A new direction.

Recently, there’s been a realization. A realization that I’ve gone off course. And it’s time to correct that. Let me explain.

I’ve been traveling and exploring all my life and I’ve always done it to see new places and witness how different people live and work in different regions. I’ve never called it “overlanding”. It was always just exploration and I was in a vehicle and I would camp along my journey, taking pictures of things I’ve seen to remember the trip. My first blog was created to share my journeys with my family and friends, but more so to let them know I was still alive.

The “overlanding” trend started to become a buzz word and I quickly recognized it as “hey, that’s what I’ve been doing.” And so I jumped on board and created First State Overland to take my adventures to the next level. I saw fancy produced trip videos being created with the rise of technology and ease of use and I too jumped into that.

Then came Instagram.

I used IG to share photos of the trips I’d be on, while I was on those trips. I wasn’t really one for pretending that I was living some glorious, perfect, life of adventure where every day was a beautiful sunrise and I cooked my gourmet meal in a bug-free environment. At festivals and expos I took classes on how to use social media better and I started tagging everyone and their brother because that’s what I was told I should do.

As the overlanding trend continued to explode, I started to see patterns that made me roll my eyes. The phrase “doing it for the gram” became so much more apparent. People social media begging to be “brand ambassadors” or “influencers”. People creating videos claiming they were in partnership with a company because the company gave them the same discount code it gives anyone else. I started to see a community that was divirging from what I wanted to do. And worse yet, I started to see myself doing some of those things and I hated that.

There was a breaking point where I said to myself, “This is not why I explore. This is not how I want to go about seeing the world. And this is not how I want to spend my time in the outdoors.” And that caused me to step back from FSO and ask; what is it that I do want and how to I go about pivoting to make that happen?

Some of you know that my job provides flexibility to work remotely. I keep my customers happy and get my work done and I’m all good. This opens the door to full-time exploration. That is my dream. Once I realized that, I also realized that the Jeep and trailer were no longer the platform that was going to make 365 days a year living comfortable for me. I needed something larger, with more practicality and usability, and comfort. Roughing it is great. But we’re all human and we need to return to comfort every now and then. And if I’m working from the road, taking phone calls and such, that needs to change.

And so the Jeep and trailer have been sold. Long term plans include something to the effect of a truck camper, but short term, I still have much of the “overlanding” gear and it will go on the F350 pickup I just bought. I’ll continue to camp and explore - my way. The way I started adventuring so long ago. The social media presence will slow, for now. And what was First State Overland will lie dormant until I decide what (if at all) it reemerges as.

Last but not least, I wanted to extend my sincerest thank you to everyone I’ve met along this journey, people who have watched the videos I made, people who have inspired me to focus on the true heart of exploration, and even the Instagram brand ambassadors in influencers for waking me up and realizing that I was on the wrong path.

Cheers to the future.

-Chad

Update!

Now that Season 1's videos are out of the way, we've been busy learning what NOT to do for Season 2.  And speaking of Season 2, we've got a plan, a crew and a destination!  This fall FSO will be heading to the pacific northwest and we can't wait!  In the meantime, we've been hitting some local events and will continue to throughout the summer.  See you there! 

Whew! Lots going on!

Well, Episode 1 is finally out!  Check out out YouTube page and subscribe to the series!   It's a little late because we were prepping for Overland Expo East which was last weekend and holy cow it was busy!  FSO was invited to join Hiker Trailer in their booth and we were on our feet, in the hot sun, helping people expand their adventure with the best tear drop trailers on the market!  We saw some old friends and were able to match some faces with people we've only met through social media up to the point.   

So what's up next?  Well, we've got more episodes coming from The Northeast Expedition.  We're heading down to a Roof Top Tent Rally in VA, a short trip to VT in November and then we're planning for the next big trip next year which will likely be in the northwest.  No rest!   

The Mountain State Expeditions (MSO) - Discovery Route 1 and other updates

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We just got back from a 4 day expedition with Mountain State Overland through southern WV and parts of Appalachia.  Stay tuned and check our Instagram and Facebook for updates.  Lots of pictures and video to process, but at the same time, we're finishing up the trailer build, getting ready for a Jeep Jamboree with the Hiker trailer in two weeks, and making reservations for the Northeast Expedition.  No rest for the wicked!  

Blitzing into 2017

Just two and a half weeks into 2017, FSO has made great strides as an organization.   January news and announcements below.  

  • Trip prep continues and we continue building out the team for the Northeast Expedition.   
  • The FSO Shop has launched and will be stocking new gear soon!  Partial proceeds will go to Jeeps For Joy!  
  • The FSO JK is getting branded/wrapped next week to help promote the brand.  
  • A quick break in work for a day trip to the AOAA for a trail ride.  
  • FSO will be joining Mountain State Overland on the inaugural 4 day expedition of West Virginia and Appalachia.  More news about this to follow.  
  • The Hiker Off-road Extreme trailer is being built and will be completed soon.  Stay tuned for updates and the launch of customizations for it!   

More news to follow!  

 

 

We're getting there!

We hope everyone has had a safe and happy holiday season.   The FSO team is done drinking the egg nog and is back to updating the site.  This coming week should see significant changes and updates to many of the sites features.   In January, the shop will open, so that those who collect items such as stickers or morale patches can show their support for FSO.  

FSO is pleased to annouce that we'll be adding an offroad trailer to our fleet.  The trailer, made by Hiker Trailers, will be fully offroad worthy with full suspension, tires and built to withstand the elements of the Northeast Expedition.  We'll likely mount the roof top tent, which currently sits on the JKU back to the trailer to allow excursions to and from camp without having to break camp each time.  The trailer will have electrical, and climate control as well as a 21 gallon water tank.  FSO plans on making further modifications to the trailer once the build has been completed.  

Stay tuned!  

Coming soon!

If only there was more time in the day!  2017 is fast approaching and we've got a lot lined up.   Here's just a few things headed FSO's way in 2017! 

  • Northeast Expedition planning and logistics
  • Website (official) relaunch 
  • Store front for shirts, patches, stickers, and other FSO goodness. 
  • FSO Jeep projects wrap up
  • Expedition gear acquisition and reviews
  • Localized trail rides and meetups
  • Photography processing
  • Video editing and processing

Whew!   But we'll get there.  And it will be great.  And we can't wait to take you along for the ride!