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Verne Simons

Adventurer, Builder & Media Profesional

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As an enthusiast who has worked for several off-road aimed magazines over the past 22 years Verne Simons eats, breaths, sleeps, and bleeds off-road, but he has also lived a storied life filled with travel, higher education, and more. He has built several magazine project vehicles learning how to do major vehicle repairs and upgrades, design, welding (TIG and MIG), metal fabrication and more. Verne learned to drive in a Russian made 4x4 in the Sahara Desert when he was 11 years old and has been obsessed with off-road vehicles ever since.


Verne’s first work experience was in sales at a camping store, and then as a tour guide and teaching assistant in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar where he lived in a tent for 6 months, bathing in a local river. Verne has also traveled extensively in western Europe, Egypt and East Africa with most of his time in East Africa being spent in Madagascar and Tanzania.


After a short, 2-year stint as a feature editor for Jp Magazine (a Jeep only publication) in Los Angeles, California, in the early 2000s Verne returned to the east coast of the United States and earned a position as a graduate student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in OU’s demanding Biological Sciences Department of Evolutionary Biology. During his graduate studies Verne participated in several Paleontological expeditions mainly in Tanzania looking for Cretaceous dinosaur fossils as well as Eocene era mammal fossil localities. After earning a Masters Of Science in Biology, Verne was a visiting professor at Ohio University teaching labs for Vertebrate and Human Anatomy as well as a non-majors lecture class on animal life to 175 students.


Subsequent to that Verne moved to Peoria, Arizona where he now lives working full time for Jp Magazine, then Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine and then Four Wheeler Magazine over the past 10 years. Verne lives for off-roading and camping, exploring, learning about the world around us, travel, and greatly enjoys teaching either in person or via the written word via his huge catalog of published magazine articles.


Verne has advanced degrees in Biological Anthropology, Geology and the Biology. Verne is also a devoted husband to his beautiful wife, and loving father to 8-year-old fraternal twins which are the light of his life and accompany him on frequent camping and exploring trips around the Southwest.


Since 2010 Verne has also attended 12 Ultimate Adventure trips as a photographer, writer, and vehicle builder. His highest profile vehicle builds have been the official Ultimate Adventure Vehicles, building the last 5 vehicles for the event from his home shop in Arizona. Verne is undoubtably a Jeep nut obsessed with Jeep’s history, with penchants for Toyota 4x4s, Land Rover vehicles, Chevy, Ford, International Harvester and many other off-road SUVs and trucks.

Verne may be one of the most interesting personalities in off road! Check out his interview with Big Rich here.

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