Ootek – The FeetForBrains High Country Tacoma Double Cab Overland Build

Exterior | Interior | Suspension & Tires | Camper | Trips


Kendal Mountain the Easy Way

Since my first car, which was a 1972 Honda Civic, I have been thinking about and building ways to spend extended amounts of time away from any hearth. I suppose that there must be some gypsy blood coursing through my veins because the I’d be willing to do a whole lot more for a vardo than another “sticks and bricks” house.

After selling Zeno (the 1983 VW Vanagon Diesel I built pretty much from scratch) I was carless for a while. After re-gaining my ability to drive (post seizures) I wanted to start something new with some slightly modified transportation goals in mind. Zeno was great, but I spent a lot of time working on the van and not as much time living in it or driving it around. Just the nature of that beast I suppose.

New Vehicle Platform Requirements

  • Remain reliable on extended trips
  • Comfortably hold dogs while underway
  • House an organized kitchen
  • Safely hold and organize gear
  • Store adequate food and water for extended boon-docking
  • Reasonable fuel efficiency
  • Four wheel drive for overland/jeep road travel
  • Adequate power

So with these goals in mind I stared to research my options. Eventually I decided on the Generation 1 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab. I’ve owned a number of Toyotas in the past as well as a 2001 version of this vehicle so I felt confident that my research, which amounted to a lot of asking questions of other people and reading reviews, wasn’t going to disappoint.

Then came the task of finding the vehicle. They hold their value and despite a newer generation being out there and proven, a lot of first generation owners are reluctant to give theirs up for any amount. I finally found what I was looking for and made the move to buy it.

Now that the basic platform has been acquired I’ve begun to plan and implement modifications and alterations which will transform this rig into my dream Overland vehicle.


  • (P) Sliders
  • (P) ARB Front Bumper
  • (P) ARB Differential Cover
  • (P) ARB Sliders
  • (P) Custom Rear Bumper w/Fuel Can Locker
  • TRD Armor
  • Safari Snorkel with Tornado Filter


  • OME 2″ Nitrocharger Sport 98-04 Tacoma Heavy Kit


  • Kenwood DPX500BT CD receiver
  • Integrated iPhone
  • Integrated iPad
  • 4G LTE Mi-Fi Integrated
  • SPOT Messenger
  • CoverKing Custom Ballistic Seat Covers
  • (P) Yeasu HAM Radio


  • (P) ARB Intensity LE Light AR32S (pair)
  • (P) Rigid Industries 40″ E series LED Light Bar
  • (P) ARB Intensity LE Light AR32F (pair)
  • MagLite 3D with custom bezel and breaker end-cap

Expedition Gear

  • AutoHomeUS Maggiolina Grand Tour
  • (P) Safari Roof Rack
  • ARE MX Topper (custom) with Hatch Back Door and left hand side tool box/kitchen
  • Rhino Rails
  • Custom interior insulation
  • (P) Engle MT45 Fridge/Freezer
  • Rolling Tool Kit
  • (P) Recover Kit
  • (P) Auxiliary Fuel Tank
  • (P) Solar Hot water heater/aux tank
  • Camp Stove (Origo)
  • Custom Boxed kitchen fitted to left hand side topper tool box
  • 2x NATO Fuel Can (5 gal)
  • (P) 50 cal Ammo Can Safe (custom)
  • RTT Ladder
  • (P) MAX TRAX
  • MPAC wall mount and Packs/Springtail


  • BFGoodrich AT 285/75R16 E
  • Full Set Tire Chains with tensioners


  • (P) 12,500lb Winch
  • (P) Hi-Lift Jack
  • Shovel
  • (P) Axe
  • (P) Saw
  • (P) Portable toilet (the PETT or grover)


  • (P) IBS Dual Battery Kit
  • (P) Dual Odyssey PC-1400 Batteries
  • (P) 100 Watt Solar – Mounted On RTT

Key: (P) = planned

I’ve named the vehicle Ootek which is the name of the Ihalmiut man who rescues Tyler Smith in the Farley Mowat novel “Never Cry Wolf“.  This has been the topic of much debate in our house lately, but I decided that this works best for me.

Exterior | Interior | Suspension & Tires | Camper | Trips

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