Summer is overlanding season, and we couldn’t be more excited. Getting ready to hit the road and get outside? You’ll need to make sure you have the right gear for the trip, and we’re here to help. Here’s our list of overlanding essentials you’ll need to keep your trip organized, comfortable, and the best yet.
WINCH: If you’re looking to travel over rugged terrain in remote areas a winch is an essential for vehicle recovery. Your bumper will need to have a winch mount, and you’ll need to read up on what winch is right for your vehicle. Check out ZEON's 10" Platinum Warn Winch for that pack a punch or our personal favorite from Deadman Offroad.
SLEEPING BAG: Having a versatile sleeping bag is a game changer. For summer months, the ideal sleeping bag is one that is breathable, lightweight, and keeps you comfortable in 30 degree or more temperatures. We recommend this Summerlite sleeping bag from Western Mountaineering for summer off-road overlanding.
KITCHEN SINK: Pack everything and the kitchen sink with this portable camping sink from Sea to Summit. For longer trips especially, being able to properly wash your dishes is key, and also allows you to pack less dishware and avoid cross-contamination and bacteria buildup in your kitchen.
STOVE: An added bonus of car camping is the ability to pack a larger portable camping stove. There are so many great camping stoves out there, but our favorites have been propane camping stoves from Camp Chef. Specifically, the Everest 2x. You also can't go wrong with a classic, durable and affordable Coleman camp stove. We recommend the Triton propane camping stove.
CAMP FUEL: A fuel source is essential for every camping trip and an important consideration for overlanding trips. We recommend the sustainable Ignik Gas Growler. Not only does a filled Ignik Growler last as long as 5 of the standard green canisters, it’s also significantly less expensive.
TRASH: Everyone struggles to keep their trash organized no matter how many garbage bags you bring camping. Trash left in your vehicle can make for a smelly ride home, but hanging a plastic bag off of your car isn’t the best fix. That’s why we love the overland trash bags from Trasharoo. This overlanding specific, off-road spare tire trash bag is made of heavy duty nylon and attaches right to your spare-tire with durable buckles, making it easy to keep the campsite and your car trash-free.
COOKSET: We love the Flex 4 Cook Set from MRS, because it’s super lightweight for a four person cookware set and features a nested design that saves space in your car. If you’re looking for more of a bargain buy, the Adventure Full Kitchen Base Camp Cookset from Stanley gives you 21 pieces of cookware, utensils included, for less than $100.
COFFEE PRESS: A camping coffee maker is almost as essential as a stove during your overlanding trip. If you’re looking to pack ultra-light but still need your caffeine fix, you’ll want to get your hands on the new AeroPress Go. This portable coffee press attaches to its own mug and can make American, espresso, and cold brew style coffee quickly. Also, check out our favorite adventure coffee from Ground Pounder Coffee.
WATER STORAGE & FILTRATION: A overland jerry can is a must for any trip. We recommend the Lifesaver Jerry Can from Icon Lifesaver. For longer overland trips, a good water filtration system is essential. This system is designed with overlanders in mind and can filter 5,300 US gallons of water and hold up to 18.5 litres. The hardshell design also makes the filtration system durable and easy-to-fit in a crowded car.
CAMP TABLE: Yes you can eat in your lap, but car camping gives you luxury of bringing a camp table. We take advantage of this, and recommend the roll-up Camp Table from Alps Mountaineering. If you have a big family, the Camp Dining Table will not disappoint.
CAMP CHAIRS: Not an essential item for overlanding, but it's worth it for upgrading your comfort. You can choose the minimalist route and opt for a Crazy Creek Chair. We recommend Helinox collapsible camp chairs for a good middle ground. Feeling like you want to recline, we'd tell you to go for the Nemo Equipment Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair. Or choose our personal favorite, the Chama Vaquero Chair.
ADVENTURE KIT: VSSL Compact Adventure Kit is a one of a kind overland accessory to keep you safe in the backcountry. This kit is stocked with over 70 pieces of essential outdoor gear, including a fishing kit, fire starter, light, first aid kit and a compass, but weighs under 2 lbs.
FIRST AID KIT: The most important item of any outdoor adventure is a robust first aid kit. You never know what can happen in the backcountry, so being prepared means having the right knowledge and first aid gear on hand. We recommend the First Aid Pro from Uncharted Supply Co as well as the MyFAK from MyMedic.
SURVIVAL KNIFE: A survival knife is one of your most important tools to have while overlanding. While it's always good to carry a pocket knife like Swiss Army, it's best to also have a survival knife like Morakniv Companion Expert. Our personal favorite is the Mosaic Damascus Hunter or the Raindrop Damascus Bowie from Lost Sasquatch Provisions.
SURVIVAL AXE:Apart from a survival knife, having a survival axe allows you an additional utility tool in the outdoors from cutting firewood to hampering down your ROAM Rooftop tent stakes. We are fans of Off Grid Tools Survival Axe.
GARMIN INREACH: You’ll likely lose service while overlanding. Combine that with unpredictable weather conditions and tough roads means that you’ll need a powerful but portable GPS in case of emergency. The Garmin Explorer inReach is our pick for a reliable and comprehensive communication system that permits emergency and non-emergency messaging.
NAVIGATION SYSTEM: While we always recommend bringing your traditional paper maps and a compass, it’s also important to have a GPS device with offline maps. The Garmin Overlander is one of the most durable and comprehensive GPS systems out there. The Garmin Zumo is also a good choice if you’re not committed to an overlanding specific GPS and if you want to save some money.
VEHICLE LIGHTING: Aftermarket LED lighting can take your vehicle’s offroad performance to the next level. Added lighting also makes your vehicle safer in adverse conditions and questionable terrain. We’re partial to Heretic Studio LED lighting because it’s made in the USA using the highest quality materials. Check out their BA-2 pod lights that function as ditch or fog lights, they’re an essential vehicle upgrade at a reasonable price point.