Kicked Back & Fourwheeling In The Can-Am Defender Max XT

Tom takes the Can-Am Defender Max XT out for a canyonlands camping trip and brings everything but the kitchen sink.

Can-Am Defender Max XT Loaded with Camping Gear
Can-Am Defender Max XT Loaded with Camping Gear

Idaho, USA – -( A few weeks ago Fredy Riehl, the editor of Ammoland Shooting Sports News and his daughter came out to visit me to go on a four-wheeling trip. He lives in New Jersey, so he has to come out to Idaho to get a touch of reality every once in a while. This trip he wanted to bring his daughter Carly with him. I have all daughters too, so I said sure. Instead of using four-wheelers, we decided to test out a new Can-Am Defender Max XT.

The Can-Am Defender Max XT was the star of our camping trip.

The Can-Am Defender XT seats six and has a powerful 72 hp Rotax HD10 V-Twin tuned for serious off road work so it had no problem hauling plenty of gear for a completely loaded-out camping trip. I did not have to leave anything behind this trip. We drove over 60 miles of rugged Idaho, Owyhee Country back roads at paved road speeds.

Can Am Defender Max XT
Picking up the Can-Am Defender Max XT at Dennis Dillon Rv in Boise, Id, compared to my four-wheeler this was a Cadillac.
Fredy Riehl checking out the pack Rat Piles
Fredy Riehl checking out the pack Rat Piles

Fredy and I have gone backpacking/flyfishing etc. the last couple of years and this year I thought it’d be fun to take him four-wheeling on the Nevada-Idaho border, so we headed south. There are thousands if not millions of acres you can four-wheel on, and even more, if you throw in the big ranch outfit that I used to work at. I don’t know how many acres they own? They have 32,000 cow/calf pairs, so it takes a lot of pasture for that many cows.

Fredy & Carly flew in, and I picked them up at the Boise airport. We had to run up the way and pick up the Can-Am Defender Max side by side four-seater that we were supposed to test out on this adventure and grab a big enough rental trailer to haul it down south.

Can-Am sent the Defender over to Dennis Dillon Rv in Boise, Id. ( The guys at Dennis Dillon Rv were great, not only did they wash the machine in advance of our pickup, they worked out some key issues and got us all the proper license tags need for Idaho right in the shop. If you are in the Boise area and you need parts, advice or a machine stop in and see their selection and talk to these down to earth guys.  The Defender XT? Wow, compared to my four-wheeler this was a Cadillac!

Next, we ran by a local outdoor store, and they stocked up on a few last-minute items. Alps Mountaineering was supplying us with a Meramac 5 tent, sleeping bag, and pad but unfortunately the package didn’t make it on time. Luckily I had an old Alps Lynx II tent that Fredy got to test. Camp Chef had sent us one of their neat little backpacking stoves, the Stryker 200 Multi-Fuel Stove.

There had been a fire ban so I was scared that we might not be able even to build a fire, which was a major bummer since a roaring fire is such a big part of camping.

CRKT Mossback Bird and Trout Knife
CRKT Mossback Bird and Trout Knife

CRKT had supplied us with some of their sweet little Mossback Bird and Trout knives. I love those small knives. At first glance, you may discount them for being too petite but think again. They’re great. They’re lightweight and handy.

I also packed along my Riton binocs. We were going to be in some good elk, deer and antelope country so I wanted to be able to let them see some nice bulls. You wouldn’t believe the enormous herds of elk I see down in that country, sometimes herds of up to 500.

Cordova Coolers Can-Am Camping IMG: Tom Claycomb
I always find old cabins. I love looking around them. At one old homestead, Carly found an old buckboard wagon in perfect shape. Cordova Coolers Can-Am Camping IMG: Tom Claycomb

I love four-wheeling in the Owyhees along the Nevada/Idaho state line. I always find old cabins. I love looking around them. At one old homestead, Carly found an old buckboard wagon in perfect shape. It had been parked off to the side and was overgrown with bushes. The wheels were gone but other than that it was in excellent shape.

I had found a cool canyon a couple of years ago while elk hunting. The sides of the canyon were sheer straight down rock walls. I hit it with my rangefinder, and it was 250 yards down if I remember correctly. I want to show it to Fredy and Carly, but we couldn’t find it until the last day when we only had an hour left. We hit it upstream a little bit up from where it got steep, so they didn’t get to see the coolest part, but it was still a good view.

Idaho Geodes
Idaho Geodes

As we were hiking up the rim back to the four-wheeler, Fredy noticed some geodes on the ridge. They are rocks as big as ostrich eggs, and if you cut the geodes in half, they are full of crystals, we also found plenty that were naturally broke in half. They’re like a coconut cut in half which has a concave area in it with quartz inside. They’re kinda cool. Too bad we did not know what we were looking at out there as we left the best ones on the ground.


We got to see a lot of cool country and the Can-Am Defender Max XT impressed me. We had no trouble getting around everywhere we wanted to go. Coming out of camp we loaded it down, and it carried all of our gear out in one trip…..and we had some gear. Impressive! Can-Am has some promotions on select Defender models with rebates up to $1,800, but the offers end October 31, 2018. I can not recommend this machine enough.

Well, things finally came to an end, but we had barely gotten started exploring. There may be a Part II next summer. And, we saw four coyotes, so I’m pretty sure there will be a few upcoming coyote hunts.

Tom Claycomb : Eurasian Dove Hunting
Tom Claycomb

About Tom Claycomb

Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”


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