Exploring British Columbia with Hastings Overland

It has been a busy spring and summer here at The Adventure Blog, where I spent much of May and June on the road. During that time, I visited Mexico, Canada, Upstate New York, and Colorado.

Thankfully, I’ve been home for most of July and have continued to play catch-up with a backlog of gear reviews, travel stories, and other articles that are long over due. One of those is sharing some thoughts about my time in British Columbia, where I had the distinct honor of exploring that Canadian province with the help of an exciting and energetic travel company called Hastings Overland.

Founded back in 2017 my Max Webster and Cory Koesdibyo, Hastings Overland’s mission is to give travelers an opportunity to explore BC from the seat of a fully-equipped and outfitted Jeep Wrangler.

The company rents those vehicles for use on road trips, off-roading excursions, and overlanding adventures, giving visitors to Vancouver and British Columba at large, a chance to truly explore everything the region has to offer, including getting off the beaten path and into some utterly spectacular wilderness environments.

My 2019 Wrangler was modern and well-equipped straight from the factory, but the Hastings team added a few special medications that make it more overland-ready. For instance, the vehicle featured a rooftop tent, a custom-made tailgate kitchen, complete with a refrigerated cooler, and a built-in awning.

It was also updated with 33″ tires, a winch, and all of the gear you needed for a backcountry adventure, including a camp stove, cooking and dining supplies, a jerry can of extra fuel, camp chairs, and more. The Jeep even came with a Spot Satellite Messenger for reaching out to Hasting’s HQ in an emergency.

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Hasting’s isn’t just about renting out Jeep Wranglers and turning travelers loose on the BC highways however, as the company has so much more to offer than just that. Max and Cory work with their clients to help develop a road trip plan that will help them maximize their time in the region. Some travelers have never gone overlanding before, so they feel more comfortable sticking to more heavily trafficked roads and easily accessible campsite. On the other hand, experienced overlanders want to get as far off the beaten path as possible, wandering through remote wilderness regions along the way.

Whatever your goal is, Webster and Koesdibyo can help you create an itinerary that you can feel comfortable with and excited about. How closely you adhere to that plan once you’re out on the road is completely up to you. In my case, i followed their suggestions for several days before freelancing things a bit and taking a few alternate routes. In both cases however, I was treated to some spectacular scenery and stunning landscapes, filled with plenty of wildlife too.

British Columbia is a fantastic outdoor playground and the perfect setting for a company like Hastings Overland. Vancouver is a beautiful, eclectic, and metropolitan city, but you don’t have to wander too far outside of its confines to discover some truly wonderful campsites, jeep roads, and hiking trails to wander.

From pristine alpine lakes to lush mountain meadows to towering snowcapped peaks, you’ll find BC to be an enchanting place. It is also large, wild, and mostly untamed, which makes having a capable 4×4 vehicle a great way to get around. Besides, if you’re like me and prefer to see where those narrow, twisty, and intriguing side roads lead, having a Jeep Wrangler can certainly come in handy.

I spend a week traveling through parts of British Columbia, never getting more than a few hours drive from Vancouver. But in that time, I had a chance to take in a lot of unique areas thanks to my trust Hastings vehicle. After a day of driving and hiking, I’d usually pull into a secluded campsite, set up shop for the night, and enjoy a nice meal prepared using the kitchen and included twin-burner camp stove.

And when I was ready to call it a night, I’d climb up into the rooftop tent, snuggle into my sleeping bag, and snooze the night away. That tent was spacious and comfortable and served as my mobile apartment for the entire trip. It’s large enough to sleep three, so being by myself it felt like I was in the lap of luxury. And while it took a bit of practice getting it set up and taking it down, after a day or two of doing that it became just part of the routine and was easy enough to do even by myself.

Overlanding is adventure travel in its purest form, providing us with the opportunity to travel as fast and far as we’d like. If there is some remote place on the map that you want to find a way to visit, overlanding is great for that. Alternatively, you may find a destination that is outstanding in its own right and you find yourself oddly not wanting to leave.

Since you have complete control over your own itinerary, you can elect to stay longer if you like. Not every type of travel gives you this kind of flexibility and versatility, which is why overlanding is not only growing in popularity, it is a wonderful way to explore a destination. The go-at-your-own-pace style is very satisfying, as is the ability to get an on-the-ground look at a place, interacting closely with the locals. For me, that is some of the most rewarding travel of all, and Hastings has made that easy.

If you’re looking for a unique, independent, and immersive way to travel through British Columbia, than Hastings Overland needs to be on your short list of options. The company’s offerings have proven so popular that most of its Jeeps are completely rented out for the remainder of the summer and into the fall.

Still, you might get lucky and find some last-minute availability. Better yet, start planning ahead for future adventures and book your travel with Hastings now. You definitely won’t regret it and you’re likely to end one trip only to start thinking about when you can go back and do it all over again.

Find out more at HastingsOverland.com.

Kraig Becker