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What You Need To Take On The Trail - Don’t Leave Home Without It

Posted in Features on June 8, 2015
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The pendulum of four-wheeling has swung from one end of the spectrum to the other in the past decade. At one point in time, guys would spend all day running a trail less than a mile long in single-seat vehicles with tiny fuel cells. At that point, you might as well just walk. Since then, “overlanding” has been the hot trend, which, from the outside, can look like a contest to see who can bolt the most products from Australia and South Africa to their SUVs.

Somewhere in the middle lie the rest of us: guys who want to take their families out for some adventure on the weekends without having to work a second job to pay for it all. However, what do you really need to take with you? That can vary by region, budget, and a variety of other factors, but the equipment listed here is a good start. We like to organize our gear in totes with one dedicated to camping, another to cooking, recovery gear, and so on. On a day trip you might want to just leave the camping gear in the garage, but when it comes time to go on a longer adventure, you can just toss it into the back of your rig and impress all of the overlanders out on an expedition.

We like to carry all of our personal gear in a small pack with a water bladder. This way, if we leave the vehicle, we have everything we need to take in one convenient location. The pack can also be lashed to a ’cage to supply you with water while driving with no concerns about spilling.

Personal Gear
Toilet paper
Wet wipes
Bug spray
First aid kit
Water purifier
Wide-brimmed hat
Poncho/rain jacket
Sturdy footwear
Cell phone

It is worthwhile to have a tool set with you, regardless of whether you are driving across town or across the country. Keep track of what you use in the garage when you are wrenching and throw one in your tool bag. Specialty items like a hub wrench or snap-ring pliers can be a life saver (or at the very least a time saver) on the trail.

Air pressure gauge
Pliers (dikes, needle-nose, channel locks, snap-ring, adjustable, locking grips)
Hub socket
Pick tools
Test light
Vise grips
Wire cutters/crimpers
Allen wrenches
Crescent wrench
Brass drift

Lay all of your gear out before you leave to organize it and group like items, such as fluids or tools, together. We even put cardboard boxes inside our Action Packer as dividers to make items easier to find.

Recovery Gear
Fire extinguisher
Snatch strap
D-ring shackles
Duct tape
Electrical tape
Cable ties
Baling wire
Tire plugs
Jump box/jumper cables
Air compressor
Fullsize spare tire

Lockable truck boxes are a great way to store and organize your equipment but yet keep it easily accessible. When we use a consumable out of this gear, we keep the bottle or wrapper in our glove box instead of throwing it away to remind us to replace it when returning home. We also keep a list of items we forgot/wish we had for the next trip.

Fan (or serpentine) belt
Fuel filter
Valve cores
Vacuum line
Tie rod ends
Radiator hoses
Hose clamps

Keeping your gear organized and lashed down will make it easy to access and find what you need. The ARB freezer/fridge makes soggy sandwiches a thing of the past, but it is expensive. For an open truck bed we prefer a traditional and rugged Yeti or Grizzly cooler.

Power steering fluid
Brake fluid
Automatic transmission fluid
Gear oil
Stop leak
Starter fluid

Dry bags make excellent storage for soft, light items such as sleeping gear. The bags are waterproof and dustproof and can be easily lashed to a roof rack. We keep our sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, and pillow all together in one bag. Note the poncho wrapped around the tent that doubles as a tarp.

Camping Gear
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Camp chair
Bungee cords
Rope/ratchet straps
Quick dry towel

Cooking Gear
Ice chest
Water purifier
Can opener
Cutting board
Sierra cup
Paper plates
Biodegradable soap
Scrubber sponge

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