Seattle, Washington, US
Tom Herzog was born to explore, whether it be a road trip along the coast or a backpacking trip into the mountains. Hailing from Seattle, WA, Tom grew up with access to a rainforest, desert, alpine wilderness areas, mountains, beaches, and a stretching coastline, and he wanted to experience it all. Taking his passion one step further, Tom set up Adventure Ready, Seattle’s home for uncommon adventure gear, to help others get amongst the adventure.
Tell us a bit about who Tom Herzog is?
I was born in Seattle, WA and have grown up with an extreme appreciation of nature and our unique environment in the Pacific Northwest. I am blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and I take every chance I can get to explore and experience my surroundings.
Can you talk us through an average day in the life of Tom Herzog?
I own a company called Adventure Ready – we outfit and build custom vehicles designed to allow others to safely and comfortably adventure into the backcountry. It’s a job I love and truly enjoy every day. It allows me to do what I love and help others do the same.
Have you always had a passion for Overlanding? How did you discover this passion?
For as long as I can remember I have loved exploring and experiencing new places. I seek out and cherish new adventures every single day.
Can you tell us about your favorite adventure?
I love the desert. It may be because I have grown up in the Northwest and the desert areas are different and exciting, but the stark and dramatic beauty of the desert has always drawn me in.
What are the three essentials that you take on every trip?
Every trip demands a different set of requirements, however, I never leave behind the three following items (aside from the basic survival necessities of food, water, and shelter):
1) Wine. Whether it be a fancy bottle or an easily and safely transported box, watching the sunset on a mountain ridge or on a desert plain is perfect with a glass of wine.
2) Podcasts or Audiobooks. I love music, but nothing helps me pass the time in the driver’s seat like a good story. Generally true crime or history, especially World War I.
“The fact that the UBCO 2×2 is so unique is what initially triggered my interest. There is nothing else like it out there. You’ll find a few electric dirt bikes and motorbikes here in the US, but the 2×2 has that utility factor, is 2-wheel drive and can now go on- and off-road, so it’s much more intriguing to me.“
How do you decide what adventures you’ll take on next?
I don’t really make solid travel plans. I only decide on a location I want to reach, when I want to be there by, and let the journey be the guide. If I have plans to meet friends or family or attend an event at a particular location, I plan a loose route and see where the road/trail takes me.
Tell us about your biggest adventure malfunction.
Three years ago I was traveling deep into the backcountry of northern Nevada and while traversing a river I followed a trail and approached an embankment at a 45-degree angle and felt a very steep and sudden drop. The steering wheel was stripped from my hands instantly and in three feet of rushing water I was moving forward downstream and could not steer my truck. The only choice was to try to get to the opposite side of the river as rapidly as possible to avoid rolling or being swept down the river. I floored the accelerator and closed my eyes. I reached the ground on the other side and made my way safely onto solid ground to find that I had completely broken the steering linkage and had to radio for help. Luckily someone answered and was able to rescue me.
What does overlanding mean to you?
Overlanding is about the ADVENTURE! The journey is the goal and exploring every side road and every off-shoot trail is the best part of any trip. You can never imagine the things you’ll see when you choose to adventure and not just travel.
Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?
I can’t think of any one person in particular. I am influenced by many people and things that I see but I did not grow up with many positive adult role models so I don’t know who I would consider a hero.
What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?
I aspire to leave professional responsibilities behind me and live close to and off of the natural environment. I want to leave the cities and building behind and travel and explore the world.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
Right now I am obsessed with Death Valley. It’s one of the most beautiful stark, dramatic, and desolate places I have ever seen. However fish live there. In streams that are 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a remarkable place.
Where is the one place in the world where you can’t wait to visit?
I am looking forward to exploring the Arctic and Yukon territories of Canada. This has been a long-time dream for me and I hope to do this in the next two years.
What do you do when you aren’t out exploring the US?
Working. These are the two things that I do: Work and explore. Oh, and I also like to sample craft breweries…
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting their overland adventure?
Just go out there and explore! But use an app or some kind of GPS device to record your tracks! It’s very easy to get lost but the easiest way to find your way back is tracking your travels with a good GPS device. It can save your life!