Jack Laurent

Based In: Taranaki, New Zealand
Vehicle: 2010 Landcruiser TroopCarrier (VDJ78) & 1994 Toyota Landcruiser (KZJ78)
Instagram: @roamwithjack_

1. Tell us about yourself. What makes you tick?

In a nutshell, adventure. I live and breathe the outdoors and everything our epic country has to offer. My partner Kayla and I spend a good few months of each year travelling around the country in the wagon, always searching for new places, hikes, fishing spots etc. Simplicity is key for me, far too often people find themselves stuck in the “9 till 5 grind”. Adventure and exploration is the best remedy for that, plain and simple.

2. Tell us about your rig build. What sets it apart from the rest?

It’s nothing fancy to look at by any stretch, my wagon seems to be the definition of, used and abused. I’ve owned it for 7 - 8 years, purchased it cheap as chips with 300,000kms and it just clicked over 900,000kms on the last big trip. It is rusty, full of dents and scrapes, and the body is well and truly passed its use by date. BUT, it gets me home every time without fail.

It has mostly custom bar work all around, a 3.5inch lift with a whole lot of goodies underneath. Its twin locked, has no sway bars, 35s on alloy bead-locks, chromoly arms, and ifs hub assembly conversion with genuine aisin manual hubs. Makes for a bloody capable wagon.

12v wise, I've got 200ah of lithium,120W of solar up top and the ability to carry about 80L of water. We can go 2-3 weeks off the grid before needing to remerge for supplies.

It's right up there with one of the most well-travelled wagons kicking around NZ.

3. What is your favourite adventure to date?

That’s a hard one, there have been so many trips of a lifetime. A recent one that comes to mind was heading all the way out to Kahurangi Point a couple of summers ago. Myself, my buddy Logan with his Troopy and our partners.  Very few vehicles attempt to make it out there and even fewer manage to make it. Multiple saltwater crossings, a large, tidal, muddy lagoon to cross and only about a 2-hour window where you are able to drive before the tide takes the beach away.

I blew a rear diff within 100m of dropping onto the beach. Luckily, we had spotted an old rusty Toyota in a farmer's paddock on the drive in, which in a strange turn of events turned out to have the rear diff head that I needed. Extremely lucky as the closest big town was about 5 hours away. Gave the local farmer some cash, took the diff out and put it in my wagon, next day we were on our way again.

It's unbelievably beautiful out there, completely untouched, with Nikau palm trees growing in the middle of white sand streams and sand dunes for as far as the eye can see. We spent about a week just relaxing on the beach, the place to ourselves.

4. You spend quite a bit of time away from the office, how have you managed to find that co-existence between work and play?

Admittedly I don’t spend anywhere near as much time away as I’d like to. In saying that, I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can, roam free so to speak. Whilst back home, I’m working 60 - 70 hour weeks most of the time, trying to juggle a couple of different businesses. I put in big hours to allow myself to take quite long periods off work for adventures. 

I’m a bad example of work/life balance, but does anyone actually have that dialed-in, in this day and age?

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give to those who’re chasing a similar lifestyle to you?

Work harder than the next guy and start small. It’s hard to get ahead in this current climate, make sacrifices, and spend your hard-earned coin wisely.  Do your research on what accessories will suit you best and don’t waste your money on cheap Chinese, rebranded shit, The poor man buys twice, has got to be the most relevant quote when it comes to “Overlanding”   

You don’t need the biggest flashiest rig with all the accessories under the sun. Spend your money on gas and go out and explore.

6. Finally, what is your all-time favourite camping spot?

I get asked this all the time and it’s probably the one question that’s the hardest to answer.  I won’t give it away but, a secluded wee spot up at the head of the Upper Windly, those that know, know. Thanks! 

Go follow Jacks adventures on Instagram: @roamwithjack_