When you speak to Matt Frick, owner of Baja California-based off-road adventure company Camp 4Lo, it will quickly become apparent that he’s the real deal.
He possesses a unique entrepreneurial spirit that’s defined by sparking equal parts fun, adventure, and wonder in every person that comes on one of his unique rides. According to Matt, there’s nothing better to him than having first-timers come on one of his trips and personally showing them the natural beauty, laid-back lifestyle, and comradery of an off-road trip through the Baja California peninsula. As he said, once you come down here once, you’ll never be the same again.
The foundation of this unique idea started for Matt as a kid growing up in car-crazy, Torrance, California. At the age of 17, he and his buddies would take the bus to a local VW shop where they would help do everything from sweep floors to change oil. While working there, Matt was introduced to a business owner named Ron Brant that owned a telecom company and also happened to be a legendary desert racer who regularly raced in Baja 500. One day, Ron came to Matt with an offer he couldn’t refuse: come down to Baja and pre-run the course prior to the race. Just like any 17-year-old kid, Matt immediately said yes but, you know, he had to get his mom’s permission too.
Don’t worry, she said yes!
That first trip was unforgettable, and Matt (who also happens to be gut-bustlingly funny) retells the experience of being handed the keys to an International Pickup Truck at 5 AM, and told to basically drive through this random town he had never been to in a country he’d never been to, and just “keep staying left”. Well, eventually, Matt made it through after having the time of his life and was hooked on Baja, and hooked off-road racing. At that point, Matt knew for certain that he eventually wanted to end up in Baja permanently one day, and everything he did in his life needed to move towards that goal.
Early on, Matt realized he didn’t really want to be a mechanic, but he still wanted to play an integral role in motorsports and car culture in general. He built a successful career in telecom and worked for Ron for many, many years. Eight weeks out of each year, Ron would shut down the business and call upon Matt to help with all sorts of duties out on the course; from prerunning to working in the pit crew. Ron retired in 2010, but Matt knew that his time in Baja was just beginning.
Not only does Matt get his hands dirty, but he’s also pretty handy with a camera as well. He had the opportunity to work did some fantastic work for Trackside Photo, a legendary group of renegade photographers that includes names like Jim Ober and Chris Halston. From the wheel-to-wheel racing at Long Beach, Riverside, and Laguna Seca, to avoiding the BLM by scouting out the best off-road photo locations on federal lands, Matt has provided a front-row view for some of the greatest racing events in the Southland.
In the midst of his career, and love of racing, Matt also raised a family of 4 kids (including twins!). Rather than buy a motorhome or trailer, he purchased a small house (he claims it was one step above tent camping) on a beautiful, isolated stretch of beach 8 miles off the main road in Baja. He told us some fantastic stories about this shack on the beach, where his family and his good friend Bill Bryant, owner of Biltwell Motorcycle Gear, and their kids would spend lazy summer days just hanging out, racing quads on the sand, and building some incredible memories.
This lifestyle, this vibe, is exactly why Matt wanted to start Camp4Lo and what makes these trips so damn special. From all these years in Baja, Matt has a unique level of experience that sets him apart from most guides and he began to figure out that his knowledge could potentially be turned into a business. It started with just a few trips, here and there with friends or friends of friends, but soon more and more off-road enthusiasts were looking to join up on these epic journeys. This had Matt wondering, “Is this a thing?”.
Well, it turns out it’s more than just a thing and the interest has grown exponentially since he started offering structured events around 2015. From small, 6 - 8 rig groups to gigantic “Fiesta” runs with 45 - 50 rigs and nearly 100 hundred people, these events are unique opportunities to experience the rugged beauty, challenging terrain, and local hospitality with one of the most experienced group of Baja California experts in the United States. Camp 4Lo is the culmination of blood, sweat, tears, and dreams.
Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 put a bit of a damper on the growth of Camp 4Lo, but Matt and his group of buddies are back and better than ever with the Milestar Tires 4Lo Fiesta, set to take place October 21-24 of 2021! Having the backing of incredible sponsors like Milestar Tires allows Fiesta goers to get a first-hand look at products that make off-roading such an incredible hobby, and meet with other enthusiasts who enjoy this unique lifestyle. As Matt said, this is only the beginning and who knows where we’ll go from here in the coming years!
At Whiteknuckler Brand, we build beautiful, yet functional American-made goods that are made to last. Let’s face it - when you’re out on a trail, rolling through a landscape as beautifully rugged as the Baja peninsula, you’ll need products that are born to work and stand up to abuse. Whiteknuckler brings that intense functionality with a classic, custom style that looks as good in your 4x4 as it does next to the hotel pool at the end of the ride. No matter where life takes you, Whiteknuckler is down for the ride.
We’re proud to be able to partner with Camp 4Lo and encourage you to explore your wild side and book a trip with Matt and his crew soon.