Overland Travel: 5 Things to Never Leave Home Without

Overland Travel: 5 Things to Never Leave Home Without

The best piece of kit for overlanding is the piece you think you will never need.

Because inevitably, that will be the piece you need.

One of the many benefits of overlanding, which is traveling off-road via specifically outfitted trucks, jeeps, or SUVs, is that you have the luxury of almost limitless carrying capacity.

Hiking or primitive camping means taking only the bare necessities to survive because you have to carry those goods on your own back. But overlanding means mechanical horsepower.

Overlanding means luxuries.

Or does it?

While it may be true that traveling by vehicle provides you with additional carrying capacity, you can quickly run out of space in even the largest of outfitted rigs, and no one wants that.

The last thing you want to do is leave the marshmallows behind because you have overpacked with other necessities.

With that in mind, here is a list of the five essential items to take with you on your next excursion.


Communications can be achieved through a variety of gadgets, so which item is best for you depends on what type of adventure you are taking. The main purpose of having communications is so you can reach the outside world in the event of an emergency or breakdown. Items like satellite phones and GPS devices with an SOS feature are best for when you are outside of cellular range.

The second purpose of having comms is so that you can communicate with your travel cohorts. Joking around and calling out points of interest over the CB radio is part of the fun of group travel along a trailway. While the CB radio may also serve as an emergency device for contacting help, the real fun is in enabling camaraderie as everyone is driving down the beach or mountain path.


Besides having the safety of communication options, you also need to be prepared for instances when no one is coming to save you. Most first-aid kits are used for bandaids and insect bite care, primarily, but having a well-stocked kit could save your life or the life of someone you care about while waiting for outside help to arrive.

Most overland trips are fairly uneventful, but any time you head out into the wilderness, being safe and prepared should be your priority.


What fun is overlanding if you aren’t going places that normal cars cannot go? Most rigs will be four-wheel drive and capable of traversing common obstacles. But the community who do this sort of stuff for fun also likes to push the limits of their rigs. That means that mud bogs, rocky trails, and sandy beaches are all opportunities to show that your rig is capable of getting through anything.

Eventually, you will be wrong.

When that time comes, you will need to have tools and devices to help you get out of a jam. If you are traveling with a group, you will have no shortage of offers to be pulled out by someone’s new winch, or someone else’s new tow strap. Having these items as part of your own kit is also a good idea.

But when the going gets tough and you are all alone, a winch, a shovel, and some traction boards are your best options for getting unstuck.


You don’t need to carry a large chest of tools with you on your adventure, but having a bag full of the basics could mean the difference between a memorable story, and a forgettable weekend.

Basics such as hammers, pliers, and adjustable wrenches are commonly thought of. The real treasures of any tool bag for overlanding are your zip ties, duct tape, and WD-40. Make sure you pack all of them and bring them along on your adventure.


Water seems like the obvious answer of an essential item to bring along, but if you are new to overlanding then you should consider this.

You will always underestimate how much water you will use while riding around in forests and beaches.


Besides having drinking water, you will need water to cook with. You will need water to wash dishes with or take a shower with. You may even need water for your rig, should you have a leaky hose or other issue pop up.

Depending on where your adventures take you, you may have access to water from lakes, rivers, or puddles. In some terrain, you may have no water available.

Either way, consider a high-quality water filter that can strain out any nasties that may be floating in the water. In the event of an emergency, a filter could be a lifesaver.

The purpose of overlanding is to get away from civilization, even if for only a weekend, and still have some of the luxuries of camping life.

Packing smartly and adequately will mean the difference between overlanding once, or making it a fun habit that gets repeated regularly.