The trouble with overlanding is that there is too much cool functional camp equipment available. Just when you think you have the perfect swag for your 4x4 adventures, when everything has a place and packs away as tight as a Jenga puzzle, you go and find that cool camping widget you simply cannot live without. Then you get to completely relearn how to pack for a trip. Unfortunately, we aren’t going to save you from that experience. In fact, we saw so much cool stuff at the 2016 Overland Expo West you might as well forget everything you know about your personal packing procedure. Every year we attend the Overland Expo held at Mormon Lake, Arizona, we find at least a few new items we shouldn’t have to live without, and we’re sure you will too. We compiled some of our favorites, but there were many more to be seen. If you plan to take a look in person at next year’s event, you can find more information about the Overland Expo at overlandexpo.com.
Looking for something different and much more functional than a traditional nylon camp tent? The Tentipi (tentipi.com) Safir single-pole Nordic tipis might be just what you’re looking for. They come in several versions and models. The Tentipi Safir is storm resistant, can be used with an open fire or stove, and is said to only take three minutes to set up.
If you’re looking for solid tools to use around the campsite, Hart (harttools.com) has you covered. The company offers axes, hammers, mattocks, wedges, a maul, and knives, among other tools. Each forged steel tool features a fiberglass handle for anti-vibration and a SureGrip overmold for user comfort.
The Tembo Tusk (tembotusk.com) Skottle Grill Kit is an easy way to cook all of your favorite foods. Each kit includes the Skottle Grill with legs, a 10,000-Btu single burner and a Skottle carry bag that will hold up to four 16-ounce gas bottles. The grill is fabricated in the USA and comes preseasoned so it can be used immediately.
Traditional tents that blow around in the wind while you try to set them up can be a real downer. If you’re like us, then you want the tent up and done as quick as possible. That’s where the OzTent (oztent.us) Malamoo line of tents comes in. The quick-draw tents are said to set up in three seconds and are available in two, three, and four-person versions.
P3 Solar (p3solar.com) offers many different convenient camping solar power systems. Forget about traditional rigid solar panels that suck up too much space. P3 Solar rollable solar chargers are available in 21, 90, and 200-watt versions to keep all your electrical devices powered when you park for several days.
If you need easier access to the stored gear in the back of your SUV, the Front Runner (frontrunneroutfitters.com) Gullwing Windows may be just the helping hand you are looking for. They replace the original glass windows and provide a durable and lockable access hatch for the cargo area.
All-Pro Off Road (allprooffroad.com) offers several products for the Toyota overlanding crowd, including the Pack Rack. This product provides a solid bed-mounted footing for rooftop tents and other gear. They are available for the second and third-gen Tacoma as well as the Tundra.
Ever been stranded with a dead battery? When adding a second battery the isolator and wiring can be a complex endeavor. Genesis Offroad (genesisoffroad.com) has done all the heavy lifting for Jeep Wrangler JK owners. The bolt-in kits are available for both Odyssey and Optima batteries. A universal-fit kit is also available for other 4x4s.
Smittybilt (smittybilt.com) introduced a new hardtop for the Jeep JK Wrangler. It has more of an overlander look to it than the stock top and is slightly taller, which provides more headroom and interior cargo space. Four additional windows in the roof provide more natural interior lighting.
Unlike traditional ratchet straps which can’t compensate for load shift, ShockStraps (shockstrap.com) are designed to stretch and keep tension on the strap. Tight straps do a better job of securing your load. The ShockStraps shock absorber is made from a urethane formula that isn’t affected by most chemicals, sunlight, oil, salt water, fungus, or moisture. The hooks and buckle are yellow zinc-coated for rust resistance.
Finding reliable and up-to-date information about specific trail systems can be a daunting task. FunTreks (funtreks.com) can help reliably guide you and get you home safely, thanks to custom-designed maps for each trail and precise turn-by-turn directions with GPS waypoints. The company also offers data cards with tracks and waypoints that match the books. You’ll have to try really hard to get lost.
Loading down the front of a Toyota Tacoma with a heavy winch bumper can be a real burden on the front suspension. To keep your Toyota light and nimble, CBI Offroad Fab (cbioffroadfab.com) offers aluminum first, second, and third-gen Tacoma front winch bumpers that weigh in at a svelte 50 pounds. Bumpers are also available in steel and can be ordered bare or with a satin black smooth-finish powdercoat.
Ember Lit (emberlit.com) specializes in efficient, compact and lightweight backpacking wood stoves. They disassemble for flat storage and are available in both stainless steel and titanium. Each stove is made right here in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Have you always wanted to go on an overland off-road adventure but never had the time or the money to build an expensive 4x4 camping rig? Adventure Travel Sport Rentals (adventuretravelsportrentals.com) has you covered. The company can get you into one of several different kinds of camp-prepped 4x4 vehicles or a rooftop tent rental. Available rental vehicles include Sportsmobile vans, Tiger Bengal campers, Sprinter vans, Toyota 4Runners and Toyota Land Cruisers.
Dometic (dometic.com) brought out a plethora of different electric refrigerators and traditional coolers, including these Avalanche portable ice coolers. The Avalanche line of coolers are said to keep ice cold for 7 to 10 days. They feature thick, insulated walls and stainless steel hardware. The coolers are available in 28, 47, and 59L models.
Looking for a turnkey fullsize 3/4-ton 4x4 that is built to really work well in the dirt? Offroad Power Products (offroadpowerproducts.com) may have what you need. The company offers the turnkey Nomad Ram 2500. It comes complete with a lift, 40-inch tires, fender flares, a front winch bumper, and more.
Simply cramming your camp gear in the cargo area of your 4x4 can lead to damaged equipment and a lot of wasted time looking for what you need at the bottom of the pile. Fortunately, Goose Gear (goose-gear.com) offers modular drawers and refrigerator sliders to organize your stuff. You can choose and assemble your own custom storage solution that fits your 4x4 and specific needs.
Equipt Expedition Outfitters (equipt1.com) now offers Eezi Awn Bat and Manta 270 Degree fold-out awnings. The Bat and Manta awnings are designed to be deployed by one person in less than a minute. They feature full aluminum frame construction with waterproof ripstop canvas panels, integrated height-adjustable legs and come in left side or right side applications
The ShiftPod (shiftpods.com) Mir shelter was designed specifically for emergency and festival living. It’s said to set up in under two minutes. The five-layer composite fabric is designed to reflect 98 percent of UVA and UVB light (heat) from the sun and retain the warmth on cool nights. It’s waterproof and dustproof and has been wind tested to 50 mph.