An Epic Overland Expedition in Western Canada

At Coastal Offroad, we understand the importance of off road expedition style driving to our customers' lives. It's hard to beat the memories of exploring incredible locations with great people. We love hearing about the adventures that our customers are able to experience with our products and wanted to share some of our favourites with you. To start, we’ll give you a glimpse of Samson Tan and his trip across Canada in 2020. Their Toyota FJ Cruiser equipped with a Coastal Offroad high-clearance bumper took them to some truly breathtaking spots that he masterfully captured in the video below. Be sure to give it a watch, as the cinematography is truly next level!

Samson’s Expedition

In the final attempt to make something of 2020, I set off with two friends from Toronto to do an overland expedition of Western Canada. Unlike typical trips, there was still a pandemic going on, so we didn’t spend any time in provincial / national parks. Rather, we elected to explore the vast network of forest service roads / logging roads where we were mostly by ourselves. Not only was this the safest option for travel during a pandemic, but we got the chance to discover some hidden gems as well. The goal was simple – stay safe, explore the beautiful nature of Western Canada, and capture the experience in a short cinematic film. What we found in the end was mind-blowing: 

The expedition vehicle

For this expedition, we were only using one vehicle, my 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser, so it was especially important to make sure that the vehicle was fully and properly equipped to be able to navigate the off-road conditions. On solo vehicle expeditions like this, it pays to be over prepared.

Coastal Offroad Epic Overland Expedition

Vehicle Upgrades / Recovery Gear

The vehicle upgrades were modest, but enough to handle the job:
• A Bilsten 5100 kit and OME front and rear springs
• a Coastal Offroad High Clearance Front Bumper
• Upgraded roof rack with a hard shell rooftop tent
• Flood lights
• Aluminum skid plate armour
• ARB side awning

For recovery gear, we wanted to be prepared, but also light and efficient. Therefore, we narrowed it down to the following:

• Wrenches, socket set, breaker bar
• Factory Bottle Jack
• Coast Offroad Front Bumper fitted with a 10,000 lb winch
• Skid plate armour
• Maxtraxx
• Recovery Gear Bag (Snatch Block, Trunk Saver, Kinetic Strap, Tow Strap, Shackles)
• Air compressor
• Tire Repair Kit
• Car Battery Booster

Coastal Offroad Epic Overland Expedition

The Journey

The initial haul from Toronto to Vancouver Island was a test of endurance. We averaged about 12 hours of driving each day to make it there in 4 days for a total of 48 hours on the road. In this time, we covered over 4,500 kms / 2,800 miles. Needless to say, we were quite toast after that 4-day stretch. 

We needed to make a quick stop on Vancouver Island when we got there, and after a few days of rest and recovery, we took the ferry back onto the mainland where the real adventure began. We started at Harrison Lake (just northeast of Chilliwack) and headed into the trails. On the west side of British Columbia, there was a constant mist of light rain while we were there, but we were well prepared for the conditions to stay dry and warm during camp. We made a quick stop at the hot springs, and proceeded out to Nahatlatch Fire Lookout, where we got to see some breathtaking views of the mountains and the valley.

Coastal Offroad Epic Overland Expedition

From there, we headed east to Spillimacheen where we entered into the trails again and found ourselves deep into the mountains. This was on the east side of British Columbia, and the climate was the opposite of what we experienced on the west side – it was much drier and most of the days were clear and sunny. We were extremely lucky to get the weather that we did, otherwise, shooting any scenic footage would have been next to impossible! 

Coastal Offroad Epic Overland Expedition

What we Found

I could spend hours writing about the mind-blowing experience of this expedition, but it is best explained through the short cinematic film that I was shooting all throughout. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and check out the linked video above. There will also be a vlog coming shortly on my YouTube to show the rest of the amazing footage that didn’t make it into the cinematic film. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to my channel on “YouTube/wokenstoked” and give me a follow on Instagram “@fj_iceberg “, same thing with the embedding the link into the word here) to stay up to date with all the exciting adventures and builds to come! In the end, the FJ was able to tackle all the obstacles that this expedition threw at it. The high clearance bumper from Coastal Offroad was especially helpful in the narrow, winding, and unpredictable terrain of the mountains. Overall, I’m really happy with the FJ’s setup, and even happier that it was able to hold its own on a solo vehicle expedition. What we found in the end was absolutely incredible, and it made the long hours on the road worth it. Although it was sad to say goodbye, one thing is for certain – we’ll be back to explore some more of these hidden gems very soon.

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