August 03, 2023 3 min read

Your name: Jake Burchmore
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Rig nickname: Sooby Snack
Vehicle Make & Model: Subaru Outback
Year: 2013
HEST product: HEST Sleep System & HEST Pillow

Critical dimensions for your bed platform:
Length: 72 inches
Width (at narrowest point): 43 inches
Height: 6.1 inches

Is this your daily driver or getaway car?

The Sooby Snack is my only vehicle so I would say it's both my daily driver and getaway car.

What do you like most about your Subaru Outback camper?

I like the simplicity of my rig because there aren’t many moving parts to deal with. The platform I built is very basic and functional. I implemented three hinges for the plywood bed platform to fold into the back of my Subaru Outback, which allows me to lift the back seats up if I need to carry extra passengers. Additionally, the bike rack and cargo carrier on top of my car provides more space to store extra gear.

On your average weekend adventure, what is the gear set up you bring with you?

It depends on the season. On an average spring/summer weekend adventure, I would bring my biking, climbing gear, and maybe my ski gear if there is an objective worth chasing. Also, I always include car camping/backpacking gear just in case I need to pull over for the night or want to get out into more remote areas in the wild. I carry most of my camping gear in an action packer that fits snug next to my HEST pad. I also have a penny board in the cargo carrier if I ever want to skate around the streets.

How did you navigate gear storage needs into your Subaru Outback camp setup?

I would say this is still a work in progress; however, I built the rig in a way that could store all of my tripods, gimbal, drone, and other camera accessories underneath the bed frame. All else can be stored upstairs in the cargo carrier box.

Any cool custom details in the Subaru Outback that you are proud of?


This is also still a work in progress; however, I think the custom cut behind the driver's seat is a nice addition because it helps with storing any additional gear or miscellaneous things. I also plan on adding more custom details such as a table station that can roll out from underneath the bed frame and will provide a space to set my stove and eat meals if there aren’t any tables where I camp. This will be a valuable addition and I am excited to see how much room I will have underneath the bed frame after the fact.


Coolest place you have camped with your Subaru Outback?

So far, I took a solo trip from Bozeman, MT down to Colorado to test it’s durability and see my family and friends. In mid-March I fractured my tibial plateau skiing at Bridger Bowl, which set me back a bit. I was on crutches for 5 weeks and did not need any surgery. Thus, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and called up one of my friends Connor Overly, who is a carpenter in Bozeman. He coincidentally tore his MCL at the same time. At least he could walk around better than I, so he agreed to help with the build process while I orchestrated the design process, purchased the materials and filmed the development. This trip to Colorado and back was technically its “maiden voyage”, although I plan on getting the rig and my body more adventure ready for this summer. I spent three nights in the rig during this trip, mostly on the drive back. Specifically, I stopped at the Flaming Gorge reservoir in Utah where I parked the rig on the beach and did not see any other humans that night which was somewhat eerie but nice at the same time.

Any projects in the pipeline to get your Subaru Outback even more adventure ready?

I plan on taking it up to Glacier National Park and down to Bears Ears National Monument in the near future, which should be much cooler adventures where I plan on hiking/car camping, biking, and climbing. In Bears Ears, I will be meeting up with Luke Mehall (climber and publisher of The Climbing Zine) to film a project that combines poetry/motion and brings awareness to the issues surrounding the area.