The deserts of New Mexico

This past weekend me and the wife wanted to check out some new parts of New Mexico west of Albuquerque. So we headed out Saturday for a night in the desert.

We made out way through two track roads passed New Mexico ranches that no longer had inhabitants, just the lasting mark of there history.

We made camp 63 miles from the nearest highway, in some high cliffs surrounded by big rocks. Searching around the rocks we found numerous rock shelters that could of been from  Indians or a lone cowboy trying to get away.

After walking around we made our way to a abandoned rock house.

We encountered a few rattlesnakes to add to our dinner.

Fun fact rattlesnakes are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures.




NAME : Nicolas Villescas

PERSONAL : Since I was born I always felt a calling for the outdoors. After reading books of the great men that blazed the trails of the west i felt a connection with the Mountain Men like Lewis and Clark, Jedediah Smith, Theodore Roosevelt and The Rough Riders or even Butch Cassidy and The Wild Bunch robbing a train , they all were seeking adventure and I wanted a peace of that. Throughout my life I always had some sort of crazy off-road vehicle to get me away from civilization so I can feel the fresh mountain air on my face with new eyes everytime I go out. I was always in the mountains with my father when I was a young boy either looking for old relics left over from the past, trout fishing on some remote stream or looking for that great camping spot that you can’t resist coming back to…

So right before the pandemic hit I purchased this Toyota pickup to do a Overland build to travel in very remote locations (I couldn’t stay home lol) I needed to get out and explore. So after hundreds of hours spent under the hood/truck and Fabing up everything my self, we also encountered some trial and errors on gear that we had to fix before we set off . Our adventures took us through numerous states with some amazing off grid camping , some epic flyfishing and those memories that we made will always be cemented in me . 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

VEHICLE: 1993 Toyota Pickup 

IN CAB: Custom rear floor plastic welded deck for dogs, Inreach with dash mount, HAM radio with dash mount, PA/siren, 15 watt solar panel trickle charging engine battery .

BUMPERS: Front- ARB front bumper, 10,000 lbs Warn winch with Warn remote control, Aussie 9in LED lights, ARB compressor.

Rear- Custom rear bumper with full size spare tire, Krazy Beaver shovel mount, axe mount , high lift mount, pelican case / shower, Sak-it trash bag .

DRIVETRAIN: refurbished 3.0 V6, Toyota helix snorkel modified for stock air box, 160 amp high output alternator, Manual transmission with heavy duty clutch.

SUSPENSION: Front – 83 Toyota pickup front differential with 4:10 gears, Trail gear 3in SAS kit with frame reinforcement/ Trail gear heavy duty springs , Custom splined driveshaft I made, Fj80 third member, custom HUB LED lights that turn with the vehicle.

Rear – Stock 93 rear differential with 4:10 gears, ARB old man emu springs, ARB shackles, ZUK mod for the extra weight of the overlandy gear, braided brake line.

CAMPING UNIT: 23ZERO 62 walkabout soft shell tent, 23ZERO winter insert, HARDKORR amber/white flexible LED light for inside the tent, HARDKORR amber/white LED light outside the tent, custom-made stainless steel tent rack, Rotopaxs gas/water/diesel, custom diesel heater, ARB 47zero fridge, custom-made stainless steel fishing rod holder, Expedition Essentials 5lbs propane holder, custom heated shower unit.

POWER: 2 Renogy lithium 100ah batteries, one Renogy 100 watt solar panel fixed with custom stainless steel mount on isolators, one 200 watt Renogy suitcase solar panel, custom waterproof control box. This set will power the heater/fridge/lights all night long. 

EXTRAS: Adventure Trailer Chaser with one 100ah AGM battery, 23ZERO 72 soft tent , Rhino rack batwing , matching set of rims, air bag suspension, Maxtraxs with mount on trailer. 




5 Things an Overlander Needs to Know: Getting Started

We all know how WILD this last year has been… With a worldwide pandemic, the constant chaos of life, and ever-evolving society,this year presented in own challenges in just figuring out how the heck to spend your free time – and not go crazy trapped inside some four-walled building. For my wife and I, Overlanding was the escape we never knew we needed until it found us – and thanks to the turbulence of 2020 we got pretty good at being “overlandy” pretty quick.

I have family that’s spent years out “Overlanding” and when the pandemic hit it was the perfect opportunity for me to really find out what the scene was all about. I spent countless hours learning about WHAT my ‘Overlanding Rig’ would need, and planning how I could assemble it. Being a fabricator I was able to watch those dreams come true – from inside of my own garage. Once I had the vehicle, we started making trips and learning all about the Overlanding lifestyle and would you would and would not need to be successful.

The last year of being able to get out and explore new places, enjoy new views, breathe fresh air, remember what LIFE is about has been liberating and wonderful but it would have been even better had we known these things before we started! –

  1. Planning a Route – this is THE MOST important part of the trip. Without a destination, and idea of how to get there – you don’t have any trip planned at all! For us, it was about discovering all the options. I tried out all different apps and maps to find what combo would be best for us. We landed on a couple of different apps to use, that all help provide us different recon info.
    GAIA App = trip tracking & milage detail/weather conditions
    OnX Offoad App = land details (what’s private and what isn’t), Gates along the trail that are locked and you will need to consider.
  2. Where are you sleeping – Good quality tent – (preferably one off of the ground) I did alot of research and wanted a hard shell RTT “like the falcon roofnest” but it would not fit inside my garage…so I went with a 23zero 62 walkabout soft shell and man I couldn’t be happier. The tent fits my wife and two dogs easily. The quality of the fabric is super durable and thick. The accessory list for these tents are great ! Boot bags /winter inserts / hardkorr lighting ect.. Plus the company is amazing!
  3. Staying warm in the cold months – Heating your tent. Over the past year camping through the seasons we learned many things…. we used a heating blanket and that did not do the job and it used alot of amps through out the night. Tried a propane buddy and NO NO ! my tent was a freezer with ice inside from the condensation from the propane! NEVER AGAIN! Mind you camping in the dead of winter isn’t for the weak… So had to fix this problem fast or my wife WOULD NOT CAMP AGAIN ! So we all have that tote or bag full of bedding that takes up so much space! Well NO MORE with a diesel heater ! Fixed all my problem and I also added a 23zero winter insert to help hold in the heat and keep the tent at a nice 73 or whatever desired temperature I want all night with one blanket.
  4. Storing your food – coolers are such old news. I used a yeti cool for years! So when I went on 3-6 day Expeditions the cooler had to go . I was tired of watered down food . So with the fridge technology these days I made the jump. A fridge is a great investment and it will not disappoint you at all. Changed my experience while camping forever! Food is fresh and drinks/ whiskey is cold!
  5. Communication– on my rig a do run a fixed HAM radio but the INREACH satellite messenger is the most valuable thing you can have if broken down or need help in the middle of BFE . I can communicate with anyone any where . They have different plans depending on you how much you use it. I would say this is a must have .

I hope this helps someone with a little bit of knowledge from the trail.