Off-Grid Travelers: Seven Things to Prepare Before an Overlanding Trip

“If happiness is the goal—and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.”

-Richard Branson.

To intrepid outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts, overlanding is an excellent alternative to what they would otherwise consider a dull weekend activity.

Overlanding, albeit an exciting outdoor activity, requires keen and meticulous planning. No matter how much of a seasoned overlander you are, there is always a slight chance that something could go wrong. Ensuring that you are well-prepared for any scenario and emergency is paramount. Knowing what to pack is crucial in any overlanding trip, as weight and room are immensely precious resources. That said, having a list of overlanding essentials to refer to and capture everything you will need for the trip can significantly improve the quality of your overlanding experience.

Keep in mind that what you need for your overlanding trip may not necessarily be what other overlanders need for theirs. As it is, overlanding essentials will significantly differ depending on your journey, where you are traveling to, and for how long. More importantly, several factors should come into play, such as the tools for your rig, equipment for your camper trailer, camping items, and resources you will eventually need. This article will discuss the overlanding essentials that will make your experience more comfortable, enjoyable, and memorable.

a.) Water

If there is anything you need for protracted trips, it is water. When you are on an overlanding trip, however, it can get quite tricky. How much do you bring? Water can be quite heavy in large amounts and might eat up limited space. That said, knowing the right amount will save you weight and space. Generally, 2 gallons per person per day of travel will be enough. You may think this is a lot, but this will include your water, meal prep water, and hydration for your pet if they are tagging along. If in doubt, bring more water, as it is best to have too much water than not enough.

b.) Recovery Items

If you intend on going off-grid (and far away from civilization) for a while, you need to be adequately prepared to get yourself out of emergency situations such as getting unstuck, blowing a tire, or clearing fallen trees. Have a recovery kit ready, and include items such as chains, D shackles, tree straps, gloves, etc. All of these will be useful in tackling various emergency situations.

c.) Tools

Another overland essential is a well-packed tool kit that contains everything from screwdrivers, hack saws, and hammers to zip ties. You can build this kit over time, but be sure to have the basics nailed down before going on your first overlanding trip. Additionally, choose a kit that has plenty of storage. Store all overlanding tools in just one toolbox for easy accessibility and convenience.

d.) First Aid

You will never know what happens when you are out in the wilderness. That said, it is best to be adequately prepared. Also, it is imperative to keep in mind that access to emergency responders and medical help may take a while, so being prepared is key. Have a fully stocked medical or first aid kit with you on your overlanding trip, as this will be an indispensable tool should you encounter any medical situations.

e.) Food

Typically, overlanding sites are far from grocery or convenience stores, and access to retail items such as food and beverages may be limited. That said, you need to arrange and bring all of your food and beverages beforehand. Prepare all of the meals you will need and eat during your trip and ensure that they are appropriately stored. What food to bring will vary greatly depending on what one adventurer prefers to eat. If you are responsible for providing everyone’s food, be sure to take note of food allergies.

f.) Kitchen

Another thing you will need is everything you will require to prepare, eat, and clean up your meals—a makeshift kitchen, if you may. Depending on the length of your trip, you can opt to eat boiled meals, which will mitigate the need for extra cooking gear. However, if you intend to stay longer than 3 or 4 days, it may be a good idea to bring items that will enable you to cook food. Your makeshift kitchen should include cooking utensils, cutlery, dishes, napkins, etc. Be sure to pack items you can use to clean your meal mess afterward as well. Clean-up items will include things such as dish soaps, garbage bags, and a container big enough to wash all of your dishes.

g.) Bedding

Preparing for a good night’s sleep is an overlanding essential. However, what you need will significantly differ on the type of overlander you are. Some may prefer to have their very own sleeping quarters, which will include sleep-in tents, pillows, air mattresses, etc. However, some may wish to take it even further by having their own sleep-in camper, while others will be more than happy to sleep in a sleeping bag.


With the list of overlanding essentials above, you can now have an enjoyable and stress-free overlanding adventure. Ensuring that you have everything before taking off may seem intimidating, but know that you can do it if you prepare well beforehand. With a bit of planning and preparation, you are ready for anything your overlanding adventure may have in store for you.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *