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It’s an overlanders worst nightmare – getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken 4WD and no spare parts.
Like many unwanted situations on an overlanding trip, it can be avoided. In this article, we are going over the spare parts one should carry on a remote multi-day overlanding trip.
Overlanding Trip Spare Parts: Nuts and Bolts
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Let’s start small, nuts and bolts – a tiny part that if it fails, your whole vehicle might be unusable. Isn’t it strange that something as clever as a car can be stopped dead in its tracks by a single bolt?
Anyhow, I digress – carrying extra bolts that are the same type and size as the ones your vehicle uses can get you out of a sticky situation.
Pro tip: If you lose a bolt and cannot find one that will fit in your spares, you can search your vehicle for another part that uses the same bolt. If that part isn’t crucial, you can remove the bolt from there and use it to get back to civilization.
Must-Haves for an Overlanding Trip: Filters
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Contaminated diesel can destroy your fuel filter; therefore, carrying spares is always good practice.
Many diesel vehicles use two fuel filters; so, keep that in mind when out shopping. Your air filter might need changing too, especially if you are at the back of the convoy on a dusty trail.
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This might be a bit overkill – but when fully loaded on corrugated roads, an old bearing might give out – and guess what? You’re going to be stuck.
Make sure that you bring all the tools needed to change the bearing if you do bring spares with you.
A good tip is to pack them with grease from home to avoid getting filthy when you are on the trail with no access to water.
Wheel Nuts and Studs are Required for an Overlanding Trip
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These are two items that take minimal space and can easily fail especially on an old vehicle. On my truck (which is nearly 23 years old now), I had three wheel nuts and a stud on which the threads were gone the last time I took my front left wheel off – none of them were reusable.
Thankfully, I was doing some maintenance at home when I found out – but it goes to show, you never know when some parts are going to fail.
Pro tip: keep the bolts screwed on the studs to save space
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Probably one of the most important spares to carry with you. Imagine what would happen if your water pump belt snapped, or even worse, your timing belt. That would not be a fun day out.
Belts are cheap, light, and take minimal space; therefore, you should always carry spares with you.
Hoses and Clamps
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This might not be as important if your vehicle is new. However, for older trucks in which water or fuel hoses start to become brittle, carrying some spares is a good idea.
You should generally have the main radiator hoses and a meter (about three feet) of fuel line which can be used for many different applications if needed.
A small box with various sizes of hose clamps can also come in handy. You can never be too prepared.
If you have air lockers, some nylon hose will fix the inevitable air leak they will develop at some point.
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Take Extra Fluids on Your Overlanding Trip
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Radiator fluid, engine oil, diff oil, steering/transmission fluid, and brake fluid should be on your spares list. Depending on your vehicle, you might be able to leave some behind.
For example, if your truck is a manual, transmission fluid probably won’t be needed. You can carry a small bottle of it if you happen to need power steering fluid.
Radiator fluid is important if a hose happens to give out (obviously). It can be something as simple as distilled water, anything that will get you back on track again will work. You can always put the proper one in when you have the chance.
Make sure you carry the correct diff and engine oils for your specific vehicle. If you have a limited-slip differential or locker you will need limited slip differential rated oil.
As far as engine oil goes, make sure it is the correct grade and the same brand as the one that is in your truck right now.
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Water displacement spray (WD), brake cleaner, and contact cleaner can help loosen up seized bolts, clean a greasy part you need to fix, or get some wet electrical contacts going again.
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Some spare wire, fuses, and light bulbs can also be useful. You would be blown away by how many things won’t work when something as small as a fuse blows.
Should I Carry All of These Parts on My Overlanding Trips?
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Whether you go on an overlanding or off-roading trip, these are general things that someone might need on a remote trip. You should do some additional research on your specific vehicle though – some spares mentioned here might not be needed for your rig or vice versa.
For example, if your truck has a low-hanging alternator that gets wet easily you might want to carry a spare one on those muddy trips.
Of course, the proper tools and knowledge to change all of these parts are needed. Overlanding is a challenge, preparedness and knowledge are key and that’s why we love it.
Do your homework, get the right parts and you will be ready for anything the beaten path will throw at you.
What do you guys reckon? Have we left anything behind? Let us know!