Updated: Mar 15, 2022
When we created this in 2014 it was not intended to be a worldwide phenomena, it was to go have fun in cheap cars with a few friends and you should too, wherever you are. "The Gambler" in Oregon is now a giant festival of sorts for people to show off their creations, meet/reunite with friends from across the country/world, race at HooptieX and explore Oregon's amazing backcountry while making public lands a better place. The term Gambler is now a calling card for cool cheap fun havers and we don't want to keep people from having to same kind of fun we did in the beginning.
We chose to run it like a brand and grow it as a culture (gambler stuff). As long as people don't monetize it people can use the name and logo through "fair use" as a calling card to go create the same kinds of adventure we had before it became the world's largest car rally/show/adventure. Whether it's for a bachelor party, family reunion, trail cleanup or just find likeminded people in your area. In some places where there isn't as much public land to camp, the landowner/campground can collect fees and organizers will sell run specific shirts with dates to cover costs like portapotties or trash disposal as long as they're not trying to just profit. In most states groups under 75 people can camp for free on public land without a permit and as long as you're doing a trail cleanup rangers will not hassle you (how we did it the first three years and I promise small groups of 5-20 cars are the best). Facebook and Instagram is a good place to start finding other groups. Yes there can and should be multiple runs on every weekend in all States/corners of the Earth, who cares if you and your small group are out having fun. We also encourage people to create their own runs from wherever they are to get to the Gambler every year (last weekend of June). The goal is an outdoor navigation adventure definitely not a race.
Step one: Email/text/tag your friends or make a post in Rally Group if you have FB: HERE with proposed date and area.
Step two: Map out some GPS coordinates in the backcountry that will challenge people in typically 2wd cars. Single day events are fun but a campout in the middle can be rad.
Step three: Notify group/friends/email chain of time and place to begin and start sharing builds and info.
Step four: Rally day, meet up and distribute waypoints, we typically let people go at 5 minute intervals as to not create a wagon train.
Step five: Have fun, gamble alongside your friends, pick up trash and encourage the only rule Don't be a d**k.
Step six: Don't make it work, it should be fun. The don't monetize rule is in place to keep the wrong people from starting and keeping it fun for you. The small runs are the funnest, it never got funner for us at the original than year one with 14 cars.
It's pretty simple, fun>rules. We want to share the recipe so people who can't get to Oregon every year can have fun where they're at and celebrate what makes the idea so cool.