Jake and Loz’s story begins before there even was a ‘Jake and Loz’, with two young people traveling Australia and the globe trying to cram as much adventure into their lives as possible before the weighing responsibilities of adulthood locked them down.
Loz’s story starts in the Kimberley region at El Questro, where she was a Ranger running tours throughout the famous outback station. “I had a Mitsubishi Outlander at the time which was four wheel drive, but it really struggled on some of the harder tracks. A friend back in Perth had an 80 Series and he helped me find one too - something more capable for back at the station. We found one that needed a little bit of work, but I took it back the next season and even with a sagging old 2 inch lift and a set of Toyo Open Country A/T II tyres it opened up all the best spots for me!” she begins.
Loz and the 80 Series would go on to tour together for years, working in various roles in the tourism industry, including a stint in the NSW Blue Mountains and even as far south as Tasmania!
“Then COVID hit and we weren’t sure when the tourism industry in Tassie would open back up again, so in June 2020 I took the 80 Series back home to the west coast and picked up an apprenticeship with BHP,” she continues.
Meanwhile, Jake had recently returned home from abroad. “I was sitting down at a beach called Point Peron in Rockingham WA, thinking about how beautiful Australia was and how lucky we are to live here - I’d worked all over the country but I never really got to stop and appreciate it. It lit a fire in me, and at that stage I knew I wanted to build a 4x4 and travel Australia,” he explains.
A mutual friend made the connection between the two kindred spirits, and their shared passion for hitting the road with no fixed address (and no end date) has now materialised into a brand new Troopy that they’re building into their ultimate home on wheels.
“We want a comfortable tourer on the inside as we will be living out of it, but on the outside it’s really important that it’s set up to tackle some of the more difficult trails,” explains Jake. “Being a brand new car we’ve got the security of reliability, and that’s part of what made us choose the Open Country A/T III for this build,” adds Loz, continuing her relationship with Open Country tyres that started way back with her beloved 80 Series.
“The 285/75R16 size we’ve chosen gives us the tough 3-ply construction, but the all-terrain pattern means we won’t be sacrificing any ride comfort or safety when we’re traveling on the road,” she adds.
Loz captures the couple’s adventures through her love of photography, borne from her time in the Kimberley. “It’s so beautiful up there, there’s so much wildlife! I didn’t know what I was doing, I just bought a digital SLR camera and started shooting. As I toured, I shared my photos to social media and before I knew it I was the tourism girl with a 4x4, taking photos along the way!”
Asked for her number one tip for aspiring photographers, Loz says it’s just a matter of having a go. “Watch some YouTube videos or reach out to other photographers and get their advice on how to shoot manually - going from full auto to manual made the biggest difference to my photography, and everyone is always happy to share their knowledge,” she says.
The couple’s Troopy is nearing completion and they’ll be setting off on some local adventures to test the new set up, before hitting the road indefinitely mid 2024. Follow the rest of the build and stay up to date with their adventures through their socials: