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The Gearzette
Front Runner 4 x 4: Sixteen Questions with Shayd Johnson

Front Runner 4 x 4: Sixteen Questions with Shayd Johnson

- February 15, 2019

If you’re a fan of adventure and nature photography, you’ve most likely seen Shayd Johnson’s work. Shayd shoots for outdoor brands around the world, which affords him the opportunity to visit and photograph spectacular locations that most can only dream of visiting. But when he’s home in British Columbia he can most likely be found behind the wheel of his Toyota Land Cruiser, exploring the deep woods and nature in his own backyard. His love for vehicle-based adventure, and Front Runner gear, makes him a natural choice to sit down with the 4 X 4:

What is your must-have item for exploring/off-roading?

Hard to pin it down, but, beyond my Front Runner gear, it seems I always end up packing my Jetboil & Aeropress for coffee or instant ramen. 

What is the best thing you’ve seen while adventuring?

Ha! Funny you should ask, no word of a lie here... but it was a Sasquatch, about 4 years ago in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Get in touch with me for the full story, it's a good one. 

Sum up your life’s philosophy in 3 words.

Make It Happen. 

What charity do you identify with?

I love to keep it local, there are tons of great environmental initiatives in BC I love, Pacific Wild, Emerald Sea Protection Society, Pacific Salmon Foundation to name a few. 

You’re going on a road trip; what 3 people do you bring with you, dead or alive?

My 3 amigos, Harvey, Jimmy & Graham. I wouldn't want to bring a dead person on a road-trip... 

What’s your current road trip playlist?

Dusty & Trusty, a Spotify playlist I made of some songs from the 60's and 70's mostly. 

Name somewhere you’d like to visit, where you’ve never been.

I'd really like to ship my truck over to Europe and explore Scandinavia. The lifestyle & architecture there is inspiring. 

What’s your most embarrassing moment while exploring?

Not packing sunscreen on a sunny hike in the alpine was a bad idea. The glare off the snow alone was enough to blind you, but I thought it would be chill to walk around shirtless most of the day, I was pasty white from winter still & got destroyed. I was peeling off a full coat of skin off my back and chest for weeks. I could hardly wear my backpack and it took an extra 3 hours to get back to the car from discomfort of being so brutally burned. 

What has been your most dangerous moment while exploring?

I try to always go out with a few people when I'm offroading, but last year I did some exploring in the mountains behind Squamish, BC & got caught on a narrow road that was gnarly. There were huge boulders that had fallen on the road I was navigating around when one of my tires slipped off the side of the road. On one side I had these boulders and on the other was about a 300 foot drop into the forest. My heart was racing but my trusty Land Cruiser somehow pulled through and I managed to climb out of it. 

What are you most grateful for?

I'm grateful that I'm able to have the flexibility in my freelance photography to say yes when opportunities come up for new experiences. 

What is your favorite sound?

A Crackling Fire. 

What is your least favorite sound?

People texting with their sound turned on. 

What is your favorite vehicle?

This is easy, Toyota Land Cruiser. What is your least favorite vehicle? PT Cruiser. 

Who is your role model?

My Dad. 

What’s your nickname?

People call me "Headfirst" Shayd Johnson, because everything I do, I just dive right into.

Get more Shayd, visit his website and follow him on Instagram @xshaydx.