Mountain State Overland - exploring and protecting appalachia

msoverland

Mountain State Overland


WHAT: The Overlander Round Up
WHEN: May 30, 4-7PM
WHERE: Papa Wolf Supply Co., 801 Islington St, Portsmouth NH
COST: FREE

The MSO crew is headed for New England and we're throwing down at Papa Wolf Supply Co. on Memorial Day from 4-7PM. So let's celebrate the spirits that continue to support this fine country and unite for the spirit of adventure! All is welcome; it's a rig/moto/pedal/walk friendly event ;-) Hope to see you there, cheers!
 
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msoverland

Mountain State Overland
Adventure Vermont. Ready?


Adventure Vermont. Ready.

written by Jason S.
photos by Jonathan Rutherford Photography

My adventures in Vermont started on the slopes in Stowe and Killington in the late 90s. I didn’t return to the Green Mountain State until attending the Vermont Overland Rally (VOR) in 2015. What I had previously seen on sticks would be completely different on 4 wheels.

Leading into 2016 we wanted to film an adventure series in the VT backcountry. We asked Peter V. (Vermont Overland) about the idea and concluded Vermont just wasn’t ready. By the close of 2016, I was back on Peter’s heels and he said, “let’s do it, I’m in!”

It was an easy decision bringing Peter on the show. He knows Vermont and he loves Vermont. I worked with Peter to storyboard the show and the decision was made to tackle portions of his Vermont Overland Challenge (VOC) course, showcase Vermont's culture/history and just be real. VOC is private event where people work their equipment to their limits 5 days in a row while enjoying evening parties, local foods and maple creamies. Since filming limited our time on the road, we mapped the best of both worlds ensuring we could capture 1) scenic and 2) challenge.

We made the most of winter dialing the trucks in at OK4WD. Here’s how the builds shaped up over 4 weekends – “Built 4 Adventure: Season 4
Leading into Day 1 of an extended trip with strangers triggers personality screening. There were some returning faces and there were some new ones as well. One thing was certain however – the entire team’s headspace was focused on what Peter had in store for us.

The first stretch was a warm up, mild terrain, some swimming holes, food provisions and a bit of history. Yes, it was an easy day – more relaxing than most until we approached camp. At dark, the road surface diminished and quickly kicked us off camber in spots. I’m not sure any of us were in the right mindset, but we had no choice and started living under offroad lights.
We made camp in a tight spot by a creek and the last truck to arrive was Gaby and Rachel. Uncertain of where the road was, he dropped in off the hillside and the 4Runner took a sharp dive on the driver side. We stopped Gaby and assessed the scene. Within minutes we had run rig to guide the 4Runner into camp.

Did we play it safe? Yes. Could we have not taken the precaution? Yes. Either way, the thought process supported not chancing a rollover on Day 1 of a 10 day trip.











 

msoverland

Mountain State Overland
Adventure Vermont. Trails.


Adventure Vermont. Trails.

written by Jason S.
photos by Jonathan Rutherford Photography

We slept our first night along the banks of a healthy creek that echoed white noise throughout camp all evening. The first one up typically triggers a chain reaction and the remainder of the team is slow to follow one by one.

Mornings at camp are often the hardest part of the day. It’s always a struggle between potty breaks, coffee, breakfast and packing. Within a couple days we’d have it all dialed in but that’s camp life.
Peter had indicated that Day 2 would be the hardest day on the trails. Knowing that we’re equipped for nearly any challenge there was equally anxiety and excitement to process. The trails came quick. Only a few miles of gravel before we were locked and in 4LO.

The Tacoma followed the Range Rover for the better part of the day and the first climb took the most effort. We quickly learned that Vermont was ready for us, but we weren’t ready for VT. A technical pile of wet rocks greeted us out of the gates first thing. Here’s what that sounded like on the radio -

“I got this…Spot me?...Maxtrax…Winch...”​

The remainder of the day was more of the same. Washed out roads taken over by creeks and streams. Rocky, bumpy, wooded tracks that felt more like a logging operation than a day of recreational green laning.

The final climb to camp was on private property. Nearly 500 – 1000 vertical feet in ½ mile PLUS one week of solid rain made for a fun late afternoon test of nerves and throttling. The Tacoma needed a winch and the remaining vehicles used traction pads.

This was our earliest evening. A quick dinner and a few minutes by the fire was all it took for us to close Day 2.














 

msoverland

Mountain State Overland
This is all just getting too expensive, right?! Well, it doesn't have to be.

For the last few years we've documented trucks builds and mods at OK4WD. We planned on doing the same this year but we opted to dial down the budget and build something affordable. The original plan was $10K for a team guide truck including purchase, parts and repairs; however, that plan changed quick when our personal schedules conflicted with filming and sourcing a complete build. We weren't sure it was going to happen until Ben (team photog) stepped up to the plate with $5,000 and an open schedule.

We bounced back and forth between Toyota and Lexus before we closed the deal on a Land Rover. Considering we could buy a Disco for $1500 or less, it left a lot of money in the budget for mods and equipment.

For a complete parts breakdown and build recap, watch the 3-part build series on YouTube >>

 
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