Out and Back

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After 10 years of marriage, Sonya and Necota Staples reached the brink of divorce. They had gotten so caught up in the business of living that they drifted apart. That’s when these city dwellers tried something new: camping. That one trip changed the trajectory of their lives.

In this special Valentine’s Day episode of the Out and Back podcast, Abby and Shanty bring you the story of Sonya and Necota Staples. Tune in to learn how camping and overlanding rejuvenated the Staples’ marriage. The Staples share their story openly and honestly, with humor and insight along the way. They talk about what inspired them to start the YouTube channel and social media presence "StaplesInTents". And they get into why they swapped out their BMWs for a Land Cruiser and some of the fun adventures they've had off road.

Show Notes

Check out Sonya and Necota’s blog, StaplesInTents, as well as their YouTube channel and Instagram.

And connect with their other Instagram handle, BlackPeopleOffroad.

Special thanks to Scott Turner for his contributions to this episode. Make sure to also catch Episode 14 when we chatted with Scott!

Finally, make sure to check out the Out and Back Instagram Page!

Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!

Episode Highlights:
2:30: Meet Sonya and Necota Staples.
3:25: Sonya and Necota met as physics major at North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black college in Greensboro. It wasn’t love at first sight.
5:20: Sonya and Necota started studying together outside. Eventually their friendship leads to more.
8:40: Sonya and Necota strengthened their relationship hiking the gorges in upstate New York.
10:00: Sonya and Necota tell their crazy engagement story. It did not go according to plan.
14:45: Sonya and Necota move to Atlanta, and they settle into city life.
15:30: Sometimes, Sonya went camping with her best friend Teressa. Necota never went.
17:00: Sonya and Necota’s marriage starts to unravel. 
18:30: The Staples start marriage counseling. Things don’t improve, until their marriage counselor gives them one key piece of advice.
19:40: The marriage counselor’s advice came at the perfect time. The Staples go camping for the first time together.
20:30: The camping trip starts off very poorly.
21:50: Sonya says something to Necota that flips a switch in his head. He makes the choice to be happy.
23:00: Necota shares why a campfire is so important to him.
23:45: The Staples go all-in on camping.
25:00: How camping and connecting with nature healed the Staples’ marriage.
30:00: The Staples start their blog, YouTube channel and social media account StaplesInTents. Tune in to find out why.
32:33: How the Staples’ love for shopping intersections with their passions for camping and overlanding.
34:00: Sonya and Necota purchase their first offroad vehicle, Frank the Tank, and go on their first overlanding trip to Tray Mountain. A few things go wrong.
35:50: The Staples become seasoned overlanders, overlanding across the US and in South America.
37:00: The Staples start their second social media account, BlackPeopleOffroad.
40:00: 2020 got off to a rough start for the Staples, even before the pandemic made its way to the US. They turn to camping and overlanding, and realize how far they’ve come.

What is Out and Back?

In the Out and Back Podcast presented by Gaia GPS, thru-hiker Andrew “Shanty” Baldwin, professional guide/outdoorswoman Mary "Hiker Midnight" Cochenour, and professional athlete Abby Levene dive deep into conversation with long-distance hikers, record-breaking athletes, offroad travelers who sold everything to live full-time on the dusty backroads, and other awesome guests who have mastered their backcountry craft.

In every show, Shanty, Mary, and Abby tap into each backcountry expert’s superpower so you can take their experience and knowledge with you on your next adventure.