First Ten Things to Purchase Before an Overland Adventure


Expedition Leader
I agree with the list but really think a second vehicle / company belongs on it, especially in our desert southwest.
I’ve got a different perspective and I’m sure I’ll get seriously flamed for it, but here goes anyway…

I think this list is a self-serving, gratuitous load of crap. It’s this sort of thing that gives “overlanders” a bad name and how so many people end up with bloated mall-crawlers that never get off pavement.

Pity the poor newbie who owns a basic pick-up truck and a tent and wants to take his family camping. He reads this list and one of two things can happen. First, he’s terrified that he doesn’t have all this stuff on or in his truck, so he doesn’t go anywhere but stays home sitting on the couch drinking beer. Or, he goes out and buys all the stuff on the list, ends up with a cool overlanding truck but no money to go camping so he stays home sitting on the couch drinking beer.

I’ve been a high-performance driving instructor for more than ten years. We get guys showing up to the track in perfectly capable cars and the first thing they do is start talking about all the modifications that they want to do to their cars. We tell them that the first thing they should work on is the nut behind the wheel. The same applies in this case. The most important things to bring with you are common sense and good judgement. Get some training, learn the capabilities and limitations of your vehicle. Go out with a group of more experienced drivers so you can learn to look at a trail and decide “yup, I can make that” or “no, probably not”.

Get outdoors, have some fun, use good judgment and don’t worry about not having all the “right stuff”. BTW – there’s way more than ten things on the list.
we keep our rigs pretty much stock.using the money that would have been spent on mods and gear to take time off and actually go somewhere!!!

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
I don't find a lot of issues with the list ...OK; it is overboard for light duty picknicking or camping in numbered/reserved sites; but for going off road exploring, even moderate, existing trails that may or may not be mapped, parts could even be considered light/risky/not enough.

Serious, dispassionate, skill and vehicle evaluation should happen before going off road even into moderate terrain (I have seen pickups stuck on easy sections of trail that even rice burner cars could easy travers due to a combination of over inflated street/AT tires and lack of driving skill)... if a tire spins you are doing it wrong or the vehicle/driver is poorly prepped, IMO.

The first aid kit should, definitely, be more than an" ouch kit" from the grocery store it should include trauma related items (including, ideally, first responder training); Most injuries that I have encountered result from falls and cooking(burns/cuts in or close to camp occasionally deep cuts and penetrations, often injuries from idiocy/drunkenness (i.e. not quite jumping over the campfire/riding standing up, to begin with, in the bed, to begin with, on trail).

I do not agree with "survival kit";...Consider the terrain and destination then plan accordingly; a second adequately prepped/equipped vehicle is good insurance.

Personally, I consider (personal bias, based on years of AT tires not giving adequate traction) all terrain tires fit best for the street or secondary (gravel/occasionally maintained) roads; if you use them in significant off road terrain, then recovery gear and /or locking differentials, even a winch, should be a higher priority, IMO. Match the tires to the terrain, vehicle and driver skill level; there is no perfect tire for all.
Airing down/reducing the air pressure in the tires (not necessary for most picknickers and numbered site campers). is the cheapest easiest method of improving traction BUT you need a way to restore the pressure to get home ; a moderate cost RELIABLE (not plastic) 12 volt air compressor is recommended.

As far as "communications" its optional (agreed); Mostly radios are used to give the other vehicles and people in the group a hard time/light hearted ribbing.
HAM radios are, normally, only encountered when people already have the hobby/addiction.

Bull bars are typically a want not a need, IMO; tread lightly.

...As far as keeping vehicles stock it significantly limits where you can go and return from without damage (any more , I am getting old, I draw the line on trails where body damage is likely or assured). This, so far stock, TJ Rubicon is, definitely, not up to the off road standard set by my modified CJ-7.... Your results may vary...

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