Overlanding Necessities

Overlanding is a difficult undertaking but with prior planning and having the Overlanding necessities you can enjoy your adventure even more? 

In this article, we break down some of the top Overlanding necessities you will need on your Overland adventure and provide some products to provide an example.

Overland GPS App

While many modern vehicles have onboard navigation systems, they may not be the best choice when you get lost along the way and many times you will not be in a modern vehicle. We’ll admit that as much as we love letting the open road lead the way, we’d be lost without the support of our trusty the GPS on our phone.  

To enhance the GPS in our phones we frequently used Avenza Maps for free on Android and iOS smartphones. Avenza Maps has around a million free and paid maps available! The app uses your position and device GPS capabilities to provide relevant maps to your present location.  You can also customize your map by adding your locations at certain points and record your distances.  Another cool thing about Avenza is that you can upload photos along the way too. 

Another app we use is maps.me.  It doesn’t have trails but it can get you around in most places of the world.  Just be sure to download the free map prior to leaving the grid!

Overlanding Camp Stove

An camping stove is one of the more important Overlanding necessities for your outdoor kitchen because meal preparation is essential while out on the lonely road.  You will want something reliable and you will need to make sure it can be utilized in the country you are traveling through with the specific type of fuel that the country sells. 

An example of a great stove that could be used in many countries is the WhisperLite by MSR.  MSR is a well-known company that has a rich history in creating durable outdoor goods.  This stove is also very compact and versatile for traveling in many different countries.  

Overland Water Filtration System

Water is one of the most important commodities in the overland scene simply just to stay hydrated. But water sources can be difficult to find.  It is always recommended to have a water filtration device ready to take advantage of any natural water available. The filter will filter out many unwanted organisms and bacteria. 

There are many filters out there but MSR creates great filters.  The MSR Hyperflow Microfilter can filter 3 liters per minute. It makes water treatment highly mobile and easy to use. Its ergonomic shape, small size, and tool-free maintenance make it equally suitable for lengthy trips. 

Not only is this filter great for your overlander it can also be used on hikes!

Water Storage

Overlanding water storage is necessary since it allows us to extend our trips into the unknown for longer periods of exploration. While Overlanding, it’s a good idea to bring at least a gallon of filtered water per person per day, which you may keep in several portable containers.  In a smaller overland vehicle finding space for water storage can be tough. 

Here are some options to give you ideas of what is possible. 

The first is a larger option in a 35-gallon storage tank.  Waterprepared 35 Gallon.  It is on the larger side of water storage so you will need a vehicle that can support it without making life too difficult.  If you assume a gallon per person per day and there are two of you, this will last you roughly 17.5 days.  Not too bad to be off the grid.

A smaller option is something that looks like the Reliance Aqua-tainer.  It is 7 gallons so obviously a lot smaller than the option above.  Per our calculation we used above it would last you 3.5 days, but you could get more than 1 to increase that limit. This is the one I use for smaller adventures.  The spout can tuck away inside the container so that you don’t knock it off and can be tucked away nicely.  

Another great smaller option that is a great emergency option is the RotopaX 2-gallon water container.  This can be fit to the outside of your vehicle for extreme emergencies.  

Travel Medical Kit

Being self-sufficient is key and a medical kit will allow you to treat smaller injuries that are not life-threatening.  A medical kit should be adapted to whatever adventures you do outside of your overland trips such as kayaking, climbing, or mountain biking. 

An example of a medical kit that could be used on your Overland trip is the Surviveware comprehensive kit.  It is large enough for a large journey and has 200 pieces of first aid essentials.  Tuck it away and have it ready for the next outdoor emergency. 

International Travel Vaccinations

Not quite the Overlanding necessity you would think of right away! Vaccinating yourself will keep you safe and healthy while traveling. It will also ensure that you do not transmit diseases to your family, friends, or community upon your return. These should be obtained at least 4 to 6 weeks before travel. This will allow the immunizations to begin working, ensuring that you are protected and have ample time to acquire immunizations that require many doses.

Here are some resources that may come in handy as you’re planning your Overlanding adventure:

  • Read the most recent travel advisories to know about any new illness outbreaks or vaccine recommendations for the places you plan to visit. 
  • Learn about immunizations, insurance, and emergencies while traveling by visiting the State Department’s website.
  • Find out which immunizations you might need based on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and any health concerns on the CDC’s travel page
  • To acquire recommended vaccines, a travel checklist, and a personalized packing list, download the CDC’s TravWell app. You can also use it to keep track of your medications and immunizations and maintain travel papers. 

Gear Storage

You are on this Overlanding journey to explore and with exploring comes the necessity of gear!  It’s not a great idea to just throw everything into your Overlander nor is it a great idea to throw everything into a suitcase.  You want things as easily accessible as they can be because you can waste a lot of time in your vehicle trying to find things. 

Check out the Knodel organizer to give you an idea of how to store your gear and equipment on the road.  It has many different compartments to store your various items and keep them separated and organized. 

Vehicle Recovery Gear

Recovery gear is another crucial aspect of Overlanding. Not only will this assist you if you become stuck, or save others in getting out of a difficult circumstance. Because you’ll be traveling all over, you should invest in recovery equipment that can handle any terrain. This is why it’s imperative to be prepared for any eventuality. 

Typical recover gear can include winches, recovery straps, tow straps, d-hooks, recover boards, and the list goes on!  This, of course, all takes up space in your vehicle but some of the items you can place on your roof rack, hitch storage rack, or even your spare tire.  There are a lot of clever storage ideas out there. 

Jerry Cans for Overlanding 

Jerry Cans are very useful to store extra gas/petrol for your extended trips away from civilization. Depending on your adventure you can find many different sizes of jerry cans to suit your needs.  

It is recommended to not store this in your vehicle but figure out a system to store them on or around it.  

Just remember to eventually use the gas or petrol you have stored away because depending on the type you get it can last from 2 months to 6 months.  The gas will oxidize and lose its ability to combust which over time could be bad for your engine and cause things like engine knocking.   

Here is an example of a Jerry Can that could be great for the road.  It is steel and comes with a locking lid and a spout so there are no spills. 

Overland Power System

When you’re off the grid, having a source of electrical power can help your Overlanding game. Nowadays there are so many things to charge!  Computers, phones, cameras, go pros, drones, and the list will forever grow!

One great thing about Overlanding in a sunny place is the free power!  Why not harvest the sun’s rays and stay off the grid a couple of days longer.  One power system we like is the Jackery Explorer 1000.  It has a high build quality and high power efficiency. It has an easy-to-read LCD that displays input/output watts and power reserve. It offers more output USB A, C & AC connections allowing you to charge devices from laptops to cameras to GPS units.

Conclusion – Overlanding Necessities

It’s always a good idea to be prepared when traveling, especially when you’re spending life on the road for months at a time. The idea is to be ready for a more challenging adventure covering hundreds, if not thousands, of miles on and off the road. Overlanding is the ultimate in-vehicle adventure, where anything may happen so your Overlanding necessities are just as important as the rig you’re driving! Also please note that this is only the SOME of the important Overlanding necessities there are a lot more you need!


For a little more background on Overlanding check out our article on it here.

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