September 02, 2021 3 min read

Your name: EJ P.
Location: Bay Area, CA
Rig nickname: Sammy Davis Jr.
Vehicle Make & Model: Toyota 4runner Limited
Year: 1997
HEST product:  Dually Long &HEST Pillow

Is this your daily driver or getaway car?
Both! Unfortunately (fortunately) this is my daily for now, but I am often on the road soaking up every ounce of free time that I have. I just started a new job which is about a 45 min commute each way, so eventually this will be my getaway camp/adventure rig!

What do you like most about your rig?
I love that it can take me anywhere! From OHV trails to quick beach trips, it is the perfect ride. My favorite thing is to cruise over to my local beach and catch the sunset with my pup Koji.

On your average weekend adventure, what is the gear set up you bring with you? How did you navigate gear storage needs into your rig set up?
As a former cook, I am always thinking about what to eat when I am planning trips. I typically bring my eureka two-burner stove with extra gas cans and a ton of oil & spices and a small cooler for steak and IPA. That’s honestly my balanced meal :) Prior to winning the giveaway, I was using cheap foam as a sleeper and it wasn’t always the best night sleep. For other camp/hike gear, I usually bring large storage containers; 1 for cooking gear and the other for camp gear and clothes. The pup also has his own camp gear tub that stores his food, toys, life jacket and cooling vest. Gotta make sure the little guy is always adventure ready!

Any cool custom details you’re proud of?
I used to take polaroid-type photos on my 4Runner trips with the pup and I have a set of photos labeled and taped my dash. I sometimes forget that it’s there until my mechanics say “wow, you travel a lot”.

Coolest place you’ve taken your rig to?
There are two. I was fortunate enough to swing by Crater Lake last year before the fires and smoke rolled through and it is easily at the top of the list. My second favorite is Fordyce Trail in the Tahoe National Forest. That was my first time running a trail with some technical routes and it was definitely one to remember!

Any projects in the pipeline to get your rig even more adventure ready?
I eventually want to build out a sleep/storage platform. The  HEST Dually is the perfect sleep platform for all the ideas I have and I am super motivated to get this project going!

Tips & tricks for other people wanting to sleep in their 4Runner?
I would definitely say having a solid sleeping pad (like Hest!!). I previously had some foam that wasn’t the most comfortable and I would have some awful sleeps. In general, having a decent down sleeping bag and comfy pillow and then at night cracking the windows a bit for circulation. If it’s the summer, I would recommend some kind of mesh that can cover the windows so you can keep the bugs out! I usually have my sleeping bag/blankets laid out on the road in case I need to take a quick rest break. Pro tip: bring your pup or steal a friends. Doggos make for the perfect snuggle buddy/heater combo.

Any advice/tips to share for camping with a dog?
I keep a separate bin for my dogs stuff because it gets so dirty. When it comes to food, I have a picky guy, so when we travel I bring canned food. It packs small and he is guaranteed to finish his food. I always carry a tick remover in case we have any issues out in the wild. At campsites, keep an eye out for pet rules and restrictions (leash requirements, no pets on trail, etc.). You don’t wanna be that person who ruins it for all! Finally, as always, leave no trace!

Your dream trip to take in your 4Runner & why?
My dream trip would be Seattle to Alaska. It just seems like it would be such an epic journey. Glacial lakes, so much wildlife and maybe even the Northern Lights! I’d also love to learn about Native heritage in Alaska.


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