March 29, 2022
This 50 Watt radio is the highest-powered radio allowed by law.
We spoke to Chase Gardner, an overlander, about why he loves taking the MXT500 on the trails with him.
Gardner first became involved in overlanding after purchasing a Toyota 4Runner to tow his drifting car.
"I was initially really into drifting which is another kind of motorsport. I purchase a two-wheel-drive 4runner to tow it around and thought I would just try out this off-roading thing with it to see what it was all about. I quickly realized it was a ton of fun, and decided I should have picked up a four-wheel drive version instead.”
Shortly after, Gardner got into photography, sold his 4runner, and purchased a 2009 Lexus GX 470.
“I ultimately ended up quitting drifting, realizing that traveling, overlanding, and photography was more of what I wanted to do after drifting for 15 years.”
He chose this vehicle because it helps him to get to unique, remote locations for his astrophotography where he spends an extended period of time outdoors.
“I’ve got it set up so I can do some more aggressive trails. It’s built out pretty good.”
It's those trails that are part of why Gardner has come to love overlanding.
“A lot of people who do overlanding always say, ‘The journey is the destination.’ It’s not always that we are driving to a destination. The drive is the destination. Overlanding allows you to get to some very unique, hard to reach spots.”
His favorite area to overland is Utah and Northern Arizona.
“If you do your research it’s just kind of endless middle of nowhere, incredible view places that you can’t get anywhere else if you don’t do this type of stuff. The landscape of that general area is just really, unique. It’s almost Mars like. It provides for some really interesting photography.”
While Gardner enjoys new experiences and the locations overlanding takes him, the community is also something special to him.
“The people in this community are really, really good people. They’re incredible.”
Up next? Gardner hopes to head to Baja, Mexico to explore trails there.
“That’s been on my bucket list. It’s a big thing that I want to explore more. There’s over 1,000 miles of peninsula to go explore with beaches everywhere.”
With all his experience overlanding, Gardner knows communication is vital to enjoying the trails as safely as possible.
That is why he turns to Midland Radio.
“It’s really convenient using the high-powered radios like the MicroMobiles because if you get a little spread out, you’ll have communication if someone needs to fill up for gas or take a rest stop.”
With spotty cellphone service, Gardner knows radios are the only way to effectively communicate with others along the way.
“You don’t have to rely on a cellphone network. A lot of the time, the places we go are to get out of metropolitan areas in the middle of nowhere. There is generally really spotty cellphone service.”
“They’re kind of indispensable as you’re trying to navigate your way over some tough obstacles on some harder trails that require spotters. You can be in communication with the person in front of you with their radio. It changes the way you can operate.”
With a lack of cellphone service and dangerous obstacles, overlanders like Gardner rely on radios as a safety device.
“If someone is in trouble in the convoy they can quickly radio for help. If you’re programmed into repeaters, you can generally pretty much contact anybody and get emergency services if you had to.”
Garnder trusts Midland because of its reliable, sturdy, and powerful reputation in the overlanding community.
“A radio is something you rely on. I always say when it comes to safety gear, that’s not something you want to question when you’re utilizing it if you’re off on your own or in remote environments with crews. I’ve always associated Midland with being reliable.”
Gardner has recently taken Midland's new MXT500 with him on overlanding trips and the range is unlike any other radio.
“The MXT500 is like a powerhouse. It’s as powerful as you can get.”
He said the MXT500 brings even more clarity to radio communication.
“In terms of talking distance, your ability to stay in communication with the group you’re in is a gamechanger."
His favorite MXT500 features are the USB-C fast charing port and repeater capabilities.
“If you’re looking at a MicroMobile, the MXT500 is probably going to be the last radio you have to buy just due to it operating on the upper-end.”
Gardner said Midland's new MXT500 MicroMobile is the full package.
“The 500 is the top dog.”