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

Packing Your Gear

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

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.

Personal Gear
Sunscreen
Toilet paper
Wet wipes
Water
Bug spray
Flashlight/headlamp
First aid kit
Multi-tool
Lighter/matches
Water purifier
Sunglasses
Wide-brimmed hat
Poncho/rain jacket
Sturdy footwear
Gloves
Compass
GPS
Cell phone

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

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

Parts
Fan (or serpentine) belt
Fuel filter
Fuses
Valve cores
U-joints
Vacuum line
Tie rod ends
Radiator hoses
Hose clamps

Fluids
Gasoline
Oil
Power steering fluid
Brake fluid
Automatic transmission fluid
Gear oil
WD-40
Stop leak
Starter fluid

Camping Gear
Tent
Tarp
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Pillow
Camp chair
Bungee cords
Rope/ratchet straps
Quick dry towel
Shovel
Axe
Saw

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