Episode Four | Nick Rader

Episode Four | Nick Rader

Back to Blog Reading Episode Four | Nick Rader 30 minutes

In this conversation, Casey Hyde interviews Nick Rader about his motorcycle trip from South Africa to Norway and the origin of the idea for TEREN. Nick shares his experiences of traveling for fun and the challenges he faced during the trip. He also discusses the importance of packing the right clothes for such adventures. Nick talks about some of the craziest places he has visited and the meaning behind the name TEREN. He reveals his favorite TEREN piece and shares his recent trip to Turks & Caicos.


Traveling for fun is a valid and fulfilling reason to explore the world.
Packing the right clothes for an adventure is essential for comfort and enjoyment.
Crazy and off-the-beaten-path destinations can provide unique and memorable experiences.
The name TEREN has Romanian origins and represents the adventurous and rugged spirit of the brand.


00:00 Introduction and Motorcycle Trip
03:14 Traveling for Fun
05:07 Motorcycle Trip from South Africa to Norway
08:37 Origin of the Idea for TEREN
12:59 Packing Clothes for the Motorcycle Trip
20:26 Origin and Meaning of the Name TEREN
23:32 Favorite Sticker
24:44 Favorite TEREN Piece
26:45 Recent Trip to Turks and Caicos
29:08 Conclusion

Transcript (with the help from ai so please forgive any typos... ha)

Casey Hyde (00:00.238)
So then we spent. So 10 miles in, you broke down on a how many mile trip? I think 26 ,000. So 10 miles into a 26 ,000 trip, you broke down? Yeah. In 10 miles, probably being generous. We basically drove it a couple miles from wherever we got it to our hostel and we're like, what's wrong? Why is this not working?

Casey Hyde (00:28.782)
Hey everybody, I've got Nick Rader here, one of our founders. And we, Nick doesn't know much about this as I've sprung this upon everybody on the team, but we're going through the Vagabond's Way by Rolf Potts. And I'm going to read a page from a day of the year prior to today's date. And then we're going to discuss it and I have some questions and we're just, yeah, this is what we're doing now. This is the thing we do. This is the thing. Okay.

say something about smashing a like button or subscribe button or is that not a thing? You can smash like or subscribe. Your preference. Okay so this is January 26th from the Vagabonds Way. There is no shame in traveling for the sheer fun of it. See I told you I picked the right chapter for you. And I said for a moment it's not my job. Okay to do things for fun smacks of levity.

and morality almost in our utilitarian world. But I must admit that for my own part, I traveled single -mindedly for fun. Freya Stark, The Valley of the Assassins, 1934. Young people are often seen by their elders as less than serious and given to self -indulgent frivolity, but I've actually found the opposite to be the case when giving public lectures about long -term travel.

Whereas mid -career professionals and even retirees are not ashamed to admit that they aim to travel for the sheer fun of it, I found that university students in particular feel they need an educational or volunteer service pretext to spend a few months on the other side of the world. Sincere as these young aspiring travelers may be, learning or serving need not be mutually exclusive with having fun.

In fact, many a journey undertaken with whimsical or recreational motives ultimately transforms into a deeply educational and philanthropic enterprise. As Lord Stanhope advised his grand tour -bound son in 1750, pleasures are not time lost provided they are the pleasures of a rational being. Indeed, given the right attitude,

Casey Hyde (02:44.942)
One need not have earnest minded travel motives for the journey to eventually become an illuminating endeavor. As often as not, the most transformative and life affecting travel experiences flow out from not in contrast to a desire to enjoy each day on the journey. In wondering the world attuned to our own passions, we make ourselves more receptive to what people and places can teach us. All right, so.

I'm just picking these at random, but I feel like that might be a great context. Is there anything that you got from that like immediately, I guess? Well, this is book writing because what kids, younger people is this guy talking to that doesn't travel for fun? It's gotta be free hostel, because I've never been at a hostel at two o 'clock in the morning where they're there to learn something. It's a hundred percent.

Well, I think what he was getting at is like a lot of times when you do it just for the sheer fun of it, you get like everyone back home is like, well, you're not, you're not doing the right thing. You're just going and having fun. And you look down to like people look down on you and like call you like just loose and you're not planning for the future. And you're just like being wild and crazy and all that shit. Well, that's the reason I traveled was just for fun, but there's also the people that go out.

missionary trips or study abroad and they try and like take a semester or something in Spain and learn a language and they pull the old, it's gonna look at them in resume mode. And that is doing the not for fun. Even though they decided to travel abroad for fun, there's an underlying fun that made them travel abroad. Let's be honest, if it wasn't fun, they would not care about putting that thing on their resume. I think for me, you're right. Like a lot of my like longer travels.

You know, like I did an internship in Uganda for like a nonprofit essentially, or an NGO. And it like got me school credit, but I was having a blast over there just being in a different culture, having a good time. So you went on a pretty gnarly trip when you were what, mid 20s? Yeah, 24 I think. When you were around 24, 25.

Casey Hyde (05:07.774)
Tell us about that moto trip, kind of give me a quick synopsis of it. Sure. When I was 24, me and my best friend did a motorcycle trip from South Africa to Norway, shipped our motorcycles to Cape Town with the plan to do tip to tip. So Southern tip of Africa, drive up through the East coast of Africa through Kenya, meet a friend, Plumfield and Majero. And then we're going to go through Egypt and then up through to the tip of Norway.

ignored Catholic, the highest point up there. That was the goal over a five month period. It did not go according to plan, as you can imagine. How one went off course. Well, it started when we were on a five month trip. We were stuck in Cape Town for a month waiting on our motorcycles to get there two weeks late. And then they shipped and one broke down within the first 10 months. So then we spent. So 10 miles in, you broke down on a how many mile trip?

I think 26 ,000. So 10 miles into a 26 ,000 trip, you broke down? Yeah. In 10 miles, probably being generous. We basically drove it a couple miles from wherever we got it to our hostel and we're like, what's wrong? Why is this not working? 10 generous miles in to 26 ,000 miles. And it took us two weeks to figure out the problem. We'd like try it, start driving, break down like a hundred miles later, get stuck. It turns out it was a fuel...

They went out and we swapped it with one from a brand new dealer. We just took the fuel pump out of a brand new bike to chuck it. And then they're like, yeah, we'll just buy a new one and you guys can take that one. And we just drove away with some show motorcycles fuel pump from KTM dealership. Nice. So when you were doing that, did people back home, like in context of this read here, did people back home think you were like,

Casey Hyde (07:04.014)
you know, more, did they think more that you were an idiot? I knew they already thought you were an idiot. Yes, the camp was split for sure. Parents definitely thought it was a stupid idea and I was going to die. Other people thought like, oh man, that's such a good thing to do. That's like, I wish I could have done something like that when I was your age. And I'd say more than 50 % though, had more just concern. Yeah. Well, I would say that.

Or I mean, what do you think now that you've done it and come back and you're, you know, over 10 years past it, you old geezer? Yeah, I mean, I think it's definitely worth it. As far as like concerns, that's just one of those, you just got to judge anywhere where you travel and you feel sketched out. Don't continue going in that direction. That's fair. Just pivot directions.

whether that be a physical directional change or a mental change, right? Yeah, I mean, there is thousands of people doing it all different directions at the same time. Like, sometimes bad things happen, sometimes they don't.

Casey Hyde (08:16.846)
Sweet. So I guess I've kind of walked through everybody's story and how we got involved with TEREN and how the ideas came together. Chris did a really good job of kind of like the story of how you guys met and his origin there with TEREN in the cabin. Give me your, like, when did that idea?

happened for you? Was it on this trip? Was it, was this maybe not the idea, but like, this is a lot of back story. I think we've talked about this a little bit, this trip being such a big focal point in your travel and in your life, like. Yeah, for me, um.

The idea started on this trip, but I didn't know it started on this trip. Okay. Um, I guess now that you're putting me on the spot to do it in a more elaborate way, more elaborate way. You're welcome. Yeah. Um, so I had 60 liters for the entire trip. Okay. And like half of that was camping gear. So I had 30 liters for clothes, laptop, chargers, toiletries, and I think some spare parts. So I had about 20 liters for clothes.

Um, and laptops back then were like, they were, they honkers. They were pretty big. They were like probably 10 liters just in themselves. Um, so I had a very small amount of space. So pretty much one pair of pants. Um, I've tried to pack two pairs of underwear, but somehow I only packed one. I don't know how that happened, but I know how it happens. You just didn't pack the other and you told yourself you did. Yeah. Two pairs of socks, a shirt, a jacket and like rain showers, I think.

Okay. In a swimsuit. I had a swimsuit and I have shorts. Um, and I had to fit shoes in there. So I don't know. I spent all my mental energy, like making the bike exactly how I wanted to. And I spent all my budget on that. And then when I got to clothes, I'm just like, well, clothes are clothes. Like I'll be fine. I'll go to REI and I'll get something. So somebody recommends and he gave me like some polyester shirt and it smelled horrible. Instantly. Um, is that because you smelled horrible?

Casey Hyde (10:22.478)
Oh yeah, for sure. But I mean, other like, you know, Merino Wool, and I can smell horrible for more days before it is bad. But I realized when I got there and we're hanging out with everybody at the hostel, like I looked like a goober with my overly baggy, like cargo pocket zip off hiking stuff. All these Europeans look nice. And I smelled with that one shirt that I couldn't wash very often.

It had to do everything. It had to go do that. And like, you know, when you're out hanging out with a bunch of friends in a nice town, and then we also had to climb Kilimanjaro and we had to go to like the Arctic Circle. So we were like all different types of desert, mountain, like Arctic Circle. Different weather, different terrain. Yeah. And I was cold in the Arctic and I was cold on the way up Kilimanjaro and I just smelled that the entire trip. It is what it is. So.

Did that, did that and then... Okay, just to preface or to interrupt here, Nick looking like a goober and spelling bad, you're blaming the clothes for this? Let's say a high percentage was the clothes and then a low percentage was just your natural... Okay. Nick. Let's go back a little bit. There were times where we're driving through, like I think we had one...

800 miles of basically rock road. Like, there's this big island. Okay. And it's through Lake Turkana in Kenya, in between Kenya and Ethiopia. And we were buying gas out of Coke bottles because there's like zero infrastructure. Wow. It was just basically stick huts that you run into dead camel in the middle of the road. Cause you know, ran out of water.

good signs like that as we're driving through. So all those people that said you were an idiot, you might have been thinking second thoughts there. Well, yeah. Well, it gets worse because we had to go this route because we kind of snuck our motorcycles into the country illegally and this was the one place that we didn't have to check them out in that help. So there was also stupid reasons that we were going this route. The dead camel route was the smartest route for you. But like,

Casey Hyde (12:50.318)
So we obviously were doing a lot of showering during that time and it was a hundred and like four degrees. You sweat a lot.

kicking a bunch of dust in your face. I blame the clothes. It wasn't not showering in the gate. That was a nice roundabout way to blame the clothes. Nice. So, okay, so the smell, the you were cold, the style, the look that you got kind of were not what you expected. So then I went home after the strip and didn't think about it.

And then, um, I was kind of in one of those weird spots in life where I knew I didn't want to be an engineer. Um, didn't like being in a cubicle farm. My wife's very business oriented made me read all these books that got me very like started business mentality. You start searching your brain for all these ideas. And also at that time I was starting to re buy a bunch of camping equipment because my old stuff all got worn out. So I was kind of.

the same time. Yeah, it's like as soon as you get your, all your gear together, somehow the next time you use it, it's all needed to be replaced one by one. It's like you never have like the full, this is everything I want. There's always like half of it. There's always something. Yeah. So I was going through that process and I was having a lot of fun just scouring the internet, looking for things. Same thing with clothes. Like, you know, I never really had myself a good rain jacket. Let me start looking at that. And you start looking at all the stuff and.

Then you start like, Oh, I want to get a pair of hiking pants, but now I know I want them to just kind of not be those overly baggy. It's like something that I could wear into town and not say, Hey, look at me. I'm a thru -hiker. I'm doing a motorcycle trip type of guy. And they were very hard to find. So then that kind of, especially back then. And that kind of like sparks some ideas. And I actually did like try and start sourcing some material, but.

Casey Hyde (14:56.278)
wasn't in a position to do it and then lo and behold one random time, one random day, you meet Chris and you get to know from there from Chris. So if you haven't seen these episodes before, well lucky you, there are three before this one. We're just getting this thing started, but Chris is episode two. First one's just a quick intro, skip that, that's just me talking to myself pretty much. But Chris is episode two and he dives into...

the weekend that you guys met, it was a moto fly fishing trip that got rained out and they had to get in the cabin and they started talking about gear. And then, yeah, so go watch that. I'm not gonna ruin it, keep it short and sweet, but yeah. And then we're here now with our product lineup started with those, pretty much those pair of pants that you were describing that you wanted. That's what I wanted, yep. And do you believe that you have what you want now? Absolutely.

Nice. And then when I was listening to you describe the clothing you packed, you said most of that 60 liters was bike gear, camping gear, and then you were like, and then I had some clothes, but you did describe kind of, what do you, what do you think you described? I just think of describing the kit. The kit. Yeah. So the kit is something that we've pursued at TEREN and we just kind of completed our first line or our first kit. Uh, you can put together one.

pair of shorts, pants, a t -shirt, a button -up shirt, a mid -layer, insulated layer like a puffy, and then a protective layer like a shell. And yeah, you lived it. And I would recommend that exact kit for a trip like this. Like I said, I mean, 105 degrees through the desert with dead camels. I think we just got rained on in the Arctic You would recommend the same kit that you had or the TEREN kit?

It depends, do you want to have a good time or a bad time? Let's just say, hypothetically, I would have a better time. It was like, um... Oh, we're traveling for fun. Yeah, I thought you were trying to like show what you could endure, so then I would... If you wanted to endure something, use the other kid. If you want to have fun, use the TEREN Kit. If you want life to suck, don't wear a TEREN. But if you want to have fun, you should be wearing TEREN. Exactly. Nice. Well, sweet. So, so you...

Casey Hyde (17:20.462)
obviously been to a lot of different places. How many countries did you cover in that trip?

Low 30s. So low 30s in that minimal, terrible kit, pre -TEREN kit, you have a lot of experience in what you should not wear, essentially, clothing that we do not recommend. But you've been a lot of places after that. And, you know, since we've started TEREN and got this thing going, what are some of the craziest places that you've been or some of the craziest trips you've been on?

Um, okay. Um, weird places that like nothing crazy happened was, um, North Korea, Saudi Arabia were probably two of the more oddball countries. I don't know many other people. I do know a couple of people have been there. Yeah. Um, so those were, those were two, um, probably just the two weird countries. Uh, me and my wife, um, my motorcycle got left in Romania. My wife's Romanian. Yeah. Um, she grew up in.

grandparents they have a barn in Romania and I didn't really have the money to ship the motorcycle back from that trip I kind of you know ran out of money after 27 ,000 miles yeah and so I just it's it's still in their barn okay but we we went over there we took a couple months and we like spent time with the grandparents and we did a motorcycle trip through like in Ukraine we went to a country not a country it's Transnistria okay it's like it's like a weird thing I guess when the Soviet Union was collapsing

They wanted to be part of the Soviet Union. So they have like a little war with Moldova and now there's basically like a three city. It's called a county that's in Moldova that is part of Moldova on a map, but they don't pay taxes. They have their own military. They have a border in no other country recognizes them. You just basically, I think they got some stored weapons from the Soviet Union. There's just like a random. They're just living life. They're doing their thing. Yeah.

Casey Hyde (19:26.894)
So you went there and went there. Um, that was just, we didn't even know it existed. So they got to Kishineau and the Capitol and met some people and they're like, Oh yeah, we went to this random country. That's like down there. Talk to so -and -so he's a hundred bucks. And he'll like drive you through, get you through costumes and then like show you around and be your translator. Sometimes your stories, I feel like I know a lot of them, uh, being so close to you, but sometimes I'm like, what? Like, when did you go to this?

country, non -country. Like I haven't heard about this yet. So I guess kind of what I'm getting at is like, you're very well traveled. And that's super neat for us for the breadth of information that you have for an adventure travel gear company. So I love that. Will you dive in a little bit about our name and like the origin and the meaning? Cause you touched on a point that I want you to share.

Yeah, I'm asking you a leading question. Well, we used to be Trekka. Yep. We had a Re-brand and that wasn't fun. So we start spitballing everything, which that was, I'm throwing everything on the board. Me and you putting anything together. And occasionally we'd just go and like easy thing to do is use a word from a different country. A lot of them.

seemed to already be used. Not many people think of Romanian languages when they just think of, let's pull a word. Like they go from French, German, Latin. They never really just say, let's do Romanian. And you proposed, TEREN, which is basically the word for terrain in Romanian. And it worked really well because it kind of had the same look as Trekka, the same, like it was easy to like take kind of our whole.

emblem and everything and kind of like redo it. Yeah, if you look at the R in TEREN, it's the center letter and it's a little bit different than the others. It's a little bit different than the others. And to me, it feels like a nod or a little Easter egg for the fact that it is Romanian. I like to say that our gear takes us to those places that you described as like tougher to get to, not as often sought out.

Casey Hyde (21:55.842)
Um, but still beautiful and miraculous and experience driven and adventure rich. Um, so yeah, so I love that we ended up with this after having to, um, change it for measures that we had no control over. So now I'm going to give a plug to Romania. Like I feel like most people when they are wanting to experience Europe, they want like Romania, they want like Russia. They just don't know it. They just don't.

I mean, they want to go to Paris and they want to sit on like a cobblestone road and listen to people speak French while they have coffee or...

Casey Hyde (22:35.214)
Usually you go to those places and there's guys selling you knockoff Prada bags and tour bus fulls of people speaking English. And Romania is the place where you go to and you'll have a square with like a cat, like castle wall still half built around the city. And the coffee is like a dollar and the wine's maybe $2. And everybody speaking Romanian, which sounds like French or Italian. So if, if you know anyone listeners, if you know anyone who works for.

for the Romanian tourism. We're looking for sponsors for this podcast, vlog, whatever it's gonna end up being. I don't know where it's gonna land, such YouTube, hey YouTube. But yeah, so that's cool. Well, let me hop over here to our next question. While I'm looking, find your favorite sticker on this desk. What do you think your favorite sticker is and tell us about it?

I'm guessing you can't pick a TEREN sticker, right? You can. Well, I mean, that's biased. Let's mix it up a little bit. I don't know how interesting that would be.

Casey Hyde (23:46.35)
I was hoping you'd be able to do this a little faster. I'm ready with my next question. I don't know what you're doing. Well, give me the next question. I'll think about them both at the same time. Now I'm on the spot and I feel like I gotta pick something cool. Alright, so your favorite sticker is one question and then your favorite I kind of like this random carriage. I don't know why. Like it just feels way out of place. Adventure Coach Works. Okay. I think we met them at an Overland Expo once last year. I mean, is this like Adventure Amish? I'm...

grew up in Amish country, so that's interesting. We'll have to look it up, find the website, put it on the screen, we'll do all the things. I like how you just gave yourself a lot of extra post work. Oh, post work is heavy on this one. You gotta edit out Nick Raider -raderisms. But the next question is, okay, so we've built up a pretty solid product lineup, we've built the full kit.

What is your favorite tear and piece? I mean, I like the pants. I think that's just the easiest one. That's Nick said too. I mean, that's what, now I'm doing greater results. So Nick is famous for saying June when he means July, or nine when he means six. Like the things that are close, they're too close. Yeah, yeah. The brain scrambles them up and I say the wrong one.

But that's what Chris said as well. But tell me why the pants. I mean, they're just so good. They're so comfortable. You can wear them with anything. I wear them every day. I've had to actively search out some different pants just so I can kind of get my head outside of these are what pants obviously should be like and this is how they should feel. And you sometimes forget how awesome they are until you put feather pants on. You're like, oh, man, I wonder if I wear these every day. So there's that. I think part of it is just like the...

the amount of time you spend on it. I love our other pieces, like our rain show is awesome, but it's not like, I see it pouring rain outside and thank God it's raining so I can finally wear that show again. James on the other hand did say thank God it's raining in his episode. Yeah, well, he's a kayaker. I am not a good kayaker. You're just not a legit, you're not a committed kayaker. I think I say I kayak, I'm not a kayaker, but there's probably a distinction now.

Casey Hyde (26:15.244)
Oh yeah, I used to be a climber and now I climb. Yeah. I'm someone who can climb. Yeah. I don't get all the invites to the places they go to because I'm not that good. So you can't keep up. I wanted to say any more, but then I was like, you couldn't keep up before. Maybe you should just try not even bother making yourself look good. Nice. So, okay, as we're wrapping up really quick, I just want to ask one last thing. What did, what'd you do last weekend?

Casey Hyde (26:45.004)
This is hilarious that he forgot this already. I was in the Turks in Caicos like Providenciales. So walk us through that. So all of a sudden you had people down there and uncle was down there, your wife, and you had some stuff to do here, but then you just... What happened? We have a big project that we're working on.

construction project and it was supposed to be done the end of the year and so this was going to be like okay finally we can go on vacation and enjoy it so we planned to go to the cake house with some friends since it's cold here and it's warm there and the project's not done yet so I already had my ticket we already like had the Airbnb pay for with everybody Anca was gonna go and then it just turned out instead of me leaving on Tuesday I was gonna leave Friday and go for Friday or Sunday so

I got there Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon. See, he did it. That's cause I just said Tuesday. I got there Friday afternoon and then I had to come back Sunday or on noon. So, I don't know. What is that? Two days? Yeah. You would have get 36 hours. Yeah. It was great. Um, found out like there's kite surfing there. Never been kite surfing. So that was fun. So got some instructional kite surfing and spent a couple hours doing that. I'd say it's worth it. Nice. So.

For me, like, you've traveled over 30 countries at one time, kind of like in a row. You've been to these far off crazy places. You're willing to fly down to Turks and Caicos on a Friday afternoon and back on a Sunday afternoon. That makes me, I like that in one of our co -founders. These are pretty good travel qualities for a co -founder of Adventure Travel Gear.

Pretty inspirational to me. I need to do more of the weekend fly away for a day or two and then fly back. I think that's something that I haven't done as much as the others. I mean, I would more recommend staying longer. But hey, if you can only get in a weekend, you can only get a weekend. So take what you can get. And going back to the book, travel for the sheer thought of it, right? Yeah, absolutely. All right, we're going to end this episode.

Casey Hyde (29:08.43)
You know what? Do a catchphrase that you sign out on? I don't know. I've been trying to figure this out, but it's been dry January and it's, we're recording right now in February 1st. So I'm going to go see if we have a beer and I'll be right back.

So on January like third or fourth, Chris and I had this meeting and he was like, you know what? That deserves a shot. And he had this thing and it was all perfect and ready. And then I had, he's doing this.

And then I had it right here. And I remembered that I was too dry to even breathe. I smelled it and then here I'll let you go first. So cheers. See you next week.

Casey Hyde (30:07.757)
This is my first sip of alcohol and like...

31 days and a half. I could have had a beer poster this morning, but I went to my team.

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