Essential Gear: For Off-Road or Overland Adventures


If your journey will, lead you out and through the wilderness or roaming remote regions.  It might be best to invest upfront and gather some gear, before heading out on a trip or hitting the trails.  In the event  your overloading, and staying out for a while.  Or your quick off road  day trip turns to night, because you got your vehicle stuck or break down and your miles out in the middle of know where in your 4×4.


 Water Containers

Having plenty of water on hand is one very important necessity when going out in the back country.  Taking along bottled drinking water is always a good idea.  Though having containers to store more water in that are durable and seal well.  Like these roto-molded food grade plastic water packs from rotopax can help make it a cinch to store and carry extra water to use for odds and ends while you travel and at camp.



 Extra Fuel/Gas

Even if you do or don’t have a large capacity long range fuel tank on your vehicle.  Having extra fuel with you is important as you travel out and through remote locations to help extend your distance to make it to your destination and back.  A standard fuel/gas can could be troublesome to carry and strap down because the container itself not typically built strong or rugged enough for one.  So banging and bouncing around on your 4×4 could cause the container to fatigue and split, also the lids tend to leak.  So having a quality built easy to store containers  like the ones from Rotopax.




Carrying some nonperishable food (can goods, sealed dry food)



Rain Gear

You never know when you get caught out in the wet cold rain so having gear to keep you dry is important rain jacket, pants, rain boots, (Muck Boots)



Blankets, Sleeping Bag

Having extra blankets and or sleeping bag with to stay warm.




Depending how long you going to be out having a tent with you whether its a ground tent like this one that is easy to set up from Gazelle.  Or if you don’t want to sleep on the ground and have a roof rack capable of handling the weight of a roof top tent this is a good way as well to keep the elements off of you.




  • Matches/Lighter to start a camp fire
  • Tarp to make a awning, shelter or to lay on ground to work on your vehicle if the ground is damp muddy condition.
  • Rope/paracord to tie stuff up
  • Ratchet straps 1 inch straps to secure light cargo if needed



Camp Stove

 A  portable camp stove to cook (or heat food up)




Bottle Jack/Lug Wrench

To be able to change a tire or help you in a recovery



Portable Pottie

  (not a necessity) but one like this one could make things nicer 




A very import tool can be used for many jobs from digging your bogged vehicle out to digging a latrine and anything in between don’t leave home without a shovel.



First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your vehicle in case of an medical emergency is top on the list.

Here are a few kits that seem to have the basics covered.

  • IFak by Outer limit supply
  • My Medic by MyFak
  • The Adventure medical kit professional guide


Fire extinguisher

If something sparks your attention you better be able to put out the flames. Having a fire extinguisher on hand is very important.

Just make sure it is located in a easy to access spot on a good mount (maybe even on a quick release mount) to be able to grab it quick in an emergency.

You certainly don’t want to have it buried under stuff or in a bag where you cant get to it because that just won’t do you any good.

H3R Performance HG250R fire extinguisher is a clean agent fire extinguisher.  NB300 quick release mount for it.


Car emergency escape tool

Having a emergency escape tool could be a life saver.  Mounting one close by you in your vehicle for easy access in the event of a accident situation.

It is used to break side window glass and has a seat belt cutter.



What if you get stuck?  Your going to need some gear to aid in getting you out right?  If your traveling alone you will need to be able do a self recovery so here is a few things to consider.

Recovery Boards

A good simple solution to have with you to get yourself unstuck is to use some recovery boards like MaxTrax MK II  to give you to give you some extra bite when your bogged.


Sometimes there is no other option but to have a winch in certain situations to help give you a tug out of a tough spot. Its typically recommended that you get a winch that has at least 1.5 times more pulling capacity than the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of your vehicle.  So, winch pulling capacity, will vary from vehicle to vehicle, because of the weight.

Winch Ready Front Bumper/Bull Bar

Even though they look cool a heavy duty winch ready bull bar style front bumper  has a purpose protecting the front end of your 4×4.  Also since we touched base above on having a winch you will need someway of mounting it.  So having a winch ready heavy duty bumper will give you the ability to do that.  Along with allowing the option to mount extra accessories and lights as well.

Winch Accessory Kit

Having a winch is a good upgrade though you will need some accessories to help utilize its potential having a snatch block,  tree protector strap and winch extension straps (tow straps) D shackles and a pair of gloves for protecting those hands when handling winch cable and recovery gear.

Hi-Lift Jack

Don’t have a winch yet?  In this case you could get a Hi-Lift jack and a Hi-Lift ORK (Off Road Kit) and some and use it like a winch. Plus the the Hi-Lift can be used for other various jobs from jacking your vehicle up to spreading and clamping objects.  Check out more on Hi-Lift accessories here.


Recovery Kit

Now lets say your traveling with some friends (which is the safest way to travel in a group) and they have there own vehicle.  You can have them pull you out, having a recovery kit with a snatch strap D shackles and line damper.



Off Road Lighting/Light Bar

If you do any wheelin’ at night you are going to need some good lights.  From spot lamps, floods or a light bar with a good light spread to be able to see what’s going on up ahead.



Flash light/work light

You never know when the sun will go down on your adventure and you need to do a repair on something having a good reliable work light will be worth having.

The ARB work light is rechargeable, has adjustable brightness high and low, magnets and hooks on the back to help position it to work hands free.

Or check out the Streamlight stinger LED flash light rechargeable different brightness settings good battery life and solid durable build


Tool Box

Having a portable tool box will help to perform basic simple repairs on the trail or road.  Now most tool kits won’t have everything you will ever need so you can always add to the kit as you go along.  A basic tool kit is a very good start when your out on your off road adventure to fix those odds and ends.

  • Stanley tool kit 201 pc
  • 168pc Dewalt
  • 204 pc Dewalt
  • 192pc Dewalt


Check out some additional tools and supplies you can add (here).


All-Terrain Tire Upgrade

Upgrading your highway tread  out with a set of all terrains can help improve your off road traction.  The BF Goodrich KO2 is a good option having both on and off road capability



Tire repair kit

Its almost inevitable you spend enough time on the trail your going to pick up sharp objects that puncture a hole in your tire having a good tire repair kit to get rolling again is a must.

ARB has a tire repair kit to get the job done.


Tire Deflator

So your heading off road and one of the things your going have to do is air down to lengthen the foot print of those tires for better traction.  Before hitting the mud, crawling over rocks or riding on the sand.  Having a tire deflator helps speed up this process.  ARB E-Z Tire deflator


Air Compressor

You aired down your tires so before you get back on the pavement your going to have to air those tires back up to proper pressure your now your going to need a good air compressor.

The ones you plug in the cigarette lighter can be problematic and just take way to long (making a retirement program to fill up a tire).

So having a air compressor that connects direct to the battery with clamps that is capable of filling up your tires in a reasonable amount of time sure can be helpful.

Viair 300p

Viair 400p

ARB compressor


Jumper cables/Jump Box

Now what if your battery gets run down?  It sure could make for a long bad day.  Having a set of jumper cables, can charge things back in the right direction.

Question is, If there is some one around with a vehicle to jump you off.  Now lets say there isn’t and your out in the middle of know where, jumper cables will do you no good.

So a jump start box like a Genius gb40 or Genius gb70 would be more beneficial to get you cranked up and running again.

Just always make sure you keep it plugged in and charged up, so its ready to go when you need it.  On the flip side I would still always carry a set of jumper cables as back up.



Multi Tool

Keeping one near by or even on you certainly comes in handy, for fixing things in a quick pinch. When your doing a small jobs, cutting, tying, tweaking, twisting or tightening something.

And you sure don’t want to have rip out and  dig through the whole tool box.  Having tools sprawled all over the place out on the trail. A tool like the Leatherman wave or Gerber multi plier Mp600Basic come in handy.



Never want to leave home without one, even if you have a multi tool never hurts to still have back up sometimes.  Plus a knife by it self can be more ergonomic to handle if your just doing some cutting.  Also having a knife with a few extra tools could be nice.


Wood Saw

Having some sort of folding wood saw on hand is always a good idea never know when you come upon a fallen tree or low hanging branches across the trail and need something quick to pull out to clear the way.

Silky Saw makes the Pocket Boy 170 a nice portable size to keep handy for small stuff.  If you need something larger the Katana boy 500 should do the job.



Could come in handy to help remove a down tree over the trail if needed. (though a saw would probably be quicker in some cases).  An axe is still a very important tool to have.

Fiskars 28” chopping axe.



A pair, or even pairs of gloves is always a essentials item to have. Protecting those hands from cuts ,scrapes when doing repairs.

truefit 1470



Trash bags

Trash bags are always a good thing to have, to store muddy sandy dirty gear in.  So you don’t get it all over everything in your vehicle.  Until you are able to  get it washed off, and dried out at your destination.

You could also use them to lay on the on ground (or use a tarp) when your doing repairs to keep your back clean.   And of course use them for the obvious to put your garbage in.

I would get some sturdy commercial type that don’t tear easy.




Navigation is very important, sometimes one of the most overlooked tools for off road travel.  So below I will touch base on a few forms you might consider.  You also might even want to have all forms on hand just to correlate between them or to have as backup.

Paper Maps

Paper Maps are still one of the most reliable forms of navigation available.  Having a smaller scale map. That shows a larger area to be able to make the long distance travel plans from point A to point B.  And  having a larger scale map, showing topography (TOPO Map) and or more zoomed in details of the of the roads and trails of the localized area you are going to be in and explore.  Also remember to keep paper maps dry water will ruin them.  So getting laminated maps would be more preferable if you can, helps keep them protected from the elements.  And always have the most current up to date maps you can get.  Incase there is any changes to roads or trails.


If you have a smart phone or tablet you could add a gps app like Gaia (IOS & Android)

All Terrain GPS

An ALL TERRAIN GPS is a stand alone unit that has all the trail and road map data preloaded so no connection required they are water dust and shock proof housing. Examples: Magellan TRX7 CS, TRX7 navigators




Being able to communicate is key.  Whether its just talking with friends you are traveling with,  or to reach out for help in an emergency.

Hand Held Two Way Radios

Hand Held Two way radios (Walkie Talkie) are good to have to be able to walk around or communicate with a person outside to spot you while going over obstacles on the trail

Hand Held CB

A Hand Held CB, is a good alternative to have.  If, you haven’t been able to hard mount a cb in your 4×4.  They can be more convenient, and portable to carry around with you from vehicle to vehicle.  Though they typically can lack range without having a outside mounted antenna.

CB Radio

Having a hard mounted CB radio in the cab.  With an outside antenna, to help increase your distance to communicate a little further down the road or trail.  A CB is definitely a good option for communicating between vehicle to vehicle with friends as you travel along the road and trails.  However, they lack they distance to really reach out and get ahold of someone in an emergency when your in a really remote location.  This is where the options below come in.

HAM Radio

While HAM Radio is a very good long distance communication option to have in your 4×4.  You will need a license to transmit with it.     For more info click here.


Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is simple solution to have with you.  When you are way out in the middle of know where.  In the event of an extreme emergency to contact help.  A personal locater beacon, when activated, will relay your location, to search and rescue satellites.  ResQlink

Satellite Messenger

Satellite Messenger like the Garmin Inreach devices.  Using the Iridium satellite network allowing you to text, email even upload to facebook and twitter.  Allowing you to stay connected.   Even in non emergency situations with friends and family back home 24/7 as your out on your adventure.  It also has GPS Maps and a SOS button for 24/7 search and rescue for the extreme emergency.  InReach Explorer +.

Note: Inreach devices require an active subscription to work.