You may have just heard the phrase overlanding and curious what overlanding is and what equipment a typical vehicle needs when on an overland expedition. In another blog post we defined overland in greater detail but for a quick definition: Overlanding is long distance over land travel to remote destinations where the journey is the main goal. This definition was found on Wikipedia and is probably the best phrase to sum it up. If you would like a more in depth look at what is overlanding take a look HERE. This article you are reading now is geared more towards the different gear that may be found on a vehicle built to go overlanding. Now most vehicles that are found overlanding are typically trucks and SUVs that consist of: Tacomas, FJ Cruisers, 4Runners, Lexus GX470’s, Jeep Wranglers, Jeep Gladiators, Colorados, and the list goes on. Here is a break down of the gear and items that truly separate overlanding from simply off-roading and how that gear can be crucial when away from civilization.
Overlanding gear is in a class of its own with function and practicality being of the upmost importance. You are truly surviving the elements with nothing but your wits, your gear, and your rig. Many overlanding rigs (vehicles) have core pieces that ensure there is more time spent enjoying your journey and less time repairing your rig. Typical staples would be skid plates, rock sliders, and recovery devices such as winches, MAXTRAX, shovels, and jacks. Notice that none of this has to do with performance and all to do with protecting your rig which will keep you on your journey. Skid plates and rock sliders play the obvious role of protecting your vehicle. With options like RCI’s full skid plate packages to ensure that essential components like your engine, transmission, and transfer case are well protected from hazards you may encounter. Rock Sliders, like those also offered by RCI, help protect the sides of your vehicle as well as allow you to slide or act as a pivot point when traversing obstacles. Now, while no one like to admit that they get stuck from time to time, it will eventually happen. This is where your winch, MAXTRAX boards, or jack come into play. While winches such as those offered by Warn are self-explanatory as to how they can get you out of a bind there are alternatives. MAXTRAX boars can double as a shovel when needed but their primary purpose is to serve as cleats for your tires and provide traction to get out of a bad situation. MAXTRAX recovery devices were designed in Australia and tested in the extreme climates found there as well as around the world. These items still all resemble those that you would find in typical off-roading and that is because again your time is spent away from the pavement. Now it is time to get to the part about leaving civilization behind.
To leave civilization behind you must equip your overlanding rig with the gear to stay out in nature for extended periods of time. This is where items like roof top tents, Lifesaver Jerrycans, and RotopaX Fuel Containers come into play. With items like roof top tents you are no longer constrained to a campground, nature is now your campground. Roof Top Tents allow you to camp in places that you typically would never think of such as: Moab, along the Dalton Highway in Alaska, or along the Continental Divide. With a standard tent you typically want to find a flat piece of ground that ultimately would be somewhat comfortable to lay on; the roof top tent eliminates this issue and allows quick and easy set up. The other obstacle to leaving the civilization behind is ensuring you have clean drinking water; the Lifesaver Jerrycan does just that. By utilizing a filter that is capable of purifying over 5,000 gallons of water, you can turn otherwise undrinkable water to clean drinking water. Simply by filling up the jerrycan, pressurizing it with the attached pump, and dispensing; lake or river water is now clean to drink. Some may also say the ability to shower is important and the lifesaver jerrycan has you covered there as well. With an optional shower attachment to use as a shower, clean dishes, or anything else you may need; you are able to leave civilization behind without feeling like a caveman. Lastly in this portion of necessary equipment are the RotopaX Fuel Containers. This is essential for obvious reasons; if there is no fuel in the tank, you will not get far. By using these leak proof, roto-molded containers that are CARB and EPA Certified you can ensure your journey ends when you decide.
You now have all the gear needed to overland but how are you going to carry it? That is where items like Roof Racks and Bed Racks save the day. An overland rig ensures that each piece of equipment has its place and that all space is utilized effectively. One of the industry leaders for roof racks is PrinSu Design Studio. With a fully modular design, integrated wind fairing with the ability to mount a light bar, and durable construction, the PrinSu Roof Rack is the option for those looking to maximize the potential of their rig with a roof rack. With the ability to mount a host of accessories including hi-lift jacks, RotopaX Fuel Containers, MAXTRAX Boards, Awnings, and Roof Top Tents; it is easy to see why it is the go-to option. For bed racks there are several options to choose from such as Leitner Designs, RCI, or upTOP Overland. The option that we typically recommend is Leitner Designs Truck Bed Racks as this allows for additional storage with gear pods, easy solutions to mount your MAXTRAX Boards, Mounting Plates for additional items like RotopaX Fuel Containers, hi-lift jacks, and of course a Roof Top Tent on top of the rack itself. Not to mention the Leitner Designs Active Cargo System FORGED boasts an industry leading 1,400 lb static weight capacity.
No, the gear mentioned here is not all needed to embark into the world of Overlanding. While all these items are not needed to start overlanding, they certainly do help. All that is truly essential is a sense of adventure, a desire to explore, and an appreciation for the beauty found in nature. We hope this was helpful as to the gear you may have seen on an overlanding rig or if you are looking to start your own overland build. If you have questions about overlanding, how to start overlanding, building your overlanding rig, or popular areas to go overlanding, please do not hesitate to give us a call or chat in. We would be honored to assist you in what is sure to become a life-long passion as it has become our passion. When you give us a call and make the decision to let us assist you with your own overland build, we treat you as one of our own…as family. Join the Brigade today and start your own journey.