A TRUE OVER­LAND RALLY

The 2019 BC Over­land Rally in Whistler Olympic Park at­tracted nearly 1,000 ad­ven­tur­ers for three days of sem­i­nars, trail rid­ing and ca­ma­raderie.

4WDrive - - Contents - Words and Pho­tos by Pe­ter Storck

Do you ever find your­self talk­ing to peo­ple that look at your roof top tent (RTT) and ask why you don’t just use a reg­u­lar tent? Then, there are oth­ers who look at your built-up over­land rig and ask why you don’t just get a travel trailer?

These are just some of the rea­sons why the an­nual BC Over­land Rally is such a great event for over­land en­thu­si­asts. It pro­vides the chance to be around like-minded peo­ple who share a pas­sion for overlandin­g. The rally fea­tures camp­ing, ven­dors, sem­i­nars, and trail rides. As its slo­gan states, “Have Fun! Make Friends! Learn Stuff!”

Due to its rapid growth since its in­cep­tion in 2017, the BC Over­land Rally’s event or­ga­niz­ers, Ray and Mar­i­anne Hy­land, had to find a new venue for 2019. They set­tled on Whistler Olympic Park, lo­cated in the Callaghan Val­ley, just west of Whistler,

BC. It turned out to be a wise choice as the at­ten­dance for the 2019 event – June 2730 – in­creased once again with nearly 1,000 at­ten­dees and 58 ven­dors.

Whistler Olympic Park of­fers a range of on-site fa­cil­i­ties. There’s a com­fort­able day lodge with full re­strooms and hot show­ers, plus mul­ti­ple green spa­ces, sev­eral trails with stun­ning views of the Rocky Moun­tains – not to men­tion an on­go­ing pres­ence of the roam­ing black bears. There were two sep­a­rate camp­ing ar­eas. A des­ig­nated “quiet camp­ing area” and a “less-than quiet camp­ing area.”

From a 1980’s Chevy pick-up with a camper to a mod­ern Mercedes 6 x 6-foot lux­ury home on wheels, the event at­tracts peo­ple from all over with a va­ri­ety of tastes and bud­gets. I per­son­ally love see­ing a well-built DIY bud­get rig that’s just as

(or even more) ca­pa­ble than a $150,000plus man­u­fac­tured ex­pe­di­tion ve­hi­cle.

Walk­ing around the camp­ing ar­eas to get ideas and feed­back from other en­thu­si­asts and vis­it­ing with the ven­dors is a great part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The ven­dors are in a space sep­a­rate from the camp­ing ar­eas and fea­ture more than just ex­hibits. Two tents are used for sem­i­nars and ac­tiv­i­ties, plus there’s a large fire pit area where mul­ti­ple pre­sen­ta­tions are hosted, along with a nightly fire and raf­fle.

Some of the many ven­dors in­cluded large man­u­fac­tur­ers like Four Wheel Campers and ARB to smaller in­de­pen­dents, in­clud­ing Over­land Kitchen and To­tal Com­pos­ites. In my opin­ion, some of the no­table prod­ucts for me in­cluded Off Grid Trail­ers, Tree­line Out­doors, and Dog­house Trail­ers.

Off Grid Trail­ers (OTG) of Ed­mon­ton, AB is a man­u­fac­turer of tough, very well de­signed trail­ers geared to­wards the over­land mar­ket. OTG de­signs their trail­ers with 3D Au­toCAD and man­u­fac­tures them with a steel frame and cabin struc­ture, com­prised of four-inch laser cut C-chan­nel walls with R10 rigid foam sheeted on both sides with alu­minum. The en­tire trailer is made from mold- and mildew-re­sis­tant ma­te­ri­als and fea­tures an on­board wa­ter sys­tem. It also comes with a five-year war­ranty. If you want the most ameni­ties for your next ad­ven­ture check out its Pando and Ex­pe­di­tion trail­ers.

Tree­line Out­doors from Cal­gary, AB, of­fers the finest RTTs I’ve seen. I was ex­pect­ing the same kind of models I have seen time and time again. In­stead, I was blown away by their at­ten­tion to de­tail and in­no­va­tive ideas.

From the de­sign to the choice of qual­ity ma­te­ri­als, you can see they've done their re­search and as­sem­bled a fan­tas­tic, all-around pack­age that will stand up to the chal­lenges of overlandin­g while keep­ing you dry and com­fort­able.

Dog­house Trail­ers of Chilli­wack, BC, de­signs and builds an­other great over­land trailer. These trail­ers are de­signed for heav­ier of­froad­ing and are com­pact, light­weight and can be towed by al­most any­thing, in­clud­ing a two-door Jeep. They also have heavy-duty sus­pen­sions, sturdy constructi­on, am­ple stor­age and are avail­able with a se­ries of op­tions to cus­tom­ize it to spe­cific needs.

As in pre­vi­ous years, the event show­cased a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing var­i­ous trail rides or­ga­nized by The Four Wheel Drive As­so­ci­a­tion of BC and a va­ri­ety of train­ing ses­sions and sem­i­nars for all age groups. From nav­i­ga­tion, re­cov­ery and so­lar power to cook­ing and min­i­mal­ist overlandin­g, there was a topic pretty much for ev­ery­one. There were also a num­ber of spe­cialty sem­i­nars for kids in­clud­ing knot ty­ing, ukulele classes, and hands-on pho­tog­ra­phy.

This year proved to be an­other great suc­cess (de­spite the poor weather con­di­tions). Ray has as­sured me they have or­dered sun­shine for next year and I look for­ward to re­turn­ing to the 2020 BC Over­land Rally in Whistler Olympic Park.

The rally pro­vides the chance to be around peo­ple who share a pas­sion for overlandin­g.

Var­i­ous rigs were also on dis­play for all to ad­mire.

Even con­sis­tent damp weather at­tracted many to the sev­eral sem­i­nars.

The event at­tracted an im­pres­sive 58 ven­dors.

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