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Whether it’s the vehicle itself, your kitchen setup, bonus exterior features, technical supplies or a proper first aid kit, there are quite some items you should have on your overlanding gear checklist. Especially since you have to be equipped for the worst to enjoy the most out of your trip with the least amount of stress.
In this article, we will cover overlanding camping gear for your next trip and we will also provide you with a handy overlanding gear list to make sure you know what kind of gear to take with yourself.
Overlanding Truck Gear
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When you venture off-road in your 4×4 vehicle, you should be prepared and ready for every situation with the right overlanding gear as it involves a little more than just driving through the dirt. Make sure you have tools in your overlanding gear to do basic repairs and of course, the knowledge of how to perform easy fixes on your vehicle. Apollo Tools have a nifty set with a good price tag, which you can check it out here.
Another tip for your overlanding gear checklist is to always keep a detailed map of the area in your glove compartment, together with a compass. Don’t depend on your electronics too much as they can run out of battery or out of service. It’s best to always carry an analog backup in your overlanding gear.
If you get stuck or need a tow, you will really appreciate having a proper tow cable in your overlanding gear; if you can, bring a backup just in case it ends up breaking. And don’t try to save a few bucks on any cheap or unbranded cables as they tend to have a smaller load-bearing and will break more easily than a specialized one would. Rhino USA and JCHL have various options you can choose.
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If you’re planning on getting stuck (don’t we all?), pack a shovel, gloves and a set of recovery boards or grip mats to help you get your truck out of the mud.
Make sure that you do not overload your truck by bringing too much overlanding gear, as getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with an overheated engine is also something you want to avoid at all costs.
Lastly, it is crucial to pick the right kind of all-terrain tires for the job. You can’t tow your truck efficiently while you have a puncture, so don’t forget to bring a spare one also. You don’t want to end up needing a tow when you get stuck with a puncture somewhere miles away from civilization.
Overlanding Gear Checklist: The Kitchen
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Whether you have a huge camper fitted with an all-out kitchen system or simply put a burner on your truck bed, you need to consider what your overlanding kitchen essentials are according to the conditions. For example, when using a gas stove, keep in mind that a Butane stove will not function under 39F. So, if you plan on overlanding in colder weather, a propane burner like Gas One Double should be one of your essential overlanding gears.
Depending on the length of your trip, you might not need anything more than a compact refrigerator, but you can also equip your overlanding vehicle with an actual fridge like the RecPro RV. There are many different types and models on the market, but a compressor camping fridge is best suitable for your overlanding gear since they are the most energy-efficient.
A well-equipped kitchen should always contain BPA free water containers as water is vital in your overlanding gear. It is preferable to get one that is shock resistant as you don’t want your vehicle to turn into a pool If any of your gear comes loose by accident.
Lastly, prepare a ready-to-go overlanding kitchenware box. It should contain pots, pans, kitchen utensils, plates, cups, bowls and cutlery. You can simply snag up and store them in their box as soon as you’re done using them to make sure you can’t forget anything. It is wise to invest in melamine-free items as melamine is extremely poisonous and they can deposit small amounts of formaldehyde into your food.
Overlanding Gear Checklist: A Power Supply to Make It Work & Back It All Up
A good power supply is another vital part of your overlanding gear…
You will need a strong and dependable unit that won’t leave you hanging out there. We highly recommend Briter Products’ Lithium-Ion batteries specifically for this purpose.
These batteries are incredibly durable and reliable with their high life expectancy because of their depth of discharge, which is 80-90% compared to the 50% of regular car batteries.
These batteries also charge quickly and carry a 5-year standard warranty, with an additional warranty available for FMCA members.
I have two of these bad boys installed in my Turtleback Expedition Series Trailer (you can see the complete setup in the video above), and I couldn’t be happier with them. They offer all the power I need for my overlanding adventures – and then some.
With the huge depth of discharge, a 5,000-cycle lifespan, the ability to service the batteries, and Bluetooth connectivity that allows me to check the battery levels from my phone, these batteries are simply incredible!
Overlanding Camping Gear
Regardless of the size of your vehicle, an awning will come in handy as part of your kit for shelter if it ends up raining, and you want more of a dinner than a simple sandwich. Hasika has a great option here. Add it to your overlanding gear checklist!
If you don’t have an awning on your vehicle, bring a tarp and rope or elastic cables to put it up. It will provide an alternative shelter from the rain and it will allow you to cook. The same applies to shade on a sunny day.
Always bring an extra set of warm and dry clothes and a spare set of dry socks and shoes. If your truck gets stuck or you have to cross standing water, you may need a dry backup pair to avoid getting sick, or at the very least being very uncomfortable in soggy shoes.
Emergency First Aid Kit
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We have published an in-depth piece about first aid kit essentials that covers the inside and outside of the medical kit you should have in your overlanding gear. It explains it all from packaging to contents and the importance of wilderness first aid. Be sure to consult that article as you make your overlanding gear checklist.
As you are far away from civilization and need to hold out until emergency services can reach you, it is vital to have a more elaborate medical kit at hand and know how to use it in an emergency.
A Partner in Crime
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This one may not be considered part of your overlanding gear checklist as you can’t strap your buddy to the back of your truck like a spare wheel legally. You can however strap them shotgun or into their own vehicle instead! But, all jokes aside, don’t venture out into the backlands by yourself as an extra pair of eyes to maneuver and manage an obstacle, and an extra set of hands to help get your truck free if it ends up stuck.
If you can manage to find a partner in crime to explore the backlands, it’s always a good idea to bring a set of long-range walkie-talkies. Cell phones will likely be out of service, so if you end up splitting up, you will still need to have some means of communication.
Overlanding Gear List
- Tools for basic repairs
- A detailed map of the area (preferably a specialized off-road map)
- A compass
- A strong towing cable
- The right tires for off-roading
- Gas stove (Propane for cold weather)
- Cooler or fridge
- BPA-free water container
- Melamine-free utensils
- Pots and pans
- Kitchenware and cutlery
- A strong battery
- An awning or tarp (with rope or elastic cables)
- An extra set of warm and dry clothing
- An extra pair of dry socks and shoes
- Emergency first aid kit
- A buddy
- Long range walkie-talkies
I would also add to the list a heater for your winter overlanding adventures.
The Planar Heaters 2D-HA-PU27 Diesel Air Heater Kit is a great option that uses very little fuel and runs independently of the engine, giving you the ability to keep your rig warm without having to idle the engine. This thing puts out 7,000 BTU/h of heat, is extremely fuel efficient, is easy to install, and simple to operate, too!
Now it’s time to pack and get out there for an adventure!