Firefighter, Photographer, Overlanderoutdoor
Cody S. from Washington
Firefighter, photographer, and overlander Cody S. of Western Washington can be spotted trekking the thick of the PNW in his 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport. His running setup of 3 years consists of a DiamondBack SE in Rugged Black, Front Runner X DiamondBack Rack System, and Freespirit Recreation’s High Country 55 rooftop tent.
There are a lot of truck bed accessory options out there. Ultimately, what drove you to DiamondBack?
Cody: I really love the idea of weather protection and security, obviously nothing is 100% safe, but it was critical I ensure my belongings are locked up and secure. DiamondBack's heavy-duty tonneau covers checked all my boxes. As far as bed setups go, I can keep everything inside my bed dry all while reaping the benefits of a rooftop tent up top. We typically sleep my lady, dog, and myself in it comfortably with no issue. The DiamondBack has surpassed my expectations, I have had zero issues with it.
While we may all dream 24/7 about that one spot, or our next outing. On a typical day, where would we find you?
Cody: As a Firefighter, you’ll find me either working at the station, or out shooting pictures, mostly centered around fire service. Work requires me to transport my own firefighting and photography gear, so it’s critical to keep my gear dry. Now I have peace of mind knowing my belongings are secure beneath my DiamondBack.
You’re headed out on a weekend trip. Where are you headed?
Cody: Being centrally located in Tacoma, we sit dead center of both the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, the Northwest always treats us well. I'll typically grab the gear, round-up the family, and head into the PNW Cascade Mountain range – those are definitely our stomping grounds.
Freetime is a rarity. What made you decide to spend yours overlanding?
Cody: Luckily I have a job that comes with a fair amount of time off since I work 24 hour shifts. I also live in the Great Pacific Northwest so there is never a shortage of places to see, or adventures to step in. I always loved off-roading, but was sick of the constant fixes my old 91 Toyota Pickup called for, and the funds needed to support that. I soon realized that committing to a new and reliable vehicle would be more than worth it. I've invested tons of time and money into this truck, I knew that I'd never live with myself if I didn't get out and use it, and use it we do! There is rarely a week during the spring, summer, or fall that we are not out driving, exploring, and camping at least one night. It forces me to get out and explore what my region has to offer, and for that I am more than grateful.
What is one key to every successful overland excursion?
Cody: PREPARE. Think ahead to every possibility and pack accordingly. It’s always a good idea to have some sort of gear for a backup plan. Typically, I pack extra freeze-dried food, water, dog food, ammunition, warm clothes, medical supplies, and a “get home” bag. Always good to have a million lighters throughout your vehicle too, just in case.
Give us an inside look at your bed setup. What are some things we can always count on finding underneath your DiamondBack?
Cody: The whole gamut. You can always count on recovery gear, a 2-person camp chair, inflatable paddle board, Yeti cooler, “ammo can air compressor”, Jet Boil coffee kit, and a super sweet propane fire pit that tucks perfectly in the back corner. The bed sides are equipped with Molle panels which carry an ax, hatchet, shovel, shackles, fishing poles, tow straps, chainsaw, and a 1 gallon Rotopax for mixed gas. Attached to the panel is a 20 lb. CO2 tank for quick tire inflation. That is just the sides. Directly underneath the Diamondback cover I installed shock-cord in the void spaces for additional soft gear storage which holds extra coats, a foldable dog bed and whatever else I don't have room for inside the cab.
When I say I've utilized the space I truly mean it.
Tell us about one trail or trip that you’ll never forget?
Cody: I had the opportunity to go to Moab last October for 5 days with my fiancé, dog and some friends following in another Tacoma. Absolutely epic trip to say the least. First time to Moab and it did not disappoint. After a few days' stay, we took a route south to Lake Powell and camped primitive right on the lake, enjoying some paddle boarding and beers by the fire. I really want to make that trip an annual thing and am already planning our next trip to Utah – absolutely gorgeous state.