Small Business Success Story: Idaho Overland Adventures

Joe and Brianne Jackson are leveraging their love of outdoor adventures to turn customers into happy campers.

Malcolm Hong Mar 2, 2021

As lifelong campers, Joe and Brianne Jackson have taken advantage of Idaho’s many opportunities for outdoor recreation. But as their children got older and as they continued to upgrade their adventuring gear, camping logistics were becoming a hassle and they needed to streamline the process.

Their experiences inspired them to start Idaho Overland Adventures with the goal of helping other adventure-lovers enjoy the outdoors, minus the hassle. Their Adventure Rig and Adventure Wagon vehicles — available for rental —compress what would normally be a three-hour unpacking and packing process into less than an hour, giving clients more time to relax.

Joe and Brianne Jackson share their insights on starting their company and offer tips for businesses seeking to innovate.

What do you want people to know about your small business?

As the parents of two small children, we understand the logistical challenges that come from a camping trip. Idaho is a beautiful place and we want campers to enjoy the great outdoors with as little hassle as possible.

We’re big fans of overlanding, which is vehicle-based travel that focuses on exploration, self-reliance and enjoying the journey. But you need a properly equipped vehicle and the associated costs can be a barrier to entry for the average family.

By making our fleet of Adventure Rigs and Adventure Wagons available to rent, we want to help more campers enjoy the Idaho outdoors. Many customers are families — but our vehicles are also used by couples, large groups of friends or even by employers for work retreats.

Your Adventure Rig and Adventure Wagon are unique vehicles offered by your company. How do they provide value for your customers?

Our Adventure Rig is a camp-ready Toyota 4Runner and our Adventure Wagon is a towable utility trailer that can be used with a renter’s personal vehicle.

We outfit them with gear for the basic camping needs of up to four people and include the Idaho State Parks Passport, which offers renters unlimited day-use access to every Idaho State Park.

Our Adventure Rig and Adventure Wagon were designed to be compact, user-friendly and easily accessible. If you want to pull over to the side of the road and cook a hot dog, you won’t have to unpack all your gear. We’re proud of how our design helps improve the quality of life for our campers. We also provide a satellite-based communicator and roadside assistance to assist in the event of an emergency. 

What are your favorite places to visit in Idaho?

When we first moved to Idaho, our first camping trip was in Silver City — an old mining town that takes you on winding roads south of Boise. We also enjoy the Arrowrock Reservoir, which has a loop that hits the Oregon Trail and goes along the Boise River. It’s a beautiful place with a lot of areas to camp.

How have you adjusted your business or business model in light of COVID-19?

We implemented strict procedures for sanitizing our vehicles and gear after each use, with particular attention to more than 20 high-touch points. We also exchange used items with sanitized replacements for every new customer rental. 

We’re grateful we can provide a valuable service during the pandemic, because camping allows families to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining social distancing.

What tips do you have for other small businesses seeking to grow?

When we launched our business, we put together an advisory panel of individuals with a combined 150 years of business experience. Their input was invaluable in refining our marketing plan and examining our business model from a customer’s perspective.

We also feel it’s important for business owners to be detail-oriented, which can pay dividends in the long run. Even the seemingly small details made a big difference when designing our Adventure Rig and Adventure Wagon.

Pay attention, and be ready to move quickly when you find something truly innovative.

What was your experience working with your Zions Banker and how did it help your business?

Our relationship manager was more than just a banker. He was an important guide who helped us navigate the loan underwriting process and was always in our corner. We’re grateful for his responsiveness and his commitment in helping us grow our business.

Looking to start or grow your own small business? Zions Bank offers online business tools including business templates, columns, videos and financial calculators. Our Business Resource Centers in Salt Lake City and Boise provide counseling and training for entrepreneurs.

Zions Bank’s team of relationship managers can help you find the right SBA loan* for your business. Apply for a business loan online anytime or visit a local Zions Bank branch to learn more.

*Loans subject to credit approval and SBA approval. Terms and conditions apply. See a banker for details.

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