Tamika Willstead – Ladies Offroad Challenge Featured Entry
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Tamika Willstead – Ladies Offroad Challenge Featured Entry

Tamika Willstead – Ladies Offroad Challenge Featured Entry

Tamika Willstead LOC 7Tamika Willstead
Stillman Valley, IL


"Tamika Willstead, Stillman Valley, IL – Tamika will be graduating welding school the end of May and is preparing herself to enter the offroad world! She has raised her children, pulled herself from the trenches of PTSD, and has turned her focus on her love for the outdoors ready to enjoy her life the way it was intended. Her offroad experience includes driving her Jeep through Tamika Willstead LOC 4the Rocky Mountains and in the Illinois offroad parks. She has done most of the work on her XJ including replacing
a lift kit, installing a front locker, trimmed the fenders for extra clearance and helped replace the straight six motor. She has found her spot and motivation in life!"

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Tell us about yourself

Hi, I'm Tamika. I will soon be 40 years young, I actually turn 40 June 12th during the actual experience. What a dream come true, an actual chance to show my skills and love for the offroad community. I will be graduating welding school May 21st 2018, I am preparing myself to enter the offroad world.  I have raised my children and have turned my focus on my love for the outdoors and ready to enjoy my life the way I was intended.  I have pulled myself from the trenches of PTSD and realized there's so much more to life. I'm on my way!

Tamika Willstead LOC 4How long have you been offroading? 

I am fairly new in the offroading scene. The first time I was introduced to offroading in a jeep, was about 4 years ago. I have done a little offroading on quads and side by sides, but nothing to extreme.

How did you get into offroading?

I was introduced into the offroading lifestyle during a rough life transition. Being diagnosed with complex PTSD during a rough divorce, I found that offroading calmed me, relaxed me and took me to another place. It has become a calming technique for my PTSD.

Tamika Willstead LOC 4Tell us about your vehicle:

I have 2 Jeeps:

Poison Ivy is a 2001 Cherokee Sport-XJ Rough Country, 4 inch long arm lift kit 33" All-Terrain tires, Aussie Locker/front, Adams Driveshaft with Slip Yoke Eliminator, new Crate Motor

My 2008 Wrangler Unlimited- JKU is stock.

What has been your favorite offroad experience?

I drove from Illinois to Colorado Springs into the mountains, down to Durango, Silverton, Ouray Area, then to Imogene Pass, Telluride, then through more mountains, finally landing in Moab. Wheeled a couple days in Moab, then back through the mountains. I went through 13 national parks/ forest on the trip. Then I drove back to Illinois.

What was your most exciting offroad achievement?

Not falling off the side of the mountain on Imogene Pass in Colorado - hahaha. Seriously, just getting out of some of the small-town mud holes we have in IL has been a great achievement.

Tamika Willstead LOC 7Applying to Ladies Offroad Challenge and still being involved has been a great achievement for me. I cannot wait to see where this path leads me and where I fit in. I want to see what all goes into the offroading community (I've seen parts and I know there’s a bigger picture I haven't seen yet). And of course, networking.

What excites you about offroading?

Being able to go places most people can’t. I am very in tune with nature, offroading has taken me places most people never get to see in person. Also, being able to see what my rig is capable of and pushing it to the limits, if it breaks, upgrade and push it to the limits again.

Tamika Willstead LOC 7What do you think is the most challenging aspect of offroading?

Did you hear that noise? It’s just a rock in the brakes, we are good! Hahaha - Breaking parts is the most challenging part for me. I am not a mechanic but I’m mechanically inclined. I’m a quick learner and not scared to get dirty.

Which aspect of offroading do you think is the most fun?

Tamika Willstead LOC 4Enjoying the scenery, the company.... And getting dirty!!!

What does prepping for an adventure look like in your world?

Lists, lots of lists, lots of checking and double checking.

Making sure the vehicle is mechanically sound is of most importance. Navigation is another importance aspect.

What is on your offroading bucket list?

Work for a great brand and make great offroad things.

Visit as many National Parks as I possibly can.

Tamika Willstead LOC 4Go to SEMA, King of the Hammers, Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep Beach, Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion.

Make some sweet jeep-her friends for life.

Tell us about who you go offroading with:

I haven’t been offroading in about 9 months. It's killing me, the main reason is I don’t have anybody to really go with me right now. It’s best not to wheel alone. I actually use to be part of this little family orientated jeep group but it fell apart, that’s another reason I have been reaching out to different jeep groups recently. I love Jeepers.

What is a piece of advice you have been given that you instill in your offroading adventures?

Don’t wheel alone, use D-rings not hooks, use straps not chains.

Always be cautious of your surroundings.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

I’m a student welder and will be graduating at the end of May 2018. I want to work on offroad vehicles.





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Awesome Go Tamika!


I love your story and all the pictures! You look like you are really enjoying yourself! Great job!


Great story Tamika!