What’s In Our Overlanding Toolkit?
The Surprising Assortment of Tools Needed To Keep Us Wheeling!
The world "overlanding" has taken on such an interesting meaning in the recent years. It can be used to describe everything from a simple weekend off-road trip with friends to an expedition around the globe. In either case, it's important to have a sufficient supply of tools and parts on board to be able to fix basic issues should the need arise.
As we were preparing to set out on Four Wheeler's 2020 Overland Adventure, we spent an afternoon going through the toolkit that we carry in our 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor for just such occasions. Along with that, Craftsman had just introduced a new line of automotive tools, and we were eager to get some of them into the toolbox. We've learned a lot from years of wheeling and try to keep just the bare minimum on board to get us off the trail. With that in mind, let's take a look inside the toolbox.
We keep our tools organized using a combination of tool rolls and bags. These are then nested nicely inside a Rubbermaid Action Packer and secured in the bed of the Raptor.
Tool rolls are a cheap and easy way to keep wrenches, screwdrivers, and more.
Inside our tool rolls are an assortment of both metric and standard open-end wrenches. We carry duplicates of commonly used sizes in case one is broken, lost, borrowed, or welded to something.
Inside one of our vinyl tool bags lives a plethora of wiring goods. Although this bag may look disorganized at first glance, trust us, there's everything that could be needed to fix just about any wiring issue (at least temporarily).
A common issue for most people is not carrying the correct wrench size. Because bolts come in all sorts of sizes, from tiny to jumbo, we carry a wide assortment of adjustable wrenches. You wouldn't believe how often the big 18-inch wrench has come in handy.
To minimize the number of sockets we need to carry, we generally stick to deep impact sockets. These can get most jobs done in a pinch and are far more robust than standard chrome sockets.
Did we mention screw drivers? We carry a wide assortment of flat-blade, Phillips, and torx-head drivers. The set from Eastwood we carry are even rated to be hit with a hammer (unlike most), and none is expensive should they need to be used as a prybar, as well.
It may seem silly, but having a good set of hose repair tools can save the day. Included in the Craftsman cooling system repair kit are clamps to pinch lines that still have fluid in them, a good set of hose cutters, plyers for removing hose clamps, and a pick to help break stuck hoses loose.
One thing deep impact sockets aren't great at is working with all types of wheels when it comes to removing lug nuts. To fix that, we carry this neat kit from Craftsman that includes a trio of thin-walled impact sockets with a protective plastic sleeve.
Because it wouldn't be wise to carry only sockets that need a ratchet or impact wrench to work, we also carry this basic manual tire iron. Except it's not basic at all. This wrench stores neatly, can be used three ways, and features eight socket sizes.
Because we carry an electric impact gun and not a traditional torque wrench, we also keep with us a set of Craftsman torque sticks. These tools are used to minimize the risk of over torqueing bolts.
Because nuts, bolts, and tools always gravitate toward hard-to-reach places when dropped on the trail, we also stocked up on an assortment of grabbing tools. With the combination of magnets, flexible handles, and grabbers we should be able to find even the hardest-to-reach item.
Another interesting tool we keep in the box is this serpentine belt wrench from Craftsman. It may seem simple, but having a bar that can put the right amount of leverage on the belt tensioner while not being too cumbersome can be a lifesaver.
Also of the not-so-common variety is our Craftsman panel removal tool set. We keep this set of plastic, non-marring tools in the truck for those times when something goes wrong behind a plastic panel or with plastic clips that need removing. This happens surprisingly often with late model vehicles.
Speaking of dropping bolts to help prevent this in the first place, we carry a pair of collapsible, magnetic parts trays.
We shouldn't even need to mention it, but we also carry not one but two sets of work gloves. Because one truly is none.