If you want your off-road adventures to last for days on end, you’ll need to equip yourself with the best overland gear to make it happen. Overlanding allows you to explore off-road trails that can keep you off of the grid for days, as long as you have the proper equipment to do so. Gaining popularity in the off-road community, many manufacturers have jumped on board to make some of the best overland gear. With gear like rooftop tents, portable refrigerators, compact camping stoves, awnings, and much much more, it’s easy to get away from the rat race of city life for the quiet peacefulness of the great outdoors.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a Jeep, truck, or an SUV, almost all of the items we’ve found will be a perfect fit for your overland adventures without overtaking your cab areas. From bed racks to fuel canisters, 4 Wheel Parts has everything you need to prepare yourself for the next big adventure that you have in mind. Even better is that we’ve got an exclusive code so you can save 10% on your purchase by entering OFFROAD104WP at checkout when you shop at 4WheelParts.com . Outdoor Lamps
One of the most important pieces of gear you need for your overland adventures is a good tent. Whether it’s to protect you from the quickly changing weather or flesh eating bugs that come out at night, you can sleep comfortably in these convenient shelters. There are two styles that are popular for the overlanding adventurers. For many, the rooftop tents are a great option since they are usually self-contained in a hard cover, and they don’t take up any valuable space in the cab of your Jeep, truck, or SUV. Additionally, they can be set up in a matter of minutes when you reach your destination. While they do sound great, there are some drawbacks to this type of tent. While they have plenty of pros, they also have their fair share of cons as well. First they can be quite expensive when compared to traditional tents, and second they can cause your fuel mileage to drop since they increase drag on your vehicle due to their mounting location on top of the roof.
If a rooftop tent is the way you want to go, 4 Wheel Parts has a great selection to choose from and one of the models with stellar reviews is the Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander Tent XL . When fully open, the tent dimensions are 122”W x 76”L x 51” H which provides a sleeping area the size of a king size bed. The tent itself is constructed of 600d heavy-duty rip stop polyester, which is waterproof and has a polyurethane-impregnated top. Open, this rooftop tent is like the Taj Mahal of overlanding tents, making it seem like you’re sleeping in a studio apartment more than a tent.
If you own a truck, SUV, or Jeep Gladiator, you might prefer a bed tent that allows you to use the bed of your truck or rear cargo area of your SUV as a shelter for your adventures. While these styles of tents are drastically less expensive than rooftop tents and quite compact, they don’t provide as much comfort. One of the more popular brands of bed tents are the Napier Backroadz 19 Series Truck Tents. These are available to fit a variety of truck bed sizes and can normally sleep two comfortably with ample headroom. A color-coded pole and sleeve assembly makes setup easy in under 10 minutes and the full tent floor keeps you clean from your truck bed and protected from the elements. The two mesh windows and a large entrance door provide great ventilation when you venture out in the summer, and a gear loft, gear pocket, and lantern holder help you keep things organized when you’re ready to settle down for the night.
Regardless of the style you choose to select, they’re all excellent choices to provide great shelter after a long day on the trail so look at which each style and brand of tents has to offer before making your decision.
When you’re camping at a campground or just planning to be in the wilderness for a day or two, a regular insulated cooler can usually hold enough ice to keep your perishable food safely cool. If you’re planning on overlanding trips, it’s likely that you’ll be away from civilization where you can’t easily replenish your melted ice and need some sort of powered refrigerator to keep your drinks and food cool for days. The Smittybilt Arctic Fridge/Freezer is one of the more popular popular options at a great price point. This fridge/freezer combo has a 52 quart capacity in a cooler that is 22″L x 21″ H x 13.5″ W, has a recessed digital control panel to adjust the temperature, and a 3-stage battery preservation switch to ensure it doesn’t drain your vehicles battery. While this is one of the best selling and highly rated fridge/freezers, there are plenty of other options from companies like Dometic and ARB to consider.
If you’re just in the market for a cooler for those quick day trips that don’t require the large capacity like the fridge/freezer options, you can always opt for some soft sided coolers. These coolers don’t take up the space of the hard sided coolers or refrigerators, yet still have enough insulation to keep your drinks and snacks chilled for a great day on the trail. Ones like AO Coolers Ballistic 36 Pack Soft Cooler can hold up to 36 cans of your favorite beverages and 18 lbs. of ice. A removable shoulder strap makes it easy to lug around when loaded, and when it’s empty, it takes up minimal space in your gear corner. Just like the fridge/freezer options, you have plenty of options to consider from other brands like 4 Wheel Parts, Vertically Driven, and XG Cargo.
Now that we’ve figured out how to keep your food safely stored, it’s time to figure out a way to cook those gourmet meals out on the trail. For the longest time off-roaders were limited to equipping themselves with backpacking stoves to cook their meals. While these aren’t necessarily bad, because they don’t take up much space due to their compact nature, you’re also limited to how much you can cook at one time. If you have multiple items on the menu for dinner, you’d have to cook them individually.
There have been some great advancements in cooking stoves over the years and what’s available is perfect for the overlanding community. If you’re looking for a complete galley setup, which includes a sink, cutting board, utensil rack, and two 20,000 BTU burners, look no further than the Smittybilt Galley Compact Stove and Kitchen. When collapsed, the whole thing has a dimension of 25″L x 15″W x 14.8″H, meaning that it takes up very little space for all of the features it has to offer.
If you feel you don’t need all of these features, a favorite cooking stove of mine is the Camp Chef COVEN. This compact cooking stove features two 7,500 BTU burners that sit stop a compact 3,000 BTU oven that can heat up to 400°. A great way to cook up those eggs and bacon while you warm up some cinnamon rolls in the oven for a tasty breakfast before getting back on the trail, in a unit that takes up minimal space with its 15″L x 25″W x 18″H dimensions.
When you’re out on the trail and want to take a break but can’t find any shade to relax under, it’s time to make some yourself. Trail shades are a convenient way to make some protection from the sun and other harsh elements quickly and easily. Most shades can be mounted to your roof rack and stow away in a soft cloth, or hard enclosure to keep the materials protected when not in use. While are mounted to be extended from either side of your vehicle, some are designed to wrap around and offer shade around a majority of your vehicle.
The Smittybilt Overlanding 270° Awning is just such a shade system. This shade provides 120 sq ft. of protection with nine tie-down points to secure the drop down legs under heavy wind conditions. The universal extreme duty mounting system mounts to most roof racks or crossbars found on Jeeps, trucks and SUVs.
Other awning systems are more traditional in their design where they come straight out from the vehicle in various lengths. Companies like ARB, Rhino-Rack, Smittybilt, and Thule have some great options for you to choose from.
Even if you’re sitting in your rig all day while taking on the rough trails of the wilderness, it’s nice to have a comfortable place to sit outside of the vehicle when you’re taking a break or done for the day. These chairs are typically lightweight, take very little room in or on your rig, and have some features to help you enjoy the outdoors.
Particularly the Smittybilt Camping Chair is a great choice for many overlanders with its lightweight construction, collapsible design, and fold up table that has an integrated cup holder. In addition to the padded armrests, seat base, and back rest to make this a super comfortable place to relax, this camping chair also has a removable insulated cooler so you can keep your favorite snacks and beverages close by so you don’t need to get up.
The ARB Touring Camping Chair comes in a close second, with it’s sturdy aluminum frame, padded seat and back rest for warmth and comfort, and removable side tray with integrated drink holder. My favorite feature is that it collapses down to minimize storage space requirements and comes with a durable storage bag.
When you’re in the middle of nowhere, you need to ensure that you have plenty of water for cooking, showering, and anything else you might think of. Sure you can purchase a big bulky plastic water jug from your local grocery store, but that cuts into your storage space for other items that might be equally as critical. That is where WaterPORT Water Tanks come in to save the day. These are available in multiple sizes, but the one I like best is the WaterPORT Weekender 8-Gallon Kit. This water tank measures 50″L x 9″W x 9″H and can be mounted on most popular roof racks for gravity fed water flow. The kit comes with a 16′ coiled hose and high pressure spray nozzle for when you pressurize the tank with your air compressor.
So there you have it. A thorough list of essential items to get you through days on end in the wilderness. Don’t forget our partnership with 4 Wheel Parts where you can take advantage of a 10% discount by entering our exclusive code OFFROAD104WP when you shop at 4WheelParts.com.
Are there any other items I should be outfitting my rig with when overlanding?
Absolutely! We covered the basics in this list but if you’re going to be exploring the wilderness on your own, there’s a good chance that you might get stuck once, twice, or many many times. This is why we suggest getting some equipment to help you get yourself unstuck. Whether it be some traction boards or a winch, we’ve compiled a great list of products to get you rolling if you find yourself in a sticky situation, so check our our guide of Essential Off-Road Recovery Tools.
If a winch is strongly recommended, which do you recommend and what should I get to go with it?
Again, we’ve done the work for you when it comes to this subject. There are plenty of variables to take into consideration when choosing the right winch and we cover them in our guide on How To Pick The Best Winch and Winch Accessories. Not only do we help make the process of picking the right winch easier, but we also go over some of the best tools to accompany that winch to get yourself out.
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