Jimmy / IG: @jimmyspeeks_

How did you meet/connect with OC Overland?

    One day around January of 2017 a buddy of mine sent me a picture of a self-sustaining 4wheel drive adventure vehicle.  Being the avid camper and hiker I am I decided that I needed one of them and you can say that was the day I discovered overlanding.  I dug deep into youtube and started following a lot of off-road and overland accounts on instagram.  After a few months a 2006 gx470 pretty much fell into my lap.  I had a lot of plans and places I wanted to go.  I discovered a group of friends were into camping and wheeling as well so I hooked up with them and started hitting trails.  One day on IG I come across this video posted by an account called @oc_overland.  The opening shot was a line of rigs rolling over the camera capturing a barrage of undercarriage shots and cut to a flurry of drone footage backed by the soundtrack of a funky hip hop beat.  At that moment I thought to myself, "Damn I need to f*ck with these guys right here!"  They're in Orange County and I'm in San Gabriel Valley so they weren't too far away.  I decided I needed to head out to one of their events.  After missing one of their posts for a camping trip because months earlier for whatever idiotic reason IG decided to no longer fill your feed chronologically, I turned on their post notifications.  

    My buddies and I wanted to hit a different trail and I remembered that OCO is always at Holy Jim so I slid in OCO's DM and asked if they had directions.  I didn't really expect a response but to my surprise within 5 minutes I get a message back, "I got you hold on."  A minute later I get the coordinates followed by back and forth dialogue with info of the trail, different parts of holy jim to hit, and what parts to stay away from since one buddy has 2WD and aside from tires I'm basically stock.  It really blew my mind how helpful and personable the person on the other end of this thread was.

   Flash forward a few weeks I finally make it out to their meet and greet at Gunwhales Brewery in Costa Mesa, Ca and I'm finally able to put some IG names to the faces.  There I finally  meet Casey the man I've been corresponding with over the past month or so.  Also James aka @bountyrunr the guy that made the very video that drew me in in the first place.  After conversing with them for a moment I remember thinking to myself how chill and down to earth these guys are.  I knew that I needed to get out on the trails with this group and being a newbie I knew I could learn a lot from them.  My first trip with OCO was a few weeks after that.  We headed with a small group of about 10 or so rigs to White Mountain in Big Bear led by Aaron aka @4rtep.  Aaron gathered everyone together since others were on the trail with OCO for the first time and went over a few points to keep safe on the trail. I knew we were in good hands.  That night over food and drinks by the fire we got into conversation about Casey and the origins of OC Overland.  Hearing how passionately they spoke of Casey, OC Overland, and his vision for OCO I knew that I wanted to be a part of this.  That night they gave me an OC Overland decal and I honestly felt like I got signed by Rocafella and it was chaining day!  From that day on I was all in!

What do you feel/think about OC Overland? 

    OC Overland puts together amazing camping trips bringing together people from all walks of life.  Aside from my first trip to Big Bear every other trip had to be capped off at 40 rigs so you definitely have to pay attention to posts and RSVP asap if you don't want to miss out.  OCO also provides at least lunch and dinner for all of camp and to top it all off theres no charge.  I'm not talking about pb&j and hot dogs here.  I'm talking pork sous vide fried rice, pho, pulled pork sliders, spam musubis, cajun spaghetti, homemade chili; longanisa and egg breakfast sandwiches, bacon, Argentinian steak and sausage.  Lets just say most of us eat better on the trail than we do at home.  

What sets OC Overland apart from other groups?

   Casey's vision for OC Overland is beyond camping, adventuring, exploring and having fun.  OC Overland has put together a trail cleanup at Holy Jim, helped raise over $5,000 for hurricane relief, feed over 250 men, women, and children at OC Rescue mission and there will be many more events coming up as we figure out and coordinate more ways to give back.  OC Overland is not just a community but a family.  There is no membership and in turn no membership fee like other groups.  No one person is better than another.  All ego is checked at the door.  Who ever you are, where ever you're from whatever you drive, if you can make it then lets roll out.  You come out and join us, trail with us, break bread with us, support at events you are OC Overland.  I've made the joke before but it's true that OC Overland is like Olive Garden, when you're here, you're family!  From just a few short months of being an outsider looking in to being closer to some of my OC Overland peeps than I am to some of my childhood friends and family.  I'm glad and honored to be a part of this family and community called OC Overland.  OC Overland is based in Orange County with roots in cities everywhere!  I'm an example of one of those roots.  I'm excited to see what the future has in store for OCO!