Community Events: Trunk or Treat


Community Events: Trunk or Treat

Given some of the chaos that is going on in our cities and the rising crime and unrest, letting our “littles” go door to door, seeking candy is becoming a thing of the past. It would be great to return to the days of near-universal trust in our neighbors on Samhain, but we simply have to be more diligent and protective. ( I know some locations are still safe and fun, but for those of us in bigger cities, it is a challenge).

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As a response to this, one of the things we are seeing spread through the off-road communities is the idea of “Truck or Treat.” Local clubs join up with local businesses, take over a parking lot, and dole out candy and treats from the backs of trucks. Some vehicle owners even “costume” up their rigs for a more festive feel. This is not a new idea, but it is definitely proliferating.


These events either take place on the 31st (taking the place of a traditional neighborhood crawl) or happen on the weekend prior. Many locations will invite food trucks, rent bouncy houses (or other features to entertain the kids after they have claimed all of the available treats), and create a little mini-festival. Adults can socialize while the kids run around in a contained location that is generally a lot safer than open neighborhoods. Plus, you can be sure that the treats given out are safer than that of random houses–we haven’t heard of any instances where an attendee of a “Truck or Treat” passed out tainted candy or otherwise acted with malice.

Bouncy houses for the kids after they have scored candy and treats at all of the trucks.

If you want to entice adults, you can pass out stickers and patches rather than candy or discount codes to your favorite off-road services and products (shameless plug for onX Offroad, the sponsor of this series).

Some vehicles are not even overlanders, and these events can become part car show.

This year, one of our newer clubs organized an event along with a local business (Trucks Unique) with dozens of attendees, some of whom were not part of the clubs. Partnering with local businesses allows everyone to spread the word and share within different social networks. On relatively short notice, the club and business were able to bring in food trucks, a bouncy house, and a bunch of rigs. It was run during the middle of the day and even helped raise some donations for a local charity.

In addition to candy for the kids, the adults could win prizes if they modded up their vehicles for the festivities. The winner was a local that also sets up crazy yard decorations and a haunted house (of which the truck is a component), and for which they raise food donations for families in need.

If you have a local club, this is a good way to invite members of the community, interface and collaborate with local businesses, and provide a safer environment for kids to parade around in costumes and beg for treats. One of the ways we, as off-road/Overland enthusiasts, help keep trails open and dialog flowing is by working within our communities to spread awareness–events like “Truck and Treats” are great places to engage with the public and promote our hobby and culture.

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Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Before that, he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie,” and assaults 14er in his sandals, and engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming copious water. To fund these adventures, he writes all manner of content (having also held editor positions at several publications) and teaches wilderness medicine and off-road skills. He hopes that his posts will help you find the gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it (and the training to use it). Learn from his mistakes--he is known (in certain circles) for his curse...ahem, find the breaking point of anything. You can follow him at

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