September 24, 2021
We caught up with Joey Anderson about the family's efforts to educate others in the off-roading and overlanding industry.
Joey, his wife Robyn, daughter Jetta, son Bodie, and dog Luna are originally from the Big Bear Lake area in California. Two years ago they moved to Mojave Valley, Arizona.
“We were just kind of sick of the day to day 9 to 5 thing so we decided to start outfitting our rigs and we got a roof top tent and started hitting the trails.”
The family spends about 150-200 nights a year camping and guiding other overlanders. They give free guided tours and trips all over California and the Western United States. Those trips include a tour starting in southern California to Colorado. 90% of that trip is off-road.
“We just like getting out there with like-minded people and people newer to the industry to help guide them and achieve their goals. We want to help them figure out how to get off-road- do it right and safely," Joey said.
Anderson says this favorite part of camping and overlanding is disconnecting from the craziness of everyday life.
“Getting away from the day to day junk that you get so sucked into. You can get your mind clear and just get out and enjoy the outdoors. There’s nothing like sitting out by a campfire at night with the sunset and clearing your head of the normal day to day stresses.”
He's hoping to pass down that love for adventure to his children.
“It means a lot to me because I get to spend that time with my family, more than most people. Especially with my kids, giving them something tangible to see, to feel, to touch, and experience instead of sitting in front of a device.”
Anderson says the family could spend about two to three weeks outdoors before needing to head back to some sort of civilization, full of life lessons for the kids.
“Being able to gather the items we need to survive weeks on end with…I think it’s important for them to have those skills to get out of a sticky situation whether it’s their vehicle, out camping, or hiking, basic survival skills.”
The life lessons go beyond survival skills, but also developing regard for the outdoors.
“I want to teach them to respect nature, clean up after themselves, teach them responsibility, and work ethic- all those things that come with it.”
The Andersons recently started their own podcast in hopes of spreading knowledge to others with interest in the outdoors.
“It’s something to be able to interact with friends and others in the industry; to talk about products that we believe in.”
However, the podcast is far from advertisements for their favorite companies.
“The layout of the podcast is trail stories, interviews with friends and companies, camping locations- our favorite ones, and camping tricks and tips.”
On their podcast, the Andersons have talked about the importance of clear and reliable communication while outdoors.
“We go to a lot of places out there where you may or may not have cell service. You need to communicate to stay with your group."
Joey works full-time as a firefighter. He knows firsthand how communication and safety go hand in hand.
“The number one killer and danger to firefighters is lack of communication. I’ve carried that over to life and it’s so important to know where everyone is.”
His 11-year-old daughter now uses radios as she starts to become more independent while exploring on the trails.
“Having the ability to give those radios to my kids or family members when we’re out hiking, it’s imperative to maintain communication to make sure everyone is alright.”
Anderson says the handheld two-way radios are impressively durable.
“You need something reliable. Midland products- I’ve put those through the paces. We’re able to maintain communication. They’re bulletproof.”
He also cites the ease of use as to why he sticks with Midland when it comes to his two-way radios.
“They’re so easy to use. Our 11 year old daughter and up to grown men, it’s just versatile. Everyone can use them. They just work. It’s a nice little confident product we can bring out there.”
But above all, he trusts that Midland Radio products will always keep him and his family safe on their next adventure.
“It’s super impressive when a company says this is what their product does and it does it. Every time we use the Midland products, it brings a great sense of dependability.”
The Andersons have traveled off-road all over the western United States. However, for Joey, there's no place like Colorado.
“There’s nothing like Telluride, Ouray, Silverton. It’s just unbelievable. It has an unlimited amount of places to explore. It’s just a beautiful place to spend time.”
He said as far as mountainous places in the United States, you can't beat the views and trails of The Centennial State.