Overlanding essentials for travel

I recently put a post on our facebook group  asking for our members’ list of “essential” gear. Cue lots of “wine”, “coffee” and “other overlanders” comments.

All very amusing, very witty, but it did get me thinking – what constitutes “essential”?

For us, coffee wouldn’t be a life saving item, but our trip would be very miserable without it! Ditto music; we could manage without it, but would we want to?

For us, we wouldn’t go anywhere (not even the supermarket) without a few bits of equipment. Here’s our list of absolute musts.

  • tools (for both car and tent eg hammers for knocking in ground pegs)
  • spare fluids (oil, clutch and break fluid etc)
  • means to change a flat tyre
  • first aid kit
  • fire extinguisher (have you seen Mark’s cooking?!)
  • tow ropes/straps/ straight bar
  • water
  • mapping (paper and digital)
  • jack
  • some spare parts (belts, alternator, brake pipes etc)
  • shovel
  • hi vis gear for emergencies
  • fire axe
  • torch
  • sun cream (Chesca’s part-vampire)
  • gas for cooking
  • kettle/jetboil
  • fire lighting equipment
  • toilet rolls
  • duct tape, baler twine, cable ties
  • travel towels
  • bin bags (see our previous post about wild camping rules)
  • braii
  • camping chairs
  • friends!

I’ve listed the last three items, because, for us, camping is all about being sociable and experiencing the world with like-minded people. Good food, comfy chair, amazing view, good friends – this is what RHOL is all about!


Oh, and apparently, sometimes you need your passport….


Because most of these things go everywhere with us, they are usually fitted somewhere to the truck or in easy access, like the gas. Other things you might want to consider

  • cooking equipment (plates, mugs, pans, spoons etc)
  • anti-bacterial wipes/handwash
  • other items in your first aid kit – insect repellents, NSAIDS
  • pocket knife
  • battery operated lanterns
  • furniture (I’m still looking for an excuse to use that inflatable sofa I bought five years ago!)
  • portable toilet
  • washing bowl (we use collapsible ones to save space)
  • windbreaker
  • matches
  • string for washing lines
  • cutlery
  • scissors
  • binoculars
  • solar charger
  • salt, pepper, herbs

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