds up.
Brett: You just kind five bucks here, seven bucks there, I mean twice a day.
Liz: You hear random subscriptions and stuff too, where it's like, like we had Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and then it's like random photo subscriptions and editing subscriptions.
Matt Scott: Everything is a subscription now. And then you just, you don't, you know, I what I think the strategy with this is that they want it to be just enough that you can kind of forget about it and it just, It just, it just keeps going.
Scott Brady: Ching, ching, ching. Every year's.
Brett: Here’s 30 days for free. And then, you know, it's like only $29 a year after that. No big deal.
Liz: Or the 5.99 or 9.98 a month. 9.99 a month. It's like that's not bad. And then you're like, wait, I have twelve of these.
Matt Scott: And you see it on your bank statement and you're like, oh, I should cancel that. [00:07:00] I mean, obviously 2019 was when you guys went, went full-time. We've known each other longer than that. So mean you've been doing this, you know, for a while. You're kind of talking how. You know, one of the things that you did to, to get on the road is that you, you know, you stopped going out on the weekends and you just started going camping cuz it was that much.
Brett: Tank of gas. So we, it was tank of gas. We, we'd have, we, we had had a sports car and a couple other cars we got rid of, ended up buying some Jeeps and just on the weekends we would go out. We, we realized that if we stayed in town, it was gonna be going out to coffee in the morning or breakfast somewhere on Saturday. Someone wanted to go out to dinner Saturday night. You know, if we were on Sunday, everybody wanted to go to a brunch or something. So staying in town ended up being more expensive than just buying some groceries that we were gonna get anyway. Putting some gas in the tank and going and exploring Arizona or Sedona or up to, if it was hot in the summer, we'd go up to the rim or, you know. Get outta the heat.
Matt Scott: And, and that's just the great thing with Arizona. Like, I mean, there's, there's a lot of beautiful places in the world, but I think there's few that are so accessible.
Brett: It's year round.
Matt Scott: Arizona.
Brett: It's two hours year round. Then in the winter, explore down the desert in the summer, get up [00:08:00] to the rim and then just take off in any direction on the rim. It's pine trees and cool tips and crate nights, so it's, it's an amazing state for that.
Liz: And we were really lucky for that. Have being so close to so much stuff.
Brett: Yeah. And it was a good unwind. Insanity, you know, I mean, we're full-time working a job full-time. Working, running a business, photography business and then even shooting on weekends sometimes. So one or two weekends a month, being able to just get out, get in the trees, fresh air. It was kind of that little, little taste of what we were working towards.
Matt Scott: So, so for people that are, you know, kind of trying to. To, to do something like this and getting their ducks in a row financially and, and getting their lives in a row. What's some advice that you'd give them?
Brett: I think focusing on the debt was probably the hardest thing at first, the student loans that I had were, were quite sizable. I mean, they were over a hundred grand student loan debt, but there were a lot of separate private loans and, and, oh, what's that guy that does all that get outta debt stuff? Yeah. The big coach guy.
Brett: He's like, go after your highest interest rate card. And for me, that didn't make any sense. I went for the lowest dollar [00:09:00] amount debt that I had and got rid of that payment. Yeah. And then, so then that amount of money could go towards the next one and, and so it was just chipping away at those smaller dollar amounts and leaving the higher ones for later. So that it freed up that payment as long as you were disciplined with that money, putting it towards the next principal. And then saving up. So you could just, boom, write a check for that. Boom, write a check for that. And just really working hard and focusing and knocking those things out. Getting rid of individual payments versus getting overwhelmed with the whole mountain of debt that you have. And then once it's gone, I mean.
Scott Brady: It changes your life.
Brett: It's huge. Yeah.
Scott Brady: It changes your life.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Cause I remember that about my student loans. It's like you'd have one student loan that was really like, it seemed like it was multiples the way it would kind of work out for each year. And that was honestly what I did as well as I'm like, Okay, this one was $1,500 for, you know, books that I had been paying interest on for however long. And then, you know, you just knocked that out. What was the date again that you guys left?
Brett: I don't remember the exact, it was February, beginning of February.
Matt Scott: So February, 2019.
Brett: So when we left, we, we had the tundra [00:10:00] that we were looking for a flip pack for her, and then we had her Tacoma that, I think when we left, just had the bed rails and tent.
Liz: Yeah. We had a little toi tent on there.
Brett: Yeah. So we had that and the tundra was always gonna be the tow vehicle for the Airstream, but we wanted to have camper set up on the tundra. So we had been, look, we had a, a friend of the foot back. We were looking for one. We found one in February when we left, we found one in California up in Central Coast. Bought it, put it on the truck, drove down to her parents' house. I built it out the interior in four days in her parents' driveway. Went to the American Adventures Desert Renville, and then we were off from there. And so we just built it out and mostly stayed the same configuration I built in the first four days for the two years we drove it. But we also drove for three months with the Airstream, and after three months of traveling with the Airstream, we're like, okay, we're done with this anchor. We can't camp where we want to camp. Like it's comfortable. It's beautiful. It's amazing. But it won't get us where we want to go. So it went into storage with.
Matt Scott: I, its like with friends that buy Airstreams. Is that they, they really like Who in Cortez, obviously. [00:11:00] Did it. Chris Cordes did it for a while. It, it does seem they're a little bit. Well, it's a big trailer.
Brett: Any trailer.
Matt Scott: Low, low and, and everything that comes with that. So, so I wanna get in, I wanna get into the mind of you. That first week that you guys left, was that stressful? Was there jubilation of this new life and excitement? How did you feel?
Liz: Well, it was kind of cheating the first week because we came back from California. Picked up the Airstream and then our first stop was Sedona. And like all of our friends from Phoenix came up and camped with us for the first week. So it didn't really feel real that we were on the road.
Scott Brady: Oh, so cool though.
Brett: So it was a great sendoff. Yeah. Like they all just came up. We had, we had found a spot, it wasn't as busy as it is now, so we found a great spot view of the Red Rocks rim was there for a full week and yeah, friends came and visited and camped and had Campfires and.
Matt Scott: Sedonas gotten so busy.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Right now it's mental.
Liz: It wasn't when we went out there it was really nice.
Scott Brady: Yeah right now its mental.
Matt Scott: We, we, me and Caleb went camping over there with some friends maybe a month or two ago, and they've, they've completely restructured how all of that [00:12:00] is done now. It's like you have these kind of group camping areas, which can actually lead to a really cool experience. We ended up camping by like these, like college kids from the Midwest that were on like a. Spiritual journey and there was like a guy with a crystal bowl sound. It was cool, you know, it was, it was a cool experience. I wouldn't have taken for what it was, but Sedonas definitely changed. Like I know that spot that you showed us.
Matt Scott: No more.
Brett: What? Yeah, as the, there's no signage anymore or there's.
Matt Scott: There's, there's no camping signage there. Like they really have locked down a lot of that area.
Liz: Oh, that's a bummer.
Matt Scott: But it was getting, I mean, there. It was getting like crazy.
Brett: Yeah, I remember we would drive to that our spot and it was just people on top of people on top of people like Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Pretty tough.
Matt Scott: So, so were you guys, I guess I asked the question cause there's always it, there's two types. There's either people that are like so relieved to leave the old life behind and start, start new. Or things go wrong and you're getting on the road and it's like, oh, I forgot this. I forgot this. I forgot this. I forgot this. [00:13:00]
Brett: Things went, I mean, there, I guess it's twofold. Things went wrong and.
Matt Scott: Because it's the real it's, it's the realization of a goal that you guys had for so long, right? I mean, it was this whole process of paying on the debt and all this stuff. I mean, that's a transformative kind of experience.
Brett: Absolutely. My feelings right away were just relief and. Honestly, it was just a full decompression from all the work and the go, go, go, go, go to just kind of sit and be like, I could read a book for the next two hours, or I could just sit here and do nothing for the next few hours if I wanted. Like, it was just, I almost didn't know what, what to do with myself. But then the solar wasn't working all right. And the batteries were kind of weird, and so we had to like pull the battery outta the airstream and run to Flagstaff and like, Put it on a big charger and swapped out the house batteries. And so like there's all those systems that we had been doing small trips and checking, but as soon as we were out and we're like four days in, now something's going wrong. That you didn't foresee in your, you know, couple days you were somewhere else.
Liz: Yeah, we hadn't installed our solar right. So we ended up nuking the batteries. And then it kept happening and we ended [00:14:00] up having to go out of our way to Quartzsite to some solar build that someone told us us about.
Matt Scott: Oh, I’ve heard of this guy that's like the guru. Of Quartzsite
Brett: They've got, and you can park right on site. They've got power plug-ins and stuff and they'll.
Liz: Yeah, we camped in his parking lot like overnight while they're out there trying to fix our stuff.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's cool.
Brett: There's a bunch of trails over there too.
Scott Brady: There are some great.
Scott Brady: Great trails.
Matt Scott: COFA is beautiful. And I know what you're talking about, the rock spot. Is really, really, Really pretty.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The COFA is gorgeous.
Brett: And there's, there's really not a lot of those, but it's beautiful.
Scott Brady: It is, yeah. There's not a lot of campers that get out too deep into the COFA because it, all, the roads are fairly rough. So, one question I have is, you, you guys have traveled now with so many different kinds of vehicles. So you've got, currently you have E three 50 and you've got a 4runner with a roof tent it looked like on there. Is that right? And then you had an Airstream or still do. And still do, and then you had a Tacoma and you had some Jeeps and. You had a tundra with a flip pack on it. So looking back, [00:15:00] on all of this time, living in these things, what was kind of the sweet spot? Like if, even if it's not what you're using right now, what ended up being the ones or the, or the takeaways that you think the listeners can really learn from?
Brett: Flip pack and The Tundra was an outstanding desert setup. It's great for the desert, it's great for warmer, it's great for cold temps, but I mean, Wet weather. It's horrible. You know, we did 14 days in Canada, basically straight rain, and we had what we called the coffin setup in the back, which was like our kitchen was on one side. The couch slid out to a bed and the two of us and three dogs slept back there for like 13, 14 days straight.
Liz: Yeah. When the, when it was closed.
Brett: Couldn't really open it cuz you can open the flip pack and get rained on and you've got a rain fly. But you're sitting there until it dries out. Cause if you close it, as soon as you close it, the tent saturates, everything's wet. You can be in wet weather, you can be in snow, you can be in all of that, but you've gotta dry it out or be somewhere where it's going to dry out.
Liz: But that, that vehicle really was the game changer for us. Like that's, we started with the Airstream for three months and. We're [00:16:00] frustrated because it was like we'd be camping with all these people and then looking at these trails going like, but I wanna camp up there, or I wanna come camp on that ridge, or What's down that road and it's just, you can't drag the airstream there. Then we stored it and got in the tundra with the flip pack and I followed with the Tacoma and it was the tundra and the flip pack that like that allowed us to get all the places we wanted. And like that we couldn't have stayed out, I think, without it. Yeah.
Scott Brady: It seems like that because living on the road or remote work has enabled so many people to do that, that in my experience, you have to have that next level of capability. In order to get that remote experience anymore. Yeah. I mean, it's like 525 off of, you know, outside of Sedona, there is 800 people camped out there. I mean, it feels like 800 people.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's, it, it's a lot. And I, I think anywhere that. You know, don't, don't underestimate the places that you can get a fifth wheel with a dedicated, with a dedicated guy driving.
Liz: There's places we took the Airstream, we [00:17:00] shouldn't have, but.
Brett: Building up rock piles and putting max tracks out and like making ramps to get so you don't drag the hitch or the tail end. We definitely had a few of those very long trips to get it where we wanted it.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So Liz, you made the decision to drive your own vehicle, which I think is kind of one of the things that makes you guys as a traveling couple so unique and I, and I really appreciate cuz no one likes being a passenger in life. What, what was the, I mean, other than just saying I didn't wanna be a passenger, what, how, where, what, why? Talk to me about that.
Liz: Yeah, a combination of things. So I've always been a driver. I've always loved vehicles, and so when we got Jeeps, we got a Jeep, which was mine to start with. And then Brett was always driving on the, so I ended up sending him an ad for his own Jeep. He purchased, so pretty early on, yeah, pretty early on we ended up with two Jeeps and we were out. Every weekend wheeling them because I don't like passengering. I like driving. Yeah. And we enjoy the experience of both being drivers together. So when it came [00:18:00] to this adventure of hitting the road, it was like I was really struggling with like, giving up my vehicle and giving up driving. And we kind of came to the conclusion that it, it made sense to have a smaller vehicle to. Go kind of like search down roads, check out campsite, that kind of thing. But I also like to go on solo goals, girls trips. Yeah. And like go meet up with the girls. So I wanted to be able to have something that, like, wherever we're at, I can hop in, go meet my girls two states away, or six hours and go on a trip for a week and then come back and it, it kind of worked for both of us, cuz then Brett could take it if he wanted to. But it was mostly, mostly I would take the Tacoma and go off on trips.
Scott Brady: Well, and you can like, if you just need a moment. You just want to go, yeah. Drive and go see a museum that is like something totally off the wall that your partner's not interested or whatever you can go or.
Matt Scott: Or just to get out of the same box together the same way.
Liz: I think it kept our sanity cuz we do, you know, we're driving, yeah. Getting, moving everything like six hours or long periods and it's like I can listen to my podcast or my music and Brett can listen to whatever he wants or he can be on, be on the phone, catch up with people, people when we're [00:19:00] in the same car together, it would. Kind of drive us a little crazy. So I think that extended our travel a lot and our sanity together.
Matt Scott: I think that's what drove us crazy on our, on our last long trip. Like Laura and I are very capable of being in confined space together. We love each other. There's no problems there or anything, but you know, lot of hours. So sometimes it's just like, okay, you're gonna stay here. And I'm gonna go to this bar and we're not gonna see each other for two hours and we're not gonna be more than five feet from each other. Yeah. Okay. Let's do that.
Brett: And she's right. I mean, given you, given you that time to just do what it is you do in the car by yourself. I mean, everybody kind of travels a little differently and. You know, you gotta think, most couples are either one's at home all day doing house stuff and the other one's at work. And so you, they naturally have that time apart. Yeah. But when you're traveling full-time, yeah, you're right. You're in a box. 24 7.
Liz: Well, and I'll say one more thing. It allowed us, because we were so used to traveling with groups and always having multiple vehicles when we did. It allowed us to get further out. Just. Like when we were [00:20:00] solo, we knew we weren't gonna be traveling with people all the time and having two vehicles, it's like, all right, well we have peace of mind that like.
Brett: We have a safety net.
Liz: Exactly. One of them breaks down, we gotta go run into town like we have, there's, you could take more risks, right? Somebody gets stuck, you can pull them out. Like, so we felt safe being able, able to like go do.
Matt Scott: You could get the Airstream down the. Down the dirt road.
Brett: Even without it. We'll go, we'd get, you know, there's some snow drifts. We're plowing through. Okay, we're good. We've still got the two vehicles. If you don't make it through, we'll hook a lineup, drag you back. Or we had wenches as well.
Liz: Once we dropped the Airstream, we just started running trails too. Like we'd be out for a week at a time. Like we'd load the fridges and we would just, Find some trails and we would go and we'd camp and we wouldn't see anyone. Just the two of us running the vehicles together. Yeah, and it was awesome.
Brett: We were running the BDRs and trucks.
Matt Scott: It went tundra. Yeah. Then Airstream, then van.
Brett: It was Airstream. Pulled by. Well, we had our first gen tundra. We initially bought it with, we bought a second gen tundra while we were remodeling it, and then we found we were getting ready to lift [00:21:00] wheels, tires, everything. Found a lower mile, different second gen tundra that was already lifted. Wheels, tires, bumpers, winch, everything for way less than it was gonna cost us to build with half the miles. So then we transferred to that tundra. That was our main tow vehicle. So we had that with that.
Liz: Got the flip pack.
Brett: The flip pack. And then we had her, her Tacoma. And then we dropped the Airstream and we just had the Tundra and the Tacoma. At one point we even stored the Tacoma Canada and stuff. We just did In the Tundra. And then two years in the Tundra, we started looking for the van. And then we found the van. And then we're gonna.
Liz: We weren't really looking for the van.
Brett: We weren't initially, it's always, it was always an idea.
Liz: Yeah. Vans had always been on our radar and we'd circle around to them, but another friend was looking for a van. And they had found a couple of vans and showed Brett the one that we ended up with.
Matt Scott: Didn’t she just get the white one the last time we camped together. Or was that Jillian when she just got hers?
Liz: I know we got 'em around the same time.
Brett: Yeah, so we, they were looking for more, they wanted a more built, like ready-to-go van when we [00:22:00] were looking with her husband at the same time, we were looking, sending each other vans we found. Yeah. He found the one that I, that I have now, but it was a moto van when I bought it, so it had two back seats. It was white on white, on white, on white. White roof rack, white steps, white bumpers with like bronze wheels. It was, and it was deep in the heart of Midland, Texas. So very poorly advertised. Very.
Scott Brady: So you got a good deal.
Brett: Very good. So, incredibly good deal.
Matt Scott: Let's, let's talk about the van. Let's go Vanlife for a little bit. I love east.
Scott Brady: Is it a diesel?
Brett: V 10.
Scott Brady: V 10.
Brett: V 10.
Scott Brady: So it's a newer one.
Brett: Well, the diesels that are available in that era. If you're in an older one, you probably get a seven three. But the newer 2012, like ours, Six-O. And so.
Scott Brady: So you gotta bulletproof it.
Brett: You gotta bulletproof it.
Scott Brady: They spend a bunch of money.
Brett: Hope for the best. When you start pencilling it out, you might as well just pay for the V 10 gas. They put 'em in every U-haul truck half.
Matt Scott: Exactly. And they're so relaxed.
Brett: They're torquey. It's 550 foot pounds of torque. Yeah. I mean it. It's.
Matt Scott: And what, what kind of gas mileage do you get in that?
Brett: I mean, nine to 11 with the trailer.
Matt Scott: And you're not gonna get that much more.
Brett: It's like 16 out of the diesel.
Matt Scott: Because diesel's what? I mean, let's, let's generalize for the purpose of the [00:23:00] conversation. It's about 20 to 25% more. And the servicing costs, you know, you're talking $300 oil changes if you're getting it done. You know, I mean, it's $150 of oil right now, right?
Scott Brady: Yeah. It doesn't really.
Matt Scott: How many quarts do they take?
Scott Brady: It doesn't really pencil out.
Brett: I think it only takes six and a half quart 6.2 quarts of oil. And so, and I just, you know, mobile, one synthetic in there and.
Scott Brady: And they're supposed to be pretty reliable. I've heard they've been pretty reliable motors.
Brett: They are. The, the only thing that's an issue is the spark plugs. And what it is, is people would wait to change the plugs once the engine's cooled. And so there's a change in the manifold side, and they end up destroying threads on 'em and cracking the top off and leaving the rest of the spark plug in the hole. The kind of mechanics trick is they go out and bring the engine up to temperature. And then they pull the plugs when the motor's hot. That's like the big, that and the fuel rail pops off. If you don't keep it twerked down much could be best.
Matt Scott: That’s all easy.
Brett Yeah its all easy once you know it, easy stuff. Yeah. Once you know what you're dealing with, and that's not like you're changing plugs all the time.
Matt Scott: I mean, I, I always, I use the, with that [00:24:00] motor, I use the U-Haul. You know, comparison to, it's like.
Brett: Like it's in their F six 50.
Matt Scott: They just can't break. Like, like clearly they've done the math.
Brett: Absolutely. Absolutely. It's just a workhorse of a motor. It gets a job done.
Matt Scott: So then what did you guys do to that thing?
Brett: Mostly we did the interior build out. It had a basic electrical setup already. It had, like I said, it had the two seats. It had full down TVs.
Matt Scott: It had a little cabinet inside if I remember.
Brett: No, it was, I put the cabinet in. So we basically took the tundra. And I went and bought the van, brought it back to her parents again, which is like the work yard in their, her parents' driveway. And so, brought it there and I dismantled.
Scott Brady: In San Diego?
Brett: In San Diego.
Scott Brady: Oh, so not a bad place to be working on a car in a driveway.
Brett: Work driveway in the beach. Yeah. So I, I just disassembled the tundra's cabinetry setup. I used, these hammer together. Aluminum, one inch box to me and hammer together connectors. And I just cut what I needed and re-engineered it for the van and did our temporary setup, took the bench and made it into an actual bed. And again, I think it took us a week to to get it built, how it [00:25:00] was configured at that point. And then we just took off in it. So yeah, stored, stored the tundra again.
Matt Scott: And I think that's one of the coolest things about you guys is you're, you, you do almost all of the work yourself.
Brett: As much as I can. Yeah.
Matt Scott: And that really.
Scott Brady: Well, cuz you gotta be able to fix it. That's the problem is like, even if you don't wanna do the work on your overland vehicle, you're better off because you're gonna end up having to work on it anyways. Like if you're traveling in your vehicle full-time and you're remote. You're gonna touch every system on that car. Whether you like it or not. So you might as well have been the one that ran the wires the first time. Cause it's like, oh, I know where the blue one goes. Cuz you're gonna remember. You might as well, might as well work on it yourself if you can.
Brett: And, and if you can't figure it out, there's always YouTube view.
Scott Brady: For sure. Oh, for sure. Or you, you've got a, a friend that can help you with this system and another one that can help you with that system. And, and then you learn a lot as you go along cuz you're gonna end up digging into it no matter what.
Matt Scott: You know, one of the things I was like, like, I'll, you'll randomly get texts from me like, Hey, where are you guys at? Cause I'm like, I always know that you're out. I always love hanging in, camping [00:26:00] with you guys. Like, you kind of have this theory and, and you, and you're like, it's almost like you're the dude from the Big Lebowski in some ways of Cam. He's like, yeah, it's a little warm, so we're gonna head north.
Brett: Yeah. You know, if it's, if it's too hot.
Matt Scott: So talk to me about your, like, philosophy of travel and where you go. Cause I think that that's a really, a really unique part of you guys.
Brett: Well, I think the first part of our trip was we just wanted to see everything. We wanted to see wild camp as much as possible. Western US.
Liz: We're not planners. Let's just put it that way. So we plan.
Matt Scott: It's cool that you're like on the same, it seems, from the outside. That you're on the same, you know, the, the same no plan kind of schedule. So freeing and liberating and I'm jealous.
Brett: so right now we're, our main thing is if, if there's an event or if we booked like a gig, like a photo shoot or something like that, that can kind of dictate the general area where we need to be. But generally, if we're just kind of bumming around an area, exploring the temperature starts to get too hot, gets into the mid seventies, we wanna ride our bikes. That's too hot to leave the dogs in the van. We go up to [00:27:00] the trees, you know, head to the mountains, cool off fine camp or find a couple possibilities. Camp set up, base camp, explore that area. Starts to get too cold down the mountains. We go back down into the valleys where it's warmer. So, and same with weather or snow or any of that kind of weather. I mean, weather and temperature really dictate.
Scott Brady: Your house moves.
Brett: Yeah, we can park, we can park out wherever we want.
Scott Brady: Move where the good weather weather's good.
Brett: There's so much public land in the Western US. It's, you know, easy to do. You know, this winter we did three weeks down in Baja for New Years, you know, met up with some other traveling friends and. The amount of travelers and community that was down there, we linked up with, Dan Marlene, who we followed on Instagram before we even got their Airstream.
Liz: When we got, yeah, right before we got Airstream. Cuz they had their.
Brett:and chatted back and forth about Airstream stuff and stayed in touch and they've been all over the world in a sprinter and happened to be in Baja. They needed something from San Diego. So we picked it up on the way and brought 'em a part and then we bummed around with them and the family for a couple weeks just. Sleeping on Beaches.
Matt Scott: They bring that sprinter everywhere. And they, they've been on the podcast too.
Scott Brady: They have, yeah.
Brett: Oh, cool. That's awesome. Yeah, they're, and they're wonderful people. The kids are awesome.
Scott Brady: Oh [00:28:00] yeah. Totally incredible.
Brett: And then Graham, Graham and Louisa, while we were down there and gotta spend a night with them on the beach. It's just.
Liz: But that kind of went with our flow of like, we don't. We don't plan other than like we had a plan that we were gonna make it all the way south to Cabo.
Brett: Yeah. But everything in between was gravy. And so having that flexibility to just, oh, or we can go, we don't have to be here by any day. Yeah. We just have to be back in like three weeks. Great. So we can haul to one point and then take it easy or, Hey, we're going this way. You, you wanna check this out? Cool. Yeah, let's go check out that beach. Oh, let's go see the sea turtles launch. Great. We'll go do that. Like having that flexibility not being so rigid is kind of the way we like to travel. Cuz it opens up. Possibilities to go do whatever comes up.
Matt Scott: I, I think that that's one of the things that I, I appreciate most about you guys is that you're al you always seem to be in a good mood and you're always as going with the flow and you're meeting people and you're having those experiences, you know, as travelers. And I just think that that's great.
Brett: Well, it's really fun too, cuz you'll, you stay in touch, you know, social media's been great for that. You, you meet other travelers. You communicate, you see people [00:29:00] how kind of how people, or at least how they show you, how they travel. And maybe you meet up with 'em for night, for camp and, okay, well we don't travel the same way. And they'll, they'll tear off and you'll tear off. Or you do travel the same way. You guys end up cruising around for a week, checking out the same things, and then, oh, we gotta go this way. We got her that way. And off you go. So it's just, it really allows that ability to do that, you know, and meet those people.
Matt Scott: I just wanna trade lives with you.
Scott Brady: I think you could do that. You could, Matt, you can go. It's, the interesting thing is, is that it's possible. Like we can make the choices in our life to do these things.
Brett: Yeah, you have to.
Scott Brady: And it's also okay to not make those choices, cuz everyone's life is supposed to be different, but you guys knew what you wanted and you actually changed your life to be able to do it right. That is super impressive. And it's so rare the number of people that get to the end of their life and they never executed on that dream. So kind of like you said, be you know, be old later. Be old later. Yeah. And, and really it is about timing these points in our life. Where when you're in your thirties, you can [00:30:00] do certain things that you couldn't do if you're in your sixties or seventies, and it's the same. You kind of fix the stuff to the decade that's appropriate. And a lot of people think, I'm gonna travel when I'm in my seventies, and a lot of them can never get there. They, they either never make it to begin with or they don't have the. Physical strength. Your, your energy.
Brett: My knees have taken different, different directions. You know? Yeah. A car accident that changes everything.
Scott Brady: I mean it does, anything could happen like you guys are doing? You're young enough, you're flexible. Your're your life is such that you can be outdoors active, doing the things that you want to do at the right time in life.
Matt Scott: It's just like the balance with you guys has always seemed really good. I don't know from an outside perspective. Seems like it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So now how do you guys make a living from the road?
Brett: We have a couple of things. I, I like to pretty much refer to it as shaking trees. Shake a lot of trees. See what falls out. Obviously we're photographers by trade, but we backed off of our photography business and we went to travel quite a bit. We kept a few of our bigger clients and so we'll still fly out or I'll get by an airport and I'll fly out, do a shoot and come back. We'll edit and upload [00:31:00] and send that back. So we kept a couple big clients. We picked up a few in the outdoor space doing some product photography, some stuff for people's websites, things like that. So we added a few while we were traveling and it's really easy for us to shoot lifestyle stuff while we're out and about. We're out in the lifestyle, so. That kind of picked up from the photography side, we're had the Airstream, we were paying to store it. We ended up finding a property a year and a half ago, and so we started basing our summers in Montana. So we turned the Airstream into an Airbnb in the summer months. While we're there in the summer months working on some projects kind of based, we started a off-road adventure vehicle rental company through basically using Outdoorsy as the the catalyst. But we have three vehicles that people fly in and rent and, you know, the vehicles are all paid off. They're free and clear. So that works out pretty well for the short season there. Picked up working with OnX Offroad as their trail guide ambassadors. So we're out creating data for OnX offroad. And then through that, we picked up a job doing G I S S data gathering and mapping [00:32:00] for BLM land. So we're basically a field crew running around offroad all day, recording trails, photographing the landscape. Sling, no condition of trail.
Matt Scott: What a match made in heaven.
Brett: Yeah. And then, and every.
Scott Brady: So you guys use the Trimble units then?
Brett: So we use the Trimble units for that. And then obviously.
Scott Brady: And then 360 cameras as well now?
Brett: No, they're, they're, they're still using little, haven't done that little old, tiny, yeah. You know, point and shoots and we just.
Scott Brady: At every intersection.
Brett: Every intersection. And then we photograph the fencing conditions, gate conditions, cattle guard, signage, you know, basically letting them develop a full digital packet of what they have there, so then they can represent that back to blm. And then BLM can manage the property from there. And then also if there's new routes. So there's some of these places they, we have historical data we're looking at, and some of the routes that they show on their maps, nobody's driven that in years or it's very faint. And so we have to kind of make the decision, like is that still a route or is that growing like the earth? No one's going there. The earth's taken that back. But now over here, there's a brand new route. This is the way everybody goes. Yeah. So we'll run the new route, [00:33:00] photograph the new route. We'll photograph the old route. It's reclaiming like nobody goes there anymore. And so it's just kind of a decision you gotta make and while you're on the fly. Yeah. So it's, it's a interesting gig for sure.
Matt Scott: I bet It's cool cuz it. You get to do what you want to do. Brings in revenue, brings in income. That's awesome.
Brett: They rent our vehicles from us. They pay for all our fuel, so. We pay for two or two hotels a week. So I mean, it kind of added, oh, cool. We get to do shower and laundry. We'll get a new and like, yeah. So it's.
Matt Scott: Thanks blm.
Scott Brady: You know, one of the questions that we do like to ask when we have couples on the podcast is tell me what you admire about your partner and then same for you, like as travelers, what do you admire about each other?
Brett: She has been, and always has, like since I met her, has been up for anything. Like when we first started dating, it was, I'm just gonna come pick you up. She's like, should I bring a sweater? I'm like, yeah, bring a, bring a jacket. And like we'd just jump in the car and go wine tasting or we'd go to the beach or we'd go. What up? Meet up with some friends or do a [00:34:00] barbecue or, she didn't even know what we were doing and she was just, yeah, let's go. Let's do it. Let's go whatever. Like always, it was always like, hadn't even really been camping when I met her.
Liz: I had never been camping.
Brett: Never been camping. So like she'd never been camping, never been offroading when I met her. And so this.
Liz: I'd always wanted to just.
Brett: Just version developed with me and she's always, always like, just like, yeah, let's do it. Let's go. Mexico took a couple years to talk her into.
Liz: At least 10.
Brett: Yeah. But now she's, you know, she eventually said yes and down to Mexico. We went and now she's ready to do a longer trip next year.
Scott Brady: So did you enjoy Mexico?
Liz: Yes, I loved it. The first couple of days I was still nervous and stuff, and by I think day four or five, I was like, okay. So next year when we come back and then by the end I'm like, all right, can we spend three months next time? I'm like, how do we plan to like be here for like the entire winter at some point?
Matt Scott: It's such, it's such a Baja, it's such a great place to go in the winter.
Brett: It's magic.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's really amazing. It's really good. It's really good. And fortunately just enough people are terrified of it, that it isn't completely overrun.
Brett: Don't go. It's terrifying.
Scott Brady: So, yeah. So, and how about the same [00:35:00] question for you.
Liz: I've always admired, I guess the, you're always doing stuff and like the adventurous spirit and just, there's always something like go, go, go, go. And what's next? But not, like, not in an overwhelming way. It's just you're open to every opportunity in a positive way of like, what's coming? There’s a hike over here let’s do this.
Matt Scott: You were a very positive person.
Brett: Being negative takes a lot of energy.
Matt Scott: I know.
Brett: You know.
Matt Scott: I know. I know you.
Liz: Like even when things are falling apart and we need parts and like you have to do something on the vehicle that you've never done, you're still basically positive about it. Figure it out. Get what we need, like. It's just, it's amazing.
Brett: You can’t just sit on the side of the road, you gotta go.
Liz: It's like figure, you just, you're gonna figure it out.
Scott Brady: You gotta make a plan.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So here's my thing. I, I get a lot of people that ask me whether they're, you know, they bought a sprinter and they're just going out for weekends here or there, or they're planning their first big trip of, you know, a month or more, whatever. Let's talk about how you kind of plan out your routes. And more [00:36:00] importantly, how you plan where you're, where you're kind of camping and sleeping. Like I know that that's a very broad subject.
Scott Brady: But it's also one of the biggest challenges of being on the road.
Matt Scott: It's the largest stressor for most people in my opinion. Cause I know, I mean I know it is for us, is you're driving, it's like, okay, cool. Like, well, where am I gonna sleep between A and B?
Brett: We used to run a lot of different maps, so I had Venza and I would download maps for certain areas. We had. At the time it was either Gaia or Hema. I was like, oh, Hema is like an international platform. I'll use Hema. And then they stopped US support. So that was kind of a punch.
Scott Brady: It was a bummer.
Brett: Yeah. And so we had Hema and then we were using four by four fun tracks. And then so we had all the, and all trails. And so I had this conglomeration of, of different things to try and I overlanders not to be discounted either. So I'd have kinda these conglomeration of things. And one of the things I've liked now is with OnX has a land ownership part of their mapping software.
Scott Brady: That's really helpful.
Brett: So you can click on any part of their map. And you know, if you're in blm, you know, if you're in National Forest, [00:37:00] you know, if you're in, there's no question of state land trust. Like you know that you can camp, look for camp in those areas. And you're gonna be able to camp in those areas. And so that's kind of the first thing. It's like, okay, we're. We're here, we're trying to get maybe, you know, 200 miles away from where we are currently, like to explore this area more. Well, okay, well, when we get there, there's gonna be, you know, we're gonna cross over through state land trust right off the highway. There's some, you know, well established trails on satellite via, via, you know, via zooming in. And then from there it's. Learning how to look at and read. Topo is huge because you can look at a Forest Road on Topo and be like, okay, that's a steep shelf road. Like you can see the lines, you can see how condensed they are. You can see there's a trail, and then you'll see that you know, hey, the lines spread out real quick. And then there's a big clearing. Odds are that's probably a good place to camp. Or if it's the end of a road, you know, you'll check on the topo and you'll see, you know, there's a cliff or whatever. There's a clearing and then there's a drop off on the other side of the clearing. That's probably a good view spot. So just kind of looking at those spots. You do get skunked from time to time, but running with the second vehicle, if it's gonna be a super narrow trail and I've got the van with the [00:38:00] trailer and the dirt bikes, she'll take the little chart, little vehicle, little truck, whatever you got, run down it. And if she's within the range radio back, Hey, it's great. Come on down. There's room to turn the rig around. And then that's camp we'll base there and explore. So just knowing land ownership I think is probably the very first and foremost thing to determine where it is you're gonna camp and spend the night and how you're gonna travel. So you can pick your areas, find your places, your free land to camp. And you can also pay for services. Like, we're also on harvest hosts, so every once in a while you're in somewhere that's, you know, Texas, it's super dense, it's heavily populated. There's not a lot of free places to camp. You're gonna jump on Harvest Host or Compendium or any of those, and you'll stay at a brewery or a winery. Hey, they got bathrooms, great.
Matt Scott: Is Harvest Hosts, does it have more availability lately? Cause I hopped on Harvest Hosts during the pandemic, right? And it was like, you could not find. Anything, anywhere. Everything was always booked and that was kind of the reputation. Do you think it's gotten better?
Brett: Way better. We've got, we've, we are so bad with it, like we'll just roll in and be like, Hey, you guys got another spot? And, but a lot of times they've rolled in. We're [00:39:00] the only ones there. There's one other rig.
Scott Brady: I think that was started in Prescott, I think so. Harvest Host?. They, they had a, a Mitsubishi Fuso and drove around the world. And they had a, they had a couple, you know, laundry mats here in Prescott Valley, and that's what paid like all their expenses while they traveled. They, it paid a manager and like drove around the world in an Earth Cruiser. And then they came up with that idea. So they were, they were both very bright. They were attorneys and they just figured it out. Finally. Figured that out.
Brett: Well, and that's the thing. It's, it's not, there's no one. Golden ticket. There's no one app. Like depending on where you are and what the density of of the land is, there's gonna be. Iowa Land's gonna work for someplace, Campania's gonna work for someplace. Sometimes, you know, we haven't done it yet, but a lot of people like to stay at Cracker Barrel or Walmart if they have to, you know? There's plenty of 'em all out for overnight camping. But, so there's a million ways to do it and figure out how to get where you want to go.
Scott Brady: It seems like that I, Overlander has just now become the way for local authorities to know what to shut down because [00:40:00] it's, it's pretty incredible. If you try to use it, you show, you show up at an i overlander camp, you know, indicated camp spot, and it'll always say no camp. Not always. A lot of times frequent. It says, especially in really populated areas like California and stuff. It's almost like they, you know, because it got over loved. You find this one little pull off, right? That takes you out to the view over the ocean, and then it gets overlooked. People don't clean up their campsites trash everywhere.
Matt Scott: It was a simple concept, but yeah. Now I, now I almost find it that people are a little more, a little bit more cagey with sharing that campsite information.
Brett: I think so, but I think also international.
Liz: Oh, I was gonna say with, we'll use it just if we're in an unfamiliar area or you know, traveling through as kind of just a point to then like, okay, people can camp here. And then you put that into your OnX and it's usually like, It's like, oh, there's more BLM this way. And then use that to then get somewhere further in. Yeah. So that's kind of how we've been [00:41:00] using it more than that.
Scott Brady: Makes a lot of sense.
Brett: More than camping at that spot.
Scott Brady: No, that totally makes sense. With you guys being in the vehicle, you know, and camping for so much, what have you guys found are, are good solutions for cooking, hygiene, organizing your gear cuz one of the big, one of the biggest challenges is keeping things organized cuz that can be a huge source. A frustration between partners. So what have you guys found that works well for kind of those concepts?
Brett: Oh yeah. When I chop into the van back in Montana this summer and add more storage.
Liz: We're still figuring that out.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's tough.
Brett: Yeah. Storage is huge. I think for, because we started traveling with the, the motorcycles. I think that storage, having the two bins on the front of the trailer that have your jacket, your pants, your helmets, your boots, your stinky like moto gear, keeping that outta the living space was, is a huge thing.
Liz: Yeah. All the roam cases have been helpful.
Brett: Yeah, the one on the roof.
Liz: Cuz we use one of those on my little truck to get a bunch of stuff that was just floating around [00:42:00] or recovery gear or random things. So that was kind of step one was really helpful, having the big ones for the Motos. And then inside we use a lot of the like step 22, like smaller bags and soft bags.
Matt Scott: Yeah, those are really, really nice.
Brett: Little like the pole cubes or whatever. The little packing cubes. So you can underwear, socks, like we can have our own separate little quick pullouts. For t-shirt, socks, underwear, whatever. Pants and jackets are.
Liz: I use 'em for journals, for pens, like kind of everything. Just needs organization.
Scott Brady: And does it have a little spot to label?
Brett: It's a little velcro label and you write on with a Sharpie.
Liz: And they have extra labels so you can get more and put a new Sharpie on it.
Scott Brady: Because that's the other thing is I like when everything looks. Like super organized and the same, you know, probably cuz like I'm a photographer too. Like we all have like these visual needs around the way things are organized. But then you can't remember like which of the green soft boxes does this have so the, the label's nice.
Brett: Well, and the other thing we notice too, the longer you're out, the more stuff starts accumulating.
Matt Scott: So well you gotta take it out.
Brett: There [00:43:00] has to be a, a remove, donate, get rid of things. Of course, we end up out over the winter mostly, so there's Christmas, so there's like, you gotta figure out what to do with that stuff. Like, oh, do I just mail that home or do I actually need that? Things like that where you're like, okay, well now I've accumulated stuff.
Scott Brady: That's crazy how fast accumulates.
Brett: And reset. You know, donate things constantly. Kind of recalibrate what you're bringing, why you need it, why you have it, and go from there.
Matt Scott: We don't travel nearly as much as you, I mean, I consider myself very lucky to be able to go two, three months a year, but, I, I have this thing where whether you do it in like actuality or in your mind, you put a, a little red dot on all these items and if that red dot and you take it off when you use it, and if there's items with red dots, Take 'em out.
Liz: Oh yeah. We have a whole list of stuff that's not coming with us next time. Like it's going to be left in Montana.
Brett: You have to constantly keep evaluating what it is you're bringing and why you're bringing it. You know? Sure. There's recovery here. There's things like that that hopefully you don't ever have to use it, but you want to have it in case. You need, you know, but then there's [00:44:00] all the rest of the stuff. You're like, why do we have three fire pits with us this year? It's like, I know we've got the gas propane one for if there's a fire ban, so that makes sense. Okay. But we've got. This little one that breaks down small and we can cook on, and we've got this other one that like, doesn't create much ash that sits up above the ground. Like why are we carrying like all these different powers? Like, we don't need all this, we just need one solution. So.
Matt Scott: Well, I think the last thing I'd, I'd really like to talk about, you know, you mentioned that you do, you know, trips with your girlfriends and, and that kind of stuff. What, what kind of advice would you offer to solo women travelers that are looking to get into this community and, and, and starting to travel?
Liz: It's not as scary as it seems. I mean I end up doing a bunch of like solo nights and stuff and I thought that was scary initially, but it's not as scary as I thought. And there's a lot of female groups and camp outs and things to join and it's like just, just find one and just go out there.
We're all in the same boat of like feeling kind of weird about doing this and being, cuz there's not as many women in the industry doing this kind of thing. So it's like it, it always feels like, well where are my people? And like I'm [00:45:00] the odd one out and we all kind of. Seem to feel the same way, so it's like, just grab a group. We're all gonna be like feeling that same way where it's like, Hey, we're just happy you're here.. Are there any, are there any resources for that Facebook groups or.
Liz: There's, I'd say there's a bunch on Instagram. Jill's got the ladies night camp outs that she does. There's been a bunch of spinoffs from that, so I know there's a group kind of that does 'em in Arizona. That's a spinoff from her group and a couple different ones in California. San Diego has a bunch of women's service.
Matt Scott: And where can you find out about Her camp out? It's just through her Instagram.
Liz: Yeah. It's a ladies night camp out @ Ladies Night camp out on Instagram or through her. So she's got the.
Matt Scott: I love that she does that. It's like building that community of, of people. It's really, really cool and so important.
Brett: Definitely needed.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Super important.
Brett: And it's, it's been amazing for her confidence. Like, not even just aside from everything else, just her personal growth, her personal confidence, like I'm more than happy. Like yeah, take the truck, go hang out with the girls. Like cuz it's huge growth for her. Yeah. And, which is great for us, so it's, that's awesome.
Liz: Well, [00:46:00] it's like guys always have guy trips. You have your guys trips. It's just, it's so healing for women to all get together and, you know, go do this and camp and.
Scott Brady: Be in nature.
Liz: Yeah. You And we always eat good food like we do. Yeah. Tacos and fancy cheese boards and wine and cocktails like.
Scott Brady: Sounds perfect.
Liz: Brunch sometimes.
Matt Scott: Well, that's what me and Scott do in our boys trips.
Scott Brady: Of course. It is exactly what we do.
Matt Scott: Rosé. That's right.
Scott Brady: One of the things that we, we like to ask on the podcast if, if someone was getting new to overlanding, what would be the couple pieces of advice? Like if you, in a way were giving advice to yourself in 2015? What would you, what would be the pieces of advice that you would give that version of yourself or someone that was new to travel and over landing that was getting ready to go?
Brett: Go to Walmart, get a tent, get a sleeping bag, get a cooler. Go and make sure you want to do it, like go camping. Like even if it's a campground, if you've never been like, everything looks great online and all these beautiful vistas and huge, yeah, but the nuts and bolts of it, it, it's camp, it's fans [00:47:00] camping. It's really good. Fancy traveling.
Matt Scott: Your feet are still gonna be dirty at the end of the day.
Brett: Yeah, yeah. You're, you're gonna have to be dealing with food, you're gonna have to cook, you're gonna have to like do all this stuff. Make sure you actually want to do it. Like get out there, spend some nights in the wild. Here's some weird noises in the woods. Like, there's all kinds of aspects of that. And I think I maybe get over romanticized, but if you, you make it through that part, then slowly start, you know, get your vehicle capable. You know, you can sleep in a tent for a long time before you have to buy a rooftop tent. You know.
Matt Scott: And you don't have to buy a rooftop tent.
Brett: You can build a platform in your flash. Yeah. You can, you can, you know, you've got a little SUV or a rav4, take some plywood and make a sleeping platform and put an air mattress in there. Like, if you wanna say, if you wanna be more secure in the vehicle, do that first. Like, there's a million ways to do it. You don't have to go crazy, but make sure you love doing it. And if it bites you and takes hold. Then ease into it. You know, figure out your plan and go from there.
Matt Scott: I think that's really sound advice. Cause there's definitely a lot of people, I, I'm gonna say during the pandemic when a lot of this blew up, they go out, they buy the $200,000 Sprinter, sprinter or Winnebago Revel or something, and three weeks later it's like back [00:48:00] on the dealer lot.
Brett: When you could rent one of those. You can go rent. You spend rent, spend two grand and rent it for, yeah. 10. You like it?
Matt Scott: If a tents not for you, rent something.
Brett: Yeah, try.
Matt Scott: Fly. Fly up to Montana and rent one of your trucks.
Brett: Yes, please. Rome camp. Repeat.
Scott Brady: Cool. Any other thoughts that you'd have for advice?
Liz: You just, I mean, it's kind of along the same lines where it's like you just don't need all the gear right away. Like we went out and bought all, like all the gear.
Matt Scott: It can be daunting.
Liz: We thought we needed, yeah. And then it.
Matt Scott: And expensive.
Liz: Yeah. Yes. So it's like we went out and bought. The rooftop tent and the awning and the like Yeti cooler and all the recovery gear and the scuttle, which we definitely needed the scuttle.
Brett: It was definitely nice to cook back.
Liz: And just like gear on, gear on gear and then was going out and we found ourselves like overloaded and ended up like slowly leaving more of it at home and paring down. So it's like I would definitely kind of agree with the same thing. Go out and find other people that wanna do it.
Brett: Yeah, that's the thing too, like we ended up.
Liz: See what they like.
Brett: Getting, getting a real group, good group of friends in Arizona. Yeah. And it was just, we had friends that had off-road vehicles and we were like, we're gonna go camping this [00:49:00] week. I'm like, cool, where are you going? Or we'll just come, I don't, we don't care where you're going. We're just going somewhere. Great. Let's go. And so we ended up developing before we left, just a really nice group of about. I'd say if everybody showed up to something, it'd probably be 10 rigs. And it was, but I mean most of the time it was, you know, two or three rigs that would join us every weekend. And they were just like, we don't have to think. We don't have to plan. We just have to show up and we'd cook good dinners and go explore. And so like finding people, just start doing it and you're gonna find like-minded people that want to do it too.
Liz: Well, I love that there's so many like cars and coffee events and stuff now too. There's like all over the place, so.
Scott Brady: Yeah, you can really connect with people.
Matt Scott: Yeah, I guess I never really thought of it that way, that. Maybe my, or talking, maybe me being a little too negative sometimes I, I'm just like, oh, you're just building this to go sit in a parking lot. But maybe the, the angle that I'd never had considered is, Well, that's how you're gonna network and meet the communities and, and find the people to go out. And maybe that's actually something that, that gets people to go out more.
Brett: Yeah. They maybe they're just hoping somebody's like, Hey, you want to go wherever this weekend? Yeah. I'm like, oh yeah, let's go. I haven't, I haven't used this big, huge rig I built. I want to try it. Yeah. So, [00:50:00] To be a good connector.
Scott Brady: So how do people find out more about you and your travels?
Brett: Mostly Instagram. Our Overland Life is where we primarily post Facebook of the same name. We do a little bit of YouTube, but that wasn't really our focus when we started traveling. We just. Really started to document our travels for our family and friends and kind of grew a little bit from there. And then she has, at LizzieKates is her account. And so she does a lot of the girls trips and adventures and stuff on. There is a good place to follow along with her. And then if, yeah, if you wanna come to Montana, run our trucks. It's Rome camp. Repeat. Is our, adventure vehicle rental. Business. Is that right?
Scott Brady: Awesome. Well, thank you both so much for being on the podcast.
Brett: Thanks for hosting us.
Liz: Yeah, thanks for having us.
Matt Scott: See you guys.
Scott Brady: Good. Yeah, and we'll talk to you next time.