Every month we feature one of our members, using the 21 Questions format. If you'd like to be featured in one of our member spotlights, please get in touch with us! This month's member spotlight features Daniel Purdy. You've probably seen Daniel out on a number of adventures with the OTG crew, and for good reason, he's great company, and solid with a wrench if you ever find yourself broken down!
What’s your name, what do you do for a living (if you’d like to share) and where are you located? Daniel from Livermore, CA. I'm an IT support engineer.
What’s your off road/overlanding rig (feel free to share mods)? Is it your daily driver? 2014 Toyota Tundra. Pretty much fully built with kickass suspension (haha), skids, bumper, and sliders. It was the daily driver till August of last year.
What are some things you like about your rig? What is something you wish you could change? Overall I love the Tundra. Pretty overbuilt from the factory component wise. Not much I would change. The one change I would be to swap in the 4.5 liter turbo diesel from the Land Cruiser 200 series from other countries.
We heard you have a favorite fur covered companion that goes out with you on all your adventures. Can you tell us a bit more about Luna and how she started overlanding? Luna is an amazing GSD travel buddy. She turned 2 last month (March 2023). She’s been going out on trips with me since she was 14 weeks old. Luna’s first trip was to Leavitt Lake where she discovered snow and played in a half frozen lake and could care less it was half frozen.
If you had to trade in your rig, what would you get and why? Land Cruiser 80 series for the solid front axle and triple locked.
How long have you been off roading/overlanding? Since 2018.
What do you consider your “local” national forest or trail system?
Stanislaus National Forest near Calaveras (Sourgrass Coral Hllow trails), Tahoe NF (Sawmill Lake), Leavitt Lake (a hidden camping spot that's not on the lake).
Tell us about your last Oh $h!t moment on the trail. I got my first war wound (dent) from part of the Rubicon Trail to Buck Lake. I made it up with no issues the back way and camped at the bottom of the lake. After coming back down the truck was straddling rocks on both sides, a rock moved and jammed between my tire and rock sliders. It ended up denting my fender to where I could no longer open the door. I’ve seen lots of other crazy stuff out on the trail from an impatient Jeeper high centered (had to winch the rig), RTT’s wanting to stay on the trail, and even a person driving off the side of a cliff on Peligreen Jeepway from going too fast.
What’s the weirdest thing you encountered while out on the trail? The first time I went to Saline Valley warm springs in Death Valley I had no idea about the scene there-- I was definitely caught off guard by all the nudity! But now it's one of my favorite places to visit in the park, but I prefer to keep my swim trucks on!
Ham, CB or GMRS? Why?
Icom Ham with GMRS Mod. Best of both worlds.
Jeep or Toyota? Why? Toyota, but I envy the diesel option on the Jeep.
What’s your favorite piece of overland or outdoor gear and why? My rooftop tent for the comfort or my Blackstone Griddle for the ease of use and no pans needed to carry.
Complete the sentence: Land Cruisers are… Bad Ass!
Who is the person that you look up most to in the overlanding/off roading community and why? Expedition Overland for some awesome longer trips and appreciate the production of the videos. TrailRecon for more SoCal trail stuff. Dirt Lifestyle for some epic DIY builds.
What’s the last thing you broke something out on the trail (gear or vehicle)? Tell us about how that happened. Made the mistake of buying cheap wheels. Two of my wheels bent in Death Valley while stretching out the suspension and ruined the tire bead on one of the tires. Luckily, I brought 2 spare tires (and I always carry 2 since then!).
What’s the most memorable overlanding trip you’ve been on? I can’t name just one. Death Valley for Eureka Dunes and all of the jet flybys. Being able to catch a low flyby on video (thanks Ben for calling out incoming over the radio) and feeling that rumble was incredible. Shasta-Trinity NF with light snow falling was amazing too. Incredible views!
What’s your go to meal while out on the trail? A burger over the BBQ or campfire.
Where’s your favorite place to explore in California? Can’t just name one favorite place. Depends on the time of the year. It’s one of the best parts of California. You don’t really have an off season.
Let’s talk bucket lists. What is your ultimate bucket list overlanding trip/experience? Exploring Baja and Oregon.
Tell us a fun fact or two about yourself! I’m a Padi certified scuba diver. Where can people follow you on social media?
IG @dpudy85 Youtube @DansOverlanding