Hi, David Snyder here, let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been a mountain bike and hiking trail builder for well over 15 years, starting out as most kids do digging in their backyards after they’ve worn out the local trails or culvert jumps. It quickly progressed into a more aggressive style of riding that was fostered once I met a crew of older guys who rode aggressive street in downtown Chattanooga. What once was a sidewalk with some bushes quickly became an opportunity to test my jumping skills with little consequence and my love for aggressive and oftentimes dangerous mountain biking blossomed. Once our crew found a home at the Trials Training Center where we were allowed to build whatever kind of trail we could dream up, I began to see a potential career in it. As a trail builder I’ve had to do many hours of scouting potential “lines” or directions we could take a trail, thousands of hours of manual labor, and exploring properties from a topo map before setting foot on them. I’ve camped in the woods to build trail, I’ve had to use any and all means of transportation from my feet, to dragging bridge stringers in with a four wheeler, to using a 5 speed 4x4 Toyota SR5 that was fully locked out and loaded with gear up a gnarly trail to work on trails.
Throughout my journey as a trail builder, and then later as a father teaching my kids how to build fires and fish, and where the best swimming holes are, one thing is apparent in my life, it’s that the woods call to me. I’ve learned though that adventures come in all shapes and forms and there are so many adventures just waiting to happen right outside your door, I want to share some with y’all! Whether you are packing for a year on the road, or trying to get your kids away from their electronic devices for a couple hours, I’d love to share with y’all a little slice of outdoor heaven just down the road from Chattanooga that is in the Sequatchie Valley. With our title sponsor Kelly Subaru of Chattanooga, and Co-sponsor Pandora Motorsports, I’d love to share an adventure and make some memories with you and your family in our backyard.
Chattanooga Overland Adventure is a (3) day (2) night festival that is a catalyst for teaching your family how to start and successfully complete an adventure in the woods. The venue is a national and world Trials dirtbike training facility nestled on 650 acres that boasts multiple hiking trails, two waterfalls, two creeks, one natural spring, and various campsites that range from tent sites to large cabins. Down the road from the venue is Sequatchie Cove farm, the Little Sequatchie River, and "The Cove (an offroaders paradise)" as well as a plethora of surrounding trails that range from beginners gravel roads to as technical as you want. Through the festival I've brought together a group of people that are both old friends and new, and many different classes and adventures that you and your family can pick and choose to take or be involved in. Below are some of the many things that will be happening throughout the weekend, pick one, pick all, or pick none. This weekend is for ya'll to reconnect with your family away from all the distractions at home and get out and enjoy nature!
Kelly Subaru will not only be a sponsor, they'll be on site as a vendor. They are bringing a kitted out Subaru Outback that will be built for the rigors of trail life. Two of their own employees who offroad will be staying with us representing Kelly Subaru throughout the festival and Lindsey Lowe who is their photog and works in marketing will be taking pictures throughout the event as well.
Pandora's European Motorsports as a Co-sponsorj will be leading a group of their customers on a ride to camp with us. Matt Welch (the manager) and David Mays (saleman) will be both be staying to teach classes on motorcycle adventure riding and how to prepare for it, as well as leading rides the whole weekend to various trails in the area. David Mays will also be teaching classes through his side business Health4Adventure, that teaches how essential oils have a place in both your food and first aide kit!
Brian Griffin has written for Knives Illustrated, Tactical Knives and weapons, not to mention has several knife designs of his own, and will be teaching basic knife skills such as how not to cut yourself, basic carving skills, and carving an ember stick, as well as animal tracking/scat identification, and more.
Sequatchie School For Self Reliance is a local school that specializes in all things survival, they'll be teaching map/compass navigation, go bag prep, basic wilderness first aide/hiking prep, as well as helping with the fire building and competitions.
I've got my friend Rob Beckman coming in with his commercial drone, we’ll have aerial pictures of the venue as well as video clips of some of the rides and drone pictures will be available after the festival.
Zac Brown of Zac Brown Construction will be coming in to help us with our fire building and wood sourcing, as well as proper ax handling techniques and what ax to use for what application. I'll also ustilize his expertise in cooking on a fire, and the fire competitions as well as his proficient skills in operating offroad equipment, wether its a Mini Excavator on the side of a mountain or his custom built Toyota truck.
Grizzly Fowler from Ringgold, Ga will be providing us with music Saturday night, all are welcome to come sit and listen to his good ole fashioned family friendly lyrics and voice.
Sequatchie Cove Farm welcomes ya'll to their side of the valley with an up close tour of their farm that'll show their day to day operations and family friendly atmosphere. You'll see all the animals and seasonal fruits and veggies available and be able to buy meat and seasonal veggies from their Trading Post to take advantage of a local breakfast! The farm has also allowed us access to their back private fields to take advantage of the fantastic fishing opportunities there as well. The farm is offering a Weekend Warrior Supreme special that includes 1lb ground beef, lamb, and breakfast sausage as well as 4 pork chops and a dozen eggs for $45! Sweet, that makes me hungry just thinking about it! You can also log onto Sequatchiecovefarm.com and order any of their season meats, fruits, and veggies.
Matthew Chenkus owns and runs St. Elmo Fire Quilts, a local business that I'm excited to be able to showcase to ya'll! Matt is a light hiker who sews and creates stuff that he wants, but is also awesome to work with on custom pieces. He has backpacks, hammocks, over and under quilts, food pouches, wallets, and all manner of small to large bags for all your camping needs!
The Daily Ration of Chattanooga, TN will be providing Velo coffee every morning to get the day started right!
David Snyder will be leading a short sunrise bible study followed immediately by fishing
James Demo, a Ringgold Scout leader will be joining us as our backpacking expert, he's got extensive experience packing for not only himself, but preparing his scout troop for days in the woods. He'll also be our hiker and will lead hikes to the waterfalls or any other type hikes you'd like to do!
We also have several local guys ranging from amateur to semi-professional fishermen showing up bringing their own gear, and teaching ya'll to fish. We have the little Sequatchie River as well as the Sequatchie river to choose from, with the former being across from the entrance to the Trials Center.
Throughout the weekend we'll have staggered off-road rides that ya'll are welcome to take part in. We'll teach you the basics of off road trail riding, what to look for, how to prepare your AWD or 4x4 vehicle for the trail, how to research your journey and things to think of like communication, recovery (if something goes wrong) and how to prep to make it the best adventure possible. Each of these rides will be led by at least one person/family who has years of offroad experience as well as the GAIA GPS app that comes with each ticket purchased. The app will have all the trails available on it, from all the hiking on the venue's property, to the fishing spots, to the different offroad trails for your family to try.
We'll be teaching fire building, what to eat/how to cook over a fire, different types of camping such as tent/hammock/or rooftop tent camping, knife handling skills and how best to utilize your knife while camping, navigation with a map and a compass, basic vehicle recovery gear and techniques as well as a range of off road techniques from beginner to advanced. We'll also be teaching folks how to fish, how to tie on a hook, how to hook a worm/jig, and then the best areas to fish and what to look for while fishing to better your chances of catching a fish. We are partnered with Sequatchie Cove Farm who will be doing a pig roast for us Saturday evening to complement whatever veggies you wish to cook for yourself to go along with the roast. Also on Saturday they'll be doing a tour of the farm, where you and your kids can learn a little more of where your food comes from, as well as seeing an active local farm. Their trading post that sells all of their produce and meat will be open and available to buy breakfast and/or whatever kind of food you'd like to add to your camping experience. Watch our Instagram and FB pages for more tips, tricks, and food ideas so that your familiy's adventure is a memory you won't forget!
None of this would be possible without the support of Kelly Subaru of Chattanooga though, as a Subaru Ambassador myself, I reached out to them because when I think of adventure, I think of everywhere that my Subaru has taken me. They were the first ones on board as a sponsor, and I can't thank them enough for coming on! Pandora's European Motorsports has also stepped up as a Co-sponsor and has been helping me advertise and add on to this event. Along with off-road rides we'll be showcasing adventure bikes and all of their cababilities, utilizing them for around town use all the way to riding across the country with all of your camping gear on a motorcycle. Matt Welch and David Mays will both be teaching classes geared towards adventuring better on motorcycles as well as doing all the rides on their own personal motorcycles! Now all we need is ya'll, would you share this adventure with me?