Meet The Roamers: Brad Squire

About Me

Heya, I’m Brad, 36 years old, born and bred in Taranaki, New Zealand. I serve most of my time as a Mechanical Fitter and now work in the Oil and Gas Industry locally in Taranaki after spending a few months here and there working in Australia and Asi . My lovely wife Kylie and I met in 2010 and we now have two wonderful mini humans Milla (10) and Lachie (8).

Where did my love for camping and 4wding come from?

Back in the day as a youngster our family holidays were generally yachting or camping based. My Uncle and Aunty had a 30ft keeler based in the Bay of Islands so our yearly holidays were either 2 weeks on the yacht exploring the bay, or camping in a big canvas tent somewhere near the water with a boat of some description. I remember many days off school just after the summer holidays as this was a quieter time to travel, no crowds Dad would say.

As the years passed Dad bought a 2 door Isuzu Trooper and that’s when my love for 4wheeling and camping really kicked off. We loaded that trooper up with Mum, Dad, my brother Logan and all we needed for our camping mission and headed for the East Cape, there were some marginal river crossings on the Motu and hot porridge around the fire in mornings.

Following on from that when I finally turned 15,  I purchased by first car……. Not just any car it was a 1987 Suzuki SJ413 from Remuera Auckland, and it was a real Remuera Tractor, I vividly remember hitting the first highway onramp with mum in the passenger seat as I was still on my learners licence and the rear view mirror vibrating that hard at 80km/hr that we pulled up and dropped the tires from 50psi down to more like 25psi. Looking back now this was my first 4wd tyre pressure lesson. We made it back to Taranaki in one piece, I joined the 4wd Club and was an active member for many years, the Zuke lived on for quite a few years on and off road. It drove me to school each day, drove me to my first job, took me and a bunch of good friends away to Pureora Forest many times 4 wheeling, many a good time was had, the poor zuke was later retired to a trailer truck as I had modified it so much it would no longer get a WOF….. not even a dodgy one.

Dad had since upgraded the 2 door trooper to a 4 door Isuzu Irmisher so that was used on many occasions as a tow wagon. But the time had come realisation that I needed my own truck, I went on to purchase a 1991 PZJ70 Land Cruiser. We explored the hell out of the north island in this truck and I even dragged the old man down south for a coast to coast mission, so many good memories.

From there I was set on 4 wheeling and camping as a hobby, this was pretty obvious, when I was 18 years old, much to many peoples dismay and possibly disgust I got myself a brand new 2008 Double Cab Hilux (the banked owned more than half). Quickly, modifying it into a well-equipped tourer with the help of Chris Trundle in his early days.

My best mate Jordan and I got onto these things called “Roof Top Tents” (no one had seen or heard of them) and purchased two of what was the first container load into NZ, looking back now yes they were Chinese but wow, how good a tent on the roof!! Both Jordan and I loved the idea of these and hatched a plan to do 3 weeks in the South Island free camping. We covered close to 5000km and if I wasn’t hooked already, this trip is what cemented my love for camping, exploring and the freedom of the outdoors.

Time passed, Kylie and I had two kids, built a house…..and we took a few years break as you do, and then we jumped back into the scene. There’s a story to this too.

I thought we would be best with a BIG Canvas tent, just like we had growing up. Three trips later we decided this was way too limiting and cost us too much time setting up and we couldn’t go far from camp to explore, Kylie was keen on a Retro caravan, me not so much, I couldn’t take that offroad either. To meet in the middle, Kylie found us our first van “Mavis”. We drove to Auckland, she picked Mavis up herself, drove it home and proceeded to fully refit the 1977 Caravan to suit our needs including full chassis paint, full reline etc. It was safe to say if she’s willing to do that to a 30plus year old van, she likes camping and the outdoors too!! 

Mavis served us well for 18 months but we got to the stage we were going to kill Mavis with the down gravel roads we’d drag her down and the sketchy campsites we’d lias her into. So after one phone call to Jayco we put a deposit on an offroad tandem axle Caravan, and the exploring continued, for there were away every chance we could, over 10,000km and 50 north island campsites in the first year.

What Are We Doing Now……

Well, many years ago, the same Aunty and Uncle who owned the yacht had a photo board on the wall in their house, this was jammed packed with images of them traveling Australia with their kids in a 60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Over the years of seeing this and hearing their stories, I’d told my I’m going to do that one day!!

So here we are currently doing it! I’ve have taken 12 months off work and we have shipped out 79 Series Land Cruisier and a 22ft Off-road Caravan (our 2nd Jayco), 3.7m tinny boat, and the family to Australia for 12 months of epic adventures!!!

How did I get to know the team at Roam?

Short story this one !

I have a brother, he has a mate “Jack” we got talking, did a couple of epic South Island trips with the crew, roof top tents, Snow, 4wding, campfires and maybe a few too many alcoholic beverages.

Final Words 

I’m writing this sitting next to the camp fire, listening to tunes, swatting away the midges and mosquitos, while my left eye is keeping an eye on the river bank for snapping handbags.

It’s safe to say, it doesn’t get much better than this. (except the midges and mosquitoes, they can piss right off). If I had one thing to say, life is all about the people you meet, the places you go and most importantly the memories you make. Dad would always say the hearse doesn’t stop at the bank, so get out there team, make a plan and do what makes you happy, kids are never too young and remember there will never be a perfect time.

You only live once, and you never know when your days are up, so get out there and explore our wonderful country and if you can make it work, venture further afield !

Also, just remember it’s an evolution, we didn’t get straight into a big rig, and exploring Australia for 12 months, start small, you don’t need much to get out there any enjoy.

Feel free to follow our travels on Instagram and Facebook @xplorlifeNZ