Overlanding is all about independence. Take what you know about car camping, add a bit of off-road know-how and boom: overlanding. Why is it worth it? When you load your car or truck with everything you need to comfortably survive out of your vehicle, you open yourself up to trips beyond the campsite.
However, for this you will need more than just your car camping kit. Pack protection, cooking gear, food storage, electricity and water storage – and a handful of things you might not know you need to turn your car into a fully equipped home. Here is a list to get you started.
Water, water, water. Fortunately, you really can’t bring too much with you when overlanding (unlike backpacking the desert where you have to carry everything). Ergo, go with something big like Reliance’s 7 gallon aqua tainer. It is almost indestructible, can be easily packed into your vehicle and has a user-friendly pin. $ 19.95
Note: If you are only on the road for a few days to a week at a time, one or two aqua-containers should contain everything you need. Otherwise, consider adding a gravity filter like the Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L water filter ($ 99.95).
Roof tents have become a favorite for overlanders and offer a super comfortable and protected sleeping platform that can be set up and taken down quickly and easily without taking up any additional space in your vehicle. One problem with rooftop tents, however, is that they tend to occupy the entire roof of your vehicle. This is not the case with the Thule Tepui Foothill, which folds the hot dog style (lengthways). So if you mount it on the side of your crossbars, you can keep space on your roof for bikes, cargo boxes, and more. This sleeps two adults comfortably. $ 1,699.95
This portable GSI outdoors set comes with two pots (2 and 3 liters) and a 9-inch pan – perfect for any base camp kit. The pots and pan are made of durable stainless steel, so they should last for years and withstand accidental popping and scratching. Rubberized handles, integrated sieves and embossed measuring marks make the pots easier to use. The nesting design means they don’t take up any extra space in your car. I pack mine along with cutlery and other utensils (not included) in a single 5-gallon container on the back of my truck. $ 79.95
Take your lovely eating utensils, make them sturdy and light, and get them dirty. Hydro Flask’s outdoor kitchen equipment includes plates and bowls, mugs, cutlery, serving bowls and spoons, a carry bag to take away and much more. Fill up your kitchen set with whatever is missing with these sleek pieces that naturally keep the hot and cold stuff cold. Starting at $ 19.95
With this double burner from GSI Outdoors you can even forget that you are not cooking at home. A pair of 10,000 BTU burners provide precise simmer control and ignite with a built-in piezo igniter. The hob has space for two large pots, and perhaps best of all, the stainless steel and nickel-chrome hob is very easy to clean even when you’re on the move. Baby wipes did the trick 90 percent of the time I took the stove with me on a recent trip to Moab, Utah. $ 124.95
A sturdy table at table height can go a long way in improving your mood on the street for a long time. This one from Mountain Summit Gear is small but up to 4 feet wide and more than 2 feet off the floor – big enough for your stove, cutting board, and ingredients, with enough room for a few people to play cards. The sturdy aluminum frame and tabletop add strength without making them too heavy and can be set up in less than a minute. $ 99.95
You can always leave smaller things like your phone or the rechargeable headlight on with your vehicle, but larger items drain your car battery and put you at risk of needing a backcountry dive. A massive power bank like the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 1500X is ideal here. The battery capacity of 1,500 Wh can supply laptops, refrigerators, cameras and more with a variety of sockets (USB, 12 V and mains plugs) for days. If you’re going to be out for long periods of time, hook it up to a panel like the Goal Zero Boulder 100 ($ 249.95) for endless performance. $ 1,999.95
Note: For those who work on the go or need to charge larger devices, the price of the Yeti Lithium 1500X is worth it. However, if you just need to juicing your phone and smaller items, consider something smaller like the Goal Zero Venture 70 ($ 149.95) that will have a lot of power to keep you going.
Angular travel bags like REI Co-op’s Big Haul 90 allow for more efficient use of space when storing equipment in your car by allowing you to cram and stack them in corners. This one also has ultradurable ballistic nylon on the bottom (perfect for throwing on the dirt or granite) and ripstop on the top (so your things stay dry). With stowable backpack straps and a number of pulls, you can easily lug them from your car to camp. $ 139
For many of us, the time you can comfortably be without a shower is a point of pride in the backcountry. This is an obligation on the people we brag about, especially if you have to share a car or rooftop tent. Enter the Helio from NEMO. It’s easier to use than a gravity shower, and it’s pressurized so you can spray the hose at any angle. Wash your face and feet or your mountain bike after a long, dusty ride. After a few days of biking and camping near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the water in the Helio had warmed up enough for me to rinse out completely before moving on the next morning. Trust me: As nice as it feels not to shower for a week, it feels so good when you take one. $ 99.95
Overland is just tailgate, but you sleep there too. Hide from the sun or rain with Rightline Gear’s Tailgating Canopy, which attaches to your hatch and spans 8 feet – enough space for a pair of garden chairs and your cooking station. $ 99.95
You will not find a prefabricated fireplace outside of established campsites. Instead, carry a portable bag like the FIRESIDE OUTDOOR pop-up fire pit. It creates fire wherever you go without leaving a trace. The pop-up fireplace is about the size of a camping chair and can be set up in minutes. It comes with a heat shield to protect the surface below and will burn logs, charcoal and more. $ 119.95
When you drive your car, you really have no excuse for not unpacking your poop. (If you’re posting at a campsite for a week, how often can you hand out Catholics a short distance from your campsite? LNT also applies to Overlanders.) Experience a slightly more pleasant Luggable Loo from Reliance. Pair it with some Double Doodie Waste Bags ($ 17.95 for six) and there’s virtually no clean up. Imagine sitting on your real toilet at home but having a much better view. $ 19.95
Do you remember how we said that overlanding is all about being independent? Well, that’s especially true when it comes to your safety. With no help nearby, it is important to have a well-stocked first aid kit with you. This one from HART Outdoor has enough to help you until you can seek expert help. All equipment is divided into separate pockets so things are easy to find and it comes with a manual. $ 57.95
Interested in more personnel selections and kits? More collections can be found here.