How One Father Prepares to Take His Kids on an Overland Adventure

His name is Ken Hoglund, a family man from Utah.

He loves to go overland camping in his 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road. We knew he was serious about doing the over-land thing when we asked him about his rig:

“I purposely built my truck for taking the kids camping in the more remote parts of Utah. Here’s my build list…”

Rack and Accessories

  1. PrinSu Design Studio CabRac
  2. Leitner Designs Forged Active Cargo System
  3. Leitner Designs Gear Pod XL
  4. MAXTRAX Recovery Device

Body – Armor

  1. CBI Offroad MOAB 2.0 Front Bumper
  2. CBI Offroad Bushmaster 2.0 Rear Bumper with Dual Swing Outs
  3. CBI Offroad Rock Sliders
  4. CBI Offroad Overland Front and Rear Skid Plates
  5. RCI Offroad Rear Diff Skid Plate

Lighting

  1. Heretic Studio Clear 40" Light Bar (mounted to PrinSu Roof Rack)
  2. Heretic Studio Clear Ditch Lights
  3. Heretic Studio Amber Fog Lights
  4. Heretic Studio Clear 20" Light Bar (mounted to CBI Offroad Front Bumper)
  5. Heretic Studio Clear 4" Light Bar (mounted to the sides of the PrinSu Roof Rack)
  6. Rigid SR-M Flush Mount Flood Lights (backup lights)
  7. Spyder Halo Projector Lights
  8. PIAA H9 Platinum LED Bulb Kit

Suspension – Tires

  1. Old Man Emu BP-51 Suspension Kit - Dakar Leafs
  2. Old Man Emu BP Dakar AAL
  3. Archive Garage Shackle Hangers with Cross Tube
  4. Timbren Industries Rear Active Off-Road Bumpstops
  5. Timbren Industries Front Bump Stops
  6. Falken Wildpeak LT285/70R17 M/T Load C Tires
  7. 4WheelParts T-Series 17" Wheels
  8. Stoptech 6 Piston Front Big Brake Kit with Red Calipers
  9. Nitro 4.56 Gears
  10. ARB Front Air Lockers

Accessories

  1. Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch
  2. (2) Waivan Steel Jerry Can
  3. (2) 95L ROAM Adventure Co Storage Boxes
  4. ARB Dual Compressor
  5. Expedition Essentials Bedside Compressor Mount
  6. Tacovinyl Color Match Grill with Amber Raptor Lights
  7. sPOD Universal
  8. CVT Hybrid Mt. Rainer Roof Top Tent
  9. Volant Cold Air Intake
  10. Safari Snorkel
  11. Snorkel Upgrade Prefilter
  12. DECKED Drawer System
  13. Long Range Automotive 31 Gallon Gas Tank
  14. Dometic CFX 75DZW Special Edition
  15. Alu-cab XL Fridge Slide
  16. Oil Catch Can

Alright. That’s a fairly serious investment. We asked him how his obvious passion for off-roading got started. Here’s what he told us:

“Initially, I didn’t want a truck for overlanding. I simply needed a capable vehicle I could use to explore Utah. But after realizing I really didn’t want to sleep on the ground or in the bed of my truck, my interest in overland camping began to grow. So I went out and bought myself a roof top tent. After that, everything else just kinda fell into place.”

According to Ken, he was able to avoid the usual pitfalls of an overland rookie. His approach to careful planning and goal setting seems to have made all the difference. (We think taking his kids along may have been a factor in adopting a careful-and-slow philosophy.)

Be that as it may, Ken says it best: “Go prepared. Take your time on the trails. There’s no rush. And if the trail feels unsafe, get out and walk.”

He also filled us in on what a great trip looks like:

“A good trip differs in my family. I like driving all day long, enjoying the scenery and watching for wildlife. A good trip for my kids, however, is stopping along the way, smelling the flowers, throwing rocks in the water and going for hikes. As you would expect, they love camping… and a campfire is always requested.

“One of our best trips by far was driving to Alaska in 2019. A close second would be my trip in July driving 650 miles of the original pony express trail from Salt Lake City to Lake Tahoe. I’m currently planning a return trip to Alaska sometime next year.”

Ken is a Timbren customer, so we asked him to tell us when he made the switch to Active Off-Road Bumpstops:

“I’ve had the Active Off-Road Bumpstops for about 3 years and I’ve been really happy with them. There was a time when adding a lot of weight made my rear end sag. If it wasn’t for the Active Off-Road Bumpstops, the ride would have been miserable. I found the factory bump stops were harsh and unforgiving when the vehicle bottomed out. Active Off-Road Bumpstops absorb the shock and create a much smoother ride.”

For more info on Ken Hoglund, you can find him on Instagram @hoglundoverland, or by finding him on YouTube at Hoglund Overland.