Who we are:
First off, we are not experts. Hence our name. We are newbies. Noobs. Rookies. We’re figuring out this overlanding thing one step at a time. Given how much there is to learn, chances are we’ll consider ourselves nooblanders (yes, we made up that word) for quite some time.
Secondly, we don’t have unlimited cash. We’re just two guys with regular day jobs who have a passion for traveling. Don’t expect to see the latest, most expensive mods, or crazy tech—unless there’s something we just can’t live without. The goal is the journey, not having the flashiest rig on the road.
Since we’re learning, we’re hoping others can learn from our process, and we welcome feedback and any sage wisdom that more experienced travelers can pass on.
We’re not sponsored by any parts companies so we hope to provide an unbiased view on the selection, installation, and use of any parts we do end up slapping on our rigs, or the gear we take on our trips. We’ll post our journeys and memories as well so you can see how these decisions work out in the long run—not just our first impressions. If we receive anything free of charge, we’ll make sure to let you know, and everything will get the same no-BS treatment in our reviews.
While we’re not sponsored by parts companies, we are getting a lot of help from Cochrane Toyota. Many thanks to them.
“Wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit” – Joseph Wood Krutch.
This was a quote I saw inscribed into a rock at the interpretive centre in the middle of Denali National Park in Alaska with an incredible view of the tallest peak in North America – Mount McKenzie – a view that only a third of all the park’s visitors actually get to see clearly. An 8 hour round bus trip into the heart of some of the most untouched wilderness that I had ever seen and experienced in my life. But let’s hit rewind.
I was raised in Calgary, Alberta at the foot of the Rocky Mountains – a place I had always revered, respected, and considered home. Even after moving to eastern Canada for 3 years and traveling extensively throughout the world, the idea of being close to or in the wilderness of the Rockies always brought me back. To me, this was home. In 2010, I embarked on a life changing journey that started in Vancouver, BC and ended in Anchorage, AK taking me up along the West Coast and through Whitehorse, Haines Junction, and Fairbanks. My eyes, mind, and heart were opened wider than ever before, than any other trip I had ever been on. This is when I learned that you could drive into the Arctic Circle on an occasionally maintained gravel highway that no car rental companies would allow you to drive on. Like a big red shiny “Do Not Push” button, this intrigued me and began an ambition and a goal. I was already very familiar with non-motorized travel into the wilderness but now this sparked my interest into motorized travel. That’s how I found overlanding.
So I pressed the big red button.
I’m not a mechanic. I’m a physiotherapist by trade and consider myself a fairly well rounded person. My hobbies and interests range from being hardcore nerd – building computers, video games, etc. – to building/rebuilding bicycles, hiking up and down the spines of mountains and camping. My buddy, Matt, the co-founder of Nooblanders, is much more mechanically and back country oriented. In summary – Most of the time, I have no idea what I’m doing. The second time I did my own work on my truck, I sheered a bolt off that ended up costing me $200 to get removed because I turned it the wrong way with a breaker bar. This is where Matt had the idea to come up with the Nooblanders. A fun and informative look at overlanding from the perspectives of a few newcomers – newbies.
“As I lay rubber down the street, I pray for traction I can keep. But if I spin and begin to slide, please dear God, protect my sweet ride. Amen”
If it has wheels and an engine, I want to know how it works, how to make it go faster, further and do more. This started as a kid building soapbox cars, and then with my first Honda mini bike. My dad (who I’m convinced possesses magical powers that allow him to fix anything) instilled a passion for working on cars and motorcycles. I didn’t buy a vehicle that didn’t need massive repairs to get on the road until I was 26. That’s what I bring to the Nooblanders. If I don’t know how to fix it, build it, or make it work, I’ll figure it out. I am not above red neck ingenuity, and love to figure out how to build something instead of buying it.
Despite this, I built a career in communications, not mechanics, so I’m definitely not an expert in building overlanding rigs. Nor am I an expert outdoorsman, but I know a thing or two. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, I’ve spent plenty of time hunting and fishing in the Rocky Mountains, but there’s still a lot to learn.
At the heart of overlanding is the journey, and that’s what caught my attention when Kevin first introduced me to the concept. I feel the most alive when I’m traveling, meeting new people, and taking myself out of my comfort zone. I want to go where others can’t, or don’t think to go. Overlanding seems like a natural fit.
I love writing, photography, and videography, so hopefully I can accurately capture our adventures and keep you entertained at the same time.