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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Essential Overlanding Upgrades to Make Before Your Trip

Image by sshepard via iStock

Overlanding is an open invitation to adventure, a gateway to the uncharted. Every journey is a narrative filled with unpredictable twists, each destination a chapter in your story. However, your vehicle needs to be on par with your adventurous spirit to embark on this narrative. This is where overlanding upgrades step in.

Gear up and transform your rig into a resilient companion ready to tackle muddy trails and rocky paths. Equipping your vehicle with the right set of overlanding gear boosts performance, ensuring safety and comfort wherever the trail leads. It’s about transforming your vehicle into a reliable, trail-ready machine.

We’re about to dive into upgrades crucial for your overlanding escapades. From robust tires that cling to the terrain to an efficient air compressor that keeps the adventure rolling, these upgrades are your ticket to a smoother, safer journey. 

Before you chase the horizon, let’s gear up your vehicle for the wild ride that awaits!

Table of Contents

Upgrade Your Vehicle’s Tires

Milestar Tires Patagonia MT-02 2

When it comes to overlanding, your tires are the literal point of contact between adventure and your vehicle. Choosing the right set can significantly affect your journey, especially when the trails get tough.

Mud-terrain (MT) tires often outshine all-terrain (AT) tires in such scenarios. Their aggressive tread patterns provide better traction on rough and slippery terrains, making them a prime choice for the adventurers at heart.

milestar banner 4

Among the revered names in the MT tire realm, the Patagonia MT-02 tires by Milestar stand out, embodying the essence of rugged reliability. These tires are born from real-world feedback and professional rock crawling competitions, encapsulating years of off-road expertise in their design.

milestar patagonia mt review

One of the noteworthy upgrades in the Patagonia M/T-02 is the integration of cross-directional siping…

This transformation, coupled with Milestar’s MILETECH compound, gives the tire added strength and impact protection. The 3-Ply Sidewall technology strikes a delicate balance between rigidity for maximum sidewall durability and flexibility for that much-needed aired-down bite in rock-crawling scenarios.

With a section width of 315 millimeters, a load capacity of 3500 pounds, and a symmetrical tread type, these tires are built to endure. Get more details in my video review above.

Investing in the Patagonia M/T-02 tires isn’t merely about gearing up for your next expedition; it’s a commitment to ensuring your overlanding adventures are backed by reliable, high-performance tires capable of conquering the uncharted terrains awaiting you.




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Overlanding Upgrades: Improve Your Air Compressor Situation


Air compressors are an essential yet often overlooked component of your overlanding upgrades. Managing tire pressure on the go is indispensable when traversing varied terrains. The neon green MORRFlate TenSix Pro air compressor is a stellar gadget designed to enhance this aspect of your adventure, making tire inflation a breeze rather than a chore.

What sets the TenSix Pro apart is its high-speed inflation. It can inflate a set of 35″ tires from 10 to 40 psi in 6.5 minutes when combined with the right gear. The compressor boasts a robust air flow rate of 10.6 CFM at 0 PSI, showing its capability to quickly get your tires to the desired pressure, saving you time on the trail.

morrflate pro air compressor with jeep

Now, to maximize the utility of the TenSix Pro, the MORRFlate Mega Quad Kit is a game-changer…

This kit allows simultaneous inflation or deflation of up to 6 tires, streamlining the process further. It’s a plug-and-play setup with no installation needed, making it a hassle-free addition to your overlanding gear.

Incorporating the MORRFlate TenSix PSI Pro Compressor and Mega Quad Kit in your overlanding upgrades is about elevating convenience and efficiency. These tools work in synergy to minimize downtime related to tire pressure adjustments, allowing you more time to immerse in the adventurous essence of overlanding.

Check out my video review above for further details!

Overlanding Upgrades Should Include Protection for Your Vehicle

warn zeon 10 winch installation

When venturing into the wild, the underbelly of your vehicle is prone to hits from rugged terrains. Skid plates provide a shield, guarding vital components like the engine and transmission against rocks and rough patches. They are a crucial upgrade, turning potential vehicle damage into minor bumps along your journey. A rugged bumper up front can also help protect your vehicle’s front end.

sliders for 4x4s

Rock sliders play a similar protective role but for the sides of your vehicle. Rock sliders act as a barrier when navigating through narrow trails with protruding rocks or during off-camber situations, preventing direct hits to your vehicle’s body. Moreover, they can also serve as a step to ease access to roof-mounted equipment.

The combination of skid plates and rock sliders significantly enhances the resilience of your vehicle against rough terrains. They provide peace of mind, allowing you to take challenging paths with a well-protected vehicle, making your overlanding adventures more enjoyable and less stressful.

Overlanding Upgrades: Don’t Forget Suspension Components

Coiled Spring or Suspension SystemSuspension System for Off-road vehicle

Image by Supersmario via iStock

The suspension system is your vehicle’s buffer against the harsh realities of rough terrains. Upgrading to a more robust, off-road-centric suspension setup can significantly enhance both your ride comfort and your vehicle’s ability to tackle tough trails. 

Improved springs, for instance, provide better weight handling capabilities, ensuring your vehicle remains balanced even when loaded with overlanding gear. Heavy-duty steering components are another worthy upgrade. They ensure precise steering control in challenging conditions, reducing the chances of understeer or oversteer.

Upgraded shocks also play a pivotal role in absorbing the jolts and jounces of off-road trails, translating to a smoother ride. Moreover, they improve the vehicle’s handling dynamics, keeping the tires in contact with the ground for better traction and control. This upgrade isn’t just about comfort; it’s about enhancing your vehicle’s capability to traverse difficult terrains.

Having a Better Overlanding Trailer Helps, Too!

second wind stealth side view

It isn’t just your vehicle that needs some love before you head out on your adventures…

If you’re still kicking around with an old ground tent, rooftop tent, or trailer, it might be time to upgrade your accommodations to make your trips all the better. The question is, what trailer fits the bill?

Just a couple of weeks ago, I spoke highly of Second Wind Trailers and their Freedom Stealth rig that’s new for 2024, and I find myself once again thinking about this trailer for this application!

second wind stealth galley

At its heart, the Freedom Stealth is a beautifully designed, well-built machine that will make your adventures more functional and comfortable. Not only is it an absolutely beautiful trailer – the black finish looks like something out of Knight Rider – but it offers all the space you need to travel comfortably.

For example, there’s a spacious galley in the back where you’ll find birch cabinets for storage, a resin countertop for preparing meals, and a large upswinging door that provides you with protection from the elements while you cook.

second wind stealth cabin view

Inside the trailer, you’ll find a spacious cabin with a full-size memory foam mattress, more birch cabinets for storage, and smart features like insulated walls, an insulated ceiling, and two side doors, both with screened windows.

The trailer rides on a welded weather-resistant trailer frame with 15″ radial tires that results in a smooth trailering experience. The Freedom Stealth offers up to 14″ of standard ground clearance as well, so it’s a more-than-capable companion for more adventurous travels off-road.

second wind stealth front

And, again…just look at this thing! I know aesthetics aren’t necessarily what you should focus on when buying a trailer, but in this case, how this trailer looks is indicative of the blood, sweat, and tears that the Second Wind Trailers team puts into each and every build.

Besides, there’s something to be said for supporting local businesses like Second Wind Trailers. The money you spend on one of their trailers helps support the local economy rather than sending it overseas, and you get a better product as a result. What’s not to like about that?!


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Is a winch necessary for overlanding?

A winch is not mandatory, but it’s a highly recommended piece of equipment for overlanding enthusiasts. It’s your get-out-of-jail card when you find yourself stuck in mud, sand, or a tricky spot. Having a winch boosts your self-recovery chances, allowing you to pull your vehicle out of difficult situations. 

Do you need AWD for overlanding?

While All-Wheel Drive isn’t a strict necessity, it certainly provides an advantage on uneven and challenging terrains. Vehicles with AWD or 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive) are better suited to handle the unpredictable conditions you might encounter on your adventure. They offer better grip, power distribution, and overall control, making your journey safer and more enjoyable.

What is overlanding vs off-roading?

Overlanding and off-roading are often used interchangeably, but they denote different types of adventures. Overlanding is about the journey, often spanning multiple days or even weeks, exploring remote and less-traveled paths, and being self-reliant on the gear you carry with you. 

Off-roading, on the other hand, is more about tackling challenging terrains, usually for a shorter duration. While both involve driving on rough trails, overlanding is more about exploration and adventure, while off-roading is more focused on conquering difficult terrains.

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