This year it seemed as though we were at an event every month. From King of the Hammers to Overland Expo Mountain West, Tread was there covering the action for our YouTube channel and for Motortopia.
Our event schedule for 2023 kicked off with off-road racing at King of the Hammers. One of our favorite events of the year, KOH provides over two weeks worth of racing action, with the most happening in an action packed 10 days. This year we got to root on some friends who were racing for Rusty Nail Racing in the Every Man’s Challenge on Friday before we caught the big race on Saturday.
If you’re looking to gain overland travel knowledge, the Overland Expo series is a great place to spend a long weekend. With the biggest show in Flagstaff in May, Overland Expo has expanded to 4 events a year and each brings its own flavor to the mix. Always action packed with vendor booths, classes, driving demos, roundtable discussions, and evening entertainment, Overland Expo does not disappoint and is worth checking out.
This year we attended two Jeep focused events, Easter Jeep Safari in Moab and Jeep Beach in Daytona, Florida. Both a week long, these events are great for those looking to be surrounded by likeminded Jeep owners. Easter Jeep Safari allows attendees to go out on group trail rides, and there is a vendor show at the end of the week. Jeep Beach runs the span of the Daytona Speedway with lots of booths and entertainment. Booths even spill out on to the beach where vendors and companies keep the entertainment going with games and fun activities for attendees. A great spot to work on your tan, take in some sea air, and show off your unique Jeep build.
Each event brings a unique experience and we’ve been excited to share it with you. If you know of an event worth checking out in 2024, let us know.
We had a blast at King of the Hammers this year. Sponsored by big names like Nitto Tire and WARN, the event kicked off our year in the dusty, rocky playground of Johnson Valley, CA. When we weren’t spectating some insane rock crawling and high-speed desert runs like the Ultra4, we hung out in Hammertown checking out the latest gear from some of our favorite brands, where we passed the mic to Sir William Goes, who captured some incredible moments.
In May, overlanders from all over the world converge in Flagstaff, AZ, for Overland Expo West. The year’s first big event in the Overland Expo series and arguably the biggest overlanding event of the year, it brought out 30,000+ attendees, officially the largest in its history. By the numbers, there were 417 registered exhibitors, 136 presenters, trainers, and VIPs, 448+ classes, seminars, demos, and activities, with over 509 instructional hours, not to mention the crazy amount of new product releases.
You might recognize some of the vehicles we spotted at Overland Expo PNW in this issue (and previous issues) of Tread. The Boreal Forest provided a stunning backdrop for a weekend of camping, vehicle demos, product debuts, and more. With so many PNW-based enthusiasts and brands showing out and Braxton Klavins behind the camera for Tread, we got the chance to catch up with good friends to explore the most innovative products and coolest new builds from around the Pacific Northwest.
It’s the biggest Jeep party of the year, every year. The variety of Jeeps that we witnessed at Jeep Beach 2023 as Andrew Rivera took us around Daytona Beach, FL was truly amazing. Sponsors like TeraFlex and Bestop set up a series of obstacle courses that challenged every kind of Jeep, from Rubicon to Willys to Laredo. It’s a full week of East Coast Jeep enthusiasts enjoying sun, surf, the new Jeep 4xe, new products, and all the custom Jeeps you could possibly dream of.
New Jeeps, old Jeeps, red Jeeps, blue Jeeps… and an Isuzu and a Bronco, too. Everybody jumps in on the fun at EJS in Moab, where we hung out with Enoch and Delia from MoLeisure Xventures on the trail ride, at the expo, and get the lowdown on a bunch of new concept vehicles from Jeep, including the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure, Rubicon Sideburn, pictured below, and lots more, like the Scrambler 392, all-electric Magneto 3.0, and retro electric 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article appeared in TREAD Nov/Dec 2023.
Expert 4WDer and Adventurer Mercedes Lilienthal proves, if it was ever needed, that one can not only travel in an EV, but it can be lots of fun too. Plus what the perfect EV-4×4 looks like. Read her full story here: treadmagazine