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Gaia GPS Offroad

Author: Gaia GPS

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The Gaia GPS Offroad podcast brings you thrilling stories and top tips from offroad and overlanding experts from around the world. From the best gear reviews to rig modifications, backroads navigation, and trail reports, host Wade May dives deep with each guest to reveal hard-won insights from the dusty trails.

This is a Gaia GPS podcast, sponsored by Trails Offroad. 

14 Episodes
What do you do when you’re unhappy in your corporate job? You hit the road and drive - all the way to Australia., Canada, and northbound to the Arctic. That’s how Monique Song found her way into offroading, eventually becoming the beloved Overland Lady. Monique wields both a wrench and a flatiron (for her hair) and gives wise insights on how each tool has played an important role in her adventures in her 100 series Toyota Landcruiser. Unfortunately, her well-known and loved Landcruiser is no more. Monique joined the rollover club on the the Dempster Highway last fall, totaling her rig and leaving her stranded in the remote Arctic. Tune into the podcast to hear Monique describe what it felt like to experience a crash of this magnitude and walk away with minor injuries. Plus, learn the full details of the recovery efforts and get a sneak peak at the rig she's eyeing next -- this time it's all about the gas mileage. If you want to explore like a boss like Overland Lady does, you’re going to need Gaia GPS Premium. With a Premium membership, you’ll be able to create your own routes, download maps for offline use, and access the entire map catalog, including offroading favorites like MVUM, the mines and minerals layer, satellite imagery, USFS roads and trails, weather maps, and more. If you don’t have Gaia GPS Premium yet, you’re in luck. For a limited time, podcast listeners get a 40 percent discount on Gaia GPS Premium. Sign up now to get the maps for every adventure -- from overlanding to hiking to hunting -- all in one app on Gaia GPS.
13. TrailRecon

13. TrailRecon


The easiest way to get into overlanding is to simply just go. “You need a shelter, you need food and water, and you need some safety gear.” says Brad Kowitz, the creator of TrailRecon, a wildly popular YouTube channel dedicated to all things overlanding. “That’s my advice, just get the basics, get out there, and go have a good time.”   Helping folks get outside and experience the benefits of nature is the whole reason Brad and his wife Regena started TrailRecon. The channel debuted in 2015 with a video that Brad and Regena’s son Jordan made of their trip to the mud caves in California’s Anza Borrego State Park. The video gained an audience and soon the Kowitzs were posting about all their camping trips. The channel went viral. Now, with almost half a million subscribers, TrailRecon covers every aspect of the overland adventure, from camp cooking to vehicle mods to detailed trail reports.   Even though Brad has reached next level YouTube fame, getting on a trip with TrailRecon is not out of reach. Brad is the face of E3 Overland — a nationwide overland community that helps to educate, empower, and entertain folks on the trail. In addition to web-based learning, E3 focuses on in-person events that get members together all across the country. Brad says joining members on E3 events keeps him grounded and connected to people who love the outdoors. You can hear more about how you can join TrailRecon on an overlanding trip in 2022 on episode 13 of the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast. Plus, you won’t want to miss Brad’s take on overlanding with a full-size pickup, the benefits of traveling with an offroad trailer, and Regena’s sage advice for making a reluctant spouse fall in love with roughing it in the great outdoors. If you want to follow in the tread of TrailRecon and plan custom overland trips far away from the crowds, you’re going to need Gaia GPS Premium. With a Premium membership, you’ll be able to create your own routes, download maps for offline use, and access the entire map catalog, including offroading favorites like MVUM, the mines and minerals layer, satellite imagery, USFS roads and trails, weather maps, and more. If you don’t have Gaia GPS Premium yet, you’re in luck. For a limited time, podcast listeners get a 40 percent discount on Gaia GPS Premium. Sign up now to get the maps for every adventure -- from overlanding to hiking to hunting -- all in one app on Gaia GPS.
Adventuring with your partner can be challenging to say the least. But don’t give up when tensions run high. Tim and Marisa Notier are living proof that adventuring as a couple can be done — even when you share a seat on a motorcycle for five years. From Illinois to the tip of Argentina, and up and down Africa, the Notiers have explored the natural world and their relationship’s limits. Get their insights on how they make it work and manage to have some fun along the way. Tune in to hear the complete story of how these high school sweethearts rekindled their relationship after an extended hiatus. In this hilarious and honest discussion, the Notiers pull back the curtain on how they got into adventure riding in the first place, why they chose to ride tandem around the world, and how they manage to work as a team on long-distance rides. Learn more about the Notiers on their website. Read about their adventures in Tim’s books that chronicle the couple’s adventure motorcycle journey. Follow them on Instagram to see what they are up to next.   Got your own travel plans? You're going to need Gaia GPS to get your there. For a limited time, podcast listeners get 40 percent off on a Gaia GPS Premium Membership. Premium lets you download maps for offline navigation and access hundreds of maps to get the info you need for the places you're going next! Just go to www.gaiagps,com/offroadpodcast to snag that sweet discount.
Ashley and Richard Giordano were the picture of success in 2013. The young couple had thriving careers, nice cars, and a comfortable apartment in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. But, despite the enviably appearances, burnout was brewing dangerously close to the surface. The couple needed a change. A little red 1990 Tpypta pickup truck that was collecting dust in the backyard was all the change they needed. Four months and a few upgrades later, the Giordanos took off on their first major overland trip. The little red truck carried them to South America and then back again, some 48,000 miles. Once back home in Canada, they took their taste for the extreme the other direction, this time traveling to the Arctic Ocean in the middle of winter. In this interview, Ashley and Richard recount their steps from “Desk to Glory," highlighting everything from extreme cold-weather bathroom tips to the evolution of the Giordanos’ iconic rig — Little Red.   Learn more about Desk to Glory and the Giordanos through their website, YouTube channel, and Instagram page. And if Richard and Ashley have inspired you to get out on the trail and camp more this year, whether its a weekend trip to your local state park or a trip across an international border, don’t forget to pick up Gaia GPS Premium to help you find your way. Right now, podcast listeners can get 20-percent off a Premium Membership.
If you got out on some epic trails in 2021, chances are you used Gaia GPS's powerful planning and navigation tools to help get you out there. Did you know that while you were roasting marshmallows on the campfire, Gaia GPS's cartographers and engineers were hard at work improving and updating the app? Chris Kracht of 4XOA and Matt McClellan of Ozark Overland are here to sift through some of the best new maps and features that Gaia GPS rolled out in 2021. These two Gaia GPS experts hit on everything from Android Auto to 3D maps and public tracks. Plus, they touch on an all new feature in the Gaia Topo map that hasn't even been announced yet, but will make your campsite reservations as easy as pie. Don't miss this deep dive on what's new from last year and get some insights from Chris and Matt on how these features stack up for dirt road adventures. If you haven't made the jump to Premium, now's the time to do it. Now through the end of 2021, podcast listeners can get 40 percent off a Gaia GPS Premium Membership. Plus you can pair Gaia GPS's extensive map catalog and route planning tools with 20 percent off a Trails Offroad membership. Trails Offroad has thousands of detailed route guides that you can push to your Gaia GPS account with a press of a button. Get it all now at a discount and put that money you saved toward your next upgrade, we know you got one coming!
Since 2009, Dan Grec has traveled the world in his Jeep Wrangler, searching for connection in local cultures and beauty in wild landscapes. After some 90,000 miles behind the windshield, the author of the popular adventure travel books, The Road Chose Me, finally returns home to Australia. But Grec’s homecoming won’t be filled with the rest and relaxation you’d expect after a decade-long road trip. Grec continues his odyssey to see and experience the world up-close and personal. This time, he returns to his birthplace to tackle Australia’s classic routes and explore unknown trails. His trip to the bush will take at least 12 to 18 months.  Grec sits down with Wade in the days before starting his Australian expedition to explain why the international road chose him. Grec retraces his tracks from Alaska to the tip of South America and hiw 54,000-mile road trip around Africa. Learn Grec's secrets to worldwide travel, including how to masterfully make your dollars go the extra mile so you can prolong your trip. Plus, these trips aren't always sunshine and rainbows, Grec shows us how to avoid bribery at international border crossings and what to do when you get Malaria ... twice. Follow Dan Grec's journey on Instagram. Subscribe to his YouTube channel. Read about his adventures in his books The Road Chose Me, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.  If you want maps for your own journeys, big and small, then don't miss this sweet discount on a Gaia GPS Premium Membership.
It's your worst nightmare. You're all alone, miles from the trailhead, when you trip over a rock and break your leg. What do you do? If you have a satellite communication device, you press a button and send a message for help. Yes, rescue in the backcountry has become that easy. These palm-sized units allow you to communicate from anywhere in the world, let others track your progress in the backcountry, and provide a direct line to help when you need it. How exactly do satellite communication devices work, and can you trust them? We sat down with Morris Shawn, president of ZOLEO Inc, to give you the inside scoop on how the ZOLEO satellite communicator works. From seamless messaging to remote weather reports and location tracking in the field, Morris explains all the benefits of carrying a satellite communicator in areas beyond cell service. Plus, get the scoop on what actually happens when you press that dreaded SOS button, and hear about some of the most ridiculous calls for help Morris has seen in recent years. And it's good timing, because if you're in the market for a satellite communication device, ZOLEO is having a killer sale from November 12, 2021 to November 30, 2021. You can pick up a ZOLEO two-way satellite messenger for $149, that's 25 percent off the retail price. And if you activate your device by January 30, 2022, you'll get a 6-month Gaia GPS Premium Membership for free if you're not already a member. Nothing pairs better with satellite communication than Gaia GPS's robust collection of maps and offline planning and navigation tools. Get them both today in this special deal. Visit the Gaia GPS blog to save.
Van life with its sunset views and cozy living quarters seems like a dream — until you see the price tag on a 4x4 Sprinter. But Jason Darrah, star of the viral YouTube show Primal Outdoors, is here to show you a better way. All it takes is buying - and being happy with - the vehicle that you can afford. Jason started overlanding more than a decade ago in an ancient $350 Ford Explorer. Sure, the old Explorer was oxidized and smelled a little funny on the inside. But the car took him everywhere he wanted to go. When it came time to live full time on the road, Jason knew he was due for an upgrade. He found a 1994 Ford van on Craigslist that cost $2,000. And it was perfect. Of course, like any good overlander, Jason spent tens of thousands of dollars on upgrades. But those modifications came at a pace that his pocketbook could afford and it took years to get the van dialed exactly how Jason wanted it. "People might look at the van at this point and think that it’s crazy,” Jason says. “But if you add up all the stuff I’ve done to it, I’m still under the base price of a Sprinter.” Four wheel drive, a toasty propane heater, and a brand new electrical system are just three upgrades that Jason says were crucial to everyday living in the van. In this episode, Jason goes deep on gear and ultimately admits that backpacking has influenced his philosophy on what makes it into the van and what stays behind. Plus get an inside look at Jason's custom 300-mile Bend to Alvord route in his home state of Oregon. Jason says that the scenic trip is accessible to beginners and experts alike and offers so much more than a challenging off-pavement drive. "It's not just a trudge to the desert. There's an old airplane wreck. There's an old ranch house out there. There's some caves that you can check out. There's the sand dunes if you want to stop and play in the sand for a day," Jason says of the route he created. Learn more about Jason on his Primal Outdoors YouTube channel. Join his Patreon to get his GPX tracks. And follow him on his Primal Outdoors Instagram page for the best photos on living vanlife to the fullest. Don't forget to pick up your discount on a Gaia GPS Premium Membership so you can get on the Bend to Alvord route ASAP!
Eric and Brittany Highland quit their jobs seven years ago and have lived on the road ever since. They started with an RV and eventually moved into a Jeep Wrangler that was set up for rock crawling. Then their son, Caspian, arrived and they built a Jeep Gladiator around the idea of traveling the world with a toddler. Just days before crossing the U.S. border into Mexico, the Highlands sat down for an interview with Wade about their travel plans for the next 10 to 15 years. With no definitive schedule in mind, the couple reflects on how this colossal journey came to be, the details of building out a rig for global overland travel, and how raising a child on international roads is one of the best ideas they ever had. Follow the Highlands in all their travels on Instagram, check out their blog for detailed reports, and watch their YouTube channel for more information. Also if you're inspired by Brittany, Eric, and Caspian, consider becoming Patreons to support their trip around the globe. Also, don't forget to pick up your sweet discounts from Trails Offroad and Gaia GPS on get on with your own epic road trip. Visit to get 20 percent off on a Premium Membership. Then go to the Trails Offroad website for 20 percent off a membership that unlocks some 2,700 detailed trail guides for North America. And here's the great news: Trails Offroad routes sync to your Gaia GPS account with a simple press of a button. Now it's easier than ever to have the best maps and the best trail guides for your next adventure. Don't miss out!
Is overlanding really just eating your way through the beautiful places in the backcountry? Marco Hernandez of ovrlndx joins us on the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast this week to discuss everything camp cooking. Author of The Overland Cook, Marco is best known for his spicy hot, south-of-the-border cuisine. Everything from his traditional birria tacos to fresh, homemade salsa, Marco delivers his best tips for gourmet cooking from the back of the Jeep. Plus, our host Wade dives into the details of Marco's brand new Jeep 392, dubbed by the manufacturer as the "quickest, most powerful Wrangler" ever made. You can pick up a copy of Marco’s book The Overland Cook (available in English and Spanish) on his website and follow his YouTube channel to watch Marco in action. Impress your friends on your next camping trip with Marco’s famous and easy-to-make chimichurri recipe, an Argentinian sauce that tastes great as a topping for meats or spooned over toasted sourdough bread as an appetizer.   And don't forget to pick up your sweet discounts from Trails Offroad and Gaia GPS and get on the trail. Visit www.gaiagpscom/offroadpodcast to get 20 percent off on a Premium Membership. Then go to the Trails Offroad website for 20 percent off a membership that unlocks some 2,700 trail guides for North America. The best news is that all those thousands of Trails Offroad routes can be shipped straight to your Gaia GPS account with a simple press of a button. Get the deal while it lasts.
Building out your dream overlanding vehicle can be an overwhelming task, leaving you in a state of “analysis by paralysis.” But don't worry, Jason Specht of Mountain State Overland is here to help. Jason recently built out a Toyota Tacoma and a couple of 4Runners. He walks us through what he learned from that process and how to dump your hard earned cash into the upgrades you need instead of the upgrades you want. In this casual and informative chat sponsored by Trails Offroad, Jason dishes out the best tips for modifying your vehicle with utility and purpose in mind. Step one in Jason's lesson? Be honest about how you intend to use your rig, and start building from that vantage point. From rooftop tents to camp cookware, Jason points out the gear worth the investment and the gear that’s a hard pass. “I don't want to turn people away from the passion to buy stuff, because we do live in a consumer-driven economy." Jason says on the podcast. "But you know, really think about what you need before you do it,” Jason’s sound advice includes fun tidbits on his favorite driving music, the cheapest and tastiest camp dinner, and the sketchiest route he pulled a trailer over. Learn more about Jason and Mountain State Overland on Instagram, YouTube, and on the web. And don't forget to take advantage of discounted memberships from Trails Offroad and Gaia GPS.
If you want to travel through high desert mesas, alpine forests, and Moab’s copper-colored canyons all in the span of a single weekend, put the Rimrocker Trail on the top of your to-do list. With a patchwork of 4x4 roads weaving across 160 miles of diverse terrain, the Rimrocker offers five-star campsites, forever views, and a route that almost any 4WD vehicle can travel — no special equipment or modifications necessary. In this episode, John Lumia of Trails Offroad gives us a complete report of this classic route in America's southwest. John gives away all the trail's little secrets, including the best time to go, trail ratings, and things to see along the way. Tune in to get all the details you need to make a successful run on the Rimrocker — even if it’s your first time overlanding. Follow Trails Offroad on Instagram, YouTube, and the Trails Offroad website. And don't forget to pick up your sweet discount on a Trails Offroad membership and a Gaia GPS Premium Membership.
Tim and Kelsey Huber of Dirt Sunrise Adventures quit their jobs a few years ago and sold almost everything they own to pursue overland travel on a full-time basis. Their first major adventure took them to South America on the Pan-American Trail. After two years plus on the road, Dirt Sunrise is back in the states and ready to talk about their adventures abroad.   Tune in for a fun chat with Tim and Kelsey about international overland travel and how having the right recovery gear, skill set, and knowledge gave them the confidence to explore deeper off the grid in foreign countries. Learn what’s in their recovery kit and the methods they use to keep people on track when you have too many cooks in the kitchen on a rescue mission. Plus, these offroad driving and recovery instructors share the story of their rig “Goose” and their new-to-them dream vehicle they are building right now. Learn more about Dirt Sunrise at their website, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to the Dirt Sunrise Youtube channel to virtually join them on all their offroad adventures. And don't forget to pick up your sweet discount on a Trails Offroad membership and a Gaia GPS Premium Membership.
Casey Kaiser was on a solo trip in Eastern Oregon's remote backcountry when all of the sudden his yellow Jeep Wrangler burst into flames. "And I just noticed out of the corner of my eye, it looked like a little steam coming out from underneath my hood," Casey says on the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast. "And as soon as I lifted the hood, flames erupted from underneath there... I have a serious problem here." Casey unloaded a fire extinguisher onto the burning engine block, but the fire kept raging. Flames quickly engulfed the entire Jeep, burning it to the ground and taking all of Casey's personal items with it. Soon, the blazing Jeep quickly became the least of Casey's problems. The fire threatened to spread into the surrounding sagebrush - a virtual tinderbox of fuel. All alone, Casey worked for hours to contain the blaze. And with the embers finally dwindling in the darkness of the night, Casey took shelter under a Juniper tree and watched as his generously upgraded Jeep smoldered into a pile of ash in the sand. Tune in to the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast to learn how Casey narrowly escaped disaster in the high desert. Casey delves into the lessons he learned from this catastrophe, including the expensive reality of insurance coverage. Find out how Gaia GPS helped Casey's friends find him 30 miles off the pavement and in the middle of the night. Plus, learn why Casey played the odds and replaced his totaled Jeep with, you won't believe this, another brand new, fully upgraded Jeep Wrangler. Connect with Casey on his Coyote Works YouTube channel. Follow his mostly solo overland adventures on Instagram. And don't forget to pick up your sweet discount on a Trails Offroad membership and a Gaia GPS Premium Membership.
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