Outdoorx4's Outdoor Adventure Team
The OutdoorX4 editorial team is comprised of experienced adventurers from all corners of the globe whose style of story telling relates with the masses and whose passion for their various disciplines permeates and captures the reader with articles and photos that will inspire. Our executive team has numerous years of publishing experience to capture the broadest audience through all media platforms including at the newsstand, on a computer, or virtually any mobile device available on the market today.
Editor-in-Chief / Publisher
Frank Ledwell is an avid explorer, adventurer, and advocate of responsible outdoor recreation and off-highway travel. Frank has had the fortune of traveling throughout the world, including destinations throughout North and Central America, as well as across Eastern and Western Europe. When he’s not cycling across Texas on his road bike or climbing in the Swiss Alps, he is touring the backcountry in remote destinations throughout the United States and abroad.
Frank is the Editor-in-Chief of OutdoorX4. Additionally, he was the Co-Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of JPFreek Adventure Magazine from 2006 through mid-2012 as well as publisher of several industry journals. He is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his articles on off-highway travel, adventure destinations, and product/vehicle reviews have been featured in numerous publications. Frank resides in Texas with his family.
Randy Langstraat is a photographer and outdoor enthusiast based on the Colorado Plateau at the edge of the Rocky Mountains in Grand Junction, Colorado. He spends much of his free time in the outdoors exploring the backcountry whether it be hiking, four-wheeling in his Jeep, or rafting. He especially enjoys searching for hidden ancient ruins and rock art, but also has a love for the grand landscapes and intimate scenes in nature.
4x4 Training Columnist
Bob is a “surf and turf” kind of adventurer. For over 32 years, Bob wrote consumer and instructor-level scuba diving and CPR/first aid curriculum for PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Many of his scuba and underwater photographic adventures begin out of the back of a 4WD vehicle. He has combined his passion for both activities in places like Baja, Mainland Mexico, Central America, South America, North America, England, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Now, as an avid overlander he teaches through his company, Off-Road Safety Academy (www.DiscoverOffRoading.com). Bob teaches corporate, government, and recreational off-road safety, survival, and wilderness first aid courses. Some of Bob’s corporate clients have included T-Mobile, Verizon, PG&E, and Southern California Edison. As a registered government contractor he teaches courses for the National Park Service and BLM. Currently, Bob teaches monthly introductory and advanced recreational off-roading at Prairie City, a California State Recreational Vehicular Area (SRVA). He also organizes and leads groups on 4WD adventure tours into the remote backcountry.
Mark Stephens is an adventurer who was born of, reared by, and educated in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. He has climbed the walls of Devil’s Canyon, trekked the trails throughout the Rocky Mountains, slept on the ground in most National Parks, rope-swung into a river here and there, driven the back roads of the southwest U.S. and Mexico, enjoyed song and cerveza in the cantinas of the Baja peninsula, and otherwise traveled like a backpacking pilgrim from British Columbia to Peru. Mark holds a degree in English from Arizona State University; he learned from composition maestros such as Jeanne Dugan, Robert Krut, and G. Lynn Nelson.
His work has been published in Overland Journal, Nissan Sport Magazine, Arizona Outdoorsman, and JPFreek Adventure Magazine. Mark and his wife are also the curators of Adventure Parents, a resource focused on the adventures of raising children to enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. Mark resides in Arizona with his wife and two children.
A climber of 37 years, Eric Hörst is an internationally renowned coach and author of several best-selling books, including Training for Climbing and Maximum Climbing. Eric is a native of Pennsylvania and his climbing family travel extensively in search of adventures throughout the Northeast, Appalachians, Rocky Mountains, and Sierra. The Hörst boys, Cameron (13) and Jonathan (11), are two of the top youth climbers in the world, and they are featured in a mini-documentary titled The Send Bros, released in fall 2014.
Eric is also the curator of Training for Climbing. You can learn more at www.TrainingForClimbing.com
Andrea Ledwell is the better half of our Editor-in-Chief. Born and raised in Mississippi, Andrea spent her time as a child adventuring while on her bicycle and called the Smoky Mountains her second home. Andrea is an avid explorer, artist, musician, mother, wife, adventurer, seeker of truth, and on a quest for all things beautiful and good.
Stan Wright grew up chasing adventure and brook trout in New York’s Catskill Mountains and was eventually lured to the tall peaks, clean rivers and overlanding opportunities of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. A former Marine, he is the Social Media Manager for a leading enthusiast organization as well as Co-Director of several vehicle-based events held in Colorado each year. He brings a wealth of knowledge of the overland and outdoors industry to OutdoorX4.
Gear & Adventure Editor
Kraig Becker is a freelance writer and world traveler who covers mountaineering expeditions, polar exploration, adventure travel, and other outdoor pursuits. He has served as the Media Director for the Primal Quest expedition adventure race and is the editor of The Adventure Blog. He is a regular contributor to travel site Gadling.com and the outdoor blogs for The Clymb and the Wenger brand. He has also published stories with Outer Edge Magazine and National Geographic Adventure amongst others.
Kraig resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bill & Susan Dragoo
Bill and Susan embrace adventure travel in many forms – two-wheeled, four-wheeled, and on foot. As long as it involves experiencing more of the great outdoors they are hard-pressed to resist an opportunity. When Bill’s not tackling the toughest trails in the Rockies on his BMW GS Adventure and Susan’s on a break from leading women backpackers through the Ouachita Mountains, the two are exploring together in their Toyota Tacoma, the “GS of Trucks.”
A desire to connect contemporary explorers with the places and people of the frontier led the Oklahoma-based couple to study and travel the region of Comancheria. Among his many pursuits, Bill is an MSF-certified riding instructor and recently kicked off an Adventure Riding Skills class near the Dragoos’ hometown of Norman. Bill was a member of the 2010 BMW GS Trophy team, representing the United States in competition in Africa. Susan devotes much of her time to historical travel writing, outdoor photography, and is OutdoorX4 Magazine’s Copy Editor.
Scott grew up with his two hands on the dash, two feet on the seat, and face pressed against the front windshield of his dad’s Ford four wheel drive. Peering out, fog forming around his nose, he was always looking for that road runner his dad would tease him about. A couple of decades have passed and with safety a greater priority, Scott strives to instill a bit of adventure into the lives of his wife and two daughters. He takes the paths less traveled, taking photographs along the way.
Beatriz & Sam Craven
Sam and Beatriz Craven are high school sweethearts with a mutual love of the world. They go overlanding often in their home state of Texas and greatly enjoy their more extensive trips around the United States and Canada. Sam is the sweat and engineering behind their Land Cruiser. He has a background in professional racing as a mechanic and takes the racing seat every chance he gets. He has now taken his drive to his real estate investment company. Beatriz is a psychologist by life trade and calling. She is a lover of stories and believes in the power of sharing them with one another. They look forward to a rich life of adventure before this great ride ends.
Wes Craiglow was bitten by the adventure bug at a young age, spending his boyhood exploring the family farm from sunup to sundown, annual vacations on lonely backroads across the rural South, and dedicating his summers to staff employment at a Boy Scouts camp. When not on extended paid vacations to Southwest Asia for Uncle Sam, Wes can be found guiding backcountry trips and documenting routes, destinations, and stories in the U.S. and Central America.
Wes is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Central Overland, an online magazine dedicated to vehicle-based adventure travel, and resides in central Arkansas with his wife and two kids.
Jonathan Hanson’s expedition experience encompasses land and sea-scapes from Baja, Mexico to the Beaufort Sea, from the Libyan Desert to the Namib, and modes of transportation from sea kayaks to sailboats to bicycles to Land Cruisers and Land Rovers. He has traveled among and worked with cultures as diverse as the Seri Indians and the Himba, the Inuit and the Maasai. Jonathan has taught wildlife tracking, natural history writing, 4WD techniques, and other subjects for many conservation and government organizations. He is an elected fellow of the Explorers Club, and a charter member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. His writing experience spans a dozen books and two dozen magazines, including Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Nature Conservancy, Sea Kayaker, and Backpacker.
Jonathan and his wife, Roseann, are the creators and owners of the Overland Expo, the largest adventure travel event of its kind in the world.
Jack Richland is an expert in Urban/Wilderness Survival and former eight year U.S. Marine veteran. During that time he deployed to countless countries across the globe. Jack’s experience and training led him to start Black Scout Survival- a website, store, survival school, and YouTube channel.
In his off time Jack enjoys taking his Jeep JK off-roading, casting flies to redfish, and snowmobiling in the back country of Montana.
You can learn more about survival techniques and skills by visiting Black Scout Survival’s website.
Phil Golden was born with a determined desire to explore. Whether by Jeep, dual-sport motorcycle, mountain bike, road bike, kayak or on foot, Phil pushes himself to go further and do more. Phil can often be found alone on his adventures as he enjoys the purity of being surrounded by nothing but wilderness. He recently traveled solo on the Continental Divide trail from Mexico to Canada, self-support by Jeep and completely off-highway. Additionally, he has logged over 6,000 miles and numerous legs of the Trans America Trail via dual-sport motorcycle from Tennessee to Oregon, and owns the oldest active geocache in the state of Louisiana.
Phil is an avid endurance cyclist, randonneur, and runner. When Phil is not pushing himself to the limit, he is on a mission to raise awareness for the rare terminal disease his son has called Adrenoleukodystrophy. He has written numerous articles and conducted several interviews regarding his awareness campaign – Expedition Awareness. While his passion runs deep for the great outdoors, it does not compare to that of his family.
Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer and artist, based in Central Coast California, whose work is layered by surf, outdoor, lifestyle and travel subjects. At the age of 28, Burkard has established himself as a known name in the surf and outdoor industries, accomplished a deep body of work, held staff and senior photographer positions and has been recognized continually for his distinct creative compositions.
With ocean as his main muse, Burkard has consistently captured this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, utilizing the tool of surfing to approach the ocean’s intricate personality and then extending out to include the human personalities that draw meaning from this same source. Searching for wild, remote destinations and offbeat landscapes, Burkard portrays the humble placement of the human in contrast to nature.
Graham Jackson was born in Lesotho, South Africa. He grew up racing motorcycles off road, as well as helping his father design, build, and race off-road buggies. Graham completed his first safari across the Kalahari at age10 in a Range Rover with his family. That trip planted the seed for Graham’s life-long overlanding obsession. In 2004, he and his wife completed a 30,000-mile overland adventure from London to Cape Town.
Graham has guided expeditions in Africa, the American West, Mexico, and Central America, and he has been an active supporter of the global overland community. A scientist by trade, Graham tries to combine his interest in the natural world, his passion for overlanding, and his love of things mechanical. He is currently the Director of Training for Overland Expo, a guide for No Limit Expeditions, an NPTC-certified off-road driving assessor, and Partner of 7P International, an off-road driving and guide service based out of Colorado.
Alan & Jackie Ellis
Alan & Jackie Ellis are living life to the fullest. When not hiking, climbing, or mountaineering, they are traveling the country in a Jeep Rubicon with their dog, Blue. At this moment, they are enjoying “retired” life as skydiving instructors in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.