I'm Michael and I accidentally created Overland Bound. I'm a backwoods country bumpkin from a town of 360 people. Seriously, my grade school was 70 kids TOTAL. My mom was the school nurse. We walked to the country store a mile away, and bought groceries "on the tab". The store owner knew the School District paid on the first of the month and my mom got paid every 30 days. It was fine. There was trust.
Now, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. To this day I do not lock my car, and we leave the front door of our home unlocked. I assume noble intent.
Growing up, my Dad was a U.S. Forest Ranger. He worked in the Sierras in the lookouts watching for forest fires. His love for the outdoors created my childhood, and natural comfort with surviving in the great outdoors. We back-packed, we went for walks to review plant names and uses. We hunted. Nature was everything.
I lost touch with this connection as I grew older. My career became my primary focus. I worked for Paramount Pictures, Electronic Arts and ran my own businesses in digital entertainment, it created a deficit that was building.
My 30s brought on marriage, 2 (awesome) kids, and then divorce. I found myself at the age of 40, divorced, My father passed at the same time, and I was unemployed. I was grasping for my roots. I took my 3 year-old son and 5 year old daughter to visit my hometown. It was a good, necessary anchor. On the drive home, my fast-paced-life-bought BMW 325i convertible got stuck in the snow. I watched my gas gauge go down to empty with the heater on, and wondered how I would keep my kids warm when the engine died. Luckily, CHP rescued us before that happened. It all came together in that moment. I needed to be comfortable again in the great outdoors. I would ALWAYS have a capable vehicle to get me there. The low point created an involuntary need to get away. I reacted like a primitive animal. I needed to escape. To connect with the great outdoors. Overland Bound was born.
I bought the FJ80, threw shit in the back, and drove into the Sierras. I was ill-prepared, but relied on what I had learned growing up. The result was absolute freedom. To this day, I do one solo trip a year. I bark at the trees, howl at the moon, and eliminate all stimulus besides me, my rig, and nature. I realized not everyone is as comfortable or knowledgeable as me in the great outdoors, and I have taken it for granted. Everyone needs to feel that connection to truly live.
I met Ms. Overland Bound, and she became a natural partner in all things adventure. She got to know me as a man who demanded this life, and loved me all the more for it (Corrie can tell you her story about her love for Overlanding.)
I want as many people as possible to experience self-sufficiency in the great outdoors. I want to make it accessible and attainable for everyone, without feeling easy. You can do it, but the very nature of existing off the grid makes us human. It should feel challenging, because it is. You can do it. Overland Bound will become as big as we can make it as a community. I believe it's possible to make a positive change in the world, and I believe we have started. I want as many people as possible to feel the freedom and self-reliance only a connection with the great outdoors can bring. Here is what Overland Bound believes:
Overlanding is: "Vehicle Dependent Travel". Nothing else. We will not further define "overlanding".
It doesn't matter what you drive: The only requirement of an overland vehicle is that it serves the job required, safely.
We believe a connection with the uncivilized, unpredictable, and awe-inspiring wilderness is essential to human existence. Adventure is not optional.
We leave it better than we found it.
The requirements of the trip define "Dependable", and we take that very seriously.
You are an Overlander. Overlanding is for everyone who has exploration and adventure in their heart, or who need to be reinvigorated by connecting with nature.
Nature is unforgiving. You must rise to a certain level of personal awareness to survive. Sound right? Overlanding is for you.
Encourage uncomplicated ventures into the great outdoors. Don't over pack.
Be prepared, and understand basic requirements.
Question folks, to be sure they are aware of what is required. Don't assume. Help.
Share without reservation, trip locations, and information.
We DO NOT engage in "this is better than that" competitions.
We DO give advice about how to make your vehicle ready for what you need. Share knowledge.
Humility. "I don't know" is a great answer.
We don’t brag about exploits at the expense of others.
We support those seeking answers, understanding we all start somewhere.
We engage in the smallest of interactions.
We have fun.
These are the core values I want Overland Bound to stand for, and I’m excited to keep spreading the word about the overlanding lifestyle. I want you to spread the word too. You are saving lives.
I’m stoked to join and feel absolutely the same about the Overland beliefs! I grew up in a little town of Blue Lake north of you. I ran around the woods fields and streams every single day until I move to Hawaii in high school. I’ve been mostly here except for 32 years in the army. I had a ‘surprise 50‘ baby boy who is eight now, and I’ve got to get him outside!
I’m looking forward to the community and learning environment!