With summer comes the call of the wild—particularly in British Columbia, where seemingly endless acres of scenic outback entice would-be campers. Yet the logistics of camping can be prohibitive; few urbanites have a four-wheel vehicle, let alone all the requisite gear one needs at the ready for weekend getaways. Hastings Overland, a rental service launched by Vancouverite Maxwell Webster, aims to simplify the camping experience by offering Jeep Wranglers stocked with everything from a rooftop tent, to cookery, chairs, kindling, water, hammocks, and insurance—so adventurers can skip right to the fun part of exploring the outdoors, without worrying about being unprepared.
“We’re trying to create an avenue for people to access the outdoors… to allow people who may otherwise not go out to explore what B.C. has to offer,” explains Webster. “People may rent RVs but they still can’t go to a lot of the places they want to.” Indeed, some of the most beautiful locations Hastings Overlands suggest clients take—spots along the west coast of Vancouver Island, north of Pemberton, and even into Washington and Oregon (the Jeeps can be driven into the United States)—cannot be accessed with anything less than an overlander vehicle.
The company can currently provide for groups of two to four (though notes that four’s a bit of a squeeze). For a particularly carefree experience, groups may request some add-ons: “We can supply a guide to accompany you and stay in their own tent, and meals for a fully chauffeured overlanding trip,” says Webster. You can even set off into the wild with a pre-stocked cooler of your favourite local beer.
By minimizing the “roughing it” factor and providing the convenience of a pick-up-and-go model, Webster hopes Hastings Overland will help more people discover the West Coast wilderness. It’s certainly a tempting thought: book 24-hours in advance and just like that, you could be out of the city, roasting marshmallows under the stars.
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